There's no magic to it; your mirrors can be sparkling clean and streak free with some basic household ingredients and a little know-how.
While most of our cupboards are filled with fancy commercial cleaners, sometimes it's the simple, old-fashioned recipes that work the best, not to mention are the safest and most economical. This is certainly the case when it comes to cleaning mirrors.
With a mildly dirty mirror, warm water on a soft, lint-free cloth is all you need. When using plain water, the best cloth choice is a 100% cotton microfiber towel. These beauties beat the streaks, leave zero fluff behind and can be used over and over.
For a mirror with a little more build-up, make a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. A drop or two of dish soap can be added to either mixture and is particularly helpful when trying to remove the oily residue from hair spray or from furniture polishes used on the mirror frame.
If you have a project like the picture to the right, we recommend you hire a professional.
A Few Easy Steps
Spray your homemade cleaner onto a soft cloth – an old cotton t-shirt works great – or on loosely crumpled newspaper and clean with a circular motion. (If opting for newspaper, choose one that isn't printed with soy-based ink.)
Spot treat problem areas with straight vinegar or rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
Dry with more newspaper or with a microfiber cloth for superior shine.
Another time-tested method is covering the mirror with a thin layer of shaving cream (foam not gel) and wiping off thoroughly. The added bonus? The mirror won't fog up during showers for the next few weeks.
Whatever cleaning solution you use, avoid getting mirror edges wet and make sure you dry the surface completely. This will help ensure a pristine reflection for years to come.
The Uncleanable Mirror?
When no amount of cleaning works, the issue is probably the mirror backing and not the glass itself. Over time, the silver nitrate and protective coating that back the glass may wear causing the mirror to appear cloudy or spotted. Test whether this is the case by shining a flashlight into the mirror over the affected area.
If the backing of a favorite mirror is damaged, you can have the mirror re-silvered by a professional or buy a kit from a home improvement store and make it a DIY project.
Most of the time, it will be much easier and more cost effective to just buy a new mirror. That's where we come in. Feel free to search our great selection of wall mirrors, floor mirrors, and bathroom mirrors and let us know if you have any questions.