Acrylic mirrors are lightweight mirrors made of a durable type of plastic typically used in residential and commercial applications. They are excellent alternatives to glass mirrors as they can be curved, bent, and drilled onto the wall. This makes acrylic mirrors generally more resistant to impact, hence why they’re preferred.
Despite the variety of benefits acrylic mirrors offer, they are typically more prone to scratches than glass mirrors. Therefore, it’s important to clean them safely and select appropriate cleaning solutions in order to avoid permanently damaging them.
In this comprehensive guide, we will teach you the safest methods to clean your acrylic mirrors without scratching the surface and ensuring that they will last for years to come.
1. Clear the Surrounding Area
The first step to cleaning your acrylic mirror is to clear its surrounding area completely. Remove all items from the sink if the acrylic mirror is in your bathroom, or clear away all accessories and makeup items if the acrylic mirror is on your vanity table.
Clearing the surrounding area will make the cleaning process much easier and help you prevent any damage to your personal belongings. It’ll also avoid any missteps that may lead to falls or accidents.
We recommend placing all items that you remove in a cardboard box for your convenience and to prevent losing them. Doing this will also make it easier when it’s time to place them back on the sink or vanity table.
2. Wipe Away Any Dust
Before cleaning the acrylic mirror with any appropriate cleaning solutions, you will first need to remove the dust and dirt that has settled on it. We suggest that you only use a lint-free cloth to do this as it will help prevent scratches on the acrylic mirror and avoid more dust from sticking to its surface.
It’s best to avoid using your bare hands to swipe the dust away from the mirror, as it will have the opposite effect and deposit more dust and grime onto it. You should also avoid using tissue paper to clean your acrylic mirror because tiny tissue paper fibers will stick to its surface, making it look unclean.
3. Select & Apply an Appropriate Cleaning Solution
Acrylic mirrors are more susceptible to turning cloudy when using the wrong cleaning solution. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right product to prevent ruining its appearance, which can impact its functionality.
Here’s how you can maintain the look of your acrylic using a specific acrylic solution or a simple homemade solution. The store-bought product is highly recommended if you’re looking for a quick clean while the homemade solution is an all-natural way to clean your acrylic mirrors.
Off-The-Shelf Acrylic Cleaner
Cleaning acrylic mirrors with a dedicated cleaning product designed for use on acrylic is the easiest, safest, and most convenient cleaning method. Since the product is specifically designed to be used for acrylic surfaces, it is non-abrasive and ensures that the mirror won’t be damaged.
While you’re able to choose from any suitable cleaning products, we highly recommend using the Blue Ribbon Plexi-Clean Acrylic and Plastic Cleaner for acrylic mirrors since it is safe to use on acrylic and comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle.
It has a fantastic anti-static formula that removes grime and grease, keeps dust away, and gives a streak-free shine to the acrylic mirror.
To use a store-bought acrylic cleaner simply follow the steps below:
- Spray a small amount of the product onto a dry microfiber cloth.
- Using the lightly dampened cloth and begin wiping the acrylic mirror in small circular motions using light pressure. You may need to apply a little more pressure on smudges and tougher stains.
- Keep repeating this step until the acrylic mirror is completely clean.
- Wipe the acrylic mirror again with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any excess product.
Mild Liquid Detergent & Warm Water Solution
If you don’t want to buy a dedicated cleaning solution for your acrylic mirror, you can use an affordable and effective homemade solution instead. All you need is a few simple ingredients to create the cleaning solution.
First, prepare your tools and ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A bucket
- A mild liquid detergent
- Some lukewarm water
Start by mixing one part of mild liquid detergent with three parts of lukewarm water in a bucket. Then, take a clean microfiber cloth and soak it with the liquid detergent solution in the bucket.
Wring the cloth and squeeze out any excess liquid before wiping the acrylic mirror with the damp cloth. You’ll want to wipe in a to-and-fro motion (like a windshield wiper) until the mirror is spotless.
Lastly, to dry your mirror, take a chamois leather cloth (or a dry microfiber cloth) and wipe the mirror gently. This will help to prevent streaking and static charge, preventing dust particles from sticking onto the acrylic mirror surface.
4. Let the Acrylic Mirror Dry
After wiping the acrylic mirror dry with a chamois leather or microfiber cloth, you will need to air dry it further. Once it’s fully dried, check to see if there are any light water marks or cleaning solution residue on the acrylic mirror.
If you notice any of these on the acrylic mirror, you can simply rub them away with a soft chamois leather cloth without repeating the entire cleaning process.
5. Put Your Items Back in Place
Once you have cleaned your acrylic mirror and it looks spotless and shiny, you’ll need to place the items back from where you removed them. However, we recommend that you clean the surrounding area of the bathroom sink or vanity with a dry cloth first.
Wipe off any water residue from the cleaning process with a clean and dry cloth. Then, transfer the items from the cardboard box onto your vanity table or sink. You can also give all your items a wipe before placing them in their original spots to remove any dust that they may have collected over time.
Once all items are clean, you can reorganize them on the sink or vanity table according to your preference. Reorganizing may take some time, but it will help you improve the look of the setting along with your clean acrylic mirror.
Dos & Don’ts When Cleaning Acrylic Mirrors
When it comes to cleaning mirrors, there are a few important dos and don’ts to keep in mind. Let’s explore them in more detail below.
- Clean Acrylic Mirrors Frequently: It is essential to clean acrylic mirrors regularly (at least once a month) to maintain their appearance. Frequent cleaning can prevent stains from hardening on the surface and keep dust from accumulating on the mirror. It also keeps acrylic mirrors from developing a cloudy surface that can be detrimental to their appearance and reflectivity in the long run.
- Only Use Lint-Free Cloths: We recommend only using microfiber cloths, also known as lint-free cloths, for cleaning acrylic mirrors. Lint-free clothes are non-abrasive, which means they will not leave scratches when you rub them on the mirror. They are also gentle enough to pick up every dust particle and can clean effectively without damaging the mirror’s surface.
- Don’t Use Harsh Chemical Cleaners: Common window and glass cleaners contain ammonia, turpentine, methylated spirits, and more, as key ingredients in their solutions. These ingredients are incredibly harmful for use on acrylic and can irreversibly damage its surface.
- Don’t Use Abrasive Tools: Sometimes, removing tough stains and hardened marks on acrylic mirrors with an acrylic cleaner or homemade cleaning solution may be challenging. However, avoid resorting to using scouring pads or abrasive sponges to clean these marks off acrylic mirrors. These cleaning tools can deeply scratch the acrylic surface and damage it permanently. Instead, you should let the solution sit on the acrylic surface for at least 10 minutes. After some time, you can scrub hardened stains with a lint-free cloth almost effortlessly.
- Don’t Use Heat to Dry Acrylic Mirrors: Acrylic mirrors should be air-dried properly without applying any heat. If you use a hair dryer on hot settings to dry your mirror, you may melt or deform the acrylic material. This can permanently damage your acrylic mirror, as any bending or warping may result in an unclear or distorted mirror image.
Sirinan is a self-proclaimed cleanaholic and the editor-in-chief of Cleaney. Apart from coming with up creative ways to keep her living spaces clean and tidy, she loves to read on rainy days.