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hot styling tools

Photo Credit: Dream79

By Julie Cai

Have you ever cleaned out your blow dryer? Many of us probably haven’t. It’s been ingrained for us to regularly clean our makeup brushes and tools, but not so much with our hot styling tools. With the number of products we use to style and protect our hair, there’s sure to be some serious buildup on our dryers, flat irons, and other tools.

And, the leftover residue from such must-haves as hairspray and leave-in treatments can not only affect the performance of your hot tools but also melt onto and damage your hair.

Want better hair days? Follow these tips on cleaning your heat tools:

How To Clean Out Blow Dryer Build-up

Your blow dryer is probably your most-used hair styling tool and may need the most attention. Every time you use it, a filter traps debris such as lint, dust, and hair. Without regular cleaning, the filter can get blocked, causing your dryer to overcompensate and overheat, which can burn your hair. Cleaning the filter can also improve your hair drying time.

What You’ll Need

  • Tweezers or a cotton swab
  • Microfiber towel
  • Water

Make sure your dryer is unplugged and remove the filter. Most are attached to the back of the dryer and will easily twist off. Once off, use your swab or tweezers to gently remove debris. Rinse under hot water and pat dry with the towel. Wait until it’s completely dry before popping it back onto your blow dryer.

If you can’t remove the filter, try your best using tweezers to get any gunk out through the grates.

Curling & Flat Iron

Gunk on your curling and flat irons will leave your hair damaged and less than polished. We need those curls and waves to rock!

To get started, we recommend doing shortly after using, as it’s easier to clear while the iron is still warm, but not too hot to handle. Once your tools cool, any leftover product sets in and can be more challenging to remove later.

What You’ll Need

  • 90% isopropyl rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton rounds
  • Fine bristled toothbrush
  • Paper towels or damp cloth

Next, wipe down the barrel and metal plates with rubbing alcohol and a towel or an alcohol wipe. Then, use the toothbrush to gently scrub away any residue. Finally, use a paper towel to wipe everything down.

For more intense build-ups, like burnt residue, you’ll need to reach for some ammonia. Saturate a cotton pad with this heavy hitter and wipe all over the metal barrel and plates. Let it sit for two minutes to break down the build-up. Then wipe off with the washcloth. If the stain is still there, repeat until it’s removed.

So how often should you be cleaning your heat tools? If you use them every day, then aim for once a week. If you only reach for your tools a few times, you just need to clean once or twice a month.

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