Even if you have the best flat iron in the world, it does pay off to educate yourself and figure what you are doing when about to straighten your hair. From tis point of view, you should know that the metallic or ceramic parts of the device (the actual plates) must be perfectly clean. How do you maintain them in the best possible shape? Easy. Get a clean cotton cloth, moisten it a little and mildly clean the plates. Perform this operation when the device is cold, but also unplugged. You should do it both before and after straightening your hair.