Published on January 26, 2019

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Illustration by Aaron Bengochea

Think of all the household items you clean on a consistent basis: Your sheets and duvet, kitchen appliances like your microwave, and even your Beautyblender and makeup brushes. But what about your flat iron or curling iron? Using it on a consistent basis usually means the tool will form an unsightly buildup from your favorite hair products. This grime can not only smell when your heating tool is on, but it can also cause brassiness in your color or actually even rub off onto your hair. Yuck, no thank you.

There is some great news, though: There are a handful of super-simple cleaning solutions that’ll take your heating tool from yuck to whoa in mere minutes.

Unplug your tool and ensure it’s completely cool. First, begin with the easiest option: Magic Eraser. Take a clean Magic Eraser and scrub at the stains. You’ll most likely see a lot, or all, of the buildup magically disappear.

Still got some buildup? Step two, then. Soak a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and then scrub the stains (don’t forget under the clamp, too). Allow the alcohol to get to work for a few minutes, and then scrub with an object that will allow you to deeply clean, like steel wool or an old toothbrush. How’s it looking? Spotless or not quite yet? If you’ve still got a little product buildup, there’s another tip that’ll go even deeper.

Bring in the baking soda. The multitasking powder that can be used for cooking or deodorizing will also deeply clean. Make a thick paste with three parts baking soda and one part water, and then spread a little of the paste on a dampened cotton pad. Scrub, scrub, scrub on stains and wipe off. If stains persist, try letting the paste sit directly on the stains for 10 minutes, and then scrub off with that old toothbrush or steel wool. Wipe off, and your curling iron should be looking as good as new.

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