Mirrors can be broken by conventional cleaning agents like glass cleaner. They get stained and go blind. A home remedy is more suitable.

Splashes from the toothpaste, fingerprints from the children or simply constantly recurring dust: mirrors are dirty and full of streaks again after a very short time. To see their own reflection clearly again, many people reach for glass cleaner. But this can damage the mirror. A simple home remedy is the better alternative.

Danger: Do not use glass cleaner to clean mirrors

Many clean their mirror just like their windows with glass cleaner. At first, that seems to make sense: Both surfaces are flat, shiny and tend to streak. The problem with glass cleaners and mirrors: The cleaning agent attacks them and breaks them in the long run.

In principle, mirrors consist of at least five layers: the base glass, the silver layer, a copper layer and two additional top layers. The layer that actually provides the reflection is the silver. The other layers protect this from contact with the outside world.

Mirror becomes “blind” due to glass cleaner: brown spots appear

Over time, however, the layers become permeable, for example due to possible scratches caused by cleaning. Over time, it is almost impossible to prevent the protective coating layer from wearing away. In addition, liquids can creep between the layers at the edge of the mirror. Anyone who then applies aggressive cleaning agents such as glass cleaner to the mirror is in for an unpleasant surprise.

The agent then reaches the silver layer through fine cracks, scratches or the smallest gaps and attacks it. This is known as mirror corrosion. The wrong cleaning agents take away the shine of the silver and cause unattractive brown or black discoloration. Colloquially, this is also referred to as the “blinding” of the mirror.

Corrosive household remedies: Do not allow vinegar, lemon or methylated spirits to touch the mirror

This happens not only by glass cleaners, but by any corrosive substances. Vinegar or other conventional cleaning agents with aggressive ingredients are also not suitable for mirror surfaces. Instead, simply lukewarm water is sufficient in most cases. If the mirror has not been cleaned for a long time or if there are stubborn stains, you can also add a small squirt of washing-up liquid to the water to make the mirror shine again. It is important that the washing-up liquid does not contain any balsam. This would leave streaks on the surface. From other often recommended home remedies such as lemon, vinegar, alcohol or similar should be left for said reasons rather the fingers.

Instructions: Cleaning mirrors properly with washing-up liquid and microfiber cloths

In order to get the best possible streak-free and shiny result, it is best to work with microfiber cloths. The following sequence ensures the best possible effect:

  1. Preparation: wipe the entire mirror with a wet cotton pad. This will loosen the coarsest dirt and dust in a first step.
  2. Remove stains: for stubborn stains, mix lukewarm water with a little washing-up liquid in a bucket. Moisten a microfiber cloth in the bucket and wring it out really well. Work the dirty areas with it until no more stains are visible.
  3. Rework: To avoid streaks caused by the dishwashing liquid, rework with water. To do this, moisten a microfiber cloth again and use it to remove the rinsing agent residue from the mirror. It is best to wipe from top to bottom.

Drying: Finally, wipe the mirror with a dry microfiber cloth

Windows or other glass surfaces can also be cleaned in this way. Other home remedies beyond dishwashing liquid can help here. Incidentally, a squeegee is not necessary for mirrors. Because the microfiber cloths should only be slightly moistened anyway, it is sufficient to wipe off the residual moisture with a cloth.