Thursday, October 4, 2012

Divining Mirrors

Replace Mirrors MN

Have you noticed mottled black spots forming around the edges of your mirror? Don’t be too quick to chalk that deterioration up to aging or cheap material; you yourself might unknowingly be the perpetrator of this diminishing effect.

For those who don’t know what gives a mirror its magic, allow American Glass & Mirror to shed some light on the subject. Mirror is constructed by depositing aluminum or silver nitrate on normal plate glass creating the material’s reflective luster. The thin metal layer forms the backing of the mirror and is generally topped with two protective coats of paint.

Aluminum, and to a lesser-degree silver, is susceptible to tarnishing when exposed to various elements, like sulfur, which is a common pollutant in the air. This means it is critical that the paint layer remains intact in order to form a buffer between the metal and corrupting elements.

Be careful what kind of cleaner you use on your mirror! Many household cleaners contain ammonia, an astringent compound, which precipitates the breakdown of the mirror backing. Instead, opt for an alcohol-based cleaner. You can even mix up your own at home by combining denatured alcohol and water (50:50) in a spray bottle. Simple, cheap, and effective.

Don’t be so quick to point fingers when you notice your mirror going bad. First, think about your choice of glass cleaner. Does it contain ammonia? A long look in the mirror might hold the answer to your tarnished image.

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