Anything we use on a regular basis needs at least a minimal amount of upkeep to keep it running smoothly. You get an oil and fluid change on your car. You sharpen your kitchen knives. You replace the filters on your furnace. You run vinegar through your coffee maker. But how often to you maintain your flat iron? Your flat iron is a tool that gets put to use pretty often. Without proper care and cleaning, it simply won't work as effectively as when it was new. Mousse, hairspray, styling gel and serums applied to your hair can create a messy build up on your flat iron. Over time this build up will interfere with its performance. Perhaps you've already noticed the boards of your iron look a little off coloured, or sometimes it looks hazy. This is from your styling products that basically glue themselves to your heated appliances. Keeping your hair appliances in tip top shape is simply a matter of keeping them clean and free of build up. You can purchase specialized products, specifically created for cleaning your flat iron, but it's not necessary. Before cleaning your flat iron, make sure it's unplugged and cooled down. Using a soft cloth dampened with clean water, start by gently wiping down your appliance to remove any loose dust or dirt. To clean the residue from your iron, you can use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover. Use a cotton ball or make up removal pad, even a dish cloth will do in a pinch. Wipe down your appliance gently until all the build up is gone. Since you probably don't want rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover in your hair, make sure you wipe your flat iron down with a clean, damp cloth when you're finished. Cleaning your flat iron once a week will prevent excessive build up and maintain the longevity of your appliance. It's quick, it's easy and it will keep your flat iron working like it should. Learn about homemade eyeshadow plus many other beauty tips.