Accidents happen. Your mirrors can be scratched in many ways, for example when you are moving, cleaning, or the kids might have decided to have some fun with them. The big question is, how to remove scratches from mirrors then? Can they be saved?
Mirrors are meant to provide us with an accurate reflection of ourselves, and also act as an aesthetic piece to decorate a room, But when they get scratches, all of that goes out the window. I really hate it even if there is just a tiny hairline scratch which can be super distracting.
If your mirror has a large crack, then it might be time to get a new one or visit a professional who can provide a fix.
If there are only light scratches, there are some home remedies that might be able to help you out. Take note that a scratch is a permanent thing, and the methods shown here can help to reduce their impact but not completely remove them.
In this article, we will look at the best ways to remove those ugly scratches from your beloved mirrors.
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How to remove scratches from mirrors: 6 DIY fixes
Mirrors are made of glass, and in that sense, we can apply similar methods for removing scratches from glass on mirrors too.
Over the years, I have tried and tested a number of ways and have gotten pretty positive results from all of them. Be mindful though that we are dealing with light scratches and not those that seem almost like a crack line.
You may try out the following steps individually or combine them if you cannot get one to work. Before you start though, always make sure to clean the mirror thoroughly. I always recommend that you use a microfiber cloth to do the task as it is quite common to have one in most households. Or alternatively, I would invest in a polishing kit that can be used for not just mirrors but windows as well.
1. Rubbing toothpaste on the mirror
This is probably the most traditional method that has stood the test of time. It probably came from someone’s grandma whose grandma taught them this method.
Before you start using the toothpaste, clean the surface with a dry cloth. You do not want any residue or particles that might further scratch the mirror.
With a regular toothpaste like Colgate (you should not use the gel type), squeeze a tiny amount onto a damp microfiber cleaning cloth.
Rub the affected area in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.
Use a different cloth or a clean part of your first cloth to wipe the toothpaste off. You should see that the scratches look faint now as the abrasive content of the toothpaste is able to smoothen the surface.
Repeat a couple of times for better results.
The next time you spot a scratch on your bathroom mirror, you know how to take immediate action to restore it.
2. Baking soda
This white powder is like magic. You use it for so many purposes in and out of the house, from getting rid of stains to getting rid of garlic smells on your fingers.
In a way similar to toothpaste, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) contains tiny abrasive particles that make them especially good at cleaning. In this case, it makes it great for smoothing out the scratches on a mirror.
You will need to make a paste by mixing equal parts baking soda and water. The paste should have a thick consistency.
With a microfiber cloth, you can now start working on the scratched area.
What I’ll do is to wrap the cloth around my index finger and then dap a bit of the paste.
Using a circular motion, rub the area for about 30 seconds and give it a check. You should start to see that the scratches are less obvious now.
Repeat this process several times for the best effect.
3. Use liquid pumice soap
Another useful product that you can find around the house for this situation is liquid pumice soap. In case you are not familiar with this term, it is essentially soap that is made with pumice (a type of volcanic rock) so that they have an abrasive element to it which is useful for getting rid of dirt and grime.
So people might call it exfoliate, but in actual fact, they are not as rough so they can be used on mirrors too.
Following the steps described above, you can dip your hand towel into a bit of liquid pumice soap and start rubbing the affected area for about a minute or so. Check regularly to see its progress and keep on doing it until you can see that the scratches are cleared.
4. Vinegar and mustard paste
Not all mirrors are made the same. If you inspect 10 different mirrors, you will find that the ingredients used to manufacture them will be slightly different, and that is why certain things like toothpaste might not work that well for clearing away scratches.
If you find that your trusty toothpaste is not solving the problem, you might want to try out using a vinegar and mustard solution.
This method might also appeal to you since it uses only natural ingredients which are commonly available in a household.
You will just half a teaspoon of white vinegar and half a teaspoon of mustard for this job.
Mix the two together to form a paste of sorts and rub this paste on the scratched part with a microfiber cloth.
Wipe it off to inspect and continue doing so until the scratch clears off.
5. Clear nail polish
This ingredient should be readily available in your household and you will be surprised how effective it is as a cleaning agent and for removing scratches, especially slightly deeper ones.
The nail polish is able to fill some of the cavities caused by the scratches and thus “restore” the mirror surface.
What you will need to do here is wipe down the mirror to ensure it is clear of dirt and dust.
Next, apply a layer of nail polish with a nail polish applicator and leave it to air for about an hour.
Repeat this step if you find that it is insufficient to cover the scratch.
Once you are satisfied with your work, use a nail polish remover to clean away the stains by the side of the scratch and wipe down to reveal a “brand new” mirror!
6. Buff with metal or jewelry polish
This last step requires a little more work, but it is probably one of the most effective ways to remove scratches from a mirror.
You do not need a buffing machine, just your good old finger in this case.
Jewelry polish compound contains an ingredient known as cerium oxide and this chemical contains an abrasive that can remove light scratches very well. This is also commonly used by professional jewelers to clean gemstones, metal jewelry and precious stones.
What you need to do is to prep your mirror for the cleaning job by wiping it down with some lukewarm water.
This will get rid of any dirt, grime, and dust.
Leave it to dry for a short while before starting.
Squeeze a tiny drop of the jewelry polish onto a microfiber cloth and start rubbing in circles.
DO NOT use an excessive amount of polish as it can cause damage. A drop is plenty.
Wipe down with a damp clean cloth and you will see the polish has worked its magic.
Are there other methods to remove mirror scratches?
As far as I know, the above methods have served me well over the years. You might call me obsessive compulsive but I really dislike imperfection on my mirrors so I do what I can to get rid of them.
In some extreme cases, I have heard of people who try to resilver their mirrors. I believe this is only required if you are trying to restore an antique mirror, otherwise, it is simply not worth the trouble.
We have lots of articles related to wall mirrors in our blog so do check them out! You can find wall mirror ideas for the bathroom, picking the right mirrors, and outdoor garden mirror ideas among many others!
Lasly, before you go, be sure to download your list of free wall art printables too!