Cleaning Cloudy Mirrors?

A woman cleaning a mirror with rubber gloves on.
Cloudy mirrors can be the result of a residue build up on the face of the mirror or damage to the backing. If cleaning methods don't fix your cloudy mirror, the backing is probably damaged and the mirror will need to be replaced.

To clean your cloudy mirror try either foam shaving cream or straight white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Read on for more advice about how to clean cloudy mirrors.

4 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

August 1, 2004

I have moved into a newly built home and have 3 bathrooms with large mirrors. I have cleaned them with everything I know to remove the cloudy, haze that is on them. I have used window cleaner, vinegar, alcohol and even tried Greased Lightning. Nothing works. Any suggestions?

Kathy from Memphis


By Goldsmith (Guest Post)
July 11, 20052 found this helpful
Best Answer

I too have (had) a problem with cloudy mirrors and tried everything. I am now using a slightly dampened (with water) microcloth. My mirrors are now streak-free and the clouding has gone.

December 31, 20091 found this helpful
Best Answer

For a haze on mirrors or glass that nothing works on or if you know that the surface has been chemically "etched" by using the wrong cleaner use jeweler's rouge. Call a local jewelry store to see if they have some in stock (about $4-5 a stick). This is a hard compound that you rub on the surface first then buff with a dry cloth.


It can be labor-intensive and time consuming, but it has worked when nothing else has. The sticks come color-tinted, but I don't believe that applies for this application- I have used black and white with success.

May 5, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have a very old dressing vanity with a triple mirror that had been left out on a covered porch for years. The mirror was very cloudy and it had water streaks running down it. I tried everything! Then I heard about shaving cream! It worked like MAGIC! Took a lot of hard rubbing and wiping and you might have to do it a couple of times. I was amazed! :)

April 28, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

I used Ceramabryte which is a glass-ceramic cooktop cleaner on my cloudy mirrors and it worked like magic. I'm guessing the cloudiness was from the painter using paint thinner to clean paint splatters off but he only succeeded in spreading it thinly all over the wall of mirrors.


I've lived with this for 3 years since we moved in. I tried so many chemicals. Thanks for the jeweler's rouge tip. This Ceramabryte probably works similarly to the jeweler's rouge, as it has a very fine abrasive made for glass.

March 10, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

Magic Eraser and Elbow Grease. I think my antique mirror might have had smoke residue. Glass plus works great for new stuff but this mirrow would just cloud up the minute any product dried. Magic Eraser plus A LOT of elbow grease is the only thing that has worked. BTW: You must push hard/fast enough that the magic eraser "squeaks" or it isn't going to work.

Answer this Question

March 27, 2005

I have two inexpensive mirrors in my home that are driving me nuts. They have "stains" on them that I can only describe as like water stains and very cloudy. They look dirty all the time. Any idea on what I can do.

Thanks very much.


March 27, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would suggest that you go to a hardware store and get some Mirror surface removal and take your mirrors and take the paint off the back of them and buy some Mirror refinisher paint...and repaint them.. of course this might be fairly expensive if these are cheap mirrors...then just go get new mirrors...there are mirrors in all prices...


Hope this helps some

By michele (Guest Post)
March 28, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try this before replacing. I don't know if it would work for your type of mirrors/problem, but it couldn't hurt. Take a small amount of shaving cream and clean the mirror. Don't use anything else with it. Just put a lil dab on a soft cloth and rub in until it is clean.

By Shirley Savidge (Guest Post)
September 17, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I too have a problem with cloudy mirrors and light fixtures - Several weeks ago a friend in my neighborhood gave me a can of Sprayway Glass Cleaner - be sure to use cotton fabric to clean mirrors with and I heard you should not spray the mirror but spray the fabric - do not use fabric softener in your "rags" - also soft paper towels like Viva and Bounty have an ingredient in their manufacturing that adds softness - hope it works for you. Someone once said the cheaper paper towels are best for mirrors and windows - of course newspaper works too but is dirty unless you use gloves. Check on line for availablity for Sprayaway - it can be purchased at Target, hardware stores and Linens & Things stores it's a big 19 oz can - My neighbor got hers ar Sam's but had to buy a case of it so she gave me a can.

Answer this Question

February 10, 2012

I have a mirror that is about 70 years old, but in the last 6 or 7 years it has been down and sitting. I got it hung today and it's a little cloudy. I would like to know how I should clean it so that it will get the shine back. Whatever I do I want to start with the first wash. This mirror means a lot to me. My grandfather purchased it when my aunt was 8 years old, and she is now 70 years old. So, I want to start right so it will end up right.

Thank you.

By D. C.


February 10, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

I don't believe it is the glass that is cloudy but the backing that gives a piece of glass it reflectivity. It other words the mirror may need to be re-silvered or you can replace the mirror at less cost than having it re-silvered.

Answer this Question

May 28, 2019

Any idea on how this would be happening in a bathroom? The right side of my mirror and the medicine cabinet on the adjacent wall keep developing a light brown haze. The sink is below this area and there is a light bar above the mirror and an outlet and a switch under the medicine cabinet.

I've turned off the electric, covered the air vent, but it still comes back. This started last fall and I can't figure out where it is coming from or what it is. It cleans with water, but (soap or window cleaner works better). It is only in the downstairs bathroom.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
May 28, 20190 found this helpful

Use rubbing alcohol on cotton balls to remove hairspray, toothpaste, and the like. Then clean your mirrors. You may be spreading dirt across your mirrors, causing the haze.


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
May 29, 20190 found this helpful

How do you clean your mirrors? You might want to switch the product you're using.


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
May 29, 20190 found this helpful

It depends. If the mirror is not well sealed (meaning the silvering and the glass front have a gap--like can happen in older mirrors, you probably are getting moisture between the two layers and that is causing the foggy look.


If it is a newer mirror and well sealed, you could just have a build up of grime (it happens to the best of us).

Our beloved Thrifty Fun has an older (but still good) thread on the different ways to treat:

I have had success with the shaving cream since mine is basic grime.

Hope yours is an easy fix!! Blessings!

May 29, 20190 found this helpful

I have cleaned the mirrors with alcohol, bleach, glass cleaner and soap and water. All of these clean the haze with some effort but it comes back after a couple of weeks or so, thus it's not behind the glass of the mirror. I even bought a small mirror and placed it on the sink and sure enough it is getting coated by this too. This is happening in one bathroom, and basically in the corner.


I don't know if it coming from the vents (haven't been using the HVAC system for 3 months), or the electric outlets/light bar, or the sink or from something else. It looks like cigarette smoke and when you clean there is a bit of brownish residue on the towels. No one smokes and it started about 7 months ago and I've lived in the house for 6 years.

June 2, 20190 found this helpful

My unvented heaters cause a haze, even when it's just the pilot light on both mirrors and windows.

July 15, 20200 found this helpful

Sounds to me like someone is sneaking a few smokes & letting you think you're going crazy about this little issue.

Answer this Question
In This Page
Home and Garden Cleaning StainsAugust 18, 2017
Easter Ideas!
Mother's Day Ideas!
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2024-03-20 19:16:00 in 4 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2024 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.