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How to Clean Your Flat Iron at Home and Make It Looks Like New

Flat irons are probably the most popular hair tools worldwide. With it you cannot just straighten your hair; you can make different hairstyles with this tool. Even you can make curls and waves with it as well. So, it’s nowadays a great replacement of curling iron and an all in one hair tool solution for every girl and woman around the world. But in recent, we are getting complaints about the longevity of these hair styling tools and girls do not get much of its performance as the expected. We suggested them to buy a professional or high-quality hair straightener but the problems remain. Featured Image of How to Clean Flat Irons Why is this happening then? It is happening because you are not doing proper care of your flat iron. Or you are not using it properly. Whether you are doing one or both, you will end up with frustration as you will be not going to get the expected performance from your hair iron. And that will be not going to be the only issue. Using unclean, bad condition hair straightener, your hair can get serious damage gradually. Besides, when you are straightening your hair, the hair products, and oils on your hair goes to the flat iron’s plate and building up residue day by day. This will result in uneven heat distribution which you may not want. The dirty hair straightener can also cause hair damage and split ends. So, no matter what your hair health should be your first priority, right? So, using a clean, good condition flat iron is a must. So, today we are going to show you how you can keep your flat iron in optimal condition and how to clean it properly. Let’s begin.

Cleaning the flat iron is not that hard task. It is easy, simple and requires a few simple things. What you need is:

  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Warm Water
  • Baking Soda
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Gel
  • An unused or old toothbrush
  • A piece of damp cloth or paper towel
  • Vinegar
  • Creams relaxer
  • Moisten cloth
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Do not worry. You are not going to need or buy all of the items as there are some different steps. Each step requires 2-3 items from the above. We are going to show you all the steps. It will be your choice which steps you are going to follow.

General Cleaning Method of Flat Irons

Here you are gonna need just a paper towel or a piece of damp cloth and a professional cleaning solution like Koala Kleaner.

First, heat up your flat iron for a few minutes in the lowest temperature setting. Then turn it off and unplug it. Heating up the plates will loosen the buildup residue and help you to clean with less effort.

Now let it cool and rest it on a heat resistant surface for about 5 minutes.

While the iron is nearly cool down (not completely), take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe the surfaces of the flat iron. Spray the cleaning solution and clean the iron again and completely.

Method 2 # Cleaning With Cotton Ball and Rubbing Alcohol

Flat Irons Cleaning Method of Cotton Ball and Rubbing Alcohol
Cotton Ball & Rubbing Alcohol

In this method you will need some cotton ball, rubbing alcohol and a wet cloth.

This time let your flat iron cool down completely. Then take a cotton ball, dip into the rubbing alcohol, and wipe the plate surface of the iron with it. You can use your fingers to pressure the cotton ball and clean all the crannies and nooks from the plate surface.

After cleaning with the cotton ball, take a piece of wet cloth and wipe the whole flat iron clean the existing alcohol and the dirt left on the plates.

Method 3 # Cleaning With Nail Polish Remover and Warm Water

Flat Irons Cleaning Method of Cotton Ball and Nail Polish Remover
Cotton Ball & Nail Polish Remover

Here you will need a cotton ball, nail polish remover and some warm water.

First, tip some nail polish remover on your flat iron plates, and then rub the whole surface with the cotton ball. Rub gently in a circular motion. Force on the dark places where you see most of the build-ups. After finishing take a clean cloth and soak it with warm water. Then wipe the whole straightener with it.

Let the iron dry completely before plugging it again. By this method, you can remove soft residue and dirt from your flat iron. For advanced cleaning see the next method.

Method 4 # Advanced Cleaning

In this advanced cleaning method, you will need baking soda, magic eraser/toothbrush, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, creams relaxer and moisten cloth.

First, take ¼ cup of baking soda and mix it with some vinegar or hydrogen peroxide (which will available with you). Mix it very well.

Apply the paste on the flat iron’s plates with your fingers.

Use a magic eraser or a toothbrush (we prefer magic eraser), and rub with it the whole surface of the straightener. Continue gently rubbing with a little force until the gunk and another residue disappears. Wipe with a damp cloth.

