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7 mistakes during cleaning that make mirrors cloudy

7 mistakes during cleaning that make mirrors cloudy Why mirrors get dirty (photo: Freepik)

It seems like achieving a crystal-clear mirror surface after cleaning can be more challenging than expected. Many people struggle with leaving streaks that make the glass look cloudy, despite hours of cleaning. These issues often stem from certain cleaning habits.

Real Simple discusses common cleaning mistakes that lead to cloudy mirrors.

You're not cleaning the mirror beforehand

It might seem an annoying extra step, but it affects the outcome. If the mirror is dirty, it's advised first to remove the dust with a dry microfiber cloth - this prevents wetting the dust and causing it to stick to the mirror.

The number of streaks can be reduced by removing toothpaste or other stains using vinegar or alcohol; this prevents spots from turning into streaks.

Use one cloth for cleaning and polishing

Most people clean in one go. Initially, the mirror looks great, but then it becomes cloudy and streaked from leftover moisture.

Professional cleaners recommend using two paper towels (or cloths): the first for cleaning and the second, dry one for polishing away streaks.

You're using the wrong cloth

There's a belief that paper towels are the worst for cleaning mirrors because they leave a lot of lint. However, according to cleaning experts, cloths also do not absorb moisture well and leave streaks.

The best option is considered to be microfiber cloths with a flat weave - they lift grease and dirt, absorb liquid, and leave a streak-free shine.

Additionally, it's crucial to use a clean cloth - do not use the same cloth you've used to wipe 12 other surfaces in your home. Otherwise, you'll just smear dirt on the mirrors.

Spray the cloth instead of the glass

According to cleaning professionals, it's advisable to spray the cleaner directly onto the mirror. This ensures complete coverage of the surface and thorough cleaning - no area will be missed.

If you spray too little cleaner onto the cloth, the liquid may dry before you can fully clean the mirror.

You're using too little cleaning solution

If you apply insufficient cleaner to the mirror, you may notice streaks later on - because in this case, the cleaning spray simply isn't enough to be effective.

In addition to commercial sprays, you can make a cleaning solution yourself - experts suggest mixing white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.

If there's residue on the mirror (like toothpaste), try adding a teaspoon of cornstarch to the solution. The fine grit of cornstarch helps remove dirt without scratching the mirror surface.

Avoid wiping the mirror in circular motions

According to cleaning experts, wiping in circular motions is a bad idea. It just smears dirt across the area you've just cleaned.

Instead, they recommend wiping mirrors in an S pattern, starting from the top right corner, moving to the top left corner, and then diagonally returning to the right side.

You're not checking the mirror in a bright light

The final step you should take before finishing your work is to tilt your head and inspect the mirror at an angle, with the light turned on. Alternatively, clean while occasionally inspecting the mirror from different angles.

This allows you to immediately spot any streaks and quickly remove them, leaving the mirror crystal clear.

Read also about habits that lead to unpleasant odors in the refrigerator.