6 Simple Steps to a Streak Free Mirror and a Flawless Reflection

The less streaks on your mirror, the better you look. Seriously.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall…” (Insert generic Snow White pun here.) Mirrors get streaky. They get gunky and cloudy and covered in spittle and spray.

And whether or not they predict your future or whatever, they still deserve some degree of respect. Without them, how would you know if your bangs are even or if your French tuck is flawless? “The better to see you with, my dear.” Wait, that’s the wrong fairytale. Anyway, read on to find out how to fulfill your streak-free mirror fantasy.

  1. Pretreat your mirror with rubbing alcohol before cleaning. Soak a cotton ball or cotton pad with the rubbing alcohol then carefully dab away mascara smudges, lipstick smears, toothpaste splatters, hairspray streaks, and gummy fingerprints. If you’ve got limescale deposits on your mirror — if it’s located near the sink or shower and you’ve got hard, minerally water that may splash on it regularly - you can use lemon juice to remove them. You’ll know the limescale spots because they’re milky white deposits that are quite difficult to remove (often seen on faucets). Alternatively, you may have calcium deposits, which are like little white boogers, and come off easily with vinegar (careful if you’re Google image searching for these, you may end up with some seriously disgusting results). Vinegar is naturally acidic and fantastic for removing all sorts of stains. You can also do a once over to pre-clean your mirror with a soapy warm water solution made with a couple of drops of Dawn Dish Soap, then be sure to rinse with clean water to remove soap residue before further cleaning with any other solution.
  1. White vinegar and water can be used to achieve a perfectly streak-free mirror. Just mix a half vinegar and half water solution in a spray bottle (If you’ve got hard water, consider using distilled water to clean your mirror so that it won’t leave a residue!), spray it onto a microfiber cloth and then apply to the reflective surface.

Note: Spraying the vinegar-water solution directly onto the mirror can be messy and drippy and cause the liquid to sometimes get beneath the mirror or pool into the corners. You don’t want this, so spray on the cloth instead.

  1. Use a thin, flat weave microfiber cloth to get the best results since this material likely won’t cling onto lint or dust particles that could then be transferred to the mirror. Paper towels or thick terry cloth towels aren’t ideal for cleaning glass because they leave behind cute little particle puffs on your freshly cleaned mirror, so it’s best to avoid them. You can complete this chore with just one towel if you origami it properly into quarters. When one side gets dirty you can use the other. And by keeping one side of the towel dry, you’ll be able to use it to finish your mirror and buff it to perfection. (Or, you know, you could always use two towels. We’re just trying to prevent you from having to do more laundry down the road but if origami ain’t your thing, we get it.)

  2. By wiping from side to side, and top to bottom (to avoid drippy lines), you will likely see fewer streaks. Despite what you see in the commercials, you don’t really want to clean your mirror in giant circular movements.

  3. Here’s a hack worth trying: shaving cream can be used to prevent your mirror from getting steamy and fogging up after your shower. (Oh, and we’ve got lots more bathroom cleaning hacks up our sleeve, if you’re into that sort of thing.) You can apply it after cleaning and its glycerin will create a protective coating on the surface of your mirror. Just spray it on then wipe it off with your microfiber towel. Shaving cream also works well for polishing chrome fixtures, so maybe hit the faucet and handles while you’re at it.

Deep clean tip: If you’ve got some really serious stains on your mirror, such as paint, you can try a cotton ball soaked in nail polish remover. (Also maybe consider being more mindful next time you use paint near your mirror, dude.) And if you’ve got a fancy mirror with angled cuts or embellishments, you can use a cotton ball or a toothbrush to really get in there.

Once you’ve finished cleaning your mirror, move around a bit to peek your reflection from various angles. No, not to find your best selfie lighting (well, sure, that too) but to make sure you schmeared all the streaks into oblivion. Hit any remaining streaks with your clean, dry microfiber rag to buff them out of your face, literally. Now sit back and enjoy your flawless reflection while it lasts.

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