If you’ve ever visited an antique store, you already know that time often isn’t kind to mirrors. From scratches to discolored edges — called desilvering — mirrors can easily show their age if not well cared for. Luckily, with a few intentional best practices, you can keep your mirrors looking as good as new for many, many years to come.

bathroom mirror

Here’s a round up of our best advice for extending the longevity of your mirror:

1. Choose your cleaner wisely

Certain cleaners can be harmful to your mirror and are best avoided. Particularly abrasive cleaners can even damage the surface and edges of your mirror. Steer clear of acidic or alkali cleaners and avoid using any cleaner that contains a heavy ammonia base. For alternatives, check out this list of natural cleaners or, for a budget-friendly option, consider making your own.

2. Keep the edges of your mirror dry

Desilvering is caused by moisture getting trapped under the edges of your mirror, which can damage the protective coating and cause black spots or discoloring. While this is an increased risk for mirrors located in bathrooms due to increased moisture from steam, ensuring that the joints and edges of your mirror stay dry can help minimize long-term moisture effects.

desilvering on mirrors

3. Avoid spraying cleaner directly on the mirror

Similarly, it’s important to avoid getting an excess of cleaner on your mirror since it can easily drain to those edges. To safeguard against this problem, spray your cleaner onto a cloth instead of directly on the glass.

4. Use soft cleaning clothes, ideally microfiber

While microfiber will help minimize streaking, it’s most important to ensure you use a soft cloth that doesn’t have the potential to scratch your mirror’s surface. Textured or “scrubbing” cleaning clothes are too abrasive for the vulnerable glass surface of a mirror.

5. Protect the edges with a frame

In addition to giving your mirror a more polished look, adding a frame can also help secure the edges. Plus, as a bonus, if your mirror already has mild desilvering damage, a frame can help cover it up.

adding an add a frame mirror

These five simple tips are easily integrated into your mirror care routine, but can make a big difference in the life of your mirror. You’ll thank us in a few years when your mirror looks good as new.

Ready to protect those edges? Shop our Add A Frame® collection.