How To Clean a Bathroom Mirror

The bathroom is one of the most used rooms in any home, so it’s not surprising that it can also be one of the dirtiest. As well as being used for hair and makeup, the bathroom is also where you go to wash, shave, brush your teeth and take care of other personal hygiene tasks.

Mirrors are used in bathrooms to enhance the overall look of the facilities. However, over time, the reflection that one sees in the mirror tends to get distorted, especially if it has been tarnished by hot water droplets and other build-ups due to constant use.

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Tarnishes are corrosions that can affect a wide range of solid metals. This damage will typically appear as discoloration on the metal’s surface and harm its visual appeal and durability.

How To Clean a Tarnished Bathroom Mirror Frame

In this article, we’ll discuss what tarnish is, its causes, how to clean a tarnished bathroom mirror, and how you can prevent your mirror from tarnishing. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to prevent your mirror from tarnishing.

Let’s get down to business and make our mirror shiny once again!

What is Tarnish?

It’s essential to define what tarnish is before exploring the causes of tarnish. The word tarnish comes from the Old English “teran,” meaning to darken. The word’s current definition refers to the process of corrosion on metal objects, which makes them lose their shine and luster because of chemical reactions with other metals or substances like oxygen in the atmosphere.

Tarnish is the discoloration and darkening of metal when it comes into contact with air or sulfur-containing substances. It can also develop as a result of chemical reactions between the metal and items you use daily. Some metals, such as nickel and copper, tarnish quickly.

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Simply put, it is the discoloration of the metal. Similar to rust, tarnish is more often than not considered unattractive. Aged copper, gold plated sinks, silver cutlery, mirrors are just some examples of household objects subject to tarnish.

However, if you’re careful about your cleaning routine, it’s not something that should impact you.

What Causes Tarnish on Bathroom Mirror Frames?

Tarnish has been a problem for centuries, and its treatment has always been a challenge. It can affect many different types of metals, but the most common types are silver and copper.

How To Clean a Tarnished Bathroom Mirror Frame

Several different chemicals will cause tarnish, including sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide in the air, chloride ions in water, and metal ions reacting with sulfur-containing compounds. Additionally, some metals have a natural tendency to tarnish more quickly than others.

When your bathroom is dirty, bacteria, dirt, and other forms of build-up on the surfaces can cause the mirror to be dull and eventually become tarnished.

Factors that may cause your mirror to tarnish:

  • Soap scum and dirt
  • Hard water and chemicals on the mirror
  • Condensation on mirror
  • Product residue left on the mirror for too long
  • Dirt Build Up
  • Water or Water Vapor
  • Sunlight or Ultraviolet Radiation
  • Strong Acids
  • Chemicals in Household Products

How to Clean a Bathroom Mirror

We all know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and decide to pamper yourself with a hot bath. You run the water, turn on some relaxing music and enter the bathtub with a big smile on your face. 

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You then realize that to get ready for work, you should see yourself in the mirror well. But when looking into your mirror, all you can do is stare in disbelief because your beautiful mirror has become unbelievably tainted. 

The once beautiful silver color has tarnished and is now looked upon as an eye soring presence. Regardless of how hard you scrub, it seems like you can never get rid of it no matter what you try. Typically, most people often think of replacing their mirror whenever they experience this.

Cleaning a Bathroom Mirror
Cleaning a Bathroom Mirror

No one likes a grimy bathroom, but if the mirrors are in bad shape, you don’t have to replace them. You can clean them in a way that will give them a new look and remove any blemishes.

Cleaning a tarnished bathroom mirror frame and restoring the gleaming look isn’t as hard as you think. Just follow any of the steps listed below, and your bathroom mirror will be looking good as new in no time.

Ways To Clean a Tarnished Mirror Frame

  • Apply vinegar solution: Vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution that can clean a lot of things. You can clean your bathroom with it as well as use it to polish your mirrors. A vinegar solution helps you to clean up tarnishes without risking damage to the surface of the mirror. It is cheap and effortless to use. The vinegar solution will ultimately corrode the metal to leave it in a “new like” condition.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol: Maybe you didn’t know rubbing alcohol is used to clean tarnished bathroom mirror frames, but it is! If you’re trying to find a safe and inexpensive method to rejuvenate your bathroom mirror frames, then you might want to try using rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is a great way to clean a tarnished bathroom mirror frame and be an excellent disinfectant. It helps you remove any bacteria build-up on your mirror and gives your mirror a brand-new look.
  • Make use of a dust cloth and toothbrush: More often than not, your mirror can get covered with tarnish. Such a thing makes it difficult to see yourself. To stop tarnish build-up, you should regularly clean your bathroom mirrors using a toothbrush and dust cloth. It would make it look as good as new.
  • Use a lint-free microfiber cloth that’s been dampened in distilled water: Bathroom mirrors in the home get tarnished fairly often—grime with other various bacteria build-up, causing the tarnish and dirt to stick to the mirror. Using a lint-free cloth dampened in water to clean the mirror can help remove this bacteria build-up. All you need to do is lightly dampen the cloth with distilled water and lightly scrub the frame. This way, you will avoid scratching the frame, and it will help remove tarnish without damaging your frame.
  • Use a dry, soft brush: If you have a bathroom mirror with a tarnished frame, you can remove that tarnish by using a dry, soft brush. It’s a fairly easy cleaning job that you can do on your own.

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Bathroom Mirror

Cleaning a mirror can be a chore. There’s a chance you’ll break one while cleaning it, and then you’ll have to get a new one. Who has time for that? 

When Cleaning Your Bathroom Mirror
When Cleaning Your Bathroom Mirror

Cleaning your bathroom mirror might sound like an easy task, but if you take the wrong approach, you might end up making your mirror worse than before. 

Below are some things to avoid doing when cleaning your bathroom mirror:

  1. Avoid scouring pads or any form of harsh rubbing which can scratch or mar your glass surface.
  2. Avoid using bad scrubbing brushes when cleaning your mirror.
  3. Avoid using newspapers or paper towels which can leave behind residue on your mirror after cleaning.
  4. Avoid using expired cleaning solutions as they may create white spots on your mirror.

How to Prevent Tarnish on Your Bathroom Mirror Frame

Living in a hot or humid environment increases the possibility of the mirrors in your home developing an unattractive tarnish. We’re all guilty of just wiping away a few smudges from the mirror with a wet washcloth, but that won’t stop the tarnish from coming back. 

Mirror tarnish is one of those predicaments that no one likes or wants to have to deal with ever. As outlined earlier in this article, several elements, factors, and reasons can cause your mirror to tarnish. Regardless of the reason your mirror is tarnished, below are a few ways you can prevent your mirrors from going from shining to dull by taking a few steps.

There are a few preventive measures you can take to prevent your mirror from tarnishing below:

  1. Clean your mirror frequently
  2. Never finger or hand-polish your mirror again
  3. Use the proper glass cleaners for cleaning mirrors
  4. Wipe the mirror clean in one direction only; don’t wipe back and forth because you’ll make smears
  5. Apply a layer of glass sealant to the mirror
  6. Keep your mirror dry always
  7. Clean your mirror cautiously

The cost of replacing a mirror can be pretty high if you have a large room to replace it. Prevention is the key.


This article has extensively discussed what tarnish is, the causes of tarnish, how to clean a tarnished bathroom mirror, things to avoid when cleaning your mirror, and how you can prevent your mirror from tarnishing. Do you have any further questions? We’d love to hear from you via the comment section below.

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