Copper free processes were first brought into the European marketing in 1998. Copper free mirrors are considered as the ‘most modern’ type of mirror. Essentially, anything labeled copper free undergoes a two-coat paint process of a low-lead or lead-free solution, and  copper free solution. When a mirror is still just a piece of glass, it’s coated in silver nitrate to get the ‘mirror effect’. The glass then undergoes a pretreatment, and is finished with a two-step coating. Once the metal framing has been attached, the back of the mirror is covered by a protective backing paint. This paint protects the back from corrosion spots and scratching, similar to the glass coating.

Copper Mirror VS. Copper Free Mirror


The biggest benefit to copper free mirrors is the reduced corrosion. Corrosion in mirrors usually takes the form of little black dots that begin from the corner edges of the mirror and spread their way through, like an infection. It is rusting that appears beneath the surface of the coating. Once they appear, there is unfortunately no way to get rid of them.

There are many factors that can cause corrosion, especially in bathroom spaces. Air and moisture particles are a big contributing factor, and sometimes even the type of glass cleanser being used. Spraying too much glass cleaner, especially directly onto the mirror surface first and not a cloth, can leave residue. If any glass cleaner is missed and not wiped away properly, it can seep behind the mirror’s coating, causing corrosion.

Traditional Mirrors

Traditional mirrors use copper sulphate coating, which is cheaper to manufacture and therefore these mirrors are prone to corrosion. This is because copper reacts easily to air and moisture. Traditional mirrors have an average lifespan of 12-24 months due to corrosion spots typically appearing in this time frame. Copper free mirrors prevent corrosion, and are 3 times more resistant to corrosion than traditional mirrors, making them last longer.

Likewise, moisture from water and steam is a common cause of corrosion and can even cause the growth of mould. Exhaust fans are standard in most bathrooms, minimising the amount of steam that fogs mirrors and leaves condensation on walls. However, fans can be uncomfortable on the body and most people tend to not use them, especially in the cooler months. The new smart LED mirrors on the market have functions in built to help counteract these problems. The demister function that these mirrors now come with has the same technology as a car defogger. A heating pad is located behind the mirror which heats up the glass whilst you take your shower. When you hop out of the shower, your mirror will still be crystal clear. The demister is practical and luxurious, and increases the lifespan of the mirror, eliminating moisture, a primary cause of corrosion.


Proper care will allow your mirror to last as long as possible, whether it is Copper Free or not. We recommend cleaning your mirror with a mix of 95% water and 5% alcohol, in a spray bottle. For the best results, spray onto a micro-fibre cloth or chamois, and wipe the mirror clear, leaving no trace of moisture.


Manufacturing a copper free mirror is much better for the environment. Copper sulphate is a harsh chemical, and during the manufacturing process, small parts of this chemical can be littered into the environment and contaminate oceans and water supplies. The use of ‘Copper free’ is not limited to the mirror industry, other industries are realising the negative effects of copper and finding copper-free solutions. The car brake industry has recently gone copper free, with the company ‘Modern Work Truck Solutions’ doing an article on why they made the switch to copper free brakes. By 2025 in the United States, legislation will be released that all car brakes must not contain anymore than 0.5% of copper in them. With governments recognising and responding to the negative effects that copper can have on the environment, there is no debate on why modern products are now copper free.


Pictured: Remer Sphere 600 round backlit mirror

Remer are eco friendly, and we are a strong advocate for keeping our environment clean. Purchasing a copper free product is simply saying yes to better quality and a better environment. Corrosion is a hard thing to avoid, especially in bathroom spaces. Yet, copper free mirrors are 3 times more resistant to corrosion, ultimately making them last 3 times longer than the ordinary mirror.

Make 2021 the year you stop settling for ordinary, and choose something that is going to better your life. Copper free is the way to be! Stop bathroom mirror from rusting

By Remer