How Do I Clean a Mirror?

a person wiping a mirror with a gold frame

Mirror, mirror on the wall, how do I clean you without leaving any streaks at all?

Well, even a magic mirror would not be able to answer that question if it hasn’t been maintained with proper cleaning practices! That said, the first question you should be asking yourself is this: how do I clean a mirror?

Cleaning a mirror might seem straightforward, but achieving a streak-free shine can often be trickier than anticipated. If you’ve been wondering how to clean a mirror, these quick and easy guidelines will point you in the right direction. After all, when you look in the mirror, you want to see yourself without having to squint through the smudges. 

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

The second question that you should ask yourself is: how do you clean a mirror without leaving streaks?

You may have noticed that aside from dust and other daily-accumulated dirt that cling to the glass, streaks are a mirror’s number one nemesis. 

Selecting the right cleaning solution is essential for achieving a streak-free, sparkling surface. There are both homemade solutions and commercial cleaners that can effectively remove dirt, smudges, and fingerprints. 

How Do I Clean a Mirror with Homemade Solutions?

Homemade solutions are often cost-effective and use ingredients commonly found in the comfort of your own kitchen. One popular choice is a vinegar solution. All you have to do is mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Vinegar’s acidic nature helps to cut through grime and leave a streak-free finish.

Another effective homemade cleaner is a mixture of rubbing alcohol, water, and dish soap. Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. This blend can quickly dissolve grease and any stubborn debris.

On the other hand, how do you clean a mirror covered in final-boss-esque stains? 

For tougher stains, consider using baking soda. Mix a small amount with water to form a paste and apply it directly to the stain. Gently scrub with a soft cloth, then rinse with warm water. This method is great for removing lingering spots without scratching the glass.

How Do I Clean a Mirror with Commercial Cleaners?

For those who prefer ready-made solutions from a store shelf, window cleaners and multi-purpose cleaning solutions are widely available. Look for products specifically labeled as streak-free or designed for glass surfaces. These often contain ammonia, which is highly effective at eliminating tough stains and leaving a clear surface.

Remember to avoid using products that contain bleach, as they can damage the mirror’s backing. Specialised glass cleaners are formulated to be gentle yet powerful, ensuring your mirror stays pristine and unscathed.

Another option is to use foam cleaners that cling to vertical surfaces—giving it more time to break down and dissolve stubborn stains. These provide thorough cleaning without dripping, making them suitable for large mirrors. For best results and safety purposes, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Cleaning Process

So how do you clean a mirror with these simple tools? Easy! Let’s get to it.

Applying the Cleaner

  • Step 1: Start by using a microfibre cloth as it is excellent at removing dust and dirt without causing any scratches. 
  • Step 2: Spray a small amount of glass cleaner onto the cloth rather than directly onto the mirror to avoid run-off and over-application. When applying the cleaner, use an S-pattern or circular motion. This way, you can cover the entire surface evenly. Pay special attention to corners and edges where smudges often hide from plain sight. A uniform application helps in preventing streaks, leading to a flawless shine. 

Important Tip: Remember not to soak the cloth excessively. Too much liquid can cause streaks and may require additional effort to remove. A damp, not wet, cloth yields the best results.

Polishing the Mirror

After the cleaner has been applied, it’s time to polish! Use a dry microfibre cloth or a squeegee to wipe the mirror. Follow that good old S-pattern or circular motion for a comprehensive and even polish.

If you are extra meticulous, inspect the mirror under different lighting types. This will help you identify any streaks or spots that initially escaped your discerning eye. 

a person cleaning a mirror

Maintenance and Prevention

We know what you’re thinking: how do I clean a mirror less frequently?

Well, it’s all about prevention! 

Maintaining a clean mirror involves regular—yet simple—cleaning and taking steps to prevent common issues such as stains and smears. This helps keep mirrors looking clear and streak-free over time.

Regular Cleaning

Always use a lint-free cloth or even a newspaper to wipe the mirror. It is also essential to clean the frame regularly to prevent dust and grime buildup. Steer clear of harsh chemicals which can damage the mirror or frame. 

For bathroom mirrors, regular cleaning helps prevent fogging and accumulation of hard water stains. Use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess moisture after showers to reduce the chance of hard water stains forming.

Preventing Stains and Smears

Preventing stains and smears starts with addressing daily habits. Avoid touching the mirror surface directly, as oils from the skin can create smears. For those who use makeup and skincare products, these substances tend to make their way to your mirror as well. Give your reflective friend a quick wipe-down to keep it clear. 

In areas prone to high humidity like bathrooms, consider using an anti-fogging spray. This can reduce the likelihood of the mirror fogging up and prevent streaky deposits. Moreover, keeping the bathroom adequately ventilated is a best post-shower practice to adopt. 

Finally, don’t forget to check for any splashes or spills and clean them immediately to avoid long-term blemishes. 

Pro tip: Using distilled water does not contain mineral deposits. This makes it a great option for mirror cleaning!

distilled water in a glass bottle

A Summary: How Do I Clean a Mirror?

Cleaning Guide

Cleaning Guide

Question Homemade Solution Commercial Cleaner
How to Clean a Mirror Without Streaks?
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Streak-free window cleaner
  • Multi-purpose glass cleaner
  • Foam cleaner for vertical surfaces
Homemade Cleaning Process
  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Use for general cleaning.
  2. Combine rubbing alcohol, water, and dish soap for stubborn dirt and debris.
  3. Use a paste of baking soda and water for tough, final-boss-esque stains.
  1. Look for streak-free or glass-specific commercial cleaners containing ammonia for tough stains.
  2. Consider foam cleaners for large mirrors to prevent dripping.
  3. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for best results and safety.
Mirror Cleaning Process
  1. Apply the cleaner using a microfiber cloth in an S-pattern or circular motion.
  2. Polish the mirror with a dry microfiber cloth or squeegee using the same motion.
  3. Maintain regular cleaning to prevent smears and stains.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Is It the Professionals I Should Call?

Now that you are up to speed on the best DIY tricks on how to clean a mirror, we can see one more question lingering in your mind:

How do I clean a mirror that is covered in stubborn spots that DIY solutions can’t fix?

If your mirror repels the effects of soap, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda, it’s time to call in the cavalry! The gurus at Simone’s Cleaning Services are here to help you achieve your trim and tidy goals. 

From commercial cleaning to home cleaning services, clients put their full trust in the crew at Simone’s Cleaning Services to chase away dirt, grime, and other neatness blockers. Offering NDIS-approved cleaning solutions, this team is keeping homes across Melbourne spotless.

Book a service today to keep your mirrors and other reflective surfaces sparkly clean!

Want more expert cleaning tips? Check out our other guides below: