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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.