Scratches on mirror?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jennd23, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Ok, I am out of ideas. WHAT would do this to the mirror? Not a typical question here I just thought maybe with a bunch of other parents of kids who act out someone might have an idea.

    S "doesn't know" what happened to it. These are tiny scratches ALL over the mirror. Top to bottom, side to side. He would have had to stand on the counter to do the top ones. And he's never alone for more than a few minutes at a time, except Sunday morning when my dad came over to help me with some yardwork. But I was in every 10ish minutes to check on him and he was in the living room every time. I just don't even know what would do this.

  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I thought the Casey Anthony case represented enough mystery and intrigue for one week :) sorry not to have a sensible suggestion...
  3. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Oh, and I know that getting to the why is important too but for now I'd like to figure out the WHAT and throw it out or lock it up before it attacks anything else in my house ;)
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    The only think I can think of is a diamond ring. some metals could do this too - Dremel bits made from tungsten carbide come to mind. I don't have any left or I'd test it for you.

    Are they really scratches or just mars that rub out?
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They look like scratches to me. There appear to be two different things that have been used. One is pointed, the other is not. A drill bit could do this; a knife; anything made of steel, in fact. I recall from my studies in Geology, that glass has hardness of 7 and can be easily scratched by anything harder. We used to use a penknife to test for hardness 7, or a ceramic tile. Hardness 7 and higher would scratch the tile.

    My bet is that he's found the stash of drill bits or similar, and was testing them to see what sort of marks they would make. Then it became obsessive (as it so often can with our kids). And he doesn't really understand why he has done this, and therefore is being secretive about it and in denial.

    ANd I know I'm stating the obvious, but the apparent double image effect with the scratches are NOT the precision markings, it is simply the reflection of the scratches from the reflective coating at the BACK of the mirror. The apparent distance between the 'double' markings are the thickness of the glass.

  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'll vote for the drill-bit and/or dremel bit theory - probably dremel, given the differences in types of marks (but not guaranteed).

    How deep are the scratches? There are buffing powders that do wonders on minor scratches... and can be done with a Dremel buffing pad... (the irony!) Depends on what the mirror is worth in $ and attachment (we have an antique one... which I'd probably put the effort into buffing - there's other mirrors around here that can be replaced... )

    FWIW: No, that Dremel isn't a "guy" thing... I use it so often that I've become the in-house "expert" on which bit to use for what etc.!
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    The linear scratches look to me like it was done with something that has a double edge/blade. The other marks look like it is also something with more than a single edge to it. Just brainstorming about items in a bathroom...metal headbands, jewelry, hair appliances, etc. I would go into the bathroom and start comparing things.

    And please! Let us know when you figure it out. I'm intrigued!
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    I NEVER let husband touch my Dremel. He needed it for something once. I made him go get his own even though we couldn't really afford another one. Now I have 2 hehehehe
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Only here would I see a conversation like this. He's 6.... does he have a rock collection by chance?
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    HaoZi, I don't think this is rocks. The thin scratches possibly could be, but a rough rock would occasionally have a double line or more. There seem to be two distinct patterns here - a thin line, single, very straight, and the burred patch. That's why I suggested drill bits - a variety of them. But dremel bits would explain it too. I also second going through the bathroom looking for sharp (especially metal) objects. An old hairpin with the cushion tip worn off, a nail file (a common culprit - they can do deep gouges), manicure scissors. And the larger burred areas - a pumice stone? After all, a dremel also uses a stone as a grinding surface.

    Whatever is causing the burred area, is roughly round in cross-section and from what I can estimate, looks to be about half a cm or less in diameter. He could be grinding it in a circle, but the movements do tend to be linear with all the marks. I've noticed with this sort of vandalism as well as with artists, brush strokes tend to follow the same direction and similar pattern of movement.

    It is also fairly apparent that the marks have been made by a right-hander - the movement is from upper left to lower right, the easiest movement to make for a right-hander. It's a more difficult direction for a left-hander. We tend to drag in the other direction.

  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I see what you're looking at now. I didn't look close enough, I thought those were finger and handprints from leaning on the mirror to do it. Kiddo suggests scissors and coins.
  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hubby says it could be keys and/or a screwdriver, and possibly the heel end of a high heeled shoe.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I vote for rocks.

