In order to avoid unnecessary damage to mirrors, it is important to clean and care for them properly. Much of the damage that occurs to mirrors (i.e. silver spoilage) is often easily preventable. If followed, the below guidelines will help prevent this damage from occurring to mirrors and possibly voiding the warranty.
Care & Cleaning: Clean mirrors properly to prevent damage
- The best and safest cleaner for a mirror is clean, warm water used with a soft, lint/grit-free cloth. Wring all water from the cloth before wiping mirror. Dry immediately with a dry, lint/grit-free cloth. Do not spray cleaners directly on the mirror. Always apply cleaners directly to the cloth and then wipe mirror. Do not ever hose down the mirror.
- Do not use commercial mirror cleaning products that contain ammonia, vinegar, acid or alkali cleaners. These substances can attack the front surface and edges as well as the backing of the mirror. No abrasive cleaners should ever be used on any mirror surface.
- After cleaning a mirror, make sure all joints and edges are dry so that no liquid or cleaner comes into contact with the edges and backing.
- Use oil-free steel wool, not solvents, to remove surface marks or stubborn dirt. Use of solvents can attack and damage edges and backing of mirrors.
While proper maintenance is important, sometimes installation can be the cause of eventual damage to mirrors. The below recommendations for best installation of mirrors will also help to ensure that mirrors remain damage-free and avoid silver spoilage.
Installation: Install mirrors correctly as per these guidelines
- Never install mirrors on unsealed plaster, masonry, or on a freshly painted wall until dried and/or properly sealed. Sprayed material, such as wall texture or adhesives for wall covering, should be completely cured before mirror installation.
- Mirrors should be installed with a breathing space behind them to promote air flow over the back of the mirror and prevent moisture condensation and entrapment.
- Never install a mirror in contact with a splash board or sink back, or permit edges of the mirror to be exposed to puddling conditions. Insist on at least 2/5" (10 mm) of space between the bottom edge of the mirror and other surfaces.
- If using adhesives, use those that are ‘neutral-cure’. Avoid adhesives containing strong solvents or acids like acetone, toluene, methylene chloride, acetic acid, etc.
- Do not install mirrors when airborne solvents or heavy-duty cleaners or chemicals are in the air. In humid climates, wait until air conditioning is operating before installation.
- Mirrors should be the last materials to be installed after final cleanup.