How to clean a mirror | Anyclean

updated: 05/10/2023

Mirrors add beauty to many settings, but they can and do get dirty and when this happens they can be a real eye sore. However, keeping your mirrors clean is no big task. You will need to have on hand, a soft dusting cloth, glass cleaner (ready made or home made), paper towels and old newspaper.

How to clean:

If the mirrors are hanging ones, take them down so that they are easier to handle. It is good to place the mirrors on old newspaper to catch dirt and avoid messing up the floor or other work area.

Now that you have the tools you need, it’s time to start cleaning:

• Dust the mirror and frame to remove dust build-up and fine particles which may damage the glass when cleaning.
• Dampen the cleaning rag or hand towel with cleaning solution and rub vigorously. (Do not apply cleaning liquid directly to the mirror)
• Quickly remove any cleaning fluid that may have gotten onto the frame. Cleaning fluid can damage frames depending on the material used, so try not to get any fluid on the frame if possible.
• Rub with dry newspaper for a streak free mirror that sparkles.

If the mirror has stuck on grease or other such material, apply some rubbing alcohol and use a blade to gently remove the gunk. Take care not to scrape the glass itself.

When choosing cleaning fluids to use on glass remember the three “A’s”: acids, alkali and abrasive. Substances containing acids and alkalis can wreak havoc on glass, as does anything too abrasive which will scratch the mirror’s surface.

Natural glass cleaning solutions can be made from good old vinegar, rubbing alcohol, ammonia and water. Many commercial cleaners are made of these substances.

Ever notice that the edges of most mirrors have a murky, discoloured appearance? The reason is spill over from cleaning fluid, this one good reason not apply cleaning solution directly to mirrors.

While you are at it, rub in a bit of liquid soap or shaving cream to prevent fogging on your bathroom mirror. These materials will create a thin film that will stop fogging after a hot shower. Do this to a portion of the mirror if you want to ensure that you can shave or do your makeup using a fog free mirror. Note: It is necessary to periodically clean off the film created by the liquid soap or shaving cream by using a cleaning solution.

Finally, work as quickly as possible so that cleaning fluids do not dry onto the glass before you are finished working. If the surface area is large work in sections, completing each part before moving onto the next.

Before cleaning decorative glass such as stained glass or tinted glass (automotive), check to ensure that the cleaning solution you plan on using will not affect the quality or look of the glass. The cleaning method above is primarily for plain mirrors and windows.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.