Why Is My Bathroom Mirror Turning Black?

A bathroom mirror turning black occurs when its thin silver layer wears away over many years of use and humidity. This causes the dark backing material to shine through, making the mirror seem dull or dirty. Over time, the silver coating rubbing off is what leads to the discoloration called a bathroom mirror turning black.

Do you notice any dark spots on your mirror? Are there black, rust-like stains on it? Sometimes mirrors get dark spots on the sides or in the middle because the silver backing gets damaged from moisture.

A mirror turning black may metaphorically mean that whatever light previously shone from within has gone dim or been extinguished. It becomes an omen, a warning that all is not well internally and that some shadows have overtaken one’s essence. 

What causes the mirror to discolour?

Mirrors in bathrooms can sometimes lose their silver coating, a process known as desilvering. This happens because the mirrors face a lot of moisture, and the water can get inside, separating the glass from the silver backing. 

When this bond breaks, the silver layer can come off, resulting in black spots or edges on the mirror. Desilvering can also occur as mirrors age, from using the wrong glass cleaners, or if there are issues with how they were made.

What is Mirror desilvering?

What is Mirror desilvering?

Desilvering happens when an old mirror gets damaged by water. It’s when the back of the mirror wears down, and you end up with dark spots that turn into black edges. People also call it mirror rot, water damage, oxidation, or tarnishing. This issue often shows up in bathroom mirrors because the air there has lots of moisture from baths and hot showers. 

The moisture can seep into the mirror edge or cause rust if it drips down the mirror. While this worn look might be nice on an old mirror, it’s not what you’d want for modern ones. If you’re dealing with excess moisture in other rooms, you might want to check out my posts on managing condensation and using a dehumidifier to help with the issue.

How to prevent desilvering?

  • A good method involves preventing water from splashing onto the bathroom mirror excessively. 
  • Wipe the mirror’s edges dry after brushing your teeth or washing your face. 
  • Installing a dehumidifier in your bathroom can also assist in regulating moisture levels. 
  • If the mirror is positioned at a lower height, think about relocating it to minimize splashes, particularly during face washing or teeth brushing.

What to do if your mirror is desilvering?

What to do if your mirror is desilvering?


If there are dark spots on the edge of the mirror, you can add a personalized frame to cover the damage. Yet, this won’t resolve the issue, and the silver backing will still deteriorate.


The idea of resilvering is to make the mirror look like it did when it was new. Finding someone to do resilvering is not easy. There are a couple of reasons why it’s not a good idea to resilver. First, it can be expensive and take a long time.

Also, the mirror might get damaged when it’s being transported. Because of these issues, resilvering might not be the best choice for many people. It’s worth considering if you have an old or special mirror.

But if the mirror doesn’t mean much to you, why spend time and money on resilvering? You could just get a new piece of custom-cut mirror glass, and it would be quicker and cheaper.

Replacing the mirror

A mirror that looks dull instead of bright needs replacing when desilvering. Take down the old frame, measure the space, get a new mirror of the same dimensions, and hang it with mounts to bring back clear reflections where blurriness appeared before.

How to Avoid Black Edges on Your Bathroom Mirror

How to Avoid Black Edges on Your Bathroom Mirror

When hanging a new bathroom mirror, take steps to prevent black edges. Measure and cut cardboard or backing paper exactly to the mirror size. Place this firmly behind before hanging. This ensures pressure evenly across the whole back.

Use mirror hanging clips specifically for the mirror weight, not regular picture hangers. Regular hangers may cause sagging over time. Check your new mirror periodically for any bowing or pressure points.

Tightening or adjusting hangers as needed keeps silver contact evenly. Inspect edges regularly for signs of blackening starting to appear at pressure points. Catching it early allows simple fixes like readjusting hangers before it worsens.


How do you fix a blackened mirror?

To fix a blackened mirror, remove it and replace with a new one.

What does it mean when a mirror turns black?

When a mirror turns black, it symbolizes something dark within one’s inner self.

How to repair a mirror with mirror paint

Repairing a mirror with mirror paint involves cleaning, priming, and carefully painting the back surface.


The bathroom mirror turning black puzzled you for some time. Now you understand what causes mirrors to desilver and lose their clear reflection. With age, the thin layer of silver on the back wears away. Over years of moisture and use, this leaves the dark backing visible through.

Recognizing this issue provides the solution. Replacing the old mirror restores the bathroom to having a bright, non-blackened mirror once more. A new mirror takes not long to hang and prevents further blackening from occurring.

You face no more confusion about a Bathroom Mirror Turning Black going forward. Equipped with this knowledge, any future signs of desilvering can be quickly addressed before it advances.

Leave a Comment