By Eliza Martinez

Using a flat iron, also called a straightening iron, is a good way to give your hair a sleek and finished look and remove any waves or curls you don't want. If you put hairspray in your hair before running a flat iron through it, however, you may notice buildup on the flat iron that may interfere with its effectiveness. Keeping your flat iron clean improves its efficiency, prolongs its life and may make your hair look better.

A clean flat iron does a better job of straightening your hair.

Step 1

Turn off your flat iron. Don't try to clean it when it is hot, or you may wind up with a burn. Allow the flat iron to cool completely before cleaning it.

Step 2

Wet a paper towel or rag until damp. Don't soak it until it is dripping, or you may end up with a big mess. Use warm water, which does a better job of dissolving the sticky hairspray from the plates of your flat iron.

Step 3

Scrub the flat iron plates gently. Don't rub too hard, or you may scratch the surface of the heating plates. Rub back and forth a few times to loosen hairspray and then rinse your paper towel or rag and scrub again. Repeat until you have loosened all the hairspray.

Step 4

Rub your flat iron plates with rubbing alcohol. A cotton ball with rubbing alcohol on it may effectively loosen stubborn, sticky hairspray that you are having trouble removing.

Step 5

Wipe the plates. Once you have lifted all the stuck-on hairspray, run a warm, clean rag or paper towel over the surface of the heating plates to remove any leftover debris. Allow the flat iron to dry completely before plugging it in and using it.