The 5 Best Natural Glass Cleaners

If you’re trying to reduce the chemical cleaners you use in your home, replacing your glass cleaner is a great place to start. While we have a great recipe for making your own, we also know that sometimes it’s just as easy to go the store-bought route.

While the definition of “natural” can vary depending on what you’re looking for, these five glass cleaners have transparent ingredient lists and great ratings on GoodGuide. Plus, since proper mirror maintenance is important to improve the longevity of your mirror and prevent desilvering, you don’t want to risk using harmful products. Also important? They work well to clean your mirror and get a streak-free shine.

Method Glass and Surface Cleaner

This glass cleaner from Method doesn’t contain ammonia and still manages to get the job done. Plus, not only are the ingredients non-toxic, but the company doesn’t test on animals and uses 100 percent recycled plastic, so you can feel extra good about this purchase.

Green Works Glass & Surface Cleaner

With a plant and mineral-based ingredients list and a big name parent company — Clorox — this cleaner is effective, without being harsh. Plus, the entire Green Works line is certified by the EPA’s Design for the Environment program.

Seventh Generation Glass Cleaner, Free & Clear

This hypoallergenic cleaner doesn’t contain any fragrances, so while you won’t get a fresh, clean smell, you can trust it to be entirely free and clear of any harmful additives.

Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Better Life cleaning products are billed as “safe, green and powerful” — which sounds like a great combination to us. With this cleaner, you get both scent-free and streak-free, so it’s a win-win.

ECOS Window Cleaner with Vinegar

ECOS products are designed to offer a plant-powered clean that’s safe for people, pets and the planet. While this cleaner might leave a light vinegar scent behind, you’ll know beyond a doubt that your mirrors and windows are clean.

Cleaning might not be your favorite item on your to-do list, but at least these products can help you feel good about what you’re bringing into your home.

 

Got desilvering problems? We’ve got frames for that.

The 5 Mirror Care Best Practices You Should Be Doing

If you’ve ever visited an antique store, you already know that time often isn’t kind to mirrors. From scratches to discolored edges — called desilvering — mirrors can easily show their age if not well cared for. Luckily, with a few intentional best practices, you can keep your mirrors looking as good as new for many, many years to come.

Here’s a round up of our best advice for extending the longevity of your mirror:

1. Choose your cleaner wisely
Certain cleaners can be harmful to your mirror and are best avoided. Particularly abrasive cleaners can even damage the surface and edges of your mirror. Steer clear of acidic or alkali cleaners and avoid using any cleaner that contains a heavy ammonia base. For alternatives, check out this list of natural cleaners [link to new post] or, for a budget-friendly option, consider making your own.

2. Keep the edges of your mirror dry
Desilvering is caused by moisture getting trapped under the edges of your mirror, which can damage the protective coating and cause black spots or discoloring. While this is an increased risk for mirrors located in bathrooms due to increased moisture from steam, ensuring that the joints and edges of your mirror stay dry can help minimize long-term moisture effects.

3. Avoid spraying cleaner directly on the mirror
Similarly, it’s important to avoid getting an excess of cleaner on your mirror since it can easily drain to those edges. To safeguard against this problem, spray your cleaner onto a cloth instead of directly on the glass.

4. Use soft cleaning clothes, ideally microfiber
While microfiber will help minimize streaking, it’s most important to ensure you use a soft cloth that doesn’t have the potential to scratch your mirror’s surface. Textured or “scrubbing” cleaning clothes are too abrasive for the vulnerable glass surface of a mirror.

5. Protect the edges with a frame
In addition to giving your mirror a more polished look, adding a frame can also help secure the edges. Plus, as a bonus, if your mirror already has mild desilvering damage, a frame can help cover it up.

These five simple tips are easily integrated into your mirror care routine, but can make a big difference in the life of your mirror. You’ll thank us in a few years when your mirror looks good as new.

Ready to protect those edges? Shop our Add-a-Frame collection.

4 Tips for Hanging a Gallery Wall

Love the look of a gallery wall, but intimidated by the process? You aren’t alone.

Figuring out the right pieces to include and the ideal spacing is one thing, but actually hanging your gallery wall can seem downright impossible if you’re never attempted it before. Before you put too many holes in the wall and end up with a spackling nightmare, read through our list of top tips to simplify the process.

Plan ahead
While gallery walls can be expanded as you acquire new pieces, your best bet is to wait to hang anything until you have a significant collection. That way, you can lay out the pieces on the floor to organize (and reorganize) the format before hanging to see how it all works together. For instance, larger pieces tend to work best toward the middle of your arrangement and smaller pieces are great for filling in gaps.

Create intrigue
Photographs are great, but your gallery wall doesn’t have to be all images. In fact, using other options — artwork, small sculptures, mirrors, etc. — can help create visual intrigue. Plus, using pieces that are differently shaped (as opposed to all squares and rectangles) can help give your gallery wall a more natural and less formulaic feel.

