No more smears! How to clean mirrors without the hassle

Mirror, mirror, on the wall — why are you covered in toothpaste?

Man cleaning the mirror in the bathroom with a wipe leaving no streaks.

A mirror is only useful when it’s clear and clean, but no matter how careful you’ve been brushing your teeth, your mirror is bound be covered in white specks. And when you go to clean your mirror, does it end up looking smudge-ier than before?

Once you have discovered the best thing to clean mirrors with, you’ll get that sparkling reflection back in no time. Here we’ll show you the best way to clean mirrors, including how to get hairspray off mirror glass, so that you can get the job done quickly and get back to looking at yourself in it. We don’t blame you.


Keep Plenty Towels in different rooms of the home, so when you next see a mirror streak you can whip out a sheet and easily restore the sparkle without having to go all the way to the kitchen and back.

1. What to clean mirrors with

The first step in knowing how to clean mirror glass is having the right gear. After all, your cleaning techniques are only going to be as good as the kit you use – using that tissue you’ve found deep in your pocket isn’t going to cut it. Knowing what to clean mirrors with will make a huge difference. Here’s what you need:

  • Strong kitchen paper towel
  • Cleaning spray
  • Mirror cleaning spray (or equal parts of vinegar and water)


We recommend using kitchen paper with your spray cleaner to help avoid the smudgy, smeary transfer of grease and grime from cloths or sponges. Choose Plenty kitchen paper, and it won’t fall apart even when wet, leaving your mirror shiny and lint-free.

As with any new cleaning method, we recommend doing a spot test first in an inconspicuous area, to be sure there aren’t any adverse reactions.

2. Wipe the mirror frame first

A common mistake people make when cleaning mirrors is to head straight for the smeary glass; it seems sensible enough, but tackling the frame first (if there is one) will help avoid transfer of dirt when you come to cleaning the glass. The best way to clean mirrors is, therefore, to start by choosing a cleaning spray that’s appropriate for the frame material (whether that be glass, metal or wood), spraying a little of the spray onto a moistened piece of kitchen paper, before wiping the frame all over, paying attention to the corners and edges next to the glass.

3. Clean excess dirt off the glass

Want to know how to clean mirror glass without leaving any lint behind? (OK, maybe one or two pieces, but who’s counting?) Start by using a moistened piece of paper towel to wipe the mirror clean of any obvious dust particles and grime. Now you’re ready to move on to getting your mirror shining brightly.

4. Polish up for a streak-free finish

Now it’s time to add the finishing touches by learning how to clean mirrors without streaks so they shine like new. Spray some mirror cleaning spray (or vinegar solution) onto the surface, grab a piece of dry kitchen paper and wipe the mirror all over. For hassle-free cleaning, choose absorbent and strong Plenty Towels, so the paper doesn't break up while you are cleaning.

5. How to clean a mirror in the right direction

The best way to clean mirrors is to work from top to bottom and side to side, taking your time to work the cleaner into any corners and edges where grime can easily build up. It’s not a good idea to work in circles as this can often cause streaking, so stick to an up-and-down and side-to-side motion. Finish off by looking at your mirror from different angles to see if there are any leftover streaks, and repeat the process if necessary. This is how to clean mirrors without streaks and without the need for any fancy equipment.

So that’s your go-to method for cleaning mirrors as part of your regular cleaning regime, but what if you’re dealing with something a bit trickier? We’ve got some handy hacks on how to clean a mirror that is hazy or stained with hairspray, too.

6. How to get hairspray off mirror glass with rubbing alcohol

Sometimes there are more stubborn marks that won’t come off the glass with the standard approach, and that’s when it’s time to explore different cleaning fluid options. Many consider rubbing alcohol to be the best thing to clean mirrors with when you’re dealing with hairspray stains. All you need to do is pull on your rubber gloves, apply some rubbing alcohol to a sheet of kitchen paper, and carefully wipe it across the hairspray stains. Then remove any traces of rubbing alcohol residue with a fresh piece of kitchen paper.[1],[2]

There are a few safety precautions to take when using rubbing alcohol. These include:

  • Wearing gloves to protect your skin
  • Ventilating the room by opening the windows and doors
  • Making sure that there are no open flames nearby, as it’s highly flammable[3]

To protect your mirror, you should avoid contact between the rubbing alcohol and the frame as it can damage a range of materials including wood, acrylic, plastic and painted surfaces.

7. How to clean a mirror that is hazy

Residue can build up on the glass and give your mirror a hazy appearance. If your mirror cleaning spray or vinegar solution doesn’t clear it up, you can try a couple of unusual alternatives.

Firstly, there’s shaving foam. Squeeze it onto a sheet of kitchen towel and wipe it across the glass, working from side to side and top to bottom in an S shape.

Secondly, you could try jeweller’s rouge. Apply it to the foggy area and then buff the surface with a clean microfibre cloth. Word of warning: quite a bit of elbow grease is required for this method!

Bear in mind that cloudiness on a mirror can also be down to damage to the backing. If that’s the case and you aren’t able to clean it away, that probably means it’s time to invest in a new mirror.[1],[2]

Now you know how to clean a mirror, it’s going to be easy for you to wipe away the smudges and smears and maintain your mirror’s shine. There are bound to be a million and one things in your home that aren’t perfect, but at least with these tips, your mirrors can be.

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