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How to Clean a Cloudy Mirror

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    LESLIE: Lil in Arizona is calling in with a patio door question. Tell us what’s going on.

    LIL: Well, actually, it’s not a patio door. It’s a sliding, glass mirror door for a closet.

    TOM: Oh, OK.

    LESLIE: Oh, OK.

    LIL: OK. And well I have – I had stored them underneath the bed for about a year and I put them back up and now one of them is cloudy and I can’t get the cloudiness off of it. What do you suggest?

    TOM: Huh. Well, I wonder if the mirror surface is deteriorating because, you know, when the back of the mirror starts to go, that’s what causes that fade to start to form. So it sounds to me like one of the mirrors is deteriorating. If it’s nothing on top of it and it’s looking cloudy, then the mirror material itself is going.

    LIL: Well, the other one – they’re both stored together and they were both stored with a blanket. And I looked at the back side of the mirrored door and I see no bubbles or nothing that would make me think that it is – has deteriorated. I just wondered if there was something on the surface that I could use that might help restore this or …

    TOM: Well, the question is this: is the deterioration – is the cloudiness on the surface or is it underneath? If it’s on the surface, you should be able to clean it with any type of a strong glass cleaner. If it’s underneath – if it’s the mirror material itself that’s breaking down – then you’re not going to be able to clean it, Lil.

    LIL: Alright. Sounds like I need to buy a new mirror.

    LESLIE: And you know what the other thing is, if you see any sort of, in addition to the cloudiness, almost like a brownish or a blackish mark through the mirror, that could be an adhesive issue to where they attached the mirror to the frame, because there’s a certain adhesive that you’re supposed to use for mirrors rather than anything else. And so if they used the wrong thing, that could cause it to break down.

    Have you tried white vinegar at all, just to see if that does anything?

    LIL: I’ve tried white – I’ve tried everything I could possible get a hold of and nothing seems to be clearing up …

    TOM: I think it’s time for a new mirror.

    LIL: OK. Thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 

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