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You can use a cream relaxer to perform more advanced cleaning. Drip 12-15 drops of cream relaxer on the flat iron plates when it is fully cool. Here we use Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Professional Creme Relaxer.

Now use your fingers to spread the relaxer evenly. Plugin your flat iron and heat it for approximately 10-15 minutes. After that, unplug it and let it cool.

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When it becomes nearly cool, wipe the cream with moistening the cloth. Your flat iron will be super clean and look like new.

Method 5 # Put on a Baking Soda Paste

Using Baking Soda Paste

If you are someone who hasn’t cleaned her flat iron in months and there is a considerable amount of dirt, grime, and product build-up on the plates of your flat iron, then it can be quite difficult to remove them and make the plates shining again.

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In such cases, a rubbing alcohol solution is not going to work as effectively. If you want your flat iron to be as clean as a new one, the most effective solution is to use a baking soda paste on the plates. It might seem quite unconventional, but this incredible paste will help to soften the dirt and build-up products so that it comes off easily without putting in much effort.

Mix baking soda (we love the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda) with a bit of water and lemon juice to make a thick paste. Then take this paste and apply it with a thick layer on the straightener plates and leave it for a few minutes to set. After 5-6 minutes, wipe off the paste with a damp paper cloth or a damp microfiber towel just to see a clean, sparkling surface underneath.

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Method 6 # Using Warm Water

If you don’t use your hair straightener as often as others and use only a handful of products while straightening your manes then you can clean the flat iron plates just using warm water only.

To clean with warm water, first, dampen a microfiber cloth with water. Make sure that the cloth is not dripping wet. Then rub the cloth gently over the plate surface with minimal pressure. Repeat the process if you think it’s necessary. Then, wipe the surface with a dry clean towel and let the tool in the open air for a few minutes. Once the plates are completely dried, the flat iron is ready to use again.


Whenever you hear about flat irons, most of the time you hear only about how to use them properly and how to protect your hair while using it. You may know the drill completely by know but your little ignorance matters to your hairs. That’s why we thought this is going to be a great help for you and make you conscious about your little ignorance which could be a serious issue for your hair health. Hope you can now understand why your flat irons need to be cleaned and how to do it properly. If there is still any question in your mind, please let us know.


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Reader Interactions


  1. Hi there,

    It’s an excellent piece of article. From your writing, I understand that you are not only a hair expert but you also have vast knowledge about hair styling tools like flat iron and straighteners.

    The way you have explained every step of cleaning a flat iron is super easy to understand and extremely effortless to follow.

    It’s very helpful, especially for someone like me who uses her straightener almost every other day.

    Keep up the good work guys.

    Best of luck guys.

    • Dear Sheena,

      Thank you very much for your kind and sweet words. We appreciate our readers’ feedback.

      Please keep coming back for more articles in the future.

  2. Hello,

    I love reading your blogs. They are nicely-written, full of useful information, and very accurate.

    However, after going through this writing, I found a small glitch. You have mentioned using a “wet piece of cloth” to wipe the flat iron to clean it properly. But don’t you think cleaning an electrical item with a wet cloth is super dangerous.

    I would like to know your thoughts on this topic.

    Nevertheless, it was a great article.

    I wish you all the success.

    • Dear Rebecca,

      First of all, thank you very much for your feedback. We appreciate our readers’ response.

      Secondly, yes you are right. A wet cloth can lead to hazardous events when used on electrical tools. But by “a wet piece of cloth” we meant “damp cloth or towel”. A damp cloth will successfully remove the rubbing alcohol or dirt from the flat iron plate surface without the possibility of any dangerous outcomes.

      We hope we could answer your query.

      • I love the fact that you reply to each comment, regardless of its positive or negative. And thank you very much for clearing out the confusion.

  3. Hey people,

    I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. After going through this article carefully for more than a few times, I decided to clean my super high-end flat iron with rubbing alcohol. However, instead of cloth, I used a microfiber towel and, my oh my, I couldn’t believe how quickly the plate surface turned as shiny as a new one.

    You people should also try this method for your gunky straightener.

    • Dear Esther,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are glad that our article was helpful for you in one way or the other.


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