How to Clean a Curling Iron

How to clean a curling iron using rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and water

If you regularly use a curling iron to style your hair, it’s not unlikely that it will develop some buildup over time. That buildup is usually caused by leftover styling products or dirty hair.

No matter how the buildup happens to your curling iron, cleaning it regularly is easy! It’s a good way to prolong the life of your heat styling tool, which is always a good sustainability practice. Read below to learn about 3 simple methods for how to clean a curling iron to make yours look brand new again.

*NOTE: No matter what method you choose to try, always start with a cool, unplugged curling iron. 

Curling Iron Cleaning Tools

Many of these items you likely already have in your home. If not, below are a few of my favorite multi-purpose cleaning tools worth having on hand for this project.

How to Clean a Curling Iron

Method 1: Water

My cleaning philosophy is to always start with the gentlest cleaning solution and work your way up. Plain water is just about as gentle as you can get!

If you can, start with filtered water to minimize the chances of any mineral residue (common in homes with hard water) being left behind after cleaning.

Grab a cleaning cloth or microfiber cloth if you own one, dip it in filtered or distilled water, then use it to wipe your curling iron clean. Need more oomph? Move on to method 2…

Method 2: Rubbing Alcohol

When it comes to removing sticky substances, rubbing alcohol is one of your best bets. 

Grab a cleaning cloth (or cotton pad, cotton ball, etc.) and dip it in rubbing alcohol. Now simply rub the cloth over your curling iron to remove sticky hair product residue.

Alternatively, you can soak an old toothbrush in rubbing alcohol then use that to scrub away the sticky residue. 

Method 3: Baking Soda

Don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand? Or maybe you do but you need a little more abrasive cleaning power… enter baking soda. Truly one of the most versatile natural cleaning products around.

Dip a wet toothbrush in some baking soda and use it to scrub your curling iron clean. Wipe away any leftover baking soda with a damp cleaning cloth and you’ll be left with a clean curling iron.

You could also combine Method 2 and Method 3 by first soaking a toothbrush with rubbing alcohol before dipping it in baking soda. Then use that toothbrush to scrub your curling iron clean. Again, you’ll want to finish the job with a damp cleaning cloth.

Now that you have a clean curling iron, let’s keep going! Learn how to also clean your hair dryer, hair brush, and while you’re at it go ahead and mix yourself a DIY natural dry shampoo.

How to clean a curling iron

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