Hair Not Styling Like The Good Old Days? Then it’s Time to Clean Your Straightener

by PHB
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how to clean your hair straightener right way

Your trustee sidekick straightener is just not styling your hair the way it used to, so you think to yourself it’s probably because the products I use are not produced with the same quality anymore, in other words, more of the product is needed to shape that beautiful head of hair of yours. On the contrary, it’s your sidekick that is letting you down. Yup, the good old magic stick is just not top notch anymore. I guess there is a retirement time for everything. I’m here to tell you, not to throw in the towel on your straightener just yet and try this super effective, easy and simple technique: Clean it!!!

Why Clean It?

That’s right, it’s time you give these ceramic plates a good wash. Why do you say? Because of all the protective heat spray product, the hair sprays, the hair gels, and every other product you use are leaving a layer of residue on the metal stick, and let’s not forget those pesky dirt particles that love to land anywhere they please. Now imagine this, you came out of the shower with clean hair, and you are about to start styling your hair with a straightener that has all these deposits of hair products. You might as well not have washed your hair in the first place. You’re probably thinking to yourself so what? You’re going to apply the same product anyways. Sweetie, use that excuse when you go to your next hair appointment with split ends and hair breakages.

Different Techniques of Cleaning a Hair Straightener

Thus, to save you the annoyance of searching multiple websites on various search engines, I’ve decided to save you the hassle and include them here. Here is a list of ways that you can wash your hair straightener.

Important: Before you start, make sure that your straightening iron is turned off. Some of the cleaning remedies require the iron to be a little hot, so make sure you wear oven mittens or something to protect your hands when handling the hot iron.

A. Cleaning With a Warm Iron

For the flowing methods, plug in your iron and then unplug it after a few minutes. This will help you when you start cleaning as it will allow the build-up to be easily removed.


Cream Relaxer

This solution removes the toughest of build-ups, even if they are burnt into the flat iron. Apply a generous amount to the flat iron and rub it down using a toothbrush. If you use numerous products on your hair, this method will definitely leave your straightener looking brand new.


Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix up a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda and a few drops of hydrogen peroxide (which can be found in your nearest drug store). If you can’t get any hydrogen peroxide, a good substitute is to use water. Using a small piece of cloth, apply the solution and gently rub the ceramic plates. If you don’t want to get the cloth dirty, you could swap it with cotton balls.


Lemon Juice

Squeeze half a lemon on to your ceramic plates and leave it for 20 minutes. Using a nail brush, or a hair dye brush, gently rub the solution. Once done, wipe it down using a damp cloth.


Acetone/Nail Polish Remover

Make sure that you cover the entire ceramic plate, and be very careful not to get any of the solution on the outside cover or handle of the straightener. Let the solution sit for half an hour, then start rubbing it gently using a hair dye brush, or a nail brush. Once done, rub it down using a damp cloth.

B. Cleaning With a Cold Iron

If you can’t handle the heat, here is one method that can be done with a cold iron.


Iron Cleaning Spray/Rubbing Alcohol

There are specific iron cleaning products that are sold in stores. Apply this solution directly to the hair straightener and rub it down gently using a cloth. You can use a cotton bud to remove the difficult to reach areas, like the sides and the tip of the iron.

What NOT To do with the straightener When Cleaning

  • Do not submerge it in water. You don’t want the iron to completely halt its services. So keep the wire, the plug and basically the entire straightener away from you, but the ceramics. That is the only thing you’re allowed to touch when cleaning.
  • Some of these residues are very annoying and difficult to remove, so some users decide to use a steel wool pad to make life easier. DO NOT use a steel wool pad. This can scratch your ceramics and damage it, making all the effort you put into cleaning it worthless, as this will still damage your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do the solutions work with all hair straighteners?

Yes, they will. As you are not applying any harsh chemicals to the iron, it won’t damage it. These are all ingredients that you find in your kitchen or makeup/hair drawer.

How frequent should I clean it

This depends on how much you use the iron. Typically it should be every month, but if you are a heavy user of hair products and the straightener, then I suggest wiping it down after every use with a damp cloth and doing the full cleaning methods mentioned above, every week.

Can someone else clean it for me?

Yes actually, if you are scared of damaging the iron or just not bothered at all, you can go to your local hairdresser. They wipe it down for you using a cream relaxer.

I tried one of the techniques but saw smoke after plugging in the straightener. Why?

The smoke is because all the techniques have alcohol in them. The iron is just burning off the remaining alcohol. It should be safe to use on your hair after a few seconds.

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