Tech

Remove the Steam From Your Mirror Without Leaving Streaks. Here’s How

This story is part of Try This, CNET’s collection of simple tips to improve your life, fast.

No matter what I did, my mirror would always steam up in the bathroom. I tried tricks to keep my mirror fog-free, but I’d given up trying to break the seemingly endless cycle of wipe, fog up, repeat. I finally found one that works for me.

You only need one tool that you likely have in your bathroom — a hair dryer — and you can’t just use any setting. Keep reading below to find out how to quickly get rid of the steam on your bathroom mirror without leaving streaks. As a bonus, I’ll even tell you how to prevent the steam from sticking to your mirror.

For more tips around the home, here’s how to clean your oven without harsh chemicals and how to make a chocolate cake without a pan.

Steamy mirror? No problem. Grab a hairdryer

Mirrors fog up when moisture from the steam in your bathroom collects on the colder surface of the mirror. An exhaust fan helps a little, but not much. 

Don’t give up: In just a quick minute, you can remove this condensation by heating up the surface of the mirror. If you don’t already have a hair dryer in your house, you can easily find an affordable one. It’s super handy to have around. 

Once you have one, turn the setting to Hot. Why? You want the temperature of your mirror to come close to your bathroom temperature. 

Now, turn your hair dryer on to its highest blast setting and hold it about 6 inches away from your mirror. Start in the center and move the hair dryer from one end to the other in a straight motion. Once your mirror starts to clear up, that means it has heated up to the temperature of the bathroom. You can do this for the entire mirror if you have time, or just the area that you need to be visible.

hair dryer hanging from a command hook

Grab your hair dryer to remove the steam.


Taylor Martin/CNET

Stop steam from sticking to your mirror for good

If using a hair dryer is too much work (when I’m in a rush, I think so), I have another method to prevent my mirror from fogging up when the shower water is hot. First, start by cleaning your mirror with Windex to remove any smudges. Next, grab a can or tube of shaving cream, spritz a small amount (maybe a quarter size) onto a microfiber cloth and buff it into your mirror. Now when you come out of the shower, you’ll still be able to see your reflection instead of tirelessly rubbing the mirror only for it to fog up again.

For more bathroom tips, here’s how to unclog a toilet without a plunger and a trick to get more water pressure from your showerhead.

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