Mirrors are essential tools for every household. They allow us to see ourselves clearly, whether to take a cute mirror pic or just to check our outfit of the day.
Unfortunately, they also get dirty very easily. So, this urges the question, how do you clean a dirty mirror?
You probably already know that cleaning mirrors is important because dirt reflects light and makes your image appear blurry.
If you don't want to spend hours scrubbing your bathroom or kitchen mirrors, then you might want to invest in a good quality glass cleaner and know exactly which way to go about cleaning.
This article takes a look at how to clean your mirror and what tools or cleaning materials you might need. Let's jump right in.
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How To Clean Mirrors
Before we start, it's important to understand that there isn't one universal method to cleaning mirrors.
You'll notice that some people use soap and water, while others prefer using a specialized product.
The best way to clean mirrors depends on the type of surface you have. For example, if you have an old-fashioned wooden framed mirror, it will be much easier to clean with soap and water than if you had a modern mirrored wall.
1. Soap And Water
If you're not sure where to start, then perhaps you should try using soap and warm water first. It's cheap and easy to make but can leave streaks behind.
However, if you're looking to remove stubborn stains from your mirror, then this could work well as a starting point.
Simply wet a cloth or sponge and wipe down your mirror. Make sure to avoid getting any water into the frame itself. You may need to use some sort of tape or masking material to keep the frame safe during the cleaning process.
If you'd like to keep things simple, you could even buy a bottle of liquid hand soap and use that instead. Just remember to rinse off the soap before drying your mirror.
2. Specialist Cleaning Products
If you've got a tough stain on your mirror, then you might want to look at investing in a specialist cleaning product. These products contain chemicals that help to break down stubborn stains.
Some people swear by these types of cleaners, whilst others find them too harsh. Either way, it's up to you to decide which option works best for you. Below are the most popular products on the market.
This is one of the easiest ways to clean your mirror. All you need to do is spray the solution onto your mirror and let it sit for a few minutes.
Once it has dried, you can simply wipe away all the excess residue. We recommend Windex if you choose the spray route.
This is another great way to clean your mirror. Simply rub a small amount of the polish onto a soft cloth and rub over the entire surface of your mirror.
Once it's dry, you can just wipe away any remaining residue.
Commercial Glass Cleaners
This is the ultimate tool for removing stubborn marks from your mirror.
Simply pour a little bit of the cleaner onto a cotton pad and gently rub the area until the mark disappears. Rinse the cleaner off after.
Mirror Spray & Mirror Polish
You can also combine both methods. Simply mix equal parts of the two solutions and apply them to your mirror.
Use a soft cloth to buff out any remaining residue and allow it to dry completely.
To avoid a cloudy surface on your mirror, you could try making a vinegar solution.
Try mixing 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of distilled water in a bottle, give it a good shake before using it, and you will end up with the perfect potion for getting rid of tough streaks, smears, and smudges.
Apply this mixture directly to the cloth instead of the mirror to prevent the liquid from accumulating up in the corners, and traveling underneath the mirror.
Using vinegar is the best way to stop your mirror fogging up in the future, although some aren’t too keen on the smell.
4. Microfiber Cloth
A dry microfiber cloth is ideal for cleaning glass surfaces. They are very absorbent and won't scratch the surface of your mirror. It will also help to prevent streaks more than any other material might.
5. Cotton Swab
Using a cotton swab is a good alternative if you don't have access to a microfiber cloth. Simply moisten the end of the swab and dab it against the spot you wish to clean.
When you're finished, simply squeeze out the excess moisture and wipe away any remaining residue with a damp cloth.
6. Baking Soda
Using baking soda isn't exactly an environmentally friendly process, so we recommend avoiding it unless you have no other options.
Baking soda will help to lift dirt and dust particles from your mirror, but it won't remove any stubborn marks or spots.
One option is salt. Salt is pretty useful for cleaning mirrors. It helps to loosen dirt and grime that may have been stuck to the surface of your mirror for years.
You'll need to make sure that you only add a tiny bit of salt to your water; otherwise, you risk damaging the finish. Finish off this method by wiping it down with glass cleaner.
You can also use alcohol to spot clean your mirror. Whether this is hairspray, makeup, or even toothpaste splatters, rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad or bud and dabbing the dirt will rub each spot off individually.
This will stop any grease smears or substances from streaking across the mirror. Ensure you work fast, as alcohol dries quickly, and you don't want it drying on your cotton pad before cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hand sanitizer can be used for small areas with stubborn stains. Most hand sanitizer is just alcohol mixed with a few other ingredients. Using it on the whole mirror may cause streaks.
It’s best to dilute it as straight vinegar can be too acidic and may damage the mirror or other surfaces nearby that get dripped on.
If the black spots are in the middle of the mirror, it is typically caused by moisture or cleaner reaching the back of the mirror and causing damage.
Unfortunately in either case, there is no way to remove the black spots. The only solution is to repair the mirror by painting a new finish or disguising the spots.
Newspaper is better for cleaning windows than using rags or paper towels or in place of a microfiber cloth. But wet newspaper can leave black smudges of ink all over window
We hope by reading this article you have gained an understanding of how to clean your mirror and noted some of the best solutions and materials you will need if you want to get rid of those nasty streaks and marks that have accumulated over time.
Remember, different solutions are required for each different type of cleaning, so avoid tipping alcohol all over your mirror for example, as this is best used for spot cleaning.
Once you find a method that works for you, you'll be on your way to a shiny finish and mirrors without streaks in no time.