6 Cleaning Methods for Your Hair Straightener

Flat irons are probably the most popular hair tool worldwide. With it, not only can you straighten your hair, but you can also make different hairstyles. Therefore, you must know how to clean a flat iron.

Recently, we have seen many complaints about the longevity of these hair styling tools and the subsequent drop in performance.

And while it is always a good idea to buy a professional or high-quality hair straightener, it is pointless if it’s not cleaned properly.

Featured Image of How to Clean Flat Irons

Using an unclean, bad-conditioned hair straightener can get your hair seriously damaged.

Moreover, when you are straightening your hair, the hair products, and oils on your hair goes to the flat iron’s plate, building up residue.

This will result in uneven heat distribution, which you do not want. The dirty hair straightener can also cause hair damage and split ends.

Therefore, using a clean, good condition, the flat iron is a must. Today, we will 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 a difficult task and requires a few simple things. You can achieve all of the below methods with a combination of some of the following.

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What you need:

  • 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

If you are short on time, here’s a quick one:

What to do: Once your unplugged flat iron is completely cool, take a couple of cotton balls and dip them in rubbing alcohol, and gently swab them to clean your plates. Afterward, wipe down your flat iron with a cloth. 

Now, for more complete methods:

Method #1: General Cleaning

General Cleaning Method of Flat Irons

Here you’ll need a paper towel or a piece of damp cloth and a professional cleaning solution like the Koala Kleaner.

First, heat your flat iron for a few minutes in the lowest temperature setting.

Then turn it off and unplug it. Heating the plates will loosen the buildup residue and help you to clean with less effort.

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

When the iron is nearly cooled down (not completely), take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe the flat iron’s surface. Spray the cleaning solution and clean the iron again.

Method #2: Cleaning With Cotton Ball and Rubbing Alcohol

With 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 it into the rubbing alcohol, and wipe the iron’s plate surface with it.

You can use your fingers to pressure the cotton ball and clean all the crannies and nooks from the plate’s surface.

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

READ: How Hair Straightener Works

Method #3: Cleaning With Nail Polish Remover and Warm Water

Flat Irons Cleaning Method of Cotton Ball and Nail Polish Remover

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

First, put 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. Apply a bit of 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. With this method, you can remove soft residue and dirt from your flat iron. For a more advanced cleaning method, see the next one.

Method #4: Advanced Cleaning

With this advanced cleaning method, you will need baking soda, a 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.

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

Use a magic eraser or a toothbrush (we prefer a magic eraser, and rub the straightener’s whole surface with it.

Continue gently rubbing with a little force until the gunk and residue disappear. Wipe with a damp cloth.

On the other hand, 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. At In straight, we use the Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Professional Creme Relaxer.

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

When it’s nearly completely cooled, wipe the cream while moistening the cloth. Your flat iron will be super clean and look brand new.

Method #5: Apply a Baking Soda Paste

If you are someone who hasn’t cleaned a 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 all that.

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 soften the dirt and build-up products so that it comes off easily.

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 to see a clean, sparkling surface underneath.

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 hair, you can clean the flat iron plates with warm water.

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 them.

That’s why we thought this would be a great help for anybody who wants to take care of their hair’s health.

Now you understand how to clean a flat iron properly. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.