Why Do Hair Dryers Get Sticky? (Explained)

If you have owned a hair dryer for some time now, you may have noticed that its surface has become sticky and a bit gross.

If you do not clean the surface of your hair dryer, it will get stickier over time.

Here is Why Hair Dryers get Sticky:

Hair dryers are made of plastic, usually polypropylene. Plastic tends to get sticky over time because the coating over the plastic eventually breaks down after a few years. Another common cause is dirt that has accumulated over time which hardens and then melts and becomes sticky.

What Causes Stickiness On Hair Dryers?

It is common for plastic items to get sticky over time.

You would notice this on common household items such as hair dryers, plastic storage containers, kitchen utensils, TV remote controls, and other electronic devices with a plastic outer shell.

Sticky hair dryers are gross, and a bit off-putting to use, and they pose a hygiene concern.

What causes hair dryers to become sticky?

Several things cause stickiness on hair dryers:

Hair Styling Products

When you use hair styling products with your hair dryer, some of the product tends to transfer over to your hand, which then transfers to the hair dryer.

It may not be a lot of product, so you would hardly notice it, but it can accumulate over time.

This will cause your hair dryer to become sticky.

Dirty Hands

Apart from hair products, other dirt and grime from your hands can also transfer to your hair dryer.

Some dirt may not be easily visible, but they transfer over, and when it accumulates, it can make your hair dryer sticky.

Breaking Down of Plastic Coating

This is the most common cause of hair dryers becoming sticky over time.

The outer shell of hair dryers is made of plastic, which usually has a coating.

This coating strengthens the plastic to make it durable. This coating breaks down over time and can make your hair dryer sticky.

Are Sticky Hair Dryers Bad for your Hair?

When your hair dryer starts to get sticky, you may wonder if this is bad for your hair and if it would eventually damage it.

Sticky hair dryers are not necessarily bad for your hair, and they are not harmful to your hair.

However, sticky hair dryers are gross to use, and they can pose a hygiene concern. Sticky hair dryers attract dirt and grime, so stickiness can make your hair dryer dirtier.

A dirty hair dryer can be bad for your hair. This is because if your hair dryer is too dirty, it can overheat, making it too hot to touch.

Any electric device that overheats is a fire hazard.

Can You Remove Stickiness From Hair Dryers?

If your hair dryer gets sticky, it does not mean you have to throw it out and buy a new one.

While sticky hair dryers can be an issue, it is an issue that can be resolved.

You can remove stickiness from hair dryers. Important step: Before you start cleaning your hair dryer and removing the stickiness from its surface, make sure that it is unplugged.

There are two ways to do it. Here is how:

Using Baking Soda

Take some baking soda and water, and mix equal parts in a small bowl. Stir the mixture with a spoon until it forms a paste.

Using your fingers, scrub the paste onto the surface of your hair dryer Scoop a tiny amount of the paste using your fingertips and rub it all over the surface of the hair dryer while ensuring that no paste gets onto the cord.

Keep doing this until the surface of the hair dryer is completely covered with baking soda paste.

Wipe the paste off completely using a damp clean cloth. If your hair dryer has crevices where the paste is hard to wipe off, use a toothpick or a cotton swab to remove the paste.

Let the surface of your hair dryer dry. Just place it in a well-ventilated area so it will air-dry. Please wait for your hair dryer to dry completely before using it.

Using Alcohol

Take a soft clean cloth.

If it is too big, fold it, so it fits your hand properly. You can also use paper towels if you do not have a cloth.

Pour a good amount of isopropyl alcohol into the cloth. Make sure to pour just enough alcohol to dampen the cloth and not make it soaking wet.

Using the cloth that was dampened with alcohol, wipe down the entire surface of your hair dryer.

If there are stickier parts than the rest, add a bit more pressure to wipe all the stickiness off.

How Often Should You Clean Your Hair Dryer Surface?

When cleaning a hair dryer, some people always clean the filters but often neglect to clean the surface. Cleaning the hair dryer surface is an effective way to prevent it from getting sticky.

How often you clean your hair dryer depends on how often you use it. It can vary from once a week to once every three weeks.

To be safe, we recommend you clean your hair dryer surface at least once every two weeks. 

Cleaning the surface of your hair dryer will prevent it from getting sticky by not allowing dirt, grime, and hair product residue to accumulate on it over time.

How Do You Prevent Hair Dryer From Getting Sticky?

Preventing a hair dryer from getting sticky is better than dealing with a very sticky hair dryer later.

There are a few ways to do it:

  • Make sure your hands are free from dirt before using the hair dryer.
  • If your hands are sticky and sweaty, wash them before using the hair dryer.
  • Avoid using the hair dryer when there is a lot of hair styling product on your hands. Wipe any product off your hands first before using the hair dryer.
  • Clean the surface of your hair dryer regularly.
  • When storing your hair dryer, ensure it is in a clean and dry space so that dirt does not stick to its surface.


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