How To: Clean Your Curling Iron/Flat Iron

I tend to use at least two or three products on my hair. Combine those with hot hair tools and I've got lots of product build up. My curling or flat iron begins to smell and heating is uneven. What to do? I could buy flat iron cleaner or clean it myself, using materials I have around the house. I've listed 4 methods, so at least one of these should work for you. Here's how to do it:

T O O L S :
  • Cloth or Magic Eraser
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Baking Soda
  • Oven Cleaner
M E T H O D S :
  1. With an unplugged curling iron or flat iron very warm to warm, use warm water and a cloth to clean. Or try water with a Magic Eraser.
  2. If there is still build up, make a baking soda & water paste. Scrub until clean and then wipe away excess.
  3. Still not working? Try rubbing alcohol and a cloth/Magic Eraser. Make sure the iron is off and cool.
  4. If all else fails, try a bit of oven cleaner on a cool iron. Spray and leave for about 5 minutes before scrubbing with cloth. Be sure to wipe away all traces of cleaner before using the iron.
Um...let's forget we saw this, k?

Almost brand new!

N O T E :
I've tried this with metal, tourmaline, and ceramic irons, so try the less invasive methods first before breaking out the chemical stuff! A ceramic iron was used for this demo.

What's your favorite curling iron brand? Flat iron brand?
Have a hair tutorial you'd like to see? Let me know in the comments.

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Please, do not plagiarize this post. 


  1. I've never even thought to clean my flat iron! I bet it needs it too. Thanks for the good tips!

  2. I've never even cleaned my flat iron. . . I should probably do that. . . .

    Thanks for the tips! :)

  3. Very clean! Got to try that :)

    P.S. I did your wavy curls this morning so I wouldn't feel obligated to wash my hair. I'm going to go a whole day without washing my hair. hahaha Wish me luck!!

  4. Ok I need to do this - it's embarassing how long it's been since I've done it!


  5. I have natural curls so no curling iron here. Should I ever get one I shall return to this post for cleaning advise;-)

  6. I really, really need to do this...both my curling iron and flat iron are in miserable shape!

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

  7. Great tips! I rarely use my flat iron, & my curling iron doesn't really work (it's like 10+ years old), but at last I know how to clean them now!

  8. Really great tips! Mine was so dirty that I thought it would forever stay that way! Then I swapped my flat iron for a pair of shoes with my sister and no longer have one. As for a hair tutorial...I was doing my (curly)hair this morning and thinking about you wondering, "I wonder if Elle knows what to do with long insanely frizzy, curly hair)...Do you?

  9. These are really good tips. Never thought to clean my flat iron.

  10. I have never cleaned my flat iron. Thank you for these great tips.

  11. Strange that I never even thought of cleaning my flat iron! Thanks for the tips.

  12. wow! what a great and simple way to clean those! i always just thought they were garbage at that point! great diy! thanks for sharing!

    drop by allister bee soon!

  13. I dont think I've ever cleaned my curling iron and I've had it since highschool. Gross.

  14. Great tips Elle! The products really do build up with the heat!

    Please do come over to visit, I have a New Giveaway I think you will love!

    Art by Karena

  15. Thanks for the tip! This is something else I definitely need to do. My Vidal Sassoon flat iron has lasted me seven years so far and still works great.

  16. A really great point--I usually just toss stuff when it gets icky and a light cleaning would probably give it a longer life!

    xo mary jo

  17. Awesome, I used to always get spray on my curling iron when I curled it...

  18. Oooh magic! Such great tips. It's like cleaning an actual iron which I always forget how to do... :)

    Hope you're having a great week! xoxo

  19. Thank you for the tips
    I didn't know I can clean hair iron like

    P.S. Thank you for your comment.
    Would you like following each other on GFC?


  20. Great Tip! Thanks for sharing!


  21. Another great set of tips, Elle:)
    I only have a flat iron that I also use to curl...the GHD, and I really do like it.

  22. Never would have thought to do this! Thanks for the tip!

  23. My curling iron definitely needs a good cleaning, so I'll have to try this out this weekend!

  24. thanks for sharing this! i never knew how to clean my curling iron, and must get it done soon.

  25. I've never even thought about doing this before - great post girl!! Found you via the blog hop, you have a lovely blog! :)

    whatrebeccasaid.blogspot.com xxx

  26. I've never been sure how to clean those tools–this is great!

  27. I know so many people who need to read this great advice. All of friends have been wondering how to clean their hair irons for ages now. Mind if I email them this link?

  28. I just found you via the blog hop. I'm a new follower! Love your tips! I didn't even realize I had to clean my flat/curling iron.

  29. It is so important to clean your tools. I clean my flatiron on a weekly basis, sometimes.

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  30. Oh such a great tip! Never thought of this!

  31. I'm not often using tools, so I mostly wash them off after use with water to keep them clean. But using baking soda is a great thought!

  32. thanks for the info. this is good stuff!


  33. did not know i was suppose to clean my heat tools - thank you!

  34. Luckily I don't use my heating implements enough to do this - anndd my hair would be crumbling into pieces if I did as well

  35. Brilliant! I use my curling iron all the time. I have used a clorox wipe and water previously, but this seems much better!

  36. This is a chore that I always forget about, so I really need to give one of these methods a try. I use my straightener almost every day, so it definitely needs it!

  37. Awesome! I will use this tip for sure!

  38. These are really cool ideas. I've also seen flat irons cleaned with relaxer. You just turn the flat iron on, let it warm up, unplug it and wipe the relaxer onto the plate and let it sizzle for a few minutes. Then wipe it with a clean cloth. Its a great way to use up so old relaxer for us naturals who have no use for it anymore.


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