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How to Clean a Curling Iron

How to Clean a Curling Iron

If you use your curling iron regularly, you may have noticed that over time, unpleasant brown gunk has begun to build up on it. If you’ve never cleaned it away, perhaps it’s time to start to find out how to clean a curling iron so that you can make sure that yours is hygienic for use!

If you can see an unwanted build-up on your curling iron or can smell an unpleasant burned smell when using it on your hair, you might be tempted to purchase a new styling appliance. However, there’s no need. If you follow the advice here, you’ll discover that your curling irons can easily be made to look as good as new.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Curling Irons?

Your curling irons are prone to suffering from a build-up of styling products, including gel and hairspray, when they are used on a regular basis. When these trace products and residue accumulate over an extended period of time, they begin to burn whenever you turn the curling iron on, and an unpleasant smell is created.

Not only is it a bad idea to breathe in that odor, because of the burning chemicals in it, but that pungent smell may also be transferred to the hair when you curl it with the iron. It goes without saying that this isn’t something that you’d like to happen!

Furthermore, if your styling tools are dirty, they may leave white or sticky brown flakes on gunk on your hair, or leave a residue or greasy film on its surface, which isn’t an attractive look.

A Simple Cleaning Method

If you’re looking for the most basic method to get your curling iron clean, you only need four simple things:

  • A damp rag
  • An old toothbrush
  • Some baking soda
  • Some rubbing alcohol

Fortunately, you almost certainly have these items in your home already, and since the process is a very easy one, you can have clean curling irons in as little as ten minutes! Just follow these simple steps:

  • Take the toothbrush and dip it into some rubbing alcohol.
  • Take the toothbrush and dip it into some baking soda.
  • Use the coated toothbrush to brush the curling iron robustly.
  • When the iron looks clean, use the damp rag to wipe away any remaining baking soda paste from its surface.
  • Your curling iron will be clean and ready for use once more.

A Long-Term Approach to Curling Iron Cleaning

Although the above method is an ideal way to get dirty curling irons back to pristine condition in the short-term, it’s always best to set up a regular cleaning regime for your styling tools so that you can keep yours in ready-to-use condition at all times.

Daily cleaning is one of the best ways to keep your iron looking spotless.

Daily Cleaning

Whenever you use your curling tongs, you should wipe them down as soon as they are cool. You’ll need:

  • Some water
  • A dry, cotton cloth
  • A robust paper towel
  • A spray bottle

Once you’ve gathered these supplies, follow these steps:

  • Unplug your curling iron and wait until it is cool.
  • Pour water into a spray bottle and spray some water through the barrel of the curling iron.
  • Rub it using the paper towel and then wipe any excess water away using a dry, cotton cloth.

Ensure that the barrel has dried completely before putting away the irons since a damp barrel may erode easily.

Cleaning Ceramic Barrels

If your curling irons have a ceramic or hybrid ceramic barrel, you’ll need to use a specialist cleaning method to ensure that the barrel remains clean. Ammonia is a popular household cleaning solution thanks to its ability to break down stains.

For this method, you’ll need the following items:

  • A splash of ammonia
  • A dry cotton cloth
  • Water
  • A cotton pad
  • An old toothbrush
  • A Ziploc bag

To clean your ceramic barrels, follow these steps:

  • Switch the curling irons off and allow them to cool down.
  • Pour a little ammonia into a small bowl and dip a cotton pad into it carefully.
  • Gently, use the cotton pad to rub throughout the barrel.
  • Pour a little ammonia into the Ziploc bag before putting the barrel of the curling iron into it.
  • Zip the bag up and allow the barrel to remain in there for ten minutes. Don’t leave the barrel in the bag for longer than this, as a reaction can occur between the barrel material and the ammonia.
  • Once this time has elapsed, remove the barrel and clean it using cotton pads dipped in ammonia.
  • If there is any tough, burned-on grime, you should use an old toothbrush to thoroughly rub down the barrel.
  • Once this has been done, spray a little water onto the barrel before taking the dry, cotton cloth and wiping all remaining moisture away from the barrel.

