A streaky mirror is not a clean mirror, despite the number of times you’ve tried cleaning it.
Streaks are frustrating, unsightly and off-putting. We all think we know how to clean mirrors, but once you learn my secret product and technique you’ll have the shiniest mirrors on the block.
For starters, here’s what doesn’t work. newspaper isn’t what it used to be. The inks used today leave residues behind, making your mirrors generally streaky. So if you try using newspaper and get unsavoury results, that’s why. No more newspaper to clean mirrors. Paper towel leaves small flecks of lint behind, which doesn’t look the greatest, plus it can get wasteful. So what we need is an non-streaking, lint-free cloth to help us along the way. Further, there might be gunk on the mirror that requires cleaning prior to the actual mirror cleaning, so that we can easily tend to. Another thing to remember is that it’s important to use a designated glass cleaner (either product or recipe), because they are designed to be non-sudsing meaning they won’t leave residue (streaks) behind. If you use any old cleaning product, you’ll likely see a haze over the mirror and if that is the case, you need to clean that off with some glass cleaner. See, no one tells you these things!
So to clean your mirror like a pro, here’s what you need:
- A flat-weave microfiber cloth – any other cloth will not give you the same results, and remember, it’s your time spent cleaning, so the right tools saves you a lot of that time. You want flat-weave so that no debris can cling to the cloth, and further, they promote fast drying and lint-free finishing.
- Rubbing alcohol - yes, that’s the secret.
- Cotton pad – for the rubbing alcohol, stay tuned.
- Glass cleaner – I use vinegar and water, but you can use your favourite brand or recipe.
Let’s get started!
- Place some rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad, and scan the mirror for any globs or goopy build up (think: hairspray, toothpaste splatters, etc.) and scanning from the top to the bottom, rub them off one by one. Work quickly, because rubbing alcohol dries fast. This is akin to spot treating stains on laundry before washing them.
- Then, spray the mirror down with your glass cleaner, making sure it is misted, not soaking (this makes more work for you).
- Fold your microfiber cloth into quarters, that way you’ll have 4 clean surfaces to work with and you can flip the cloth around as required to ensure you are working with a clean surface as required.
- Start at the top left corner and drag the cloth across to the top right corner, then swoop down and head back toward the left side of the mirror, continue this zig zag until you get to the bottom of the mirror. This is what I call the ‘S Pattern’ and it ensures you never miss a square inch of any surface (it also helps eliminate streaks and saves you energy).
- Check for any scuff marks by checking the mirror at a 45 degree angle, this sheds extra light on the mirror and illuminates streaks you can’t see looking at the mirror straight on. Spot clean each stain by spraying your cloth and quickly wiping the streak and buffing dry.
And, you’re done!
The whole process should take you under 90 seconds per mirror. I think this is the most efficient way to clean a mirror, and after years in the cleaning world, I can assure you, this works like a charm.