As the go-to beauty girl in my circle of friends, I’m usually the one that has to share the wealth: namely, my beauty tools. Before a recent night out, for example, my roommate asked to borrow my flat iron to get her locks ready for an evening dancing on the Lower East Side. After I handed her my Chi, she gave it back to me with a frown: “Have you ever actually cleaned this thing?”
She had a point: the ceramic plates were all dirty and grimy, and bits of blonde hair were stuck in the middle. It was kind of sticky, too. Whoops.
The truth is, I’d always thought to clean my flat iron, but was terrified to ruin the ceramic/tourmaline plates that made the iron straighten my hair so well (also, the only way I could justify the steep price tag!). Now that I’d been outed, though, I had to find the solution. I spent that weekend researching ways to get my Chi in check. By Sunday night, my flat iron was clean–ceramic plates fully in tact–and ready to be shared again. And lucky for you, I’m sharing what I learned, so get ready to give your flat iron a much-needed summertime clean.
1. Use a soft cloth. Choosing a soft cloth is very important. Something too abrasive will scratch the plates on your flat iron, making it much less effective for straightening.
2. Wipe with rubbing alcohol. Once you have your soft cloth, moisten it with rubbing alcohol and then wipe down both the plates and the handle. Do not, under any circumstances, submerge your iron in water (yes, even when it’s unplugged).
3. Finish with a Q-tip. For all the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, use a Q-tip moistened with alcohol to get all the hidden grime from the sides and corners of the plates.
4. Let it dry. Make sure the plates are totally dry before starting it up again.
Another great tip to keep your flat iron clean? Store it in the bag or box it comes packaged in. This will prevent dust and hair and other stuff floating in the air from settling on it.
Lastly, rather than rushing out the door the second after you’ve unplugged your flat iron, let it cool off and then wipe it down with a soft towel. Built up grime is much harder–and nastier–to clean, so by giving your flat iron a daily wipe down you’ll actually be saving yourself some stress down the road.