The best way to clean your mirrors

Oicture of a living room with a large round mirror

A beautiful bathroom can be spoiled by a dirty mirror. Besides the fact it takes your bathroom’s appearance down a peg or two, it also prevents the mirror from doing its basic job – to show your reflection and help open up the space. If you’ve been cleaning your mirror with bottled cleaning sprays, you’ve probably been left puzzled by the smears that are left. They may be marketed as suitable for mirrored surfaces but the acidic or alkaline solutions are usually too strong to banish the marks.

What you need is a cleaning method designed to work in every situation – and every room in your home. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all solution but they are all as simple as each other. So what is the best way to clean mirrors?

Picture of a large mirror in a bathroom

The extra top up

If you clean your mirrors regularly but you’re in need of a quick spruce up, the microfibre cloth and water trick is the one for you.

1. Dip a microfibre cloth into lukewarm water

2. Wring out the cloth to remove the excess water

3. Work in circular motions to wet the entire mirror

4. Finish up by wiping the mirror clean and polish it using the dry end of another cloth

Picture of a small round mirror in a living room

The grunge buster

Can you see out of your mirror at all? For the times when water just isn’t enough, washing up liquid is your new best friend, along with a sponge and that trusty microfibre cloth.

1. Mix a solution of washing up liquid and lukewarm water in a bowl

2. Dip a sponge into the solution

3. Squeeze the sponge to prevent dripping

4. Sponge over the mirrored surface

5. Use a dry microfibre cloth to polish the surface for extra shine


The steam cleaner

As wonderful as it is to have a bath at the end of a long day, I always get a sinking feeling when I step out onto the rug to see a fully steamed up mirror. While opening a window will eventually help it to clear, there are occasions when you need it to be looking its best – and sharpish.

This is when shaving foam comes into play.

1. Being careful to not press down too hard, spray a light coating of shaving foam all over the mirror

2. Leave for a minute

3. Wipe away the foam with a dry microfibre cloth

4. Polish with another microfibre cloth

Picture of two mirrors in bathroom with chequered floor tiles

While the method is slightly different in each case, you’ll notice that the trick lies in using a microfibre cloth and the polishing motion to finish. Don’t be tempted to use a different type of cloth! The fibres are especially designed to pick up dirt and add extra shine to mirrored surfaces from your bathroom mirror and taps to your kitchen hobs. Once you wipe a mirror clean, many of us think that we’ve finished but in reality, you need to polish (without polishing spray!) to remove those last minute streaks.

If you’ve ever gone back into a room a minute later to spot a rogue streak or two, chances are the lack of polishing is to blame!

Looking for help with your home maintenance or cleaning? Post a job on Rated People to receive quotes from trusted and reputable cleaners in your local area.

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  1. You don’t need microfiber cloths – I have always had total success using scrunched up newspaper; this has worked since time immemorial.

  2. Very useful – I have 4 small grandchildren who leave fingerprints (and worse) every time they’re here – mirrors and windows are a real problem!

  3. cheap and easy alternative – try newspaper and vinegar- I have smear free windows with both these common cheap alternatives. it was tip given me by my mother years ago for cleaning mirrors without smears and works for most glass.

  4. good tips but you can also use washing up liquid to stop your mirror steaming up. put small amount of washing up liquid on to cloth rub on to mirror until all liquid as gone no more steamed up mirrors for a while.

  5. The method of cleaning mirrors – or any glass surface – that beats all your suggestions is: USE AUTOGLYM CAR GLASS POLISH!

  6. Interesting solutions, but you haven’t listed one of the oldest and that is a cloth in a solution of malt vinegar and water.

  7. Keep mirrors from steaming up for weeks or even months by using this method: rub a little shampoo on the mirror and polish off without rinsing. It needs a bit of effort to polish away the smears but it’s worth it because the results last a long time.

  8. …tried alot of different cleaners for the rather large living room mirror…was still smeary.tried this tip, works a treat, the micro fiibte cloth idea is great,needed couple of goes with the method, and some elbow grease,
    You can feel if it still dirty..
    I remembered an opticians recommending to wash your specs in mild washing up liquid…
    Thanks… The inside of the windows next..

  9. So when you are on the lookout for one of the most perfect cleaners, the choice is obvious: vinegar! This acidic wonder can wipe out tarnish, soap scum, mineral deposits, and all sorts of dirt and grime. Among natural cleaners, it’s the clear champ.
    Best regards! Selsdon Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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