We take mirrors for granted. At one point a polished mirrored that did a poor job reflecting its viewer cost a king’s ransom. These days full length mirrors retail at major retailers for seven bucks. We only really take note of mirrors when we break them, they fog up after a shower when we need them, or they get dirty. Fortunately, creating fog free mirrors, cleaning mirrors until they’re spotless, and disposing of broken ones without injuring ourselves or having seven years bad luck are all pretty easy with these tips and tricks.

In this Excerpt from the book Household Magic by Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen the authors explain everything you need to know to enjoy fog free mirrors in the bathroom and more.


Everyone has heard that old superstition about breaking a mirror and the seven years of bad luck that supposedly follow. If you buy into that, then you’ll be happy to know that there are three ways to counteract that curse…

◆ As soon as you realize that you broke a mirror, turn around three times counterclockwise. (Be careful not to step on the broken pieces of mirror. Now that’s bad luck.)

◆ When it’s dark out, light seven white candles. At midnight, take a deep breath and blow them all out at once.

◆ Take a piece of the broken mirror to a cemetery and tap a gravestone with it.

Any of the above counter curses should do it—or, rather, undo it.

Chances are you won’t break a mirror, but you will need to clean the mirrors in your home. Here are some suggestions that will help…

Cleaning a Mirror

◆ Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a bowl. Scrunch up a piece of (non-colored) newspaper, and dip it in the mixture. Wring it out, then wipe the mirror with it. Wipe the mirror dry with a soft cloth, soft paper towel or dry newspaper page. (Be sure to wear rubber gloves to keep the newspaper print off your hands.)

CAUTION: Do not spray water or liquid of any kind on a mirror. When moisture seeps into the edges and back of the mirror, the silvering gets spoiled…which causes dark spots.

◆ Wipe the mirror with a used, wet bag of black tea, then dry it with a paper towel or newspaper. The tea’s tannic acid will leave the mirror sparkling clean.

◆ To get a lint-free shine, go over the mirror with a used sheet of fabric softener…or a dry coffee filter…or a pair of old pantyhose…or gift-wrapping tissue.

Creating Fog-Free Mirrors

◆ Apply a thin layer of glycerin (available at most drugstores) to the mirror to prevent it from fogging up in the shower.

◆ Before you shower, spray a dollop of foam shaving cream on a cloth and wipe the mirror with it.

◆ For longer-term defogging—two to three weeks at a time—put a generous amount of foam shaving cream on the entire mirror and leave it there until the foam just about evaporates. Then wipe it off.

Removing Hairspray

Give your mirror the onceover with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Doing this will take off hairspray as well as any thin film that’s left over from a cleaning agent, an aerosol product or from shaving cream.

Alcohol will evaporate on its own, which saves you the job of wiping it dry.

Mirror Touch-Ups

◆ Most mirrors consist of three layers—a dark, protective bottom layer…a layer of metal (aluminum, silver or tin)…and a plain, glass top layer. If there are scratches in the metallic layer, and you can get to it, tape a piece of non-creased aluminum foil to the back of the metallic layer to hide the scratches.

◆ Put one or two coats of metallic silver auto paint on the scratched silver backing. Then seal the spot with clear shellac.

For additional home maintenance tips and other advice for avoiding curses, purchase Household Magic from Bottomlineinc.com.

Related Articles