How to Clean a Mirror? – The Ultimate Guide


Mirrors are not just susceptible to streaks, but they can also accumulate dust, dirt, and grunge. Therefore, it’s critical to have thorough cleaning practices for your mirrors, as they could potentially introduce harmful germs and bacteria into your household. Simply wiping them down with water won’t do the job. Thus, the question arises, what is the appropriate cleaning method if a casual post-shower wipe down isn’t effective? Let’s dive into finding the answer!

What You’ll Need?

  • 2 cleaning rags – cotton fabric
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water (hot and cold)
  • A bucket
  • White vinegar
  • A spray bottle

What to Avoid When Cleaning Mirrors?

Cleaning in the wrong pattern – Most people clean mirrors in a circular motion. However, this is wrong. As you make the circular motions, the piece of cloth you are using keeps on redepositing dust, which in turn creates streaks. You should wipe in S-patterns starting from the top to the bottom.

Cleaning the mirror with after-shower steam – If you have ever cleaned the bathroom mirror using the steam left behind as you showered, it did not work. Also, spraying the mirror with too much water or cleanser may cause it to leak to the backing and cause darkish spots.

Using the wrong type of cleaning cloth – Always use a microfiber cloth to clean the mirrors. If you use the wrong piece of cloth, it can cause abrasions on the mirror. They will be tiny at first, but repeated use of the wrong cloth for cleaning will leave scratches.

Not folding the cleaning cloth – When cleaning a mirror, don’t grab the cloth in your fist and start rubbing away. You should fold the cloth in half and then fold it in half again. That way, you make four cleaning cloths out of one. When one side gets dirty, you can clean with the other side.

Not removing buildup – Some buildup is not easily visible and so most people assume it is not there. Therefore, when cleaning, they attack the fingerprint smudges first because they are more visible. Before you do that, spray some rubbing alcohol on a cleaning pad/cloth and start cleaning any grime away.

Best Ways to Clean Mirrors Without Streaks

Mirrors are delicate, so you should approach the cleaning process with care. First, ensure you have enough time to do the job. You can set aside one or two hours during the weekend to do the job. Here are steps for how to clean a mirror without streaks:

Step 1: Evaluating the mirror

Check the mirror thoroughly to see whether it has gunk or grime. You will specifically be looking for limescale or calcium deposits on the mirror. They are easy to identify because they form little bumps on the surface of the mirror. When you know what kind of grime you are dealing with, you can be able to choose the right cleaner.

Step 2: Mix your cleaner

If you do not have a store-bought readymade cleaner, you will have to mix your own. It is not too hard either. You will need white vinegar and hot water.

Pour four cups of hot water into the bucket. Take a cup of white vinegar and mix it with the water. This works better with soft water. Therefore, if you have hard water, you might need to buy distilled water.

You can use a spray bottle to mist the mirror. It is not necessary, but it will make your job so much easier.

Step 3: Take care of thick buildups first with rubbing alcohol

Do not scrape thick buildups off. If you do that, you could cause abrasions on your mirror and you don’t want that.

Take your rubbing alcohol and apply it to a clean piece of cloth. Dab it on the build-ups gently. Rubbing alcohol evaporates fast. Dab it on the spots a few times for the best effect. In addition, it is better to remove the buildup one by one. Rubbing alcohol works fast so you should be done in a short time.

Step 4: Wet the mirror surface with a microfiber cloth

With the buildup spots gone, it is now time to move on to the real cleaning job. You can wet the surface of the mirror using the spray bottle. Spray the hot water and vinegar solution gently on the mirror’s surface.

If you do not have a spray bottle, don’t sweat it. Take your clean towel, dip it in the vinegar-water solution and then wring the extra wetness out. With the now damp towel, apply the cleaner to the mirror. It is recommended to use the towel instead of the bottle because if you have too much cleaner on the mirror, it can be a tad bit too hard to get it off.

Step 5: Fold the second microfiber towel/cloth

Take the second microfiber/cotton cloth and fold it in half, then fold it in half again. You just created four cleaning surfaces from one cloth. This will prolong your cleaning time and it will prevent the use of too many towels. When one side gets dirty, you can flip it over and use the other side.

Step 6: Clean the mirror the right way

You are now ready to clean the already moist mirror. Do not wipe the mirror in a circular motion. Albeit tempting, it leaves streaks! Wipe the mirror in S-shape starting from the top to the bottom. You may also wipe in straight lines from top to bottom as that motion creates zero to minimal streaks.

As you wipe the mirror, take note of the areas where grime can easily hide. These are places with cuts, cracks, and so on.

Step 7: Assess the work that you have done

Good job! It is now time to find out whether you have done a good job. Step back and evaluate the mirror from every angle. If there are any streaks or spots formed or left unattended, note where they are. Dip your cloth in the cleaning solution and wring it out thoroughly. Clean the offending spots one by one.

Finally, buff the mirror with a dry piece of cloth (microfiber). It should look excellent.

What is the best product to clean a mirror?

TriNova Premium Streak-free Mirror and Glass Cleaner

How clean a mirror without streaks can be hard if you do not have the right products. We have already discussed how you can clean mirrors with a homemade cleaner. However, sometimes, store-bought products work best. Get the Trinova Premium streak-free glass and mirror cleaner. This tested and proven glass-cleaning product is best for windows and bathroom mirrors. You can also use it on your car’s windshield and windows. Since this is a premixed product that comes packed in its spray bottle, you just need to use it.

