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How to Clean Mirrors Without Streaks (In Under 5 Minutes)

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Cleaning a bathroom is not a fun chore, but seeing streaks on the mirror after the cleaning process can feel very defeating. Here’s a few quick techniques to get your mirrors streak free every time.

Blue flat weave microfiber cloth cleaning bathroom mirror in gray bathroom.

I’m including a few different ways to take care of general smudges, fingerprints, and streaks. Find that one that suits your needs and preferences best.

Get more cleaning tips for the home here. If you want detailed tips for cleaning an entire bathroom go here.

Why Do My Mirrors Streak When I Clean Them?

Before we dive into how to clean the mirrors, let’s discuss why you often find streaks on mirrors.

Oftentimes, streaks on mirrors are a result of using incorrect cleaning products. Soaps and glass cleaners with lots of scents and additives can leave behind residues or an unsightly film that is just as unpleasant as a dusty mirror.

Other times streaks are caused by just spreading gunk, such as toothpaste, makeup, hairspray, or other oily substances, around when cleaning.

Because of this, it is important to spot clean the grime areas and any noticeable debris prior to doing an all over clean. It will save you time in the end!

Best Way to Clean Mirrors

I’ll get into my recommended cleaning supplies in a bit, but first, let’s talk technique.

Regardless of if you are using commercial glass cleaner or a homemade recipe for glass and windows, the technique you use can make all the difference.

I prefer to use a microfiber cloth, regardless of the cleaning agents used on your bathroom mirrors. Cotton rags tend to not be lint-free and can create another mess you’ll need to wipe away later.

1. Spot Clean Any Obvious Debris

First, remove any obvious dirt or particles from the surface of the mirror using a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad or similar. 

Spot clean that before doing an all over cleaning! Be certain to get any debris from the corner of the mirrors as well. 

By doing this simple step, you can avoid smearing oils and/or grime all over the mirror’s surface.

2. Clean Entire Surface in Side-to-Side Motions

Start with a dry microfiber cloth. Spray the cleaner directly on a flat weave microfiber cloth versus the mirror surface. This will keep the cleaner from dripping behind the mirror or accumulating in the corners.

Begin cleaning at the top corner (right corner or left corner, doesn’t matter) and move your cloth side to side. 

Work your way down in a slight zig zag pattern to the bottom of the mirror.

Avoid wiping in a circular motion as this can cause static electricity. You want to avoid this as dust will simply stick to it!

Homemade Glass Cleaner

How do I clean a window or mirror without leaving streaks using using no commercial cleaning products?

With the right products, you can make an effective cleaning solution with items you likely already have at home AND have a streak-free mirror.

There are many different recipes for glass cleaners out there. But this simple solution has worked well for me.

Glass Cleaning Recipe

Combine equal parts white vinegar with distilled water. Mix ingredients thoroughly in spray bottle and you are set!

As mentioned above, spray the liquid solution directly on your cloth and you are ready to clean the mirrors.

If you prefer a homemade cleaning solution that is made with more natural products, give this a try. 

Keep in mind for very dirty mirrors, vinegar and water might have some difficulty cutting through the film and grime. This makes the spot cleaning of oil spots and noteable debris very important.

I am a big fan of using vinegar when able. I talk more about cleaning toilets and showers with vinegar on previous blog posts.

Which Commercial Glass Cleaner Works Well?

My favorite glass and window cleaner is Sprayway Glass Cleaner. I’ve been using it for years and have had good success with it.

Sprayway Glass Cleaner sitting  on blue microfiber cloth on granite counter by bathroom mirror.

It is ammonia free and does a much better job than Windex and many other commercial glass cleaners, in my opinion.

In addition to mirrors, it works great on windows and glass, including shower doors with soap scum buildup and for removing film on the inside of car windshields.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Mirrors

There are a few products and items I suggest avoiding when it comes to cleaning your mirrors:

  • Paper towels (can leave behind lint and cause scratches)
  • Tissues (can leave behind lint and cause scratches)
  • Dish soap (can oftentimes leave cloudy residue or film)

Using harsh chemicals, too much moisture, or unnecessary scrubbing can lead to scratches or worse yet, stains on your mirror as well. 

Keep it simple with the technique I described above and you will have a clean and beautiful mirror.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove streaks from mirrors?

To remove streaks from mirrors, you must use the proper cleaning technique. Begin with a flat weave microfiber cloth. Spray the glass cleaner directly on the cloth then begin wiping in a side to side motion, starting at the top corner of the mirror. Continue wiping downward in a zig zag motion until the mirror is clean and streak-free.

How do you avoid smears when cleaning mirrors?

To avoid smears when cleaning mirrors, it is important to spot clean any oily spots or grime first. To do this, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad to remove the debris, then clean the mirror as outlined above.

House cleaning doesn’t have to be an impossible chore. 

Few of us love the process, but if we have simple solutions to get it right the first time, it can save us a lot of hassle. Happy Cleaning!

Pin to your favorite Pinterest Board!

Yield: clean mirror

How to Clean Mirrors Without Leaving Streaks

Blue microfiber cloth cleaning a bathroom mirror with sun streaming through sheer curtains in background.

Follow these techniques to clean your mirrors and have a beautiful streak-free end result!

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Estimated Cost under $5


  • Glass cleaner of choice
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol


  1. Spot clean and noteable oily spots or grime with rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad. This will help avoid smearing any oily debris to rest of mirror.
  2. Spray cleaning solution directly onto microfiber cloth. Starting in top corner, wipe side to side.
  3. Work your way down mirror in zig zag pattern. Avoid circular motion as this can cause static electricity.


For natural cleaning solution for mirrors: mix equal parts white vinegar with distilled water in spray bottle. Mix well

For commercial grade glass cleaner, I recommend Sprayway Glass cleaner.

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