Even with naturally curly hair, we can get the itch to change up our style. Sometimes those styles require more than an overnight wet-set or wash and go. Using heat styling tools can be beneficial to speed up drying, straighten, curl and smooth hair into glamorous waves and sleek styles. However, everyday and even occasional use can cause wear and tear on these hot tools. Learn these simple hacks to preserve the life of your heat styling tools.

Clean your blow dryer's grate

Some of you may be thinking, “Why would I need to clean my blow dryer?” but continued use of a blow dryer can cause build-up in the grate over time. The grate (normally located at the back) can collect dust, debris, and hair. This causes it to become clogged, and when that happens, it can cause your blow dryer to overheat (and possibly break). Proper cleaning of the grate can increase the longevity of your blow dryer.

How to clean the grate

First, be sure to that your blow dryer is unplugged. Remove the grate off of your blow dryer, along with any hair and debris. Do this using either tweezers, a cotton swab, or a microfiber towel. Rinse with hot water and let it dry 100% before reattaching. If you have a stubborn grate that can’t be removed, try using a vacuum nozzle attachment (while the blow dryer is unplugged) to suction up any build-up.

How often to clean your blow dryer

This will all depend on how often you use your blow dryer. Professional hair stylists will clean more often than someone who diffuses their curls once a week. Some dryer brands urge you to clean after every use however, most people probably won’t do that.  Professionals using it several times per day might consider cleaning their dryers once a week, while the day to day user once per month. If you rarely use your dryer, you can probably get away with cleaning it every few months.

Remove the sticky residue from your flat iron

You may notice that your flat iron or curling iron has a smudged, sticky, or cloudy appearance after a few uses. Using heat protectants, hairsprays and other styling products with hot tools can cause product build-up and gunk on their surface. Build-up can create a rough surface that makes the tool harder to glide down the hair resulting in possible hair breakage. It can also transfer the buildup back onto the hair.

How to clean your flat iron & curling iron

Hot tools like flat irons and curling irons can be cleaned easily by wiping down their surface with a clean, damp cloth and a little isopropyl alcohol. If the buildup is more stubborn, you can scrub it off with a used toothbrush. White vinegar is another alternative to alcohol and can be found in your kitchen cabinet. Be sure to let your tools dry completely before plugging them in again.

The best time to clean these tools is when they are still warm. Unplug your irons and let them cool down until they are safe enough to touch. This will help the build-up come off easy. If you use your hot tools everyday, weekly cleanings will help remove debris. For weekly or biweekly use, once every month or two will do the job.

Be honest!

How many times have you cleaned the grate of your blow dryer? Let us know down below in the comments.