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Get Spotless Mirrors Every Time with These Cleaning Hacks

A woman cleaning a mirror.

Getting those mirrors clean can be one of the most frustrating parts of cleaning your bathroom. All it takes, though, are a few easy tips and common household products to get perfectly shiny mirrors every time.

Even if you’re a cleaning superstar, getting those pesky mirrors streak- and spot-free can be quite the chore. Believe it or not, you don’t need a bunch of fancy products to make it happen. With a few simple tricks and common household ingredients, you’ll get a clear reflection in every mirror, every time.

What’s the Best Cleaner to Use on Mirrors?

Two spray bottles sitting on a floor next to cleaning gloves and a cloth

While you can, of course, just pick up a glass cleaner to use on your mirrors, you can also save a few dollars and mix up your own.

The easiest solution calls for two ingredients you probably already have: white vinegar and liquid dish soap. A solution made of these and plenty of water will cut through the dust and buildup on your mirrors, without leaving a bunch of streaks behind.

Lucy's Family Owned Natural Distilled White Vinegar

Cleans and disinfects without the heavy chemical smells you hate.

Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid

For getting mirrors squeaky-clean and shiny.

Just follow this recipe:

  1. In a spray bottle, combine 2 cups of water with 1/3 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap and shake until mixed thoroughly.
  3. Spray on your mirror and wipe away with newspaper or a microfiber cloth.
  4. Label your spray bottle so you’ll always be able to find your glass cleaner when you need it.

Another DIY mirror cleaner recipe features cornstarch and rubbing alcohol as the secret ingredients for a no-streak polish.

Argo 100% Pure Corn Starch

Fine but gently abrasive to cut through dust and residue.

Dealmed Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol 70%

Perfect for disinfecting and wiping clean.

Follow these quick steps to try this recipe:

  1. In a spray bottle, pour 2-1/4 cups of water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1/4 cup white vinegar.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
  3. Shake well until combined thoroughly.
  4. Spray on your mirror, and then wipe away with newspaper or a microfiber cloth.

What Should You Wipe Your Mirrors With?

Microfiber cloths sitting on a cleaning rack, and being used to wipe a car windshield
Amazon Basics

The secret to getting a streak-free, clear shine on your mirrors isn’t just in the cleaning solution, but it’s also in the material you use to wipe them clean. If you find there are streaks left behind no matter what cleaner you use, the problem just might be the rag you wipe them down with.

For the absolute best results, pick up a copy of your local newspaper. It might sound strange, but using crumpled-up newspaper to clean glass is one of the oldest hacks around.

The secret is in the physical composition of newsprint. Because it’s made from densely packed fibers, they won’t scratch mirrors or glass. They also don’t fall apart, shed, and leave lint behind.

If you don’t have a newspaper on hand, the second-best option is a microfiber cloth. The material is fantastic at soaking up liquid without leaving residue behind. It’s also gentle enough not to scratch.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

No newspaper? One of these will work, too.

In Which Direction Should You Wipe Your Mirrors?

The direction in which you wipe away your cleaning mixture can also make a huge difference. Wiping up and down isn’t a particularly effective angle if you’re standing in front of a vertical mirror. However, wiping in a circular motion tends to just re-smear any residual droplets over areas you’ve already cleaned.

In case you haven’t guessed yet, the solution is to wipe in a brisk, wide, side-to-side motion. For the best results, start in a top corner of the mirror, and then wipe from side to side all the way down, in a broad zigzag pattern.

When you clean your mirrors this way, you won’t miss any spots, but you also won’t re-smear anything on the already-cleaned sections.

If you’ve given up on ever having streak-free mirrors, give it one more shot! Ditch the smelly, unhealthy chemicals for your own DIY solution. Once you see your crystal-clear, streak-free reflection, you’ll never go back to the stress and hassle of the old way.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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