How To Clean Mirrors For A Squeaky Clean Finish

Mirrors are supposed to help us see what we look like clearly. But when our mirrors are smudged, fogged up, or have blemishes of their own, they aren’t that handy. And at one point or another, we have all dealt with trying to get a clean finish but somehow leaving more markings along the way. 

That’s why we have come up with the ultimate tricks for a squeaky-clean finish. Your mirrors will look brand new; the best part is that there is more than one way to do it. And more importantly, we talk about what you should avoid doing when cleaning your mirrors. 

Let’s get started. 

How Can I Make My Mirror Clear Again?

If you are wondering how to clean a mirror that is hazy, then let’s start here. There are a number of tricks but starting with the basics is the way to go. 

A Few Quick Tips

  • If you are in a pinch and don’t have any cleaning solution, you can always use some water. While this can create watermarks if you use the right cloth and buff out smudges in a side-to-side motion as a good temporary fix.
  • The best cleaning solutions for a deeper clean are homemade remedies such as vinegar and/or light dishwashing soap. You can mix this and use a spray bottle to spray on the mirror.
  • Avoid paper towels and disintegrating materials. You are best off using a microfiber towel that doesn’t shed.
what you need to clean a mirror

How to Make a Mirror Shine

Your mirror deserves a good deep clean every week to keep it shining naturally. The dirtier we let our mirrors get, the more difficult the job is. Here is a simple process you can follow to clean your mirror.

Note: Cleaning your bathroom mirrors shouldn’t take too long. Most bathroom mirrors take 5-10 minutes for a deep clean. The larger the bathroom mirror, the more likely you are to deal with streaks, so try to keep a consistent motion. 

What Do You Need to Clean Mirror Glass?

You can clean glass or mirrors with a few different solutions, but here is what you need for a simple clean. This method is how to clean a mirror with vinegar. It’s handy when you don’t have a natural cleaning solution, and while Windex works for some, it’s also full of toxins and chemicals.

If you want to know how to clean a mirror without Windex, use these materials. 

  • White Vinegar
  • Water
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Spray Bottle
  • (Glass Squeegee)

Step-By-Step

  1. First, if you haven’t wiped down your mirror in some time and it has collected any dust, you can do a quick wipe down with a dry cloth.
  2. Next, mix together 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of warm water. You don’t always need to use soap because this creates suds and bubbles that can leave streaks and residue.
  3. Start by spraying the top of the mirror. You want to work top to bottom because the solution will drip down.
  4. Start from left to right and vice versa with a microfiber cloth going side to side and working your way down. As the solution starts to wipe away, spray again about 1/3 or ½ way down your mirror, depending on how long it is.
  5. It’s better to use more spray than a little because this is what can leave streaks and marks behind. If the rag is getting too damp, you can switch it out with a new one. 

What is the best way to clean mirrors without streaking?

If you find yourself coming across streaks with the method above, then you can pull out a window or glass squeegee cleaner. This leaves a flawless finish. You can keep the same side-to-side motion. A quick tip is to not spray too much, as the squeegee will not absorb the liquid quite like the cloth. Instead, it will bring it along to the side; if it is too much, it can move off the mirror and onto the walls. 

how to clean a mirror with rubbing alcohol

How To Clean Mirrors With Rubbing Alcohol

Windex is not a great alternative because it has a lot of fragrances, solvents, and different chemicals. This doesn’t leave the cleanest finish. But we can use rubbing alcohol to spot clean and get rid of harder messes. 

The last thing you want to do is to use something abrasive on a mirror. This can cause preeminent damage and scratches. Instead, rubbing alcohol will work to dissolve messes like sticky hairspray. Here is how to do it. 

