How to clean a mirror

Want to know how to clean a mirror? Make those mirrors sparkle with the help of our tips

how to clean a mirror
(Image credit: Getty/ViktoriiaNovokhatska)

Want to know how to clean a mirror to get the best results? Mirror cleaning is a straightforward process, and you can get them sparkling by using a few simple products you may have on your shelf.    

Want more cleaning tips and tricks? Head to our cleaning hub page. 

How to clean a mirror naturally?

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 crumpled ball of newspaper. Switch to a fresh ball if the one you are using gets too soggy. The newspaper should leave a smear-free, sparkling surface, and it won’t leave behind any balls of fluff or lint.

See more ways to use vinegar to clean your home.

What is the best way to clean mirrors without streaking?

If you don’t have a daily newspaper, a great alternative for helping you clean your mirror with water and vinegar spray is a flat-weave microfibre cloth. A microfibre cloth 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.

Pre-treating mirrors with surgical spirit

To remove any stubborn splodges of toothpaste, 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 do you clean a cloudy mirror?

Marks left by limescale will make a mirror cloudy, 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.

We also have 18 ways to use lemon to clean your home.

How to remove grease from mirrors

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.  

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.

How to stop a bathroom mirror misting over

If you want to prevent a bathroom mirror from misting over, apply a small amount of shaving cream evenly across the surface before wiping it away and buffing with a clean microfibre cloth.

Can I use a glass cleaner on a mirror?


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 old 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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