    Onyxx scratched up her bedroom mirror like this.

    Before she broke it. (One of MANY she has broken...)
  14. ok, sorry, but this gave me a little laugh and a memory of easy child 2 when he was about 6. He got ahold of dad's drill bit set and decided to "decorate" the mirror closet door in his room. Took me a while to figure out how he did it. Thankfully, mine was just a small corner down low, hardly noticable unless you were to wash the mirror, thus how I found it.

    Scary how these little ones will get into stuff sooo darn quickly! Please let us know if you figure it out. Curious minds wanna know!
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I know you are probably going to think "OH no Star" but ...........My son did this to my Mom's beautiful HUGE mirror in her house -----and he did it trying to clean it. It happened with a paper towel. Can't tell you what or how ------All I know is he thought the mirror needed to be cleaned and he was trying to be helpful....went into the kitchen and got a regular old paper towel or two and started to wipe the mirror and that looks EXACTLY like the streaks she ended up with. EXACTLY...they won't buff out, they don't go away when you wet them with cleaner - they can't be seen from the back of the mirror (like the silver came off) It was the weirdest thing -

    I'm wondering if he thought he was helping to clean the mirror and something was either in a towel or stuck to it - like a piece of candy or a hardened something? Or a rock in a piece of gum and he didn't know it was there and just was wiping the mirror - and he kept wiping the mirror - or he tried to clean the mirror with the paper towel and something was in the towel?

    You may ask him casually - "When you cleaned this mirror - show me what you used?" and see what he shows you. Then inspect the rag used - just say "I want to check out that rag so we don't use it on anything else like a car or another mirror."
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It is possible to get chemical etching, depending on what is used for cleaning... but it has to be pretty potent stuff - the kind of stuff you probably don't have "within reach" of a 6yo. (bleach? toilet cleaner? muraic acid?) And chemical etching wouldn't give you the "line" effect - the others, maybe.

    There are ways to buff out some chemical etching - but not anything that can be done at home, and not without risk of breaking the mirror...

    But this combo of damage looks more like physical stuff... that pumice stone idea might be part of it.

    Agree, though - ask him what happened... you might be surprised. Sometimes these difficult child kids have a logical, rational reasoning to what they did, in which case they somehow don't mind telling on themselves - in which case, you have to treat kid-training like dog-training: figure out what happened, then figure out how to keep it from happening, but it really isn't the dog's/kid's fault ... evey at 6 yrs old. Especially if he hasn't tried this one before.

    difficult child kids really are like dogs sometimes... praise works better than punishment, they have VERY short memories so if you catch them after the fact its already too late, in spite of the problems we love them, and so on... plus, they really don't get the concept of situational transfer... OK, so I can't scratch up Mommy's counter top - but this isn't a counter top, its on the wall... Oh, I can't do that either? well... hmmm... what happens if I rub this across Daddy's Dacks?
  17. When I was a little difficult child (as opposed to a full grown difficult child), I pulled the plastic part off the end a bobby pin and did some bad things with it. Just sayin'.
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Actually, muriatic acid will take off the silver & tin backing, but not the glass itself. This looks like physical scratching, to me.
  19. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    So, I talked with him yesterday, not in a "WTH did you do" kind of way, but "wow, S, look at this! I have never seen anything like this? What do you think could have done this to the mirror" He had no idea and was so sincere (I hate to think he's THAT good at lying). I said "do you think someone might have thrown something or scratched it by accident? You know if you accidentally scratched the mirror, you can tell me. You won't be in trouble I just want to know what happened because I've never seen anything like this before"

    He looked at me like I was crazy and said "mom! I couldn't do this! I can't even reach the top, see"(extending his arm).

    BUT GREAT news (and now I feel a little silly) I got a little scrubby sponge and scrubbed the heck out of it and its GONE. I mean GONE. I left a spot (on purpose) and what I originally thought were scratches were more of a raised texture. I'm even more confused by this now, but at least my mirror isnt' damaged LOL.

    To answer some questions: I have zero tools, the ex took every last screw with him, even MY dremmel set ;), he doesn't have a rock collection, and I don't leave any cleaners within arms reach, I learned that lesson the hard way with a cleaner with bleach in it a long time ago. Oops. So I'm even more curious but I'm glad its not scratched.
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Do you use aerosol hairspray???