We’d be lost without our mirrors, but they’re only as useful as they’re clean. So, it’s pretty unfortunate that mirrors don’t stay clean for long. Mirrors don’t stand a chance, from dust and dirt to fake tans, hairspray, and makeup. You’ve probably tried to clean it yourself many times, only to leave it even more streaky and smudgy.
We know your frustration too well, and we’re pleased to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading if you’d like to know the right way to clean your mirror and what kind of cleaning solutions you can make at home.
DIY Solutions for Cleaning Mirrors
Rubbing alcohol is a must-have in every household, especially now. We ideally recommend using it alone as a spot cleaner to remove any visible stains, dirty spots, and smudges. That being said, you can always incorporate it into other DIY solutions with more ingredients, such as white vinegar, dish soap, ammonia, cornstarch, and so much more.
Water and White Vinegar
If you prefer to use the most natural ingredients in your homemade cleaners, you can never go wrong with this solution. To make it, add one part distilled water and one part white vinegar.
It’s also the simplest, most cost-effective solution because everyone already has vinegar in the kitchen. You can put the solution in a spray bottle, then shake it, and you’re good to go.
Dish Soap and White Vinegar
If you want a nice mix of natural and artificial ingredients that are still easy on the glass, this is for you. Make a solution of one part dish soap, half part white vinegar, and three parts distilled water. This solution is popular because it has soap but not too much that it causes streaking, which is the last thing you’d want to do.
Cornstarch, Rubbing Alcohol, and White Vinegar
Before you gasp in horror and clutch your pearls, let us assure you that cornstarch won’t make your mirror dirtier. In fact, it’s the key ingredient to remove hardened stains from your bathroom mirror that you haven’t felt like cleaning in a while.
For this solution, mix quarter part vinegar, quarter part rubbing alcohol, a pinch of cornstarch, and two parts distilled water. Then, shake the mixture, and start cleaning. You’ll see the most stubborn stains vanish immediately.
What You’ll Need:
These are just some mirror cleaning essentials that you should prepare:
- Cotton rounds
- Spray bottle with DIY solution/commercial glass cleaner
- Quartered lint-free cloth/strong kitchen paper towels
5 Steps to Cleaning a Mirror
Here’s a foolproof way to clean your mirror with step-by-step instructions. And it’ll leave it spotless and streak-free.
1. Spot Clean First
One of the most common mistakes people make when cleaning a mirror is jumping right into cleaning the whole mirror, which spreads any gunk build-up on the mirror around. Instead, it’d help if you poured some rubbing alcohol on cotton rounds and gently buff away any visible gunk.
2. Spray the Mirror
Now, it’s time to prepare the mirror for actual cleaning by spraying it with your cleaner of choice. We recommend DIY solutions because they save money and don’t have too much soap. However, a commercial glass cleaner is fine too.
3. Wipe the Sprayed Mirror
Now, you need to grab your lint-free cloth and fold it in quarters so that you can have multiple clean sides. If there’s no lint-free cloth available, go with the strongest and thickest kitchen paper towels that you have. You can wipe the mirror in two popular techniques: the s-pattern or the circular motion.
In the s-pattern, you start at the top corner going from left to right and continue in zigzags until you reach the bottom of the mirror. This method is popular because it ensures that you’ve covered as much of the mirror as possible.
Alternatively, you can wipe the mirror from top to bottom in circular motions so that you don’t leave any streaks behind.
4. Inspect for Streaks
If you stop at the previous step and call it a day, you’ll realise that the mirror isn’t properly cleaned. That’s why it’s helpful to stand and look at the mirror from different angles to see if you’ve missed a spot. More often than not, you’ll notice that you have. Consequently, you’ll have to do the necessary retouches.
5. Dry the Mirror
Finally, use a clean quarter of the cloth or a clean paper towel to wipe the mirror dry. A common amateur mistake is to leave some wetness on the mirror, which results in liquid marks and stains. By drying the mirror, you can avoid any build-up.
How Not to Clean a Mirror
- Skip the newspapers. You’ve probably seen your family once use newspapers to clean a mirror. However, rest assured that this method won’t work now because the ink will cause black smudges.
- Depending on the type of kitchen towels, some may leave lint behind. So, test them before using them to clean a mirror.
- Avoid touching the mirror with your fingers and hands or else it’ll make smudges and fingermarks.
- If you’re going the traditional route, only use cleaners for glass surfaces. A cleaner that isn’t made for glass is a bad idea because it’ll probably be too soapy.
As you can see, cleaning a mirror isn’t rocket science. All it takes is a couple of minutes of your time and little to no effort. You already have all the ingredients to make a DIY solution that’s suitable for your mirrors.
After making the solution, spot cleans the mirror to avoid spreading the dirt around. Then, clean the mirror with your cleaning solution top to bottom in a zigzag or circular motion. Finally, wipe the mirror dry to prevent the hardening of nasty liquid stains.