How To Clean A Mirror Without Streaks

Wall mirrors - how to clean mirrors without streaks
Credit: Ikea

Wall mirrors - how to clean mirrors without streaks
Credit: Ikea

Being able to clean a mirror without streaks is not as easy as you might think. You need to make sure you are using the right materials, the right cleaning products, and even the way you wipe the mirror can have an impact.

And you don't want streaky mirrors to distort the view of your beautiful face. Follow our advice for streak-free, gleaming mirrors. We'll make sure you get it right.

How To Clean A Mirror Without Streaks

There are a few different approaches you can take, depending on your preferences. We'll run through a few proven materials that can work really well for cleaning mirrors. Then we'll follow that up with a few tips on things you should avoid.

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What To Use

There are a few different cleaning products that can all work well on mirrors. Fairly obviously, there is a dedicated glass cleaner spray. These are designed to remove any marks that appear on your mirror - common things include toothpaste and make-up.

But there are other, more natural methods that work just as well. Vinegar and water, mixed together in equal parts. Lemon juice (4 tablespoons) vinegar (1/2 cup) and dish detergent (2 teaspoons) mixed in a bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of cornflour. Or white vinegar (1/4 cup) rubbing alcohol (1/4 cup) lemon juice (4 tablespoons) and vinegar (1/2 cup). These are all combinations that can leave you with a sparkling, clean mirror.

For mirrors that don't have lots of marks on them, you can even get by with plain old water.

These options are chemical-free, which makes them more family-friendly. On the other hand, glass cleaners are very effective and don't require you to do any preparation yourself. Ultimately, the choice is yours. If your mirror is very mucky, you'll need more than water. But things like lemon juice and vinegar can tackle those as well as glass cleaner can.

What Cloth Should I Use?

Almost as important as your cleaning solution is the tool you choose for cleaning. And here, there are two main options that work really well.

First of all, is the tried-and-trusted microfibre cloth. And there are a couple of different methods that work well with these.

You can wet one cloth, wipe your mirror down, and then use a second cloth to dry it off. This will minimise the chance of any residue being left behind.

Alternatively, you can use that vinegar and water mixture (or whichever mixture you prefer) and spray it onto the mirror. Then use your microfibre cloth to wipe the mirror.

Another, more traditional, and slightly surprising option, is to go for a good old-fashioned black and white newspaper. Newspaper is highly absorbent (one of the reasons they used to be used in fish and chip shops) which means it will absorb liquid and dirt easily, without leaving streaks behind. One note of caution though: don't use glossy paper, and try to avoid any colour printing if you can.

How To Clean

So now you have your chosen cleaning solution, and your preferred wiping tool. Here's how you go about actually cleaning the mirror itself:

  • Start by spot cleaning any obvious marks - toothpaste, fingerprints, hairspray etc.
  • Next, spray your cleaning solution onto the mirror, or into your cloth.
  • Before the spray dries, wipe the mirror. The consensus says that you can either wipe up and down, or from side-to-side. But try to avoid wiping in a circular motion. Apparently, this can cause static electricity to build up, which can attract dirt to stick to the mirror.
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  • Use a dry cloth to remove any excess liquid from the mirror.
  • Inspect the mirror to check for any spots you may have missed. It's best to look at it from different angles, so the light can catch any well-hidden streaks.

Following these tips will leave you with a beautiful, streak-free mirror.

What To Avoid

While cleaning your mirror shouldn't be too difficult, you can still make life easier by avoiding a few common mistakes:

We'd recommend that you avoid anything that is too soapy or scented. These can struggle to evaporate, and will consequently leave behind marks and streaks. Which is exactly what we're trying to avoid.

And in terms of cloths, you're best to avoid things like tissues and paper towels. These will attract dust, and can actually risk scratching your glass, far more than newspaper or microfibre cloths.

What Causes Streaks On Mirrors?

The main reason you can end up with streaks on your mirror is if you aren't using the right products to clean with. The wrong cloth, or the wrong cleaning solution, is more likely to leave you with streaks.

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So follow the advice we outlined above. It's your best bet for getting a streak-free shine.

How To Clean a Hazy Mirror

If you've tried using your glass cleaner or vinegar solution and still find that your mirror has a hazy appearance, there are some alternatives that may help.

One option is to use shaving foam. Squeeze it onto a piece of kitchen towel or a cloth, and wipe it across the glass. Work in sn s-shape, going from side to side, and top to bottom.

Alternatively, you can try using jeweller's rouge. Apply it directly to the hazy spot on your mirror, then polish the mirror with a microfiber cloth. This will take a bit of effort though.

If neither of these options helps, it may indicate that the backing on the mirror is worn or damaged. In this scenario, it may be time to replace your mirror.

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