Did You Know You're Supposed To Clean Your Flat Iron? Here's How

Just like your makeup brushes, you need to clean your hair tools, specifically your flat iron. Yes, that's right — it needs to be clean to work properly. Per Byrdie, your flat iron may have a shorter lifespan if it's not cleaned regularly. Imagine heat protectant residue and burnt hair building up on your flat iron for years ... not only is that really disgusting, but it's also the No.1 way for a hair straightener to malfunction (via the outlet). Not to mention what using a dirty flat iron will do to your hair.

"Build-up from products can cause the iron not to work as well, especially if you've made an investment in a more luxury flat iron, you'll want to care for it properly so you have it for a long time," celebrity hairstylist David Lopez said to Byrdie. Though he does warn that residual products won't break the flat iron, it will cause it to work less effectively.

And that's the last thing you'd want to happen, especially if you splurged a bit for those titanium plates. Now it's time to get down and dirty and clean your iron. So, how do you do it? 

How and how often to clean your flat iron

There's a couple of ways you can clean your flat iron. First, make sure it's unplugged. Per Insider, the first step is to put rubbing alcohol on a soft material like a microfiber cloth. Remember, you don't want to scratch up your flat iron or cause any damage. Simply rub the plates and then allow them to dry. 

Likewise, per celebrity stylist Daven Mayeda (via Byrdie), you can heat your iron on the lowest setting first before unplugging it. Be careful when gently rubbing the plates with "a soft towel, cotton rounds dipped in water, or cotton rounds dipped in rubbing alcohol for a deeper clean" — you don't want to burn yourself! Just rub off the buildup, and voila! That's how to clean your flat iron.

Unlike makeup brushes which should be cleaned after each use, you don't have to clean your straightener as often. Once a month or every two months is usually sufficient. However, if you're using a lot of heat protectant (and you flat iron often), it is best to clean it after every use, Byrdie added.

The point is: you want to ensure your hair iron works effectively. And, that means treating it properly. After all, the process takes only a few minutes, and you don't want to apply a dirty tool to clean hair, do you?