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Cleaning Mirrors

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Cleaning Mirrors

There is nothing worse than cleaning a mirror and leaving unsightly streaks. There are a lot of different products and many techniques for cleaning mirrors. This is a guide about cleaning mirrors.


Video: Cleaning and Preventing Fog from Forming on Your Mirror

Here's a video demonstrating a tip we have seen fairly often on ThriftyFun. Use foaming shaving cream, the cheap kind, spread it over your mirror, then wipe it off with paper towels. Cleans your mirror and prevents fog from forming on it for up to a month.

Solutions: Cleaning Mirrors

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Clean Mirrors and Bathroom Fixtures with Shaving Cream

Cleaning your mirrors or fixtures with shaving cream will leave them clean and smelling nice. The biggest plus is that the moisture simply rolls off, and the mirrors do not fog up. Great solution to fogged mirrors and spotted fixtures.

By Nunley10 from Huntington, WV

Tip: Streak-Free Mirrors

I always found that when I'd clean my mirrors, every product I'd use would streak. Well, I found something that doesn't and it's cheap. Water! I just wet my cloth, wipe down the mirror and use either a torn up sheet or paper towel to dry it. I use water to clean my windows, too. I told a friend of mine about this and she said she couldn't believe how good it worked!

By Clara from North Andover, MA

Tip: Cleaning Mirrors

There are many products available that claim to do the best job on your mirrors. Even with these products it can be tough to avoid getting streaks and spots. It is important to protect the surface and backing of your mirrors from damage.

  • A simple chemical-free method is to use water and a lint-free cloth. Thoroughly wet your cloth with water and then wring it out. Wipe the surface of the mirror and immediately dry it with a dry lint-free cloth.

  • A solution of vinegar and water can also do the trick. Combine 1 cup of white vinegar to 1 quart of water. Get a lint-free cloth, wet it with your solution, and wring it out. Wipe down your mirror and immediately dry it with a dry lint-free cloth. If you can find a newspaper that doesn't use soy-based ink, it can be used in place of the cloth.

  • Regardless of whether you use these methods or a store bought cleaner, you should always apply the cleaner to a cloth instead of directly to the mirror. This prevents excess cleaner from running down the edges of your mirror, which can cause damage to the backing (also known as "black edge").

Tip: Cleaning Fingerprints from Mirrors

Mirrors get so dirty fast especially with fingerprints or if you have kids who love using crayons and other stuff on them. What I find that works wonders is baby wipes. They seem to get almost anything off mirrors. I use them for a lot of things, to clean sneakers, mirrors, shoes, etc. It must have some good strong ingredient and no it doesn't stain the mirrors, in fact it leaves them smelling good to boot!

By Doris from New York, NY

Tip: Keeping Fingerprints off Mirrored Cabinets

If you have a mirrored cabinet (such as a medicine cabinet) that requires you to touch the mirror to open it, thus leaving fingerprints, I have found that placing small vinyl clings/decals at the spot you touch eliminates the fingerprints. I like to change the vinyl clings to correspond with the seasons or holidays. You can involve your children in this, too!

By songbird100

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Here are questions related to Cleaning Mirrors.

Question: Cleaning a Mirror With Vinegar

What do I mix with vinegar to clean a mirror?

By Ken P


Most Recent Answer

By christy10/10/2012

I use a mix of equal parts of water and white vinegar. I put it in a spray bottle from the dollar store. I have used it for years to clean mirrors and windows.

Question: Cleaning Mirrors

I clean bathroom mirrors in public bathrooms and lately several of them have had a cloudy coating over the outside of the glass. The only way to get it off is to use a green scratch pad and scrub gently with glass cleaner till the pad starts to slide smoothly across the glass, then dry with paper towels. There's a reddish orange residue that is coming off which looks like rust. There is no smoking in the building of course so smoke residue was ruled out. Any ideas how the front of the glass seems to have a thin coating of rust on it? I just use plain old glass cleaner. I was thinking it might be because of the high humidity we've had lately, but we've had that many times before and never had this problem. The mirrors are about 30 years old and attached to the wall.

By Lori J.

