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How to Get a Clean, Streak-Free Mirror Finish—Without Using Glass Cleaner

We often don’t realize how dirty our mirrors are until we give them a good clean. Dust, fingerprints, and water spots speckle the reflective piece of décor, making it hard to see a crystal clear image gleaming back at you. While it’s helpful to regularly clean the glass, doing so incorrectly can leave you with more streaks and imperfections than you started with. But it is possible to clean the mirrors in your home without making any additional marks, and you can do so using items you likely already have handy.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose is the streakiest of them all? Not yours, once you learn how to clean mirrors for a flawless reflection every time.

Streaky mirrors are common problems for even the most conscientious housekeeper. Sometimes, no matter how carefully you clean, you’re still left with the impressions from where you last wiped.

Materials Needed to Clean a Mirror

It doesn’t take more than a DIY cleaning solution and a few other basic materials to get your mirror shining like new.

  1. Microfiber cloth
  2. White vinegar
  3. Water
  4. Cotton swabs
  5. Rubbing alcohol
  6. Dish soap

How to Clean a Mirror

Once you’ve gathered the essential cleaning items, it’s time to get started.

1. Prepare Your Mirror

It’s likely that your mirror has some dust particles covering it. If that’s the case, you’ll want to wipe those off with a clean cloth before getting the glass wet. You can then spot clean caked-on residue, water drops, or toothpaste spots with a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.

2. Clean the Frame

If your mirror has a frame, clean that too. The method you use will depend on what material your frame is made of. “If it’s wood, I use a duster on it, if it’s metal or composite material, I spray a little cleaner on a soft microfiber cleaning cloth and wipe it.

3. Make a Cleaning Solution

Just mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of distilled water in a spray bottle, shake it vigorously, and you’ll have the perfect potion for tackling mirror smudges and streaks. Spray the mixture directly to a microfiber cloth rather than the mirror itself, wipe in a zigzag pattern down the entire length of the glass, and dry the mirror with a fresh microfiber cloth using similar motions. Finally, store your homemade glass cleaner responsibly and enjoy your sparkling handiwork.

4. Avoid Streaks

After spraying the mixture onto your microfiber cloth, wipe across the glass in a broad ‘S’ pattern, working from edge to edge, top to bottom. “Try to lead with the same edge of the cloth to capture any dirt or debris without spreading it around. Don’t use a circular motion to clean the mirror—this is a common mistake.

5. How to Clean a Mirror That Is Hazy

Hazy mirrors are typically a result of built-up natural residue.

If you continue to struggle with a streaky mirror, you can pretreat problem spots before cleaning the whole surface. Some leading causes of bathroom mirror streaks are the toothpaste, hair products, and fingerprints that glass situated in front of a sink inevitably attracts. Fortunately, an easy solution hides inside your medicine cabinet: rubbing alcohol.

Contrary to popular belief, glass cleaner alone can’t remove everything from a mirror. Streaks are often left when untreated spots are wiped with a paper towel or cloth, which only spreads oily residues with each swipe. To avoid this, wet a reusable bamboo round (or cotton pad) with rubbing alcohol and dab at visible problem spots to break up and remove gunk beforehand. Then, clean the mirror with a microfiber cloth, use a spray mixture of one part white vinegar and four parts warm water, or your favorite glass cleaner for an all-but-guaranteed streak-free finish.

Thoroughly spray the mirror with the mixture. If there’s significant buildup, you can let it soak for up to 10 minutes. Wipe the mirror off using a microfiber cloth.

How to Prevent a Foggy Mirror

It’s happened to all of us—you get out of the shower to find your mirror is covered in steam. But did you know that this is preventable? To keep the glass from fogging up, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Gently shake the mixture then apply it directly to the mirror and let it sit for a few seconds. Wipe the clean glass dry with a microfiber, and repeat these steps as needed if stubborn residue or streaks remain.

After this, your mirror should not fog up for a couple days. It will be necessary to repeat often if this is a common issue.

If you need help weekly or biweekly, making yourself and your home a priority will help improve many aspects of your life and the fresh feeling of a clean home is unbeatable, the Eagle Cleaning team is always here to help you with the preventative clean routine. Hire a professional house cleaning today > Check out our follow up blog entry on How to Freshen Up Floor Grout.