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Why Do People Put Plastic Bags Over Their Car Mirrors?

It’s a common sight in parking lots and on streets everywhere – cars with plastic shopping bags covering their side view mirrors. At first glance it seems odd and even silly. Why would someone put a bag over their mirror? But there are actually some solid reasons behind this parking lot hack.

Reasons Why People Use Plastic Bags On Car Mirrors

As a car owner myself, I used to wonder about it too. So I decided to dig into this bagged mirror mystery and get the full story.

Protect Against All Kinds of Weather Damage

Car mirrors have a reflective coating that can deteriorate over time. Not only rain and snow, but also bird droppings, tree sap, and even insect guts can hit your mirrors and eat away at that coating. Ice is another hazard – as it melts it leaves behind spots that erode the surface. And let’s not forget about good old fashioned dust and dirt building up. Plastic bags form a protective barrier against all these elements to help preserve your mirrors. According to an auto repair shop I spoke with, the cost to replace a damaged side mirror can be $250-500!

Block Blinding Sun Glare

We’ve all had it happen – you go to check your mirror and are suddenly blinded by the sun. The glare can be downright dangerous when trying to change lanes. Plastic bags diffuse sunlight and eliminate that nuisance glare. They work at all times of day too, unlike transition lenses which can’t adapt to morning and evening light angles. Bags also reduce nighttime glare from headlights shining into the mirror, helping tired drivers get home safely.

Keep Mirrors Sparkling Clean

Do you constantly have to scrub grime off your mirrors? Putting bags on them while parked prevents dirt, dust, fingerprints, bird droppings and other gunk from building up. When you remove the bags – fresh, clean mirrors ready for the road! The CDC reports that 1 out of 4 car accidents are caused by impaired visibility. Don’t become a statistic due to a dirty mirror.

Deter Smash and Grab Vandals

Unfortunately vandalism is a growing problem, with over 200,000 car mirrors damaged annually. Uncovered mirrors make tempting targets for troublemakers looking to do quick damage. But bagged mirrors signal that you care about protecting your vehicle, hopefully persuading vandals to leave your car alone.

Why Use Plastic Bags?

Bags are an inexpensive, convenient, and reusable option for covering mirrors. They’re easy to stash in your car right after grocery shopping. While cloth or custom covers also work, plastic bags are handy since most people already have them. Some drivers may use bags for privacy too – they obstruct the view behind your vehicle.

Get Creative with Decorative Bags!

Many drivers get creative with patterned or logo bags. It adds a bit of flair to your car. Though some warn decorative bags draw more attention and could attract vandals. Plain white bags blend in better if discretion is your goal. Reusing plastic grocery bags also keeps them out of landfills a bit longer before they inevitably break down in the elements.

Proper Bag Removal Matters

When removing bags make sure to grasp them from the top to avoid scratching the mirror surface. Store used bags in your door compartments or back seat rather than leaving them on for months. And be sure to periodically wash your mirrors since bags aren’t a long term substitute for cleaning.

So next time you see a plastic-bagged car mirror, no need to be puzzled – now you know what’s going on! Protecting mirrors, reducing glare, and keeping cars clean & undamaged. Who knew plastic bags were so handy for auto care? Have you used this parking lot trick before? Let me know your experiences in the comments!