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10 DIY Mirror Cleaner Tips

These terrific DIY mirror cleaning tips guarantee clean bathroom mirrors, glass tables and fireplace doors with ease.

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Photo: Shutterstock

DIY Mirror Cleaning is Easier than You Think!

DIY mirror cleaning is easy and effective. Your mirrors will show nary a streak if you wash them with equal parts water and white vinegar. But it’s your technique that matters: Spray-cleaning a mirror can end with moisture seeping behind the glass and turning the silvering black. Instead, dip a clean sponge or wadded-up newspaper (sans colored ink) into the solution and clean the mirror. Wipe dry with a soft cloth, a paper towel, or more newspaper.

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DIY Mirror Cleaning: Monitors and TV Screens

Here’s a great DIY mirror cleaning tip: Less is more! When cleaning a computer monitor or TV screen: Turn off the monitor, and then simply dust with a clean cloth, preferably an antistatic wipe. Wipe the screen with a clean cloth barely dampened with water, from top to bottom; if fingerprints and other marks remain, add a small amount of white vinegar to the cloth and wipe again. Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens should be wiped very lightly, and only with a clean cloth (paper towels can scratch the sensitive surface). Never clean an LCD screen with commercial glass cleaners, which contain ammonia, acetone, ethyl alcohol, or other substances that can do serious damage.

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DIY Glass Cleaning: Keep Tabletops Sparkling

If you have a glass table, you’re used to DIY cleaning methods to remove smudge marks. To add a nice shine every time, squeeze the juice of a halved lemon onto the surface and rub it with a clean cloth. Remove any excess juice, then buff the tabletop with a wad of newspaper.

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Photo: Shutterstock

DIY Glass Fireplace Door Cleaning

Fireplace doors covered with soot and carbon can spoil the cozy effect of a fire. But it’s not hard to clean the glass when you have the right DIY advice! If the dirty side of the glass is easy to reach, leave the doors attached when cleaning. If you need to remove the doors, lay them on a soft towel to clean. (Most doors have spring-loaded clips at the top for easy removal.) Start by scraping away any built-up deposits with a razor blade. Then fill a gallon bucket with water, add 1 cup white vinegar and ½ teaspoon dishwashing liquid, and scrub with newspaper crumpled into a ball. Rinse well with a clean sponge or towel, dry the doors, and stand back and admire the view.

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DIY Cleaning: Shine Silver with Banana Peels

Is your grandmother’s cherished silver tea set tarnished? Here’s a great DIY cleaning tip: Polish it with banana peels or toothpaste. Whichever you use, rinse the pieces well after wiping them clean and then buff them dry with a soft cloth.

• Banana peels: Remove the banana (and eat it – it’s packed with heart-healthy potassium), and gripping it, massage your silver with the inside of the peel. For tougher tarnishes, puree the peel in a blender, and massage in the paste. Remove with a soft cloth.

• Toothpaste: Rub non-gel white toothpaste onto the tarnished pieces and work it in with a damp soft cloth.

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DIY Chandelier Cleaning

To clean all the pendants and bangles and bits on a crystal chandelier, do you have to go to the trouble of taking it apart? Not if you use this relatively easy method and don’t mind standing on a ladder. This DIY cleaning tip will make your chandelier sparkle! First, make sure the ladder is secure and that your shoes have good, gripping soles. Second, flip out the tray at the top of the ladder and set a small bowl of diluted rubbing alcohol on top (1 part alcohol to 3 parts water). Slip an old cotton glove over your hand, dip your fingers into the alcohol, and wipe the glass clean with your forefinger and thumb. Then soak a second cotton glove in fresh water and go over the same areas. Dry all of the parts of the chandelier with a clean, soft cotton cloth.

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Ketchup Makes Brass Shine with this DIY Cleaning Miracle

A good way to clean knickknacks, drawer pulls, and other pieces made of brass is to do it yourself and boil them in ketchup or hot sauce! Just put the items in a saucepan, cover with ketchup (more practical and economical than using Tabasco), and place the pan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the brass shines like new. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

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Do-it-Yourself: Cleanups for Drippy Candlesticks

You might have more than romantic memories to remind you of your candlelight dinner: a table full of wax-encrusted candlesticks. Gather up the candlesticks and head to the kitchen, where you have several cleaning options. This DIY cleaning suggestion will save your memories, and your table!

• Hold the candlesticks under running hot water and rub the wax off with a soft cloth. Wash them in hot soapy water until any wax residue is gone.

• If the candlesticks are glass, lay them in the microwave on a paper towel and run the oven at its lowest setting for 3 minutes. When you open the door, you’ll find the wax on the towel, not the candlesticks.

• Pop candlesticks of any material into the freezer for a couple of hours. When you take them out you’ll probably be able to lift the wax right off.

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Do-it-Yourself Cleaner: Reduce Tarnish with Charcoal or Rice

DIY cleaning finds solutions in the simplest of places. Although sooner or later you’ll need to polish your silver pieces, you can make the task easier by keeping tarnish to a minimum. Protect you silver from tarnish-causing moisture by placing a few charcoal briquettes or a small bowl of rice in the cabinet where you keep silver; both are super absorbent. Place a briquette inside a silver teapot or coffee pot to prevent moisture from building up.

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DIY with Lemons: Keep Brass Looking Golden

For a tarnish-free shine, clean any brass item in one of these two terrific DIY cleaning methods: Sprinkle a slice of lemon with baking soda and rub it onto the brass. Or sprinkle salt onto a soft cloth dipped in white vinegar and rub the surface. Rinse the brass with a cloth dipped in warm water and then buff it dry. For some extra shine, rub just-cleaned brass with a little olive oil.

((Photo by fran.pregernik/Flickr)