Streaks, watermarks, dirt, dust, fingerprints, hairspray, hair, toothpaste splatter, and God knows what else seem to wind up on the mirrors in your home – especially the bathroom mirror. And those mirrors under bright lights, like the vanity mirror, can show all kinds of nasty things and look like a petri dish if not cleaned properly on a regular basis.
You’re probably cleaning your mirrors all wrong
Wiping the steam off the bathroom mirror with your towel is not the same as cleaning the mirror. In fact, it leaves towel fibers all over the mirror and water streaks as well. Using paper towels to clean mirrors is also a bad idea as they leave lint behind and can actually scratch the mirror. Terrycloth made of mini “loops” is also a bad choice – terrycloth is designed for absorbing moisture, not cleaning surfaces and it too can scratch your mirror. And the rough side of a sponge or anything abrasive is definitely out due to its potential to scratch the mirror.
How to clean any mirror properly
- The most important consideration in getting your mirrors clean is what you’re wiping the mirror with. Do not use newspaper, paper towels, bath towels or dish towels. Only use a flat-weave microfiber cloth – flatweave doesn’t leave lint behind and mirror gunk won’t stick to it. They also dry fast, wick water away from the surface, and are like a magnet for dirt.
2. Next on the list is your cleaning product and this is a very important choice. Only choose a cleaning product meant specifically for glass. Glass cleaning products are non-foaming so they won’t leave streaks. Other surface cleaners may leave the mirror with a dull haze. Soapy water doesn’t clean mirrors very well – it leaves behind a dull residue.
3. If there is some “gunk” on the mirror, or heavy dirt and grime, first soak a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol and wipe the area in a circular motion to remove it. Rubbing alcohol will eventually cut through just about anything, including the stickiest of substances. If the gunk is stubborn, keep working at it. If the grime is in a corner of the mirror (as with a framed mirror), you might want to work at it with an old toothbrush if the cleaning cloth can’t get it.
4. Then, spray the mirror with your cleaning solution. Create a light mist, not a soaking to avoid drips, runs, and streaks.
5. Fold your microfiber cloth in fours so you have four clean surfaces to work with. Slide your cloth from the top left corner to the right corner. Then move slightly downward and to the left in a Z motion over and over until you reach the bottom of the mirror. As the first surface gets wet, fold it over and use the dry surface.
6. Inspect the mirror from an angle and look for any streaks or spots. Touch them up with the cloth. But do it quickly while the surface is still damp.
*Want an eco-friendly cleaner for your mirrors? Use a cup of white vinegar and a little lemon juice. Or soak orange peels in the white vinegar overnight. This mix will clean just about any surface in your home. Plus, it leaves a nice, natural citrus scent behind and no chemical smell.
…or you can hire a cleaning service to clean your mirrors for you.