Why normal glass cleaners are bad for your mirror

Mirrors are a common feature in many homes and commercial spaces, providing both functional and decorative benefits. However, maintaining a clean and clear reflection can be a challenge, especially if you’re using the wrong glass cleaner. While it may seem counterintuitive, many normal glass cleaners can actually damage mirrors over time. In this blog post, we’ll explore why and how this happens and what you can do to protect your mirrors.

Why Do Normal Glass Cleaners Damage Mirrors?

The main culprit behind the damage caused by normal glass cleaners is ammonia. Ammonia is a common ingredient in many glass cleaning products, as it’s effective at cutting through dirt and grime. However, it can also cause damage to mirrors due to its high pH level. When ammonia comes into contact with a mirror, it can corrode the reflective coating, which is typically made of silver or aluminum.

In addition to ammonia, other chemicals commonly found in glass cleaners, such as alcohol and vinegar, can also damage mirrors. Alcohol can dissolve the reflective coating, while vinegar can leave behind a hazy film that’s difficult to remove.

How Do Normal Glass Cleaners Damage Mirrors?

The damage caused by normal glass cleaners can manifest in a few different ways. The most common issue is that the reflective coating on the mirror begins to break down over time, leading to a loss of clarity and sharpness in the reflection. This can make the mirror appear dull and cloudy, rather than bright and reflective.

Another issue that can arise from using normal glass cleaners on mirrors is the formation of black spots. These spots are caused by the reflective coating corroding in certain areas, which can create a distorted or uneven reflection. Black spots can be particularly problematic if they’re in a high-traffic area or near a light source, as they can be very noticeable and distracting.

How Can You Protect Your Mirrors?

If you want to keep your mirrors looking their best, it’s important to avoid using normal glass cleaners that contain ammonia or other harsh chemicals. Instead, look for a cleaner that’s specifically designed for use on mirrors or that’s labeled as safe for use on reflective surfaces.

When cleaning your mirrors, be sure to use a soft, lint-free cloth that won’t scratch or damage the surface. Microfibre cloths are a great choice, as they’re gentle and effective at picking up dirt and grime.

If you do notice any damage to your mirrors, such as black spots or a loss of clarity, it’s best to consult with a professional mirror repair service. They can assess the damage and recommend the best course of action to restore your mirror to its former glory.

Our Mary Mirror Bright Range by CRL has been specifically developed to prevent the blackening of mirrors whilst allso giving you a streak free finish!

STM also offer mirror covers for our rollaway range – made out of black wool fabric they are a great solution to protect your mirror and also keep it clean.


While it may be tempting to use normal cleaners on your mirrors, it’s important to remember that they can cause long-term damage. By using a cleaner specifically designed for mirrors and taking care to use a soft cloth, you can keep your mirrors looking beautiful for years to come.

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