What's the best way to fix cloudy glassware?

Amanda Hesser


HalfPint June 19, 2017
Instead of a rinsing agent (eg. Jet Dry), I put white vinegar into the rinsing compartment. Works well and I've almost never had cloudy glassware or spots.
AntoniaJames June 19, 2017
This is all so interesting, and helpful! I have a fairly new Bosch dishwasher, in which I've religiously been using an eco-friendly rinse aid. My wine glasses (actually, all my glasses) have been sparkling ever since. Will have to try the white vinegar instead - much more practical, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly (less packaging, less transport for multiple small bottles). Thank you, everyone. ;o)
Maedl June 19, 2017
CV is entirely correct. Crystal should never be put in a dishwaher. I wouldn't put good china in a dishwasher, either. I love browsing through thrift shops looking for treasures. That's where I first noticed the problem. Once damaged, no amount of soaking in vinegar, etc.,will reduce the cloudiness.
702551 June 18, 2017
There are two main reasons why glassware may become cloudy.

The first is mineral deposits from hard water. If a vinegar/Lemishine/citric acid soak dissolves the cloudiness, then it is likely that your water is hard and that your glassware is accumulating mineral deposits. Repeat treatment on a regular basis or consider installing a water softener.

If acids don't clear up the cloudiness, the other normal explanation is etching. It happens when the glass is damaged by the detergent, especially in soft water areas. Typical soaps need some amount of oil, debris, soiling, etc. to react with.

If pre-washing is over-aggressive or if you use too much soap, the detergent will attack the glass rather than what is any soil it should be removing. This is when being an overly compulsive cleaner is detrimental to your property, especially if it deals with $100 crystal wine glasses and not $2 water glass tumblers.

I know for a fact that my water is fairly soft (annual city water report + longtime experience), so there's always a risk of etched glassware if I pre-rinse everything aggressively. I always make sure that there is one rather greasy item in my dishwasher before I run it. I still use about 1/3 the amount of recommended detergent and no additives (rinse aids, etc.). It goes the same for laundry loads: 1/3 amount of detergent because the water is so soft here and I'm not trying to remove motor oil from mechanic's overalls.
702551 June 18, 2017
Just in case it wasn't clear, one cannot fix etched glassware. Start over from scratch with fresh glassware.
Amanda H. June 18, 2017
Thanks for the etching info -- this is news to me.
SKK June 18, 2017
Have a Bosch dishwasher, and when it was installed the tech told me to use white vinegar where the rinse aid usually goes. Never have a problem with cloudy or spotted glass.
Amanda H. June 18, 2017
Thank you!
Michele June 18, 2017
White vinegar either in the dishwasher or dunking the glasses with it.
Amanda H. June 18, 2017
Going to give this a try -- thx.
Windischgirl June 18, 2017
A couple splashes of vinegar, either in the dishwasher, or in the wash basin if you're washing by hand.
Amanda H. June 18, 2017
There's consensus around vinegar -- thanks!
MMH June 17, 2017
My repairman recommended using citric acid in the additive slot. It's called lemmishine. It works.
Amanda H. June 17, 2017
Thank you!
HalfPint June 19, 2017
Yes, citric acid does work. You can use lemon Kool Aid packets. That's what The Kitchn did and it worked: http://www.thekitchn.com/i-cleaned-my-dishwasher-with-lemon-kool-aid-and-here-s-how-it-went-243822
Beth June 17, 2017
I gave my dishwasher a through cleaning, even took out the trap. It kinda helped but it didn't totally fix the problem.
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