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How to Stop Your Bathroom Mirror from Rusting

The rust spots that appear on your bathroom mirrors can be unsightly. If left untreated, these rustic spots will eat away at your bathroom mirror until there’s nothing left.

What’s even worse is, once the rust appears, there’s no fixing it without the help of a professional.

Bathroom mirrors are prone to rusting because of excess moisture and dampness in the room. Thankfully, you can stop your bathroom mirror from rusting and keep it clear and spotless by managing your bathroom’s humidity levels and using protective and mirror cleaning products.

bathroom mirror

Why Is My Bathroom Mirror Rusting?

There can be two reasons for the ugly rust spots on your bathroom mirror – excessive moisture or harmful cleaning solution you’re using to clean the mirror.

Excess Moisture in the Air

Does your bathroom suffer from extreme condensation, especially after a hot, steamy shower? If you notice that your bathroom mirror often steams up after showering, that could be the reason why rusting starts.

If excess moisture is the problem, you’ll often see rust on the sides and corners of your bathroom mirror. This isn’t actually the mirror rusting, but instead, it’s the chrome component of your bathroom mirror. Chrome rusts when the moisture sneaks in, perhaps after your mirror gets scratched allowing moist air to seep in.

Mirror Rot or De-silvering

Another reason why there could be rust on your bathroom mirror is mirror rot or de-silvering. In the case of mirror rot, you see rusting or dark blots on the glass surface instead of only around the edges.

Mirror rot often happens for two reasons: moisture seeping into the back of the mirror or frequent use of ammonia-containing glass cleaners.

Ideally, mirrors come with a sealant that prevents moisture from coming in. But once there are scratches on the surface, that leaves the mirror vulnerable to moisture, which eventually results in rusting. Many mirror cleaning solutions can also damage the sealing finish of your mirror, especially those containing ammonia. Ammonia is a harsh chemical that strips off the mirror’s moisture and rust barrier.

Once the moisture in your bathroom seeps in, it causes the metal component of the mirror to oxidize and rust.

How to Prevent Your Bathroom Mirror from Rusting

If you’re worried about your bathroom mirror rusting, there are a few things you can do to preserve its pristine, rust-free condition.

Only Use Ammonia-Free Cleaning Products

The bad news is that when your bathroom mirror starts to rot you’re probably better off buying a new one. Although mirror de-silvering is still fixable, it’s not something you can easily DIY as it usually calls for replacing the mirror’s reflective plate and sealant.

So, before you have to deal with mirror rot, it’s best to prevent it from happening in the first place. There’s one easy way to do that – be careful about what cleaning solution you use on your bathroom mirror. Avoid cleaners with ammonia at all costs as it can weaken and remove the mirror’s protective sealant away.

Also, avoid using anything that contains strong chemicals and abrasives that can damage the mirror backing and cause moisture to seep in.

Avoid Using Spraying Cleaning Solutions Directly on the Bathroom Mirror

When cleaning your bathroom mirror, always play it safe. Avoid spraying the cleaning liquid directly onto the mirror as the liquid can run down the glass and penetrate the mirror seams and edges, damaging the chrome and mirror backing.

Instead, spray the cleaning solution on a clean, microfiber cloth, then use the cloth to wipe your mirror clean. This way, there’s no pooling of liquid on the edges of your mirror.

Always Keep the Mirror Dry

Another way to prevent your bathroom mirror from rusting is always keeping it dry and away from moisture. Wipe it dry using a clean microfiber towel when there is condensation after you shower.

Besides microfiber towels, you can also use a squeegee to quickly wipe down the mirror to remove any moisture on the surface.

Another thing, if your bathroom mirror sits right on top of the vanity, consider adding a silicone strip to seal the edge where your mirror touches the counter. You can also raise the mirror, so it doesn’t touch the vanity to avoid the water getting into the mirror whenever you use the faucet.

Manage Your Bathroom’s Humidity Levels

Lastly, you can manage your bathroom’s humidity levels and ensure no condensation or dampness damages your bathroom mirror. Keep your bathroom adequately ventilated. Open your bathroom door and window after taking a shower, or install a bathroom fan to help take out excess moisture in the air.

If you have a dehumidifier, that can also help manage the dampness in your bathroom and ensure that your mirrors don’t rust.

What Are Other Bathroom Mirror Options to Prevent Rusting?

As mentioned above, one of the usual culprits for why bathroom mirrors rust is the chrome on the edges and brackets of a mirror. Ideally, the chrome finish works as a protective layer against rust. Unfortunately, it’s prone to scratches and dents, which risks the metal underneath coming into contact with damp air. That’s when rusting starts. But if you take out the chrome from your bathroom mirror, you also take away most rusting problems.

Copper-Free Bathroom Mirror

As its name implies, this mirror type doesn’t have copper, and it’s particularly resistant to corrosion and humidity. Copper-free mirrors are considered the ‘most modern’ type that work perfectly well in bathroom settings. They come with an extra protective layer, making them more durable than traditional mirrors.

Smart Bathroom Mirror

If you want to splurge on a bathroom mirror, consider getting a smart mirror. It can have all sorts of built-in features like LED lighting, a digital display, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and anti-fog. The built-in defogger in the smart mirror will keep it moisture-free and rust-free for a very long time.

Protect Your Bathroom Window From Rusting

Antique and rustic mirrors have their charm, but that doesn’t mean you want your new bathroom mirror to freely develop rust.

When it comes to bathroom mirrors rusting, prevention is better than cure. After all, once there is rust on your mirror, there is no repairing it by yourself. What you must do is safeguard your bathroom mirror’s beauty and spotless surfaces. There are only two simple ways to do that – manage your bathroom’s moisture levels and use ammonia-free cleaning solutions.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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