Tips For Cleaning Cloudy Glass Or Mirror

A cloudy glass or mirror refers to a pane of glass or surface of a mirror that has become opaque or frosted in appearance due to small particles or imperfections developing on its surface over time. When glass or a mirror becomes cloudy, the smooth and clear surface is disrupted by tiny breaks, impurities, or moisture deposits that scatter light when it reflects or passes through. 

This causes objects viewed through the cloudy surface to seem blurry or obscured rather than clearly defined. As a result, cloudy glass or a mirror no longer serves its intended purpose of providing an unobstructed view through transparency or a clear reflection, diminishing its functionality until the clouding is repaired or the material is replaced.

Glass Cleaning Hacks

Should your mirror lack a distinct reflection, it might be an opportune moment for a thorough cleaning. This article delves into the causes of cloudy mirror cloudiness and offers effective cleaning methods to maintain its gleaming appearance.

What causes mirrors to get cloudy or foggy?

What causes mirrors to get cloudy or foggy?

There are various factors that can contribute to the deterioration of mirrors. One common cause is the build-up of dirt and a lack of regular maintenance. Another factor to consider is desilvering, a phenomenon where mirrors, consisting of glass with a silver backing, may develop black spots over time. 

When water penetrates the layer of silver and reaches the backing, it can result in the formation of dark spots either along the edges or in the central portion of the mirror. Improper cleaning techniques can accelerate the process of desilvering. 

It’s essential to note that environmental factors such as humidity levels and exposure to direct sunlight can also contribute to the degradation of mirrors. High humidity can facilitate moisture infiltration, while prolonged exposure to sunlight may accelerate the overall wear and tear of the reflective coating.

What do you need to clean cloudy glass or mirror?

What do you need to clean cloudy glass or mirror?

Microfiber cloth, jeweler’s rouge or shaving cream, rubbing alcohol, cotton pad, and either glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water are essential for mirror cleaning.

It is crucial to note that newspapers are not recommended for effective cleaning, as they can leave ink residue and streak marks. Avoid using paper towels and terry cloths on mirrors, and refrain from spraying glass cleaners directly onto the mirror surface.

3 effective ways to clean cloudy glass or mirrors

Application of Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar/Glass Cleaner

  • Apply rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad and gently rub it over the stains. Ensure swift cleaning, as the alcohol evaporates quickly.
  • Spritz glass cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water onto the cloth; avoid direct spraying on the mirror to prevent tarnish marks.
  • Employ a microfiber cloth in an S pattern for glass cleaning commence from the top left corner and smoothly drag the cloth to the right corner. Opt for a zigzag pattern over circular motions.
  • When facing the mirror directly, stains may be less noticeable. To identify and address stains, view the mirror at a 45-degree angle and conduct spot-cleaning as necessary.

Shaving Cream

  • Apply shaving cream onto a microfiber cloth and use an S pattern to wipe the mirror. 
  • Repeat the procedure to guarantee a flawless mirror.

Jewellers Rouge or Polishing Rouge

Alternatively known as red rouge, this product is found in nearby stores and proves effective in rejuvenating old, cloudy mirrors. Offered in various forms such as fine powder, paste, or stick, it provides versatility in application. 

Simply apply the jeweler’s rouge to the stains, then wipe with a clean microfiber cloth until the blemishes vanish. When conventional methods fall short, jeweler’s rouge excels at tackling stubborn stains on glass.

Preventing Cloudy Mirrors

Preventing Cloudy Mirrors

Never use multi-purpose cleansers on mirrors:

If you’ve used a multi-purpose cleanser, furniture polish, or goo-removing cleanser on your mirror, it may leave a residue, causing it to become cloudy. Stick to cleaning with vinegar, shaving cream, or a commercial glass cleanser.

Note that some commercial glass cleansers are heavily diluted and may not be as effective as pure vinegar.

Avoid spraying cleanser or water directly onto the mirror

If a liquid is sprayed onto the mirror, it may drip towards the mirror’s edges and seep into the backing. Damage to the backing can result in a cloudy or hazy appearance of the mirror.

“If you opt to directly spray the bathroom mirror cleaner onto the mirror, place some towels below it beforehand. This will catch any dripping liquid and safeguard your surfaces from potential damage.”

Wipe the mirrors with microfiber or soft cotton

Wipe the mirrors with microfiber or soft cotton

While the impulse may arise to grab a roll of paper towels, they tend to deposit lint on the mirror’s surface. Opt for a fabric material like microfiber or extremely soft cotton instead, as these won’t leave streaks or lint.

Keep multiple microfiber cloths readily available to switch to a clean one as soon as the current cloth becomes soiled.


  • If you opt for the shaving cream technique while cleaning a bathroom mirror, it can effectively prevent fogging for several weeks. 
  • In case the mirror remains cloudy despite these efforts, it’s possible that the damage lies in the back of the mirror, necessitating replacement. Explore local mirror repair services that offer resilvering for the back of the mirror.


What causes cloudy spots on glass?

Hard water deposits are often the culprit, and they can be removed with a solution of vinegar and water.

Is it advisable to use paper towels for cleaning cloudy glass?

Avoid using paper towels, as they may leave lint behind; opt for a microfiber or soft cotton cloth instead.

Can I prevent future cloudiness on glass surfaces?

Apply a protective coating of a vinegar-water solution regularly to ward off hard water stains and maintain clarity.

How frequently should I clean cloudy glass or mirrors?

Clean as needed, but having multiple microfiber cloths on hand allows you to switch to a fresh one when the current cloth becomes dirty.


In conclusion, keeping glass and mirrors free from cloudiness is manageable with the right approach. By using a mixture of vinegar and water along with a soft microfiber cloth, you can effectively remove stubborn stains and restore clarity to your surfaces. Remember to avoid using paper towels, as they tend to leave lint behind, which can worsen the cloudy appearance.

Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule and applying a protective coating of the vinegar-water solution can help prevent future buildup of hard water stains, ensuring that your glass and mirrors remain sparkling clean. With these simple tips and practices, you can enjoy clear and gleaming glass surfaces throughout your home or workspace.

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