Step-By-Step

  1. If you are going to use a microfiber cloth, then be sure to use something colorless. Rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol will take out the color of clothes and materials. It’s equally as important to protect your vanity. 
  2. Dab a little bit of rubbing alcohol onto your cloth and spot treat areas that you notice have a sticky residue. You can technically wipe the whole thing down. However, you don’t want to spray the solution because if it gets on the walls, it will also take the color out. 
  3. You can also dilute the rubbing alcohol with water as it is a very strong substance. It gets the job done without risking wiping the color out of nearby vanity. 
how to clean a mirror with toothpaste

How to Clean Mirror with Toothpaste

If you are wondering, “How can I make my mirror clear again?” and not much is working, try this method. Toothpaste does a great job of leaving a smooth finish. And if you are wondering how to clean mirrors naturally, this is also a great alternative. 

What You Need

  • Toothpaste
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Warm Water

Step-By-Step

  1. You can spot clean, or you can cover the entire mirror in toothpaste. To do so, we recommend using a sponge or microfiber cloth to spread the toothpaste evenly around the mirror. It should be spread thin so that you don’t have clumps drying to it. 
  2. Then, you will want to let the toothpaste sit for at least 30 minutes. This will allow for it to set in and dissolve any hairspray or other sticky residues. 
  3. Next, take a warm wet cloth and wipe away the toothpaste. The cloth needs to be wet enough to remove the paste, and you can follow this step with a dry cloth to get rid of any streaks. 
cleaning a bathroom mirror

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Clean a Mirror

While cleaning the actual mirror may not seem like an incredibly hard task, there are some follow-up questions that we all have at one point or another. Let’s take a look. 

How Do You Stop a Mirror From Rusting?

Mirrors can start to rust when they are constantly exposed to moisture. That’s why keeping your fan running during steamy showers is always a good idea. But even letting your mirror stay wet after cleaning can do some damage. The most important part is to always dry your mirror thoroughly after every clean. This prevents the metal rims and edges from building rust

What Should You Not Clean a Mirror With?

There are a number of products you want to avoid using when it comes to cleaning your mirrors. Mostly because they don’t work, and other reasons include damaging your mirror. 

  • Never use anything that has abrasive materials. This can be in your cleaning supplies, but it can also be in your cleaning tools. You may be tempted to use a bristle brush when trying to get stuck on grime, but this can scratch the mirror. 
  • Expired products are the biggest culprits when it comes to leaving that hazy, foggy mirror look. Get rid of all these, or better yet, just make fresh homemade solutions like recommended above. 
  • Cleaning products and solutions should only be applied to the mirror after you have taken a dry wipe with a cloth to get rid of dirt and dust. Once dust and dirt are combined with the solution, it’s likely you will end up pushing it around rather than cleaning it up. 

How Do You Polish a Mirror?

Polishing a mirror is not a hard task, but without the right products, it can leave your mirror worse off than you started. So to polish your mirror, you can take a jewelry cleaner and dab it on a lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth and move from top to bottom in an S-shape wiping. This pattern of wiping leaves the least chance of having streaks. This, of course, has to be done after a proper cleaning. 

If you don’t have a jewelry cleaner that will work well with a mirror, you can always buff out anything with a dry microfiber cloth. 

How Do You Get Oil Off a Mirror?

Oil is one of the more common things we see in a mirror. It also does not mix well with water. So if you have a lot of oil build-up and spots on the mirror, you won’t be able to do a quick clean. You can use any of the methods listed above, such as white distilled vinegar, toothpaste, or rubbing alcohol. One of these tricks should be able to get the job done easily. 

More Regular Cleans Mean Less Deep Cleans

As with any other spot in your bathroom, if you take good care of your mirrors, you can care for them a little less often. Giving them a wipe-down every few days means you won’t find yourself scrubbing or struggling to get off month-old hairspray. Treating your mirrors like other fragile products like marble or porcelain will keep you from ruining them. And most importantly, keep your mirrors dry to avoid rust and having to replace them entirely. 

If you find yourself having a hard time with one method, try another. And if your mirror still isn’t shining quite as you would like it, consider the way you are wiping it. Side-to-side is often better than circular motions because it pushes most of the clean up to the sides and finally down out the bottom of the mirror. 

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