Question: White Streaks on Bathroom Mirror

I have a friend that has a huge mirror above her bathroom sinks. There are streaks of some sort on this mirror that will not be cleaned off. She said she has tried everything, but nothing will remove these streaks. What could this be from and how might they be removed? These streaks are white and very noticeable. They start at the top of the mirror and run down in streaks in different places. They can be wiped off, but come back just like some kind of a haze. Thanks.

By Shedra from UC, TN


Most Recent Answer

By wendy [2]04/22/2009

My Mom and Grandma use a glass cleaner called Sparkle--it's in a purple bottle. I'm not sure where you are, but I know they have it at Meijer or Menards, good luck!

Question: Cleaning an Old Mirror

I recently purchased an old Vanity Mirror. It is absolutely beautiful, but we have tried to clean it endlessly, but can't seem to get rid of some of the "dark-color" streaks. Any suggestions would be most-appreciated.

Thank You!
Fran from Farmingdale, New York

Most Recent Answer

By Fran [1]07/18/2006

Hi...and Thank You all for your suggestions and advice. Maybe it is indeed the silver-gone-bad theory. Might be pretty expensive to refinish it. It's a very large, heavy round mirror from the 1930's. Maybe I'll just get an estimate to see what it will cost to re-silver or replace. Thanks Again Everyone!...Fran

Question: Cleaning Mirror Tips

Tips for cleaning mirrors. Post your ideas.

Most Recent Answer

By pm omoth [2]05/28/2005

Use some shaving cream for the bathroom mirrors. Wipe off with soft cloth and your mirrors will be fog free.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Streak Free Mirrors

I have tried everything to get my mirrors in all four of my bathrooms streak free and nothing seems to work. I have used all kinds of towels, cleaners, vinegar, etc. Help!

Jan from Calgary, Alberta

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

Have you tried the micro fiber cloths? I think they're wonderful and you only use water when you clean... no streaks! (08/10/2005)

By Luvyabye

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I use shaving cream and newspapers (as towels) to clean my mirrors. They dont steam over either! (08/10/2005)

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I use a mix of 1/2 rubbing alcohol and 1/2 water for all mirrors and glass. Never streaks. I also use it to spray down the sides of my shower/tub walls after each bath and then I don't have to clean so often. Works much better than vinegar and the smell dissapates in seconds. (08/10/2005)

By snigdibbly

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I use a coffee filter sprayed with air freshener. You might have to rub a little harder to get the toothpaste splatters off. (08/11/2005)

By melody_yesterday

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I would recommend buying a microfibre cloth and using it to clean your bathroom mirrors. It is the first cloth I have ever used that has not left streaks on glass. Or you could use a squeegy and clean your mirrors that way. (08/11/2005)

By Ziggee

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

Wash with vinegar and water mix and dry with scrunched up news paper. No lint and no streaks. (08/11/2005)

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I have always used a spray bottle with a 1/2 full rubbing alcohol and 1/2 cold water. Shake well each time before spraying and then dry with black AND WHITE news print from your paper. NOT COLORED this will leave sa mess. I live in a state where a lot of people spend the winters sking and going into the mountains for recriation. The salt and grime builds up quickly on the windows of the cars and trucks. Everyone I know carries black and white news print in their truncks to clean windows. In winter they use windsheild washer liquid because the crime is so bad but I never have a streaky window or mirror using the above methoud. (08/31/2005)

By Walker

Archive: Streak-Free Mirrors

What is the best remedy for obtaining streak-free mirrors?

Bryan from United Kingdom

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

Yes, I agree, the microfiber cloths work great to clean a mirror or any glass and it comes out with no streaks. You don't have to use any chemical, just water and you don't even have to dry. I find it's great on mirrored closet doors and the TV screen! (03/16/2007)

By Debbie52

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I use water and cheapo paper towels. The expensive ones are too soft and leave all kinds of lint. (03/16/2007)

By momma30

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

Microfibre cloths are magic! No cleaners needed. I hate using newspaper. (03/16/2007)

By downunderchick

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

I wet a sponge with water, squeeze out most of the water and wash the mirror. This works for me. No mess, no streaks. Then I use the sponge to clean the sink with cleanser. (03/25/2007)

By b_bragg

RE: Streak Free Mirrors

Vinegar also works well, if you don't mind the smell. (03/27/2007)

By Rose Anne