How to Clean Mirrors

Bathrooms mirrors are subjected to a battery of household grime: spit, fog, toothpaste, fingerprints, and hairspray, to name a few. Follow the instructions below to achieve a shiny mirror that looks as good as new!

What You’ll Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Old newspaper
  • White vinegar
  • Foam shaving cream

How to Wash Those Mirrors

  1. Pre-clean the mirror by wiping it with a soft cloth. This will remove heavy dirt and dust.
  2. Use newspaper and water to get a streak-free shine. Crumple up newspaper in usable sizes. Dip into water and rub in slow circles across the mirror. You may also use a solution of 1-c. white or distilled vinegar and 1-qt. warm water.
    • Make sure to keep the area well-ventilated—the combination of newspaper and vinegar can be quite pungent!
    • You can also try one of the following homemade mirror polishes: (1) borax and water, or (2) 2/3-c. water, 1/3-c. rubbing alcohol, and 1-tbsp. ammonia. Use these in combination with the newspaper as stated above.
  3. Go over wet areas again with dry newspaper to prevent drip marks.
    • If you still have streaks, just repeat steps 2 and 3. A residue may have built up from using commercial cleaners in the past.
    • You may also choose to use a squeegee to dry the mirror if you have one.
    • Haley’s Cleaning Tips by Rosemary and Graham Haley recommends removing the dull film that often results from using hairspray with rubbing alcohol.
  4. Defog your mirror. The Ultimate Accidental Housewife by Julie Edelman suggests: when you go to take a shower, spread a thin layer of foam shaving cream over your mirror. When you’re done with your shower, wipe it off with a paper towel for a clean mirror that will not fog up for up to 3 weeks! Or try one of the following tricks:
    • If you’re about to take a bath, run about an inch of cold water before turning on your hot water. This should prevent your mirror from fogging up.
    • If your mirror is already foggy, use a hairdryer de-fog your mirror.
    • Buy anti-fog wipes used for car windshields and apply them to your mirror.

How to Avoid Damaging Your Mirrors

  • Avoid using commercial cleaners with acid, alkali, or ammonia—they are too abrasive.
  • Keep liquid away from the edges of your mirror. This can cause “black edge,” which damages the backing. If you do accidentally get liquid on these edges, wipe up immediately!
  • Never spray cleaner/vinegar/water directly onto the mirror—this helps avoid “black edge.”
  • If you have several wall-mounted mirrors next to each other, do not clean across their joints. Liquid can collect in these areas and cause damage. Instead clean each mirror separately.
  • Don’t use newspaper with a soy-based ink.


  1. Sue says:

    This one is a non-toxic way of disinfecting counter-tops, surfaces, mirrors and windows. The answer, is grain alcohol, i.e., VODKA. Buy the cheap stuff as long as you don’t plan on drinking it.

    All you do is mix one part vodka to two parts water. I just dump some Vodka in a spray bottle, then fill the rest with water. I use it all the time on my countertops, for mirrors, to shine stainless steel, etc. You just have to use your imagination. There are no toxic fumes and the grain alcohol will “not” push into your system via the skin.

  2. shobha says:

    Spray some water on the mirror and then use an old a newspaper and clean the mirror by wiping it with that newspaper. Your mirror will be sparkling clean.

  3. Jessica says:

    An easy, cheap and environmentally friendly way to clean mirrors is with a solution of vinegar and water. Just mix one part vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle, spray it on and buff it off with a paper towel or soft cloth. I use it on display cases all the time; works well and I don’t have to worry that the little kids who tend to lick the cases on occasion.

  4. Nancy says:

    Buy a small spray bottle (I got a blue one) fill it with isopropyl alcohol 70% (rubbing alcohol), and a little bit of water, spray mirrors and wipe with a paper towel. Great for bathroom mirror cleaning. Be careful not to get it on wood surfaces; it will ruin the finish.

  5. Sybil says:

    Use plain old ammonia and a wet washcloth squeezed out very well and wipe! No streaks!

  6. Linda says:

    I found that filling a spray bottle with window washing fluid that you use for your car to wash windows & mirrors works just great. No streaks & a beautiful shine.

  7. Nisha says:

    Always wipe mirrors with a soft cloth – it gives an extra shine.

  8. Irma says:

    Clean bathroom fixtures and mirrors with Avon Bubble Bath!

  9. Carol says:

    We never use any cleaning material in cleaning our bathroom mirror, just water and an absorbent cloth (chamois), but still black spots surface. How can we remove them?

Leave a Comment