How to Clean Your Hair Styling Tools

Got leftover styling product on your flat iron or a dust-clogged blow dryer? Properly cleaning and maintaining your hair tools and accessories is as important as changing the oil in your car or cleaning out the vent of your clothes dryer. Get the lowdown on quick, easy ways to protect your investments and ensure good hair–days ahead!

A close up photo of a hair dryer vent.

Blow Dryers

Dryer vents allow air to pass through the motor, helping guard it against exhaustion and overheating; dryer filters catch dust, hair and product that would otherwise settle in your bathroom or environment. Cleaning your blow dryer’s vent and filter on a weekly basis will protect the motor and help maintain consistent and clean airflow.


  1. Unplug dryer.
  2. Twist vent to open.
  3. Wash mesh insert and filter cap under warm water and set aside to air-dry completely.
  4. Using a damp cloth or unused toothbrush, carefully remove all dust from the metal filter. Allow the component to air-dry completely.

PRO TIP: Use the nozzle of a vacuum to suck up dust and dirt.

Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Flat Iron

Flat Irons and Curling Irons

A clean styling iron is crucial for achieving professional results. Regularly washing the barrel or plates to remove residue buildup from thermal sprays, silicone-based products and hairsprays will help keep the tool in tip-top condition.


  1. Unplug iron.
  2. Clean the iron with water and a cloth. Note that the use of harsh cleaners and countertop sprays is highly discouraged as these products can leave residue that should not be combined with high temperatures.
  3. Repeat once a week.

PRO TIP: For extremely hard-to-remove buildup, try cleaning barrels and plates with a damp microfiber cloth while the tool is on the lowest heat setting.

A hairbrush getting clean in water with a cleansing or clarifying shampoo.

Combs and Brushes

Get rid of loose strands that get tangled around comb teeth and bristles to keep your accessories sanitary and able to glide through strands.


  1. Pull stray strands out.
  2. Wash brushes and soak combs in a cleansing or clarifying shampoo (try Shampoo One® for its gentle yet effective formula).
  3. Either air dry them or use a blow dryer to speed up the process.

PRO TIP: Make removal easier of extra stubborn hair tangles by using a pair of scissors to cut hair stuck between brush bristles. Be careful to avoid cutting any of the bristles.

What are your best hair hacks? Use #PaulMitchellProTools and share your tips with us on Instagram.

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