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By incorporating mirrors and glass into your home, you can add decoration and functionality. When used effectively, these decorative items can amplify natural light and bring an increased sense of depth to any room. They can also improve visibility, enhance lighting, and create the illusion of more space. If you’re thinking about adding one or both of these popular design elements to your home, learning more about their form, function, and upkeep can help you choose the ideal products and hire the right professional for the job.
Modern mirrors are typically made from clear glass that’s coated on one side with a thin metal film to form a reflective surface. When rays of light hit this reflective surface, they bounce back at an identical angle. Your eyes then see this reflected light as a reverse, or mirror, image.
Mirrors are made through a process known as silvering, which involves spraying metals such as aluminum or silver onto the back of a clear glass pane. The metal, which is typically heated in a vacuum, bonds to the cooler glass to form the reflective surface of the mirror.
The accuracy of a mirror depends on the purity, flatness, and thickness of the glass pane, and the evenness and quality of the reflective coating. A higher-quality mirror provides a more accurate reflection, while a lower-quality mirror may distort the image.
Mirrors are expensive because they’re constructed from glass panels and coated with a tarnish-free metal, both of which are costly. High-quality mirrors tend to be particularly expensive because they can't be mass produced. To ensure accuracy, high-quality mirrors must be custom made from expensive materials such as borosilicate glass or Corning's Ultra-Low Expansion Glass.
First, remove tough dirt using rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth. Then, spray your mirror evenly with a cleaning fluid that’s specially formulated for glass. Using a microfiber cloth, work downward, zigzagging until all streaks are removed and the mirror is completely dry.
Mirrors should be packed in specially designed mirror boxes, which adjust to reduce shifting. Before boxing your mirror, affix cardboard to the front and back, and wrap it securely, first in packing paper and then bubble wrap. Fill any empty spaces in the box with crumpled packing paper, and then tape it closed.
Using a soft cloth, apply rubbing alcohol to each sticker, and let it sit for several minutes. The stickers should then peel away easily. If part of the sticker remains, you may carefully remove it using a handheld razor blade.
Glass is made from liquid sand. More specifically, most commercially made modern glass is made from sand, which is primarily composed of silicon dioxide, mixed with recycled waste glass, limestone, and soda ash. When heated, these elements combine to form a completely new substance.
To make glass, a mixture of waste glass, limestone, and soda ash is heated to a temperature of approximately 3090 degrees. Once molten, chemicals may be added to change the glass’s appearance or properties. It’s then blown into shapes, poured into molds, or floated on top of molten tin to make flat sheets known as panes.
Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that’s made using a high-pressure cooling procedure. It’s typically about four times stronger than ordinary glass, and when shattered, it breaks into pellets rather than sharp-edged shards, reducing the risk of significant injury.
While your stove is cool, use a sponge or microfiber cloth moistened with water or white vinegar to thoroughly wipe the glass surface. Difficult stains may be removed using a handheld razor blade or by applying a paste made from vinegar and baking soda and covering it with a warm, moist towel.
Archeological evidence suggests that glass was first manufactured in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia at around 3500 B.C. However, other records suggest that glass may have been made in and around Syria as early as 5000 B.C. Prior to that, people used naturally occurring glass to create tools, jewelry, and money.
You can remove superficial scratches from glass using white toothpaste. After wiping down the damaged area, apply toothpaste to a damp rag and rub the scratched glass for about 30 seconds using a circular motion and gentle pressure. Then, using a clean rag, wipe away excess toothpaste. Repeat the process until the scratches disappear.
Sea glass is broken glass that's been worn smooth and frosted by years of exposure to ocean waves and currents. Sometimes referred to as beach glass, these small pieces of glass come in a multitude of colors, including green, brown, white, and blue. They’re often found on the beaches of oceans, bays, or large rivers.
First, clean the damaged area using dishwashing liquid and a damp cloth and let the glass dry. Mix two-part epoxy and apply it with a putty knife, working it into the crack. After it cures, scrape away excess epoxy using a handheld razor blade. Remove any residue using a rag moistened with acetone.
Depression glass is colorful glassware that was mass-produced between the late 1920s and early 1940s by companies such as Hocking Glass and MacBeth-Evans. This collectible glassware came in a variety of patterns and colors, and was often iridescent. Because of its low production quality, it often included defects such as bubbles and mold marks.