Mirrors require special care when being cleaned. While the mirror surface is ordinary annealed glass (Annealing of glass is a process of slowly cooling hot glass objects after they have been formed, to relieve residual internal stresses introduced during manufacture.), the back of the mirror consists of a coat of silver, which causes the glass to reflect, and other backing coatings that protect the silver during production and installation. All of these are at risk of damage if they come into contact with excessive amounts of water or unsuitable cleaning materials. Some proprietary glass cleaners, if used to excess, can cause damage to the silvering. The result is deterioration of the silver and unsightly black edges around the perimeter of the mirror which will eventually make replacement necessary. The safest way to clean a mirror is simply to wipe over the surface with a few drops of methylated spirits on a damp cloth. Polish the surface dry with a lint-free cloth. Make certain when cleaning the face of the mirror that there is no contact with the silver backing, particularly at the edge of the glass and be careful to keep any moisture away from the paint backing of the mirror. Do everything possible to ensure that the cleaning cloths used are free of any abrasives.
Recommendations when considering applications of mirror
- The mirror storage area ought to be dry and adequately ventilated.
- High humidity and heat, as well as chemical fumes, may damage the mirror.
- Store mirrors vertically; do not lay mirrors flat.
- Always use gloves when handling mirrors
- Mount mirrors to the wall with an air space behind. This provides ventilation for the backing of the mirror and, thus, inhibits corrosion processes. Avoid the edges of the mirror from being in contact with stagnant liquids, such as pools of condensation or back-splashes of water from a sink
- If using silicones to mount mirrors, care should be taken to ensure that the silicone is compatible with the protective backing on the mirror
- Any kind of adhesives should be applied in a manner where the mirror is fully backed as per Australian Standards AS1288
- We recommend that all mirrors to be anchor fixed in such away that the mirror can be replaced safely if required