THE COPPER FREE MANUFACTURING PROCESS:
Copper free processes were first brought into the European marketing in 1998. In the mirror industry, copper free mirrors are considered as the ‘most modern mirror’. Essentially, anything labeled copper free undergoes a two-coat paint process of a low-lead or lead-free solution, and copper free solution. Beforehand, when the mirror is still just a piece of glass, the glass is coated in silver nitrate to get the ‘mirror effect.’ It then undergoes a pretreatment, and is finished with the two-step coating. For the back of the mirror, once all the metal framing has been attached, the mirror is then covered by a protective backing paint. This paint protects the back from corrosion spots and scratching, similar to the glass coating.
BENEFITS OF A COPPER FREE MIRROR VS. TRADITIONAL 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, it can seep behind the mirror’s coating and corrode the mirror.
Traditional mirrors that use a copper sulfate coating are manufactured inexpensively, and therefore experience corrosion frequently. 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. The new copper free mirrors prevent the corrosion from happening, and is 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. Overhead fans are built into most bathrooms to minimize the amount of steam that can fog up mirrors and leave residue 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 hope out of the shower, your mirror will still be crystal clear, and those cold overhead fans will be a thing of the past. Whilst this function is not only practical and offers a bit of luxury for a home, it also helps to increase the lifespan of the mirror by eliminating moisture, a primary cause of corrosion.
HOW TO MAINTAIN A MIRROR AND AVOID CORROSION?
To properly clean a mirror and avoid corrosion, it is recommended to mix a spray bottle with 95% water and 5% alcohol, spray onto a micro-fiber cloth or chamois and wipe the mirror, leaving no traces of moisture.
COPPER FREE = ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Manufacturing a copper free mirror is much better for the environment. Copper sulfate 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. ‘Copper free’ is not limited to the mirror industry, other companies are realizing 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. In the United States, by 2025, legislation will be released that all car brakes must not contain anymore than 0.5% of copper in them. With governments recognizing 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.
WHY REMER ONLY USE COPPER FREE?
Remer is a green company, 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 😉