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Proper Procedures for Cleaning Flat Glass Mirrors

Mirrors provide both functional and aesthetic performance in the interior design for today’s homes, office buildings, schools, medical and institutional facilities.  In addition to the function of providing reflected images, mirrors are being use to move natural light further into buildings and enhance the openness of rooms. Proper cleaning procedures must be followed to ensure the long-term performance of mirrors.

Care and Cleaning of Mirrors

Many people are unaware of how to properly care for and clean the mirrors in their homes and offices. Many cleaning products make claims to be the best for mirrors. The truth is the care and cleaning of mirrors is simple and inexpensive. Care should always be taken to avoid getting edges of the mirror wet with any liquid or substance. This can result in damage to the mirror edges, commonly called “black edge”. Should mirror edges become wet, they should be dried off immediately.

The following are recommendations from manufacturers of quality mirrors:

  • The very best and safest cleaner for a mirror is clean, warm water used with a soft, lint-free cloth. Wring all water from the cloth before wiping the mirror. Dry the mirror immediately with a dry lint-free cloth.

  • Don’t use acid or alkali cleaners for mirror cleanup after installation. Either substance can attack the front surface and edges as well as the backing of the mirror. No abrasive cleaners should ever be used on any mirror surface.

  • Don’t spray cleaners directly on the mirror. Always apply cleaner directly to a soft, lint-free cloth and then wipe the mirror. This will help prevent the cleaner from contacting the edges of the mirror and damaging them.

  • Don’t clean across the face of multiple mirrors at the same time. When cleaning several mirrors installed on a wall, wipe the joints in the same direction as the joints. This will keep the cleaner from collecting in the area where the mirrors join.

  • Don’t use commercial mirror cleaners that contain ammonia or vinegar.

  • Do use 0000 oil-free steel wool, not solvents, to remove surface marks or stubborn dirt. Use of solvents can attack and damage the edges and backing of mirrors.

  • Do use soft, lint-free and grit free cloths to clean a mirror. This reduces the chances of scratching the mirror surface.

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