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Why Is My Hair Dryer Sticky? Causes and Solutions

Why Is My Hair Dryer Sticky? Causes and Solutions

Most of us have a hair dryer we stick to for life. Once you know a hair styling tool works for you, why would you want to go back? However, if you’re like me, you have may have noticed that over time, hair dryers can get a little sticky. It’s so frustrating because you cannot locate the core issue behind this problem, yet it keeps sticking to surfaces and even your hand. So why does this happen, and how can you fix it?

The main reason that a hair dryer can get sticky over time is because of the decomposition of rubber. Barring the issue of something sticky falling overhead, rubber can get sticky over time as a natural wear and tear process. However, there are a few nifty ways to solve this problem, such as rubbing alcohol, Windex, and even a toothbrush. 

If, like me, you want to learn more about this phenomenon and understand why this issue comes up so often, keep reading this article! We’ll talk about all the ways that the rubber on your hair dryer can get sticky and what you can do to fix this problem.

Why Is My Hair Dryer Sticky?

No one wants to reach for a hair dryer and feel a sticky residue on their hand when they put it down. Not only can this feel gross, but it can also be pretty unhygienic and dangerous, considering anything can stick onto the device. Luckily, you can probably narrow down the problem you are facing to one of two causes. 

Either you have accidentally spilled something on your dryer, or you have a rubber issue. Devices like a hair dryer come with rubber on top of the machine. However, over time, because of the normal degradation process of the rubber, you may start to notice stickiness develop. This is usually nothing to be concerned about, but it is something to clean quickly. 

Vulcanization Of Rubber

So, we now know that stickiness is something that happens with areas where there is rubber. But the question to ask here is why does rubber become sticky over time? The answer lies in a process known as vulcanization. This is a process when rubber is stretched out onto a surface. This process is essential for products such as hair dryers as it allows you to feel a grippy surface to hold onto. However, rubber is not a material that can last forever. 

Even though the manufacturers stretch out the rubber to place it onto the surface, it can lose stretchiness over time. This makes it a little sticky. Unfortunately, the problem here is that once this starts happening, there is very little you can do to get the rubber back to its natural state. However, what you can do is remove the residue and take extra precautions. This will help you stop this process of degradation in its tracks. 

Related: Can the Dyson Airwrap Replace Your Hair Dryer?

How To Fix Sticky Hair Dryers

Now that you know what is causing the issue at hand, it is time to look for some common ways to solve the problem. The good news is that taking care of some wayward rubber isn’t particularly hard. This is because rubber is susceptible to things like alcohol and detergents. In fact, this is probably one of the reasons why the material wears down so easily. So, without further ado, let’s look at some ways you can get rid of residual rubber using common household items. 

Using Windex Or Alcohol

The best way to take care of any residual alcohol on your hair dryer is to use either alcohol or Windex. That is because these two liquids are great at breaking down the rubber faster. However, while using these, you should be careful. Your hair dryer is an electrical machine, so you don’t want any kind of liquid getting inside. This can be extremely problematic and may even damage the wiring inside the hair dryer. 

Here’s how to clean rubber using these substances:

  1. Switch off your hair dryer and completely unplug it from everything.
  2. Using a cotton ball, add some Windex or rubbing alcohol.
  3. Wipe the surface of the hair dryer to get rid of the leftover rubber.
  4. You can also use a toothbrush for gentle scraping.
  5. Repeat the process as needed to get rid of the rubber.

You can end this process by taking a clean wipe or tissue and rubbing the top of the hair dryer clean. Please let the hair dryer surface completely dry before using it or plugging it back in. 

Using A Spoon To Scrape

Even when you apply chemicals to the rubber, it’s not just going to fall off the surface of your hair dryer. In that case, we recommend that you use something like a spoon or toothpick to scrape it off. A spoon is probably a better choice as it will not scrape the surface of your hair dryer. You can also keep repeating the process of applying alcohol and using the spoon to get as much of the rubber out as possible. 

Using Mild Cleansers

Luckily, alcohol and Windex are not your only options when it comes to cleaning rubber. If you want quick action, you can use something like a mild cleanser. However, you should always be cautious and try to prevent any strong detergents from damaging the body. It is possible, depending on the material of the hair dryer, that this can backfire and damage the body. 

Use the detergent with warm water and a cloth to go over the body. Do not use a wet cloth, and make sure it is only damp. If you use a wet cloth, it may damage the wiring inside the hair dryer. 


Turns out, unless you’ve dropped it in something, stickiness on hair dryers happens because of deteriorating rubber. Luckily this problem is not hard to handle, even when you are using common household items. We hope this article helped you understand how to take care of sticky rubber on top of the hair dryer.