Interior Design

How to clean a mirror without streaks – according to the experts

Wondering how to clean a mirror without streaks? These are the steps to a spotless clean

Large mirror above a matelpiece
(Image credit: Future / James Balston)

Knowing how to clean a mirror without streaks may seem like a simple process, but in many cases, it is trickier than it initially sounds. Achieving a spotless finish comes down to several factors, including your chosen product, cloth, and cleaning pattern – so how can you get it right? 

While everyone has their own way of cleaning, these experts have mastered the only technique you need to know about. If you're decorating with mirrors – or your bathroom built-ins are in need of a refresh – these tips are for you. 

How to clean a mirror without streaks?  

entrance hall with classical bust on plinth and round mirror

(Image credit: Jake Curtis / Alyce Taylor)

Paige Anderson, a cleaning expert at Nitido Design, shares her decorating ideas with H&G – and they will transform your mirror cleaning habits. 

1. Avoid soaps and scents

Bedroom mirror with antique finish

(Image credit: Future)

While it can be tempting to invest in fresh and floral-fragranced products, it is better to choose a natural product with fewer contaminants. 'Use cleaning products that do not contain soaps and scents as these additives leave behind the residues that cause streaks,' Paige explains. 

Often, these soaps and additives can't evaporate and consequently leave your mirror looking even dirtier than it did before the cleaning process. 

2. Opt for natural cleaners  

Bathroom mirror ideas with vanity

(Image credit: Future)

So what should you use instead of soapy, scented products? Paige recommends home vinegar as this does not contain extreme additives that would leave marks on the glass. However, as Michelle Hansen, a cleaning and organizing expert, and owner of Practical Perfection, explains, you can also clean a mirror by simply using water. 

'Not only is it cost-effective because you don't have to purchase window cleaner, but it's safer for your family and pets,' Michelle says. 

3. Use glass cleaner on dirtier areas 

Painted furniture ideas - console

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

If you have hard-to-remove dirt on your mirror, it can become harder to clean – and is, therefore, more likely to leave streaks. 'Instead of scrubbing hard, apply glass cleaners to those areas where the spots are and wipe them gently with a cloth,' Paige suggests. 

4. Try a side-to-side cleaning pattern 

Mirrored chest of drawer and yellow table lamp and side chair in bedroom with patterned wallpaper and wall mirror

(Image credit: Future Publishing Ltd Styling: Marisa Daly Photograph: Jan Baldwin)

While these cleaning tips will help prevent a streaky mirror, Paige suggests your pattern is equally as important in keeping the spots away. Her secret to success? A side-to-side cleaning pattern – instead of a circular motion. This helps bypass static electricity, which can often be created while performing circular motions. 

What is the best thing to clean mirrors with?

Grey hallway ideas

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki / Future)

The best tool for cleaning a mirror is a microfiber cloth – as it ensures that your glass is fully dry and lint-free.

Michelle Hansen uses these microfiber cleaning rags from Amazon and suggests that she has never seen better results in her home. 'Simply get the microfiber rag wet and squeeze out the excess water into the sink. Wipe the mirror with the microfiber cloth first, then use the other cloth to wipe it dry. [It's] super simple and easy,' the expert adds.

Paige discourages you from using old t-shirts or old rags as they are not created with cleaning in mind and will almost certainly leave a residue. 

Now you know how to clean a mirror without streaks; you can enjoy the beauty and power of your mirrors, entirely taint-free. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. As a News Writer, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.