Did you make a thrift store find or inherit an antique mirror and realize you have no idea how to clean an old mirror? Mirrors are stunning decoration pieces with added function. A well-placed mirror brightens space by bringing in light and reflecting the surroundings to give an open, airy feeling.
Vintage and antique mirrors are old and have usually seen plenty of life, often meaning they’re filthy. Stains, smears, and hard water spots quickly make a great statement mirror look shabby. Though you’re eager to clean an old mirror and restore it to its former glory, take a moment to learn more about the process.
Cleaning an antique mirror demands extra caution as the aged glass and frame are vulnerable to damage from improper cleaning techniques or harsh cleaners. Don’t waste money on a costly store-bought cleaner. Rely on familiar everyday items to remove the grime from the mirror surface without destroying it so your vintage mirror can take its rightful place on the wall.
- Clean an Old Mirror With Easy Hacks
Clean an Old Mirror With Easy Hacks
It’s daunting to decide how to clean an old mirror. Antiques are gorgeous and often quite the investment. Nobody wants to ruin a vintage mirror while trying to remove an unsightly stain.
Never scrape or scratch at marks on your mirror, as this risks disrupting the silver coating and leaving a permanent blemish. Use simple tricks for cleaning an antique mirror with shaving cream, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, toothpaste, and dish soap, and give your mirror a glossy sheen.
Notes on Cleaning Mirrors
Mirrors are made through a process known as silvering. A sheet of regular glass is sprayed with a fine layer of aluminum to give it the shiny, reflective surface we expect. It’s crucial not to scratch or scrape as you clean your mirror to prevent accidentally removing the silver coating.
Heavy-duty chemical cleaners may dull, fade and even disintegrate the silvering. Use gentle cleansers and mild detergents, and only clean your antique mirror when it looks dingy. The caution required with mirrors increases if you’re working on an antique piece. Inspect the silvering as you clean and stop at the first sign of fading or wear.
The tool you choose to clean the mirror is vital to obtaining the best finish. Regular rags or a paper towel tend to drop lint or fibers on the mirror panel as you clean. Use a microfiber cloth, newspaper, or another lint-free, soft cleaner to give you a flawless finish every time. Avoid abrasive cleaners or brushes to ensure you get an intact, clean mirror.
How to Clean an Old Mirror With Shaving Cream
Shaving foam is time-efficient for cleaning mirrors and keeping them from fogging. As it contains soap, shaving foam is an excellent all-purpose cleanser to clean antique mirrors without Windex. Not only is shaving foam incredibly inexpensive, but it is also highly effective at eliminating dirt and grime from smooth surfaces.
Removing body hair is the most common application of this dense, white foam. However, it is used in many home cleaning tricks, including bringing the shine back to cloudy mirrors.
Shaving foam leaves your mirrors with a lasting clean, streak-free appearance, giving the impression that you just cleaned them. Apply cream-type shaving foam to the entire mirror glass pane, wait a few minutes, and wipe the mirror pane with a clean, dry cloth.
Trust Rubbing Alcohol for Cleaning an Antique Mirror
Employing rubbing alcohol as a glass cleaner is an efficient way to remove smudges and streaks from an antique mirror. Rubbing alcohol is frequently found in the pharmacy departments of grocery stores.
This alcohol product has many applications as a solvent, including eliminating buildup or grubby streaks from mirrors without deteriorating the glass. Rubbing alcohol evaporates, so wiping it off the mirror after cleaning is unnecessary.
Pour some rubbing alcohol on a clean microfiber cloth and wipe the surface to get old paint off a framed mirror. Its solvent qualities make rubbing alcohol an excellent glass cleaner, even for removing challenging blemishes like spray paint. However, keeping it away from painted materials like your antique mirror frame is essential.
Vinegar Will Get an Old Mirror Clean
Distilled white vinegar is a common household cleaning agent that efficiently removes tough stains, such as those left behind by hard water that has dried on the mirror. You can create your own DIY mirror spray with just white vinegar. White vinegar includes acetic acid, so mixing it with water before applying it to your mirror is necessary.
Only use the distilled white vinegar blend on the glass section of the mirror. Be careful not to get any of it on the frame or the glue since it may cause them to deteriorate.
Spray the vinegar treatment straight onto the mirror or spritz it onto a soft cloth. Before the spray dries, use the rag to wipe the mirror clockwise from one side to the other or from top to bottom. Always clean your mirror in a linear pattern to avoid streaking.
Utilizing the same action of moving the cloth from one side to the other side or up and down, dry the mirror with a clean microfiber cloth. Once it has had enough time to dry, examine the mirrored glass from the side to check for blemishes. After you’ve cleaned these areas, buff the mirror until it shines.
Getting an Antique Mirror Clean With Toothpaste
Toothpaste is a versatile cleaning product that may be used on various items around the house. It does an excellent job cleaning glass and works exceptionally well as a cleaner for delicate antique mirrors.
Since it contains a small number of abrasive particles, toothpaste is a perfect tool for cleaning filth off glossy surfaces. Toothpaste cleans a bathroom mirror, shower door, as well as your teeth. Toothpaste brings a sheen to flat surfaces and polishes them to a smooth finish, making it an ideal glass cleaner.
Before you use toothpaste to clean your mirror, dampen a clean towel with warm water and wipe the mirror down with the towel. Place a small amount of toothpaste on a cotton pad, and use the pad to wipe the glass surface in a circular motion.
Repeatedly scrubbing the mirror results in a pristine shine. Eliminate excess toothpaste by removing it with a fresh, damp cloth.
Dish Soap Is a Mirror Cleaner
Most of us associate liquid dish soap with washing cookware, yet this mild detergent is terrific for cleaning mirrors. Dish soap cuts through gunk and grime to give plates, glasses, and antique mirrors a sparkle without destroying them.
The surfactants in dish soap loosen dirt, so it comes away readily without disturbing the mirror’s silver coating. Craft a basic mirror cleaner with dish soap and water.
Lift any accumulated dust off the mirror using a cloth made of microfiber to avoid scratching it as you clean. Combine the liquid dish soap and the warm water in the bowl and stir well. Dip the cloth in the bowl, squeeze it out, and clean the mirror.
To remove the dish soap solution from the mirror glass, work in parallel lines as you run the squeegee’s rubber edge across the surface.
Use Distilled Water on a Glass Surface
Never clean windows or an antique mirror with water directly from the tap. Using standard tap water to clean a glass mirror is not recommended because tap water typically contains minerals and other impurities.
The water from your kitchen or bathroom faucet has various minute pollutants, including iron and calcium. These compounds are responsible for mineral deposits and hard water stains that cause cloudy mirror glass.
For washing glass, it is best to use distilled water since, unlike other types of water, it does not leave behind deposits and streaks. Water going through distillation is filtered and purified to eliminate extra minerals, contaminants, or gasses to give the purest liquid.
If you want your vintage glass mirror to last longer and look better, cleaning it with distilled water is best. If you’re short on time and have no distilled water, consider doing a quick cleaning with faucet water. Plan to revisit the mirror later with distilled water to lift unwanted mineral residue.
Are you ready to clean an old mirror after reading this article? Modern custom glass or restored vintage mirrors are stunning in any space. A mirror adds character and brightness to a building, yet it quickly looks dank and dull when foggy or filthy.
Don’t let your mirror destroy the ambiance because it’s dirty. Use proven home remedies to clean up your antique mirror and restore its beautiful shine without worrying about damaging the glass with the wrong cleaning product.
If you loved this information-packed article on how to clean an old mirror, please share it with your friends and family who are cleaning an antique mirror on Pinterest and Facebook.