After using this cleaning method, your curling iron should look as good as new!
woman applying hairspray

How to Remove Stains From Your Curling Iron

Although the above daily cleaning method is important, sometimes, you’ll find that small stains appear on your curling iron. Most often, these stains are caused by hairspray.

Cleaning Away Small Stains

When your curling has small stains, there is a simple cleaning solution that you can use to remove them quickly and easily.

You’ll need:

  • A scrubbing brush or clean old toothbrush
  • Some rubbing alcohol (or a solution of 10% water, 90% isopropyl)
  • A dry cotton cloth
  • A cotton ball

When you’ve gathered these supplies, clean small stains by using the follow method:

  • First, unplug your curling iron and leave it alone until it has completely cooled down.
  • Next, dip the cotton ball into some rubbing alcohol then use it to scrub down any areas with stains or spots of hairspray. You’ll immediately notice that the spots vanish.
  • For any stubborn stains, use an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush to rub the affected area well. Don’t forget to clean the clamp and handle too.

Once the cleaning is complete, wipe down the tool using a dry, cotton cloth to ensure the curling irons have no remaining moisture before putting them away.

Cleaning Medium Stains on a Curling Iron

Small stains can easily be removed from curling irons by simply using water, but if there are tough stains on your irons, which cannot be removed using this user-friendly method, you should use the baking soda option. Baking soda is well-known for its excellent cleaning properties.

You’ll need the following:

  • Cotton pads
  • A bowl
  • Water
  • Cotton ball
  • Scrubbing brush or clean, old toothbrush
  • Baking soda

Get to work on these slightly more difficult stains by following these steps:

  • Make up a paste of 1 part water, 3 parts baking soda in a bowl.
  • Mix it well using a spoon and add a little more water if it’s too thick or extra baking soda if the mixture is excessively runny. You’ll need the paste to be fairly thick in order for it to stick properly to the curling iron’s barrel.
  • Using a cotton pad, apply a layer of paste over the iron’s barrel and allow it to rest for up to ten minutes before scrubbing it gently using the toothbrush or scrubbing brush.
  • Finally, use water to clean the barrel and use a cotton cloth to dry it thoroughly.

This will get rid of more stubborn stains, although remember not to leave the paste on the iron for more than ten minutes since it could damage its surface.

Removing the Toughest Stains on a Curling Iron

It’s rare to have very tough stains on your curling iron, but occasionally you’ll find that there are some difficult-to-remove marks that require more robust action and more intensive products.

You will require:

  • A dry cotton cloth
  • Some oven cleaner
  • A damp cotton cloth

Tackle the most severe stains by following these steps:

  • First, take the oven cleaner and splash it liberally through the curling iron’s barrel.
  • Allow it to stand for around 15 – 20 minutes (no longer than this as it could decay the quality of the barrel).
  • Once the time has elapsed, take the damp cotton cloth and use it to rub the oven cleaner away gently and thoroughly. You should see that the strains are gone from the barrel.
  • Finally, use the dry cotton cloth to dry any remaining residue off the barrel.

This is a quick cleaning procedure, and it’s highly effective when it comes to removing awkward stubborn stains from your styling tool. Nevertheless, you should avoid using it too regularly as it could, over time, cause damage and corrosion to the barrel of your curling iron.

Keeping Your Curling Iron in Pristine Condition

Curling irons are the most popular tool for creating stylish, wavy hair these days. However, it’s essential to keep your styling tool in good condition, or it will start to negatively affect the appearance of your hair, not to mention shorten the lifespan of your iron.

If you use hair gel or hairspray on your locks before using your curling iron, it’s important to clean the barrel frequently to guard against unwanted product build-up. Following the advice and simple tips outlined here will ensure that yours stays pristine at all times so your hair can remain beautifully wavy and effortlessly elegant in the long-term.

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At Beauty Mag, all of our writers are passionate about skincare, makeup, haircare, and beauty. From lipstick experts to those who know everything about Korean face masks or how to tame frizzy locks, we’re here for all your beauty and style needs. The only thing we love more than finding our holy grail mascara? Sharing that knowledge with you. No matter what your style is, we’ve got the tips, tricks, reviews, and tutorials to help you shine.