Why Is My Bathroom Mirror Turning Black? [& What Can I Do About It?]

Bathroom mirrors are prone to damage because they are often exposed to high humidity. Several issues can cause black spots to appear in your mirror, but don’t worry! We have researched why this situation happens and what to do about it.

Your mirror is turning black because of moisture, insufficient ventilation, chemical exposure, and temperature change. Resilvering is the best solution to remove the dark spots in your mirror, but other options, like framing your mirror, can hide the dark spots.

The article briefly explains what desilvering is, why your bathroom mirror has black spots, the steps to resilver mirrors, and other ways to preserve and protect the material from damage. Read on and find more ideas to help you in this regard.

Mirror Desilvering: What Is It And How It Happens

Mirrors are composed of glass, tin, and a silver coating that produces the reflection. Over time, the silver coating can degenerate due to extreme moisture and humidity.

Silver is a soft metal that tends to react with oxygen, weakening the material.

Desilvering pertains to the breakdown of components that serve as the reflective element of a mirror. The condition may be exhibited by the appearance of black spots and air bubbles on the mirror’s surface. This occurs for various reasons, including exposure to humidity and moisture, using the wrong cleaning agent, and poor quality and craftsmanship.

internal shots of a modern bathroom in foreground of counter top washbasin whose walls are coated of p

Reasons Why Bathroom Mirror Turning Black

Your bathroom mirror is turning black for the following reasons: changing temperature, moisture exposure, and/or using the incorrect cleaning agent.

dark decor with dried flowers, vases, chandeliers,mirror, textured fabrics against the wall, Why Is My Bathroom Mirror Turning Black? [& What Can I Do About It?]

No Ventilation, And Exposure To Moisture

Lack of airflow is the main cause of black spots on your bathroom mirror. Without ventilation, the humidity or steam increases, and the mirror will be exposed to excess moisture, resulting in a black spot on the mirror. Try to prevent extra moisture from accruing to maintain the mirror's durability.


Cleaning agents in a bucket

Bathroom mirrors may develop black patches when exposed to chemicals, such as an ammonia-based chemical cleaner or even window cleaning solution. Be careful when wiping the mirror to prevent black stains, and use warm water and a lint-free cloth.

Changes Of Temperature

Temperature can also cause black spots on your bathroom mirror. When temperature changes, the mirror's surface will contract and expand, leaving a black mark on your mirror. With enough sudden shifts over time, this can begin to degrade the silver.

How To Remove The Black Spot From The Mirror

Reflection in old vintage mirror with scratches and dust

Consider resilvering to eliminate the black spots on bathroom mirrors, mirrors with sentimental value, or antique mirrors. This can be a bit expensive, as resilvering often requires professional help.

However, you can resilver on your own for less money, but it will take additional time and effort. If you don't feel prepared, it is best to entrust a professional with the task.

  1. Before beginning, reduce hazards by wearing safety gear, such as gloves and a mask.
  2. The mirror should be removed and set face down on a stable surface. The current silver backing can then be carefully removed using a razor scraper. To prevent contamination, be careful with its proper disposal.
  3. Use a chemical remover designed specifically for this purpose if the razor isn't working.
  4. The simplest solution is to put a new mirror behind the old glass after all the silver has been removed from the rear.
  5. It is possible to place a new silver coating on the back. When resilvering a mirror, the original silver is to be removed and replaced with a new silver coating. However, it isn't easy.
  6. Cut to the exact size of your mirror, fasten it to the back of the glass, and return it to the wall.

How Can You Preserve My Mirror And Prevent Desilvering?

The best way to prevent black spots from appearing on your mirror’s surface in the first place is by taking safety measures and framing the mirror to cover or conceal the damage.

Take Safety Measures

Moisture is the main reason why a mirror develops black spots. Avoid letting water splash onto the mirror when using the bathroom sink to prevent black spots on the mirror, and wipe off the mirror when it gets wetAnother possible prevention method is spraying an anti-fog spray.

Check out this Anti-Fog Spray on Amazon. 

Framing Mirror

Decorate your bathroom mirror by framing and gluing ornamental glass beads or tiles around it to hide the damaged areas while improving its appearance. To conceal the damage, mirror stripping can be applied around the edge.

How To Reduce Moisture In The Bathroom

Stylish bathroom interior with vessel sink and round mirror

There are five ways to reduce moisture in the bathroom.

Using the exhaust fan

Utilizing an exhaust fan will reduce the humidity in the bathroom. The exhaust fan pulls out wet air and deposits it outside your house.

Leave the door and windows open.

Opening your windows and doors will increase the moist's process of drifting out of the bathroom and stop it from becoming steamy.

Wiping the moisture

Unattended water in your bathroom will evaporate over time, creating moisture. To prevent this, wipe away and mop water as soon as possible, then use a squeegee to direct it down the drain.

Mirror Demister

This is applied to the back of the mirror to keep it from fogging up or getting moist after a shower.

No wet clothes or towels

Avoid leaving any wet towels or clothing lying around the bathroom; doing so will help to prevent moisture from accruing. 

How Do You Protect The Back Of A Mirror?

Applying a back coating to the back of your mirror will keep the metal from being easily scratched, chipped, or chemically attacked and keep your mirror reflecting.

Water Reducible

Water-based coatings include well-known Latex products and synthetic polymer-based products. A polymer can be diluted in water to create translucent solutions, usually with the help of cosolvents and neutralizing agents.

The most environmentally friendly alternative coating, this coating is for indoor mirrors only because it cannot resist weather or rough handling.

Solvent Reducible

Mirrors frequently exposed to the weather or outdoor mirrors benefit from this coating. This coating offers increased defense against chemicals, abrasion, cold, heat, sunlight, and the environment, making it exceptionally durable.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Mirror Resilvered?

Having a mirror resilvered could cost $217; the typical range should be between $110 and $339; the low end should cost $50, and the high end should cost up to $500.

If you have to bring the item to the restorer, there will be an additional fee for shipping and handling in addition to the labor rate of $15 per square foot.

There are several basic materials you would use for resilvering your mirror, but the price would depend on the type of resilvering method you will use.

The glass paint stripper and sodium hydroxide should cost around $15 to $30. Ammonia should cost around $10 to $20, sodium nitrate should cost around $15 to $50, and sugar should cost around $5 to $10.

Is White Vinegar Good For Mirrors?

Distilled vinegar is the only type of vinegar that will effectively clean mirrors. Because vinegar is one of the solutions you may use to clean mirrors, this technique is quite efficient.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and brightener and can remove many stains that are typically difficult to clear.

Use a spray bottle and fill it with equal parts water and vinegar. Shake the bottle after adding the vinegar. Wipe the mirror in either a vertical or horizontal direction with a cotton cloth or a crumpled piece of newspaper.

In Closing

dark decor with dried flowers, vases, chandeliers,mirror, textured fabrics against the wall with a gol

Always remember that moisture and incorrect cleaning agents cause dark spots on your mirror, which is why taking precautions is better than spending money to resilvering your mirror. 

If you liked this article, you might also find these topics informative:

How Big Should A Bathroom Vanity Mirror Be?

How Far Should A Bathroom Mirror Be Above A Sink?

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