Since vinegar is so effective at window cleaning, you'd think the same would go for mirrors. They're both glass, right? Mirrors use glass, but they have a silver backing which is sensitive to acid corrosion. If the vinegar seeps through the glass coating, it'll ruin your mirror's shine.
The best way to clean a mirror with vinegar is to make a solution of one part water to one part vinegar, 1:1. If you have hard water, opt for distilled water for best results. Place the 1:1 vinegar/water solution in a clean spray bottle, shake to mix it, and then spray onto a 100-percent cotton cloth.
Important: Vinegar is safe to use on windows and mirrors, but it can damage other materials due to acidity. Never use a vinegar cleaning solution on electronics (including on their glass screens). Don't use vinegar on granite or marble countertops or stone tile; instead, opt for a gentle Castile soap.
The biggest no-no when it comes to getting your mirrors clean is using paper towels. Paper towels are both single-use and leave teeny tiny bits of residue that can create an even bigger mess. In order to achieve a streak-free shine, use a microfiber cloth.
Mirrors use glass, but they have a silver backing which is sensitive to acid corrosion. If the vinegar seeps through the glass coating, it'll ruin your mirror's shine. To clean mirrors, you could instead use plain old Windex or another store-bought glass cleaner.
Plus, soapy cleaners leave behind a residue that may contribute to streaks, so avoid those as well. There's also a different type of mirror cloudiness that occurs when mirrors are exposed to excess moisture or abrasive cleaning products, which is usually referred to as "mirror rust".
A simple reason may be because of an accumulation of dirt and lack of maintenance. Another reason could be desilvering - mirrors are made of glass with a silver backing, and over time the mirror may begin to develop black spots. This is called desilvering and it usually happens due to moisture.
Spray a stronger mix of 1:1 water and vinegar (or Windex, or glass cleaner) at your window, so that the solution covers most of the glass. (I found Windex to work better, but if you have pets—or kids—who frequently lick outdoor windows, vinegar may be the best route for you.)
Several homemade cleaners can work effectively to leave sparkling glass. But for convenience and safety, the simple solution of white vinegar and distilled water is the best DIY window cleaner. It's non-toxic, unlike most commercial cleaners, and versatile enough for several cleaning projects around the house.
Vinegar's natural acidity cuts through grime and deters streaking, and it's safe around children and pets.
Typically, the layer between the glass and metal becomes separated when the edge of the mirror is regularly exposed to powerful chemicals, most commonly ammonia. Once the separation occurs, any moisture — even just steam from showering — can begin to cause the black spots to appear.
You probably know using an all-purpose cleaner isn't the best idea, since it'll make the glass cloudy. But even mirror-specific products like Windex, while effective at cleaning, can leave your mirror full of streaks because they contain so much soap.
Rubbing Alcohol Windex Alternative
(Rubbing alcohol is also a safe cleaning solution for stains and sticky messes.) Mix one cup distilled water, three tablespoons vinegar, and ¼ cup rubbing alcohol in a new spray bottle and label it. Shake up your glass cleaning solution and spray it on your glass.
Combine one cup water, one cup vinegar and a teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake gently to mix. Apply the solution directly to the mirror and let it sit for a few seconds. Wipe the spray on the mirror away with either a microfiber cloth or newspaper.
For a quick clean: Just use water
Add water to a spray bottle, and, starting from the top of the mirror, spritz the water on the surface and wipe in zig-zag motion to prevent streaking. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to buff out any remaining streaks.
Marble, granite, and other natural stones, like slate, whether used as home finishes, such as countertops, floors, and shower walls, or household goods like tabletops or serving pieces, should not be cleaned with vinegar.
The plastic and glass surfaces on most small kitchen appliances, such as blenders, coffee makers, and toasters, are safe to clean with vinegar, but you want to avoid any rubber parts or metal that vinegar can corrode. This includes stainless steel.
Vinegar does contain acetic acid so in theory yes, vinegar can dissolve aluminum if used in large amounts or for over extended periods of time. In many cases, if you do this, your aluminum ends up with a tarnished finished, possible corrosion and other problems with surface flaking.
This is another easy way to remove cloudiness from your mirrors. Simply pour some rubbing alcohol in a bowl and dip a cotton pad or cotton ball in it. Then use it to wipe the dirty and cloudy areas, but make sure to rub fast since alcohol dries quickly.