Homemade Mirror Cleaner- Amazing Recipes & Ways

Homemade mirror cleaners work the same way as store-bought ones. At the same time, you can make a good cleaner with ingredients that you already have at home. Here are a couple of kickass recipes that you can use to make your homemade mirror-cleaning product. In the preceding sections of this article, we looked at how you can make hot water and white vinegar solution for cleaning mirrors, so these are just additional recipes.

Recipe 1: Dish soap and white vinegar solution

What you will need:

  • Teaspoon dish soap ½ teaspoon
  • Water – 2 cups
  • White vinegar ¼ cup
  • A spray bottle

Pour everything in the spray bottle – in no specific order, as they will mix well. Fasten the nozzle and then swirl the ingredients a bit. You can shake the bottle a bit to get everything to mix thoroughly.

It takes a couple of minutes to get ready and then you can spray it lightly on the mirror and clean it with a microfiber towel. When fully cleaned and dry, buff the mirror with a dry microfiber cloth.

Recipe 2: Baking soda and vinegar

Once again, vinegar makes it to another recipe, therefore, proving its prowess as the super cleaner of our time.

You will need:

  • Baking soda ½ teaspoon
  • White vinegar 1 cup
  • Microfiber towels/cloths 3
  • Water 1 cup

In a spray bottle, mix the water and the white vinegar. You have noticed that you will not mix the baking soda in the spray bottle.

To clean the mirror, dampen your first towel with water and sprinkle baking soda on a wet cloth. Scrub the mirror gently but firmly with the baking soda.

Take the second cloth and dampen it with tap water. Spray the mirror lightly with water and white vinegar solution Wipe the window thoroughly with it. Lastly, dry the window with the third towel.

How to clean a hazy mirror?

Use shaving cream to clean a hazy mirror. The beauty of using shaving cream is that it keeps the mirror from getting cloudy even after showering. This is also the simplest method to use since you just need to apply shaving cream lightly all over the mirror. You can then clean it out with a clean piece of microfiber cloth. By the time you are done, the mirror will be completely haze-free.

How to clean the mirror with toothpaste and Windex?

How to clean a mirror with toothpaste Toothpaste not only cleans the bathroom mirror but also defogs it. You just need to add a little toothpaste to a damp cloth and then wipe the mirror to spread the toothpaste on the surface. Leave it for a few minutes to dry up and then use a clean, dry piece of microfiber cloth to buff it.

How to clean a mirror with Windex  Windex is an ammonia-free cleaner for windows and mirrors. Spray your Windex (it comes in a spray bottle) lightly on the mirror and let it stay for about 40 seconds. Take a clean piece of microfiber cloth and wipe the mirror in circular motions. Turn the cloth over and use the dry side to wipe the mirror completely dry.

How to clean a mirror without Windex?

To clean your mirror without Windex, use rubbing alcohol-water solution, plain water, dish soap, or shaving cream. These homemade cleaners will do an equally clean job. Some of the techniques, for example, using shaving cream can also help restore a cloudy mirror to its former glory.

Mirror cleaning hacks

Keeping clean mirrors is not hard at all. Here are simple hacks that you can employ at home:

Use dry coffee filter – Coffee filter papers work better at cleaning mirrors than newspapers. The latter can start leaking ink especially when you dip them in your white vinegar and water solution.

Choose a cloudy day for cleaning your mirrors. If your mirror faces direct sunlight, the sun will dry the rubbing alcohol so fast. Therefore, choose a cloudy day for cleaning the mirror.

The blackboard eraser gets rid of streaks. The old type erasers that were used to rub the chalk off blackboards can get rid of streaks. Just run the eraser over the mirror after cleaning to buff out any streaks.


1. How can I remove paint from a mirror?

You can use nail polish remover for this. Just add a small amount on a paper towel and rub it directly on the paint specks. Give it time to soak in and then rub the paint out. After that, commence cleaning the mirror thoroughly.

2. Can I get my mirror streak-free without using rubbing alcohol?

Yes. You can buff the mirror with a blackboard eraser after cleaning it with plain water or with a water-white vinegar solution.

3. Does it have to be white vinegar for the mixture?

Yes, it does because all glass cleaning products are based on vinegar. It is more acidic than regular vinegar and therefore you need to dilute it with water.

4. After I clean my mirror in the bathroom, it seems to have lint all over it. How can I get rid of it?

Just rub the mirror in a one-way motion rather than using a back and forth motion. Lint is left by rubbing your cleaning cloth back and forth over the mirror.

5. Can I put a mirror in the dishwasher?

Yes you can

Post Cleaning Tips

Keep the mirror in well-ventilated places to avoid fogging

Check the edges of the mirror for any lurking cleaner because it can damage the backing

If you clean your mirror often, you will find that warm water and a piece of cloth will be enough

Final Verdict

If you follow the techniques that we have outlined here for how to clean a mirror, you will keep it in superb condition for a long time. Clean your mirrors regularly so that they do not have dried-on spatters of toothpaste and other grime.