Last update: 4 months ago
One of the household items that collects dirt as easy as it was a walk in the park is the mirror. Even if you clean it often, you are in trouble as the smudges and stripes will continue to mess with the final outlook.
If you happen to have an antique mirror at home, you have got to be extra careful. Old mirrors are mostly covered with a silver layer, or a mercury one. With time, they gather those specific smudges and foggy spots.
How to clean antique mirror glass
Mirror smudges are blurry spots which resemble trails of fingers. Mirrors are usually hanged on walls which makes their backsides accessible for moisture. With enough exposure, the silver layer deteriorates and starts to peel off. This happens with time which is why you should consult with an antique repairer to find out whether your mirror needs another coating or not.
It’s important to clean the glass, not the silvered back. You don’t want to apply any strong chemicals that might cause damage. Try with a solution of:
- 1 glass of rubbing alcohol
- 2 glasses of water.
Don’t use baking soda for the cleaning process – any abrasive cleaner will damage the mirror easily.
How to clean the film off mirrors
Several easy tips can help your mirror regain its former glory:
- Newspaper and white vinegar. Using a spray bottle, sprinkle some of the vinegar over the filmed spot. Use the newspaper piece to rub off the vinegar until you get a shiny outlook. Don’t apply too much pressure. And, whatever you do, avoid vinegar on the frame if it’s made of wood. More on cleaning mirrors and their frames later on.
- Use shaving cream. Any regular shaving cream would do. Using a microfiber cloth sprayed with the cream, wipe the mirror clean, until the fogginess goes away. The cream leaves a coating which blocks the forming of fog for almost a month.
- Pure water with microfiber cloth. If the smudges are not too severe, you can use regular water. The microfiber cloth will help you again to avoid any lint marks afterwards.
- Bring your old mirror to a jeweler. They use special rubbing paste or powder (called jeweler’s rouge) to clean delicate items.
How to clean mirror frames
- Be extra careful with the cleaning material you use never to reach the surface of the antique frame – both homemade cleaning remedies and store-bought detergents can damage the coating;
- Don’t spray the mirror directly;
- Use a microfiber cloth;
- In case the smudges are close to the frame, use plain water only.