A Foolproof Guide to Clean Your Curling Iron

Does your curling iron look like it’s been through a lot? Can you see wisps of hair tangled around the barrel? Has it got dirt on it?

Odds are that it’s been a while since you cleaned your curling iron. In fact, I’ve heard many people confess that they’ve never cleaned their curling iron. GASP!

In my eyes, not cleaning your hot styling tools is like committing a cardinal sin. It doesn’t just have a negative effect on your curling wand’s performance but damages your hair too. That’s because dirty curlers have burnt hair and styling product build-up on it. These things can easily get stuck into your hair and agitate your scalp. They also transfer bacteria and other infections when your hair comes into contact with an unclean curling rod. All in all, using a curling iron this messy can lead to horrible outcomes.

Does that mean you should throw away your unsightly hot styling tool? Not necessarily! It might not look like you can salvage your curler right now. However, following my guide will set you on the right track in no time.

So how do you clean your hair curler? The short answer is to simply take your curler and wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth. Then let it dry. Occasionally, you may use alcohol or cleaning solution to get rid of the stubborn residue and other buildups.

But I feel that this information is too vague for a proper clean up. That’s why I’ve decided to show you the big picture by covering all the aspects involved in cleaning your curling iron.

So let’s begin!

The Guide: How to Clean Your Curling Iron?

Is cleaning a curling iron really important? The procrastinator inside me always brings up this argument to stop me in my tracks. Yet, I’m well aware of the fact that using an unclean hair curler is pretty risky business. That’s because even though most of the bacteria gets burned off during your styling session―there’s a high chance that some of the microorganisms can still be found clinging to your curling iron. Plus, how can anyone forget the massive chemical buildup accumulating on it right now?

That’s why it’s important for you to muster up the energy to thoroughly clean your curling iron.

Here’s a brief step-by-step guide that you can follow:

  1. Use a toothbrush or thin rod to untangle all the loose hair wrapped around your curling iron.
  2. Start wiping it down with a damp microfiber cloth.
  3. Make sure to clean every tiny inch of your curling wand.
  4. Once you’re sure that it’s clean, you can let it dry.

Pro-tip: Always clean your curling iron when it is unplugged and cool enough to touch.

Sounds easy, right? But this is just a standard cleaning routine for curling irons. I’ve actually rounded up other extensive methods to resolve tougher situations.

How Do You Clean Caked On Hairspray Your Curling Iron?

What if the gunk doesn’t come off? In that case, you can always dab the cleaning cloth with a few drops of rubbing alcohol or a homemade cleaning solution (1:2 ratio of baking soda and water). Then scrub the curling rod gently with the damp cloth. Set it aside for a few minutes then wipe it clean with a fresh cloth that’s been dipped in water.

Why does it work? The abrasive nature of the solution helps break off the buildup that is stubbornly attached to your styling wand.

Now, you might need to put some elbow grease to scrub off the tough stains. But your curling iron is bound to look brand new once you’re done.

Pro tip: You can use a small toothbrush for better results.

How Do You Clean Plastic Off Your Curling Iron?

From smearing bananas to chucking it into the freezer―there are lots of home remedies out there that claim to get the melted plastic off. I tried them all, and sad to say that most of them didn’t work at all. It was a futile effort, to say the least.

However, one thing did work―my nail polish remover. Like the rubbing alcohol technique, you simply need to pour a few drops on a small cloth. Then lightly start scrubbing your barrel and curling wand with it. Then set the curling iron aside for at least ten minutes. Lastly, start scraping the plastic off with your nails or a nail file if necessary.

Why does it work? The acetone inside the varnish helps break away the melted plastic. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to peel it off.

Pro-tip: The nail file is usually your last resort because it might cause scratches.

.Do I Need to Clean Ceramic, Tourmaline, and Gold Plated Curling Irons Differently?

How to Get an Odor off a Curling Iron?

Does your curling iron smell funky?

Our styling tools get exposed to all sorts of things like hair products and our natural hair oil. This often causes them to emit an awful odor when they aren’t cleaned properly. I found out that cleaning my new curling iron on a daily basis prevented it from forming that weird smell.

However, despite two-three rounds of cleaning sessions, my old curler still had a smell lingering around it. That’s when I discovered the power of lemon.

So all you’ve got to do is squeeze half a lemon into your baking powder solution. Then use it to clean your curling rod. I can guarantee that the rod will start smelling citrusy fresh after the first try.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Clean Your Curling Iron?

It all depends on how often you use your curling iron. If you’re a regular user than cleaning it thoroughly every alternate weekend is a must. Other users can clean it twice a month.

Moreover, I suggest cleaning it with a moist cloth on a regular basis to minimize the buildup.

What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Cleaning Your Curling Iron?

I must confess that cleaning a curler can get tricky if you’re not cautious. That’s because you might tamper the metallic plates or burn your fingers during the process. So to help you out I’ve rounded up a few major mistakes you should avoid.

Let’s have a look:

  • Unplug the curling iron before you clean it.
  • Never wash the curler directly under a tap or submerge it into water.
  • Always let it dry before using it.
  • Make sure that it’s cool when you start cleaning it.

Pro tip: Try to clean your curling iron a day before you need to use it.

When Should You Replace Your Curling Iron?

The obvious answer is to replace it once it stops working. However, I know that most of you have a habit of using it until its last breath. This is a major mistake because curling irons that are past their prime can cause hair damage (e.g. split ends, dragging hair or breakage).

So it’s better for you to upgrade it if you notice that:

  • It has stopped curling your hair even though it heats properly.
  • There are rusty flakes attached to the curling iron.
  • You’ve already used it past its warranty date.

While I strongly believe, that proper maintenance can extend its lifespan. The curling iron needs to be replaced as soon as you start seeing these tell-tale signs.

It’s a Wrap

In a nutshell, a splash of alcohol, little baking soda, and a drop of lemon juice can transform your old curling iron in a matter of minutes. It might seem like hard work at first, but you end up with curling iron that smells wonderful and looks brand new. The best part is that your extra effort helps it work for the long haul.

So what are you waiting for? Drop what you’re doing and go show your curling wand some tender loving care!