The Causes of Foggy and Cloudy Antique Mirrors


Everyone loves the sparkle of a fresh new designer mirror in their home. Having a new mirror is like having a shining portal in your home that exudes a sense of wonder and excitement where previously there was none.

Of course, as time wears on, the gleam of a brand new mirror has a habit of fading and losing the luster it once gave to a room in the home. So, in a way, losing that sense of “newness” contributes to the lack of sparkle, but there are other ways that a mirror can lose its gleam. So, if you think you’re imagining things when you look at your antique mirror and feel slightly underwhelmed, then fear not because you’re not.

In today’s blog, we’re going to explore the reasons why mirrors look foggier over time and what you can do to prevent them from losing their shine.

Read on!

The Cause

Noa Gold Sunburst Wall Mirror 31 Inch

Ultimately, the cause of fogginess on a mirror is pretty simple—dust and similar build-ups over time from a sheet over the reflective surface. If left for long enough, this dust can become embedded in the mirror itself. This makes the prospect of cleaning your mirror much harder over time and can lead to a permanent loss of shine as a result.

Similarly, damage to the back of a mirror can lead to a degradation of the reflective surface. Most backings are designed to protect the mirror from this very problem as buildups and exposure can often degrade the inside of the mirror’s inner surfaces.

In bathrooms, the most common causes for damage to your mirror usually occur due to exposure to moisture. Steam from showers can degrade the frame if the materials haven’t been properly sealed to protect from moisture. In addition, splashes onto the surface of the mirror from brushing your teeth or similar activities can lead to a loss of shine. Minerals can travel via water droplets to the reflective surface and embed themselves into the mirror as the water droplets dry.


In most cases, taking a micro-fiber cloth or kitchen towel and wiping your mirror regularly can be enough to protect it from losing its shine. Regular wiping disrupts the dust and makes it harder to settle on the surface.

Using a vinegar solution spray before wiping with a cloth is ideal. Vinegar can dissolve most forms of grime and grease that could land on the surface of your mirror while also evaporating quickly to prevent damage from exposure moisture.

When to Call It Quits

If your mirror is still looking foggy and unappealing even after regular maintenance, it may be a matter of the damage to the backing. In most cases, the backing can be repaired well enough to prevent further fogginess. However, in some scenarios, when the mirror’s support has been compromised, it might be time to consider looking for a replacement piece.

If you would like some more help choosing the perfect mirror for your home, don't be afraid to give our team at West Mirrors a call. Our friendly group of experts would be more than happy to provide some advice and recommendations!

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