How to clean a mirror for streak-free results using vinegar, water and more

Want to know how to clean a mirror properly? Make yours sparkle using vinegar, water and more with our expert advice

how to clean a mirror for streak-free results
(Image credit: Getty)

Do you know how to clean a mirror properly? And, when we say properly we mean so that yours is gleaming, streak-free and a far cry from anything cloudy. We thought so, it's not that easy right? That is, unless you know what you're doing and are using the right things... We clean our bathroom mirrors (and all the mirrors in the house for that matter) using the likes of vinegar, water and elbow grease, of course. Keep scrolling for our wisdom.

What is the best way to clean mirrors without streaking?

Streaky mirrors aren't nice, and it's all about the cleaning agent and the method to avoid this finish at all costs. Melissa Maker author and cleaning guru of Clean My Space swears by a homemade glass cleaning solution using cornstarch of all things... ‘Add 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 cup white vinegar and 1 cup of water to your spray bottle. Shake it well and make sure you shake it each time you use it so that you disperse the cornstarch evenly. Spray it on glass, wipe it off and you’ll see streak-free and nice and clean in no time.' Maker uses a microfibre cloth and also recommends avoiding newspaper as the latex present in modern newspapers can actually leave a soapy and foggy residue. 

Duly noted!

how to clean a mirror: using vinegar

(Image credit: Getty)

How to clean a mirror with vinegar

Take a spray bottle and fill it with a 50-50 mixture of water and distilled white vinegar. Mist the surface of your mirror with a few squirts and then, working from top to bottom, wipe it away with a microfibre cloth (use newspaper if latex-free). Switch to a fresh ball if the one you are using gets too soggy. Just the microfibre cloth alone should leave a smear-free, sparkling finish, without a trace of fluff or lint.

How to clean a mirror with water

All you need is your flat-weave microfibre cloth as it will also do a brilliant job with just water, too. It needs to be flat-weave so that no particles of dust or debris can cling to the cloth. Amazon has a microfibre cloth specifically for glass cleaning. Fold your cloth over into quarters so that you give yourself four clean and dry surfaces to work with.

How to clean a cloudy mirror with lemon

Marks left by limescale will make a mirror cloudy and hazy, but they can be removed with lemon or lime juice. Add the juice to a bowl of warm water, dip in a clean cotton cloth and wipe the limescale away using circular motions. Even Mrs Hinch – UK-based cleaning pro – swears by this method 'Would you believe a lemon was used to get this glass and mirror clean?'. Rating its anti-bacterial benefits, plus the lovely fresh scent and sparkle it leaves too.

How to clean a stained mirror

To remove any stubborn toothpaste stains, coatings of hairspray or water splashes from a bathroom mirror before you start to clean it, you can pre-treat it by putting some surgical spirit on a clean cotton pad and rubbing it over the area to remove them. Surgical spirit for cleaning can be bought from Amazon, too. 

How to ensure your mirror is spotless

A greasy, grimy mirror that hasn’t been cleaned for a while can have its sparkle restored with some washing-up liquid in a bowl of warm water. Use a sponge dipped in the bowl to wipe over the surface and then buff away any remaining marks with a clean microfibre cloth.  

how to clean a mirror

(Image credit: Getty/ViktoriiaNovokhatska)

Best technique for cleaning mirrors 

To get the best results when cleaning your mirrors, start up at the left- hand corner and drag your cloth across to the right. Zig-zag your cloth backwards and forwards across the surface of the mirror, going downwards as you move across each time. Check for any streaks by looking at the mirror from a 45 degree angle. If you spot any stubborn marks, spot clean them with a quick squirt on your cleaning cloth and then buff dry.

Remember, prevention is key and if you want to to stop a bathroom mirror misting over you can simply apply a small amount of shaving cream evenly across the surface before wiping it away and buffing with a clean microfibre cloth. 

Cleaning antique gilt mirrors

What might be good for the surface of your mirror when cleaning it might not be so good for the gilded frame that surrounds it. A squirt from a spray may dissolve gesso or gold leaf, so clean the frame by gentle dusting and wiping with a soft, clean cloth. You can also give it a careful wipe with a barely damp cloth, taking care not to dislodge any gold flakes, but if you think it needs a thorough clean, consult an expert.

How to remove black spots from vintage mirrors

Black spots are created when moisture reaches the backing of a mirror and causes damage. A mirror hanging where moisture can be trapped between the wall and the mirror backing will deteriorate over time and there is no way to remove black spots. If your old mirror is valuable, it’s worth taking it to a professional restorer to find out if it can be re-silvered. Alternatively you could learn to love it for its age and imperfections.  

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Lesley Hannaford Hill is a homes, property and interiors writer of some repute. She started writing on Best magazine back in the 1990s and has since worked for many women's and interiors magazines, writing about everything from property prices to home improvement. She is know for her witty style and broad knowledge. On a personal level, she has renovated flats and houses and has built her own home on the plot where her parents' self-build once stood.