How to Clean Mirrors

Do you find yourself frustrated with dirty mirrors throughout your home? You may find that even when you wipe them down with your store-bought cleaner, you still notice streaks and smudges. Before you give up on achieving clean and clear mirrors in your home, check out some of our tips and tricks to achieve a spotless shine every time!

How Often Should You Clean Your Mirrors?

More than likely, you have several mirrors throughout your home. Bathrooms are the most common location for mirrors, but you may also have them as a decorative touch in a hallway or above a fireplace mantel. Many people also hang mirrors inside smaller spaces in their homes because they’re effective at creating the illusion of more space.

You may rely on your vanity mirror to get ready in the morning as you brush your teeth, style your hair, or even put on makeup. Unfortunately, a dirty mirror can make it frustrating to complete your morning routine or may even obscure important details that you’ll regret missing (like that piece of food in between your teeth!).

The frequency with which you should clean the mirrors in your home will vary depending on a few factors. For instance, you’ll most likely need to clean your bathroom mirrors the most often because they will accumulate splatter from your tooth-brushing ritual, as well as other product build-ups from hair spray, spray-on deodorant, and the like. Mirrors that are used more for aesthetic purposes may not get as dirty and may thus not need cleaning as frequently.

Still, to keep your mirrors looking their absolute best, it’s a good idea to clean them every time you clean your home.

Tips and Tricks for Streak-Free Cleaning

Achieving a streak-free mirror is easier than you may think! Just follow a few basic tips and tricks for the best results.

Skip the Store-Bought Glass Cleaner

Start by giving up the search for that “perfect” store-bought glass cleaner. Unfortunately, almost all formulated glass cleaners contain some level of soap or detergent; this is exactly what tends to cause streaks and smudges on your mirrors and glass.

Whip Up a Homemade Cleaning Solution

The good news is that while you can’t buy a streak-free mirror cleaner, you can easily make one at home. And more than likely, you already have all the ingredients you need readily available.

Start with a large spray bottle; add one part white vinegar to one part water. Close the bottle and shake it up vigorously for about 30 seconds to achieve an even mixture. The nice thing about this homemade mixture is that you can make as much or as little as you’d like and it will keep for a long time without losing its cleaning power.

For added cleaning power, consider pouring one cup of rubbing alcohol for each cup of cleaning solution that you’ve made. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lemon or lavender, for a boost of scent.

Spot-Clean Gunk and Residue With Rubbing Alcohol

Before you get to work cleaning your mirrors, give them a quick once-over. Be on the lookout specifically for smudges and gunk that may be difficult to remove with glass cleaner alone. These areas will need to be spot-treated before moving forward. Some common sources of mirror gunk that you’ll want to watch for include toothpaste, smeared makeup, and dried-on hairspray.

The best way to get rid of this type of residue is to soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and then rubbing the cotton ball on the affected area. As you clean, use small, circular motions for the best results. Once all residue is removed from your mirror, follow up with a clean cotton ball to wipe away any remaining residue.

Clean Out Crevices With a Small Scrub Brush

If your mirror has a border or frame, check the corners for built-up debris and other residues that may need to be removed. This debris can accumulate over time and is easy to overlook. Usually, the best way to remove it is to take a small scrub brush (or even an old tooth brush that you don’t plan on using anymore), dipping it in rubbing alcohol, and scrubbing it away.

Choose (And Fold) Your Cloth Wisely

Finally, your mirror is ready for the main act. Using the vinegar/water cleaning solution you made earlier, spray the mirror with a fine mist and allow it to sit for just a few seconds. Try to spray the mirror as evenly as possible for a thorough clean.

Next, grab a clean microfiber cloth. It’s important that the cloth is microfiber and not made of terry-cloth or even paper towels. The problem with terry-cloth is that it tends to be rough and can create surface scratches on your mirror. Paper towels, on the other hand, will almost always leave debris and streaks behind. A microfiber cloth will be soft enough to protect your mirror from scratches while also not leaving any lint or debris.

Fold your microfiber cloth into fourths; this will allow you to maximize the surface area of the cloth for cleaning. When one-quarter of your cloth gets too wet or dirty, you can open your cloth up and switch to a new and dry section. While wiping down your mirror, try to use broad strokes to minimize any streaks left behind.

Finish the Job With a Squeegee

One alternative to using a microfiber cloth is to actually use a squeegee to dry your mirrors after you spray them with your cleaning solution. A squeegee is a tool that professional window cleaners use to achieve a streak-free shine. You can likely purchase a small squeegee that’s perfect for use on household mirrors at your local grocery store or home goods store. Just keep in mind that if you have a rounded mirror or other oddly-shaped mirrors, you may still need to follow up with a microfiber cloth to ensure a thorough cleaning.

Or…Just Hire a Cleaning Professional

By following these tips, you can achieve a streak-free clean on all the mirrors in your home. Still, seem like a lot of work? Consider hiring a home cleaning service to handle your mirror-cleaning and other basic household cleaning tasks. Doing so can free up your time so you can do more of the things you enjoy. Maid Sailors is proud to offer household cleaning services to suit your needs and your busy schedule. Contact us today to find out more or to set up your first service with us!

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