If your flat iron is not functioning as well as it could be, then there is a good chance that you are cleaning it the way you should be. That means the residue from your previous hair treatments sticks to the flat iron. That renders them not as useful to you, and it is not a good idea to introduce old residue from earlier treatments to your hair that you are flattening with the dirty flat iron.
The oils, leave-in treatments, hairspray, and heat protectants cook on the plates, which leaves a sticky residue. If you notice the flat iron that you have not cleaned in a while, you will see some discoloration on the plates. That can also cause them to corrode, which is not what you want to do. You can also burn your hair if you have the old residue on the plates or transfer the bacteria that breeds within the residue onto your hair. That is why cleaning your flat iron is essential. So how do you clean the flat iron? Don’t worry; it is not at all challenging. Let’s talk about how you can use a clean flat iron to treat your hair which will not increase the chances of any further damage.
What Apparatus You Need For Cleaning Your Flat Iron
If you think you need sprays, soaps, or cleaning chemicals, that is not necessary. Instead, you need to have a clean, soft cloth, and a microfiber cloth is the best thing to use to wipe your plates. The ideal time to clean your flat iron is when it is no longer hot to the touch but warm, warm to the point that you will not shriek in pain because the plates are too hot. Once they are warm, wipe down the plates with the cloth to remove the residue. If there is any leftover residue, you can slightly dampen the cloth with warm water to wipe it down again.
That is relatively straightforward to do. It is a matter of getting into a habit of it, however. So now, let’s talk about the frequency of how often you should wipe down your flat iron plates.
How Often Should You Clean Your Flat Iron?
If you use your flat iron every day, you will want to commit yourself to clean it once a week, as that should be sufficient. That is the first thing to know. However, if you use it once a week, then you can clean it once a month. However, if you want to ensure that you stay in the habit of cleaning it and have the time, you can wipe it down each time you use it. On the other hand, if you use your flat iron daily and have the time to clean it after using it, you can most definitely do that. You will never have to worry about baked-on residue in that case.
However, what if the superficial cleaning mentioned above is not enough for your flat iron? What if the residue is too caked onto the flat iron that you question how much longer it can be salvageable? If so, let’s go over how to give your flat iron a deep cleaning.
What Do You Need To Do To Give Your Flat Iron A Deep Cleaning?
Suppose your flat iron is too sticky from old residue that cleaning it the superficial way does not work at all. What do you do? There is a good chance that you can salvage your flat iron, but you will need to wash it more thoroughly. What you need to do is wipe it down with a microfiber cloth as you normally would. However, you would also need to add some water to it safely. You cannot immerse it in a sink full of water because, remember, it is an electrical item.
You will want to potentially get a scrubbing tool such as a small brush or even a toothbrush. However, you can still use your cloth if you prefer. You will need to apply a small amount of shampoo, like the size of a pea, to the cloth or toothbrush and then gently scrub the plates, which will help remove the residue. You will want to keep stoking the plates until you see no more residue left on them. If you prefer not to use shampoo, you can use rubbing alcohol or even a facial cleanser.
After finishing the cleaning, store your flat iron somewhere dry and in an area with no risk of moisture coming into contact with it. That will speed up the life of the flat iron, which means it will not be salvageable for much longer.
How Do You Know That Your Flat Iron Is No Longer Salvageable?
If you clean your flat iron thoroughly and you cannot get rid of the stubborn residue, it is a sign that it is plain old. Therefore, that is the time to toss it away. Another way to tell that your flat iron is on its way out is if it smells strong when you use it or smoke coming from it. If there is smoke coming from it, it is dangerous to use as it can catch on fire. That is the time when you should not consider whether you can keep it for longer or not, and look into buying a new flat iron. These tools have their time.
If you have not been cleaning your flat iron very often, you will find that it does not work as well. There are residue from old hair treatments, sprays, heat protectants‘, and more which will bake onto the plates, harboring bacteria. You do not want any exposure to that in your hair as it can burn your hair or cause you to develop an infection. Cleaning it is straightforward. Wipe down the plates when it is warm with a clean cloth, and you may have to add some shampoo, cleanser, or rubbing alcohol if you need to give it a deep cleaning. If your flat iron is not salvageable because you cannot clean it well no matter what you do, then you will need to replace it with a new one.