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how to clean cloudy glass

How to clean cloudy glass? The answer depends on the cause of the clouding.

There are three possible causes for cloudy glass cups and vases: damage from the dishwasher, not using a rinse aid in the dishwasher, and not having hot enough water in your dishwasher.

the 3 causes of etched glassware.

  • Dishwasher damage. This results from hard water and not enough detergent. This combination allows hard water minerals to adhere to the glassware surface, creating the cloudy, milky film you see. Food particles that aren't rinsed away during the dishwasher cycle can also cause glasses to cloud.
  • No Rinse Aid. Your dishwasher has a rinse aid dispenser for a reason - you need it to help your detergent wash away the food particles after cleaning. Otherwise, they're apt to hang out on your glasses and dishes.
  • The Water Needs to be Hotter. When the wash cycle begins, the water temperature should enter the dishwasher at  140 degrees F to help your detergent and machine do their jobs.

how to clean cloudy glass without damaging it.

Before you clean cloudy glass or crystal, be sure to remove your rings, and turn the faucet aside so you'll avoid chipping the glass during cleaning. After all, you really don't need to add a chipped glass problem to your to-do list today.

1. Clean glasses in a sink full of white vinegar.

Soak your glasses in a sink full of undiluted white vinegar for 30 minutes.

2. Rinse cloudy glasses under cool, running water.

Rinse the vinegar away under cool, running water. Buff dry with a clean, lint-free cloth.

3. If any cloudiness remains...

If any cloudiness remains, wash the cloudy glasses again, this time in a sinkful of warm water with a healthy amount of dishwashing detergent. (Be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the strong detergent for this one.)

4. Rinse and dry.

Thoroughly rinse the detergent solution from the glass under cool, running water. Dry with a lint-free cloth.

how to prevent future glassware etching.

You can help prevent future etched glassware by:

  • Increasing the temperature of the water entering the dishwasher to 140 degrees F.
  • Use the no-heat, energy-saver dry cycle.
  • Adjusting the amount of dishwashing detergent you use according to the hardness of the water.
  • Let the detergent do its job unaided: Refrain from pre-rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. This not only saves water, it gives your detergent what it needs to be effective: Food to remove. Without it, the alkaline concentration of your detergent increases, which is bad news for your glasses.

Check out the Clean Organize Home Store for the cleaning products and tools you need to simplify your home.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.