Make templates
Trace each item you plan to hang onto wrapping paper, then tape your templates to the wall to see how the varying sizes and shapes work together. This will also help you better visualize spacing and move pieces around — without doing any unnecessary damage to your walls.

Make hanging marks on your templates
Another useful template tip: mark where the hanging mechanism is for each piece with an “X” so you’ll know exactly where to put each nail without complicated measurements. That way, you can actually put the nails into the wall through the paper of the template, then simply tear it away to hang the piece — saving you time, process and headaches.

With these tips, you can make your dream of a gallery wall come true without risking a drywall disaster. Happy hanging!

Need a mirror to complete your gallery wall? Shop now.

The Ultimate Bathroom Remodel Checklist

Once you’ve decided to remodel your bathroom, you might experience a rush of emotions: excited, anxious and — especially in the beginning — overwhelmed. When you’re investing your time and money into a big project, you want to make sure you’re covering all of your bases.

To help you feel more prepared to tackle your bathroom remodel, we’ve created the ultimate checklist of details to consider. We’ve gone beyond the big changes you’ve probably already thought of to include all of the smaller, everyday particulars. By taking the time to consider these important features, you can ensure your finished bathroom is a cohesive, well-designed space you can enjoy for years to come.

  • Lighting: Fluorescent lighting, a common building-grade staple, can give your bathroom a washed out, “blue” feeling — and it might literally be draining your energy. Instead, you can use your remodeled lighting to create ambiance through task or reflective lighting using LED or halogen bulbs that will give your bathroom a more natural, flattering feel.
  • Clean-ability: Cleaning a bathroom is no one’s favorite activity, but the changes you make in your remodel can set you up for a more pleasant scrubbing experience. Consider spot resistant faucets and resilient countertops that are easy to wipe up, such as quartz.
  • Safety: Think carefully about how your bathroom will function for both younger and older users. Well-placed grab bars can blend seamlessly with your design and make entering and exiting the shower a much safer experience for all. Similarly, you may want to consider including a built-in bench in your new shower — which can add extra convenience as well as safety.
  • Easy Fixes: While it’s natural to fixate on the bigger changes you want to make — like that big garden tub you’re dying to put in — sometimes the smallest, most affordable changes can have the biggest impact on how your space feels. Adding a frame to your existing bathroom mirror, switching out cabinet hardware or selecting a new shower curtain can all make a big difference.
  • Warmth: A relatively simple and often overlooked remodeling update, the warmth of your bathroom can significantly enhance the user experience. By adding in-floor heating, radiant wall tiles or a towel warmer, your new bathroom will start to feel like a luxurious spa.

Just remember: regardless of all the stress and planning, it’ll all be worth it when you step into your fully remodeled bathroom for the first time.

Need inspiration? Shop our Add a Frame mirrors.

5 Fun and Unique Bathroom Decorating Ideas for Kids

Whether struggling through potty training, battling bath time or trying to convince your little one to brush their teeth, the bathroom can often be a source of stress for kids — and their parents. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, by consciously making a few fun décor choices, you can turn your child’s bathroom into a playful spot where they’ll love to spend time.

Here are our five best ideas for kid-friendly bathroom design:

Incorporate a personalized step stool
Children love to feel like they can do it themselves. A personalized step stool they can easily maneuver can provide bathroom freedom and independence that makes certain sink-reaching tasks more pleasant for everyone involved. Look for a fun color scheme, customize with your child’s name or find a stool that features their favorite character for extra motivation.

Embrace whimsical lighting
With the right lighting, your child’s bathroom can easily turn into a fun, adventurous oasis. String funky lights around the ceiling, swap out your old light fixture for something colorful or incorporate an easy-on lantern they can operate themselves for a spooky and exploratory feel.

Go big on color
Nothing says “this is a place for kids” more than bright, bold color choices. While wall paint and shower curtains are obvious choices, don’t be afraid to utilize color in less expected places — like in floor tiles or even cabinet finish.

Make the boring more fun
Every day items like a bathmat, toothbrush holder or soap pump don’t have to be uninspired. These days, you can find fun bathroom trinkets featuring just about any favorite animal, character or theme your child likes. Better yet? Let them choose so they feel involved in the decorating process.

Utilize mirror decals
Dress up your bathroom mirror with easy to peel off stickers or decals for a touch of personality that is adaptable as your child’s interests change. One month they may want rocket ships and space decals; they next month they might be all about unicorns and rainbows. Keep it fresh and fun to create a bathroom atmosphere that can reflect their every mood.

After all, who ever said a bathroom couldn’t be whimsical? With these decorating ideas, you can give your children the bathroom of their wildest dreams.

Looking for a new mirror to elevate your decor? Shop now.