What makes an old  mirror so cool?

Vintage Mirrors
Old Mirror Collection

They come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Old vintage mirrors can be elegant, like the floor length in a ladies bedroom or the ornate ones above a beautiful buffet. When I was a wedding photographer, one of my favorite moments to capture was a bride in the mirror before the ceremony.

They can be spooky like the ones in the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. I admit this is one of our “must do’s” every time we visit. We can’t wait to see who is in the mirror with us. Creepy right?

Old Vintage Antique mirrir
Disney Haunted Mansion Mirror

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. And I wonder if that is true, does it mean that we can look deeply within ourselves while gazing at our reflection in the mirror?  I am usually doing a quick check or trying to “fix” something specific while I am in front of the mirror. I don’t know that I have ever looked deeply into my own eyes…

I put this post together because I want to show you a trick that worked for me when I was trying to clean an old vanity mirror. It had some foggy areas and some gunky areas. I tried glass cleaner. I rubbed hard, tried saturating it more with what is supposed to be blue liquid magic. But it wasn’t working. I looked up some old “wives tricks.”

What you need:

  • a dirty old mirror
  • paper towels
  • glass cleaner
  • regular old shaving cream (the new magic ingredient)

Step 1 : Clean the mirror with regular glass cleaner. It’s safe to assume you already tried this and it didn’t work and so you have come here for help. Can you see the gunk in the corner? It is a residue of some kind. Possibly from furniture polish over the years when the previous owner was cleaning the wood vanity.

dirty old mirror
How To: Clean an old Mirror


Step 2: Squirt regular shaving cream onto the affected area. I used Men’s Nivea gel because that is what we had. I got carried away and squirted enough to do a floor length mirror I think.

Step 3: In a circular motion buff the area. If you added to much don’t worry. Have some fun rubbing it in. Add a clean paper towel as needed. The more you swirl the paper towel around, the cleaner you will see it is becoming. Make sure you remove all of the shaving cream. Please note there were some little pieces of residue that didn’t come up while I was polishing with the paper towel. I found that the shaving cream had loosened them and I was able to lift them with my fingernail.

Step 4: Spray with the blue glass cleaner and do a final shine.

Just a little PSA: I am not an expert and I cannot guarantee this will work for you. But it worked for me. If you have an expensive heirloom or high value piece, consider taking it to a professional. This is just an easy DIY Old Mirror cleaning tutorial to try in a pinch.


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