Decorative mirrors have always been used to add that special touch to a room. No matter how beautiful the mirror, if it is dirty and discolored, it will add nothing to the decor. However, because of their ornate and sometimes intricate designs, they can be hard to clean and to keep clean. To ensure that decorative mirrors maintain their beauty and last for years, the right material and cleaning procedure must be used. Not every product advertised as being great for cleaning mirrors is really good for decorative mirrors. As a matter of fact, just plain warm water is an ideal cleaning solution for mirrors and their decorative finishes. Anyone can clean decorative mirrors safely if they use the right tools and take time to learn what to do. Tools Needed o Lint-free rags o Rags that are smooth and grit-less (prevents scratching) o Some q-tips o Old newspaper and paper towels o Compressed air A good homemade solution for cleaning mirrors, especially for the eco-friendly home owner, involves mixing 2/3 water with 1/3 rubbing alcohol.
Adding a few drops of ammonia or dishwashing liquid to the solution works as well. Another solution is to combine a quart of water with a cup of white vinegar. Use only on the glass and not the frame. A properly cleaned mirror will sparkle and be free of streaks and lines. What to do Pre-clean the mirror to get rid of any heavy build up of dirt. This will make the actual cleaning a lot easier and less messy. Pre-cleaning is especially important for decorative mirrors that were in storage or that have not been cleaned in a long time. Only plain water is needed for the pre-cleaning stage of the process. o Do not saturate the cleaning rag. If it is soaked, wring some of the fluid out before using it to wipe the mirror and frame. o Once you are satisfied that the glass is clean as it can be, use the newspaper to dry the glass.
Newspaper polishes the glass and so gives it a nice sheen. (Make sure to use newsprint that does not run.) If using paper towels instead of newspaper, use a clean sheet for every pane. This ensures that no residue is spread as you work. Once the mirror is clean, it is necessary to ensure that no fluid is left on the edges. If fluid is left on the edges, it may seep onto the glass and damage it. Excess fluid can also wreck a nice wooden frame. Reach the gunk lodged in the creases and corners of intricate frames with a moistened q-tip. This is possibly the hardest and most time-consuming part of cleaning a decorative mirror. Compressed air can also be used to remove some of the build up in grooves; just take care not to hold it too close to the frame or glass itself.
Some Important Dont's While paying attention to what to do when cleaning decorative mirrors, it is also important to be aware of what not to do. Some major dont's when it comes to cleaning mirrors, but especially decorative mirrors are: o Never spray cleaning solution directly onto the mirror. Cleaning solution should always be sprayed onto a lint-free rag and then used to wipe the glass. o Avoid using any cleaner that contains harsh ingredients like acids and alkalis. One way to always remember this is to stick to the three A-s of glass cleaning: avoid acids, alkalis and abrasives. o Avoid getting any liquid onto the frame itself. Whether it is made of wood or other material, liquid can discolor the frame and in some instances even change the finish completely. If an antique decorative mirror still has spots after a thorough cleaning, it needs resilvering. Resilvering may, however, show up other defects like scratches and age signs, which may require major refurbishing to get the mirror as close to its original state as possible. Once the mirror has been cleaned, any other work that is needed will be easier to see and identified.