When you have friends come over, you might pull out the good dishes, the nice silverware, and the pretty wine glasses. But have you ever handed a glass from your cabinet to a friend and then were embarrassed by having to explain that the glass isn't dirty, it's just your dishwasher? If your glasses have a cloudy appearance, then you know how frustrating it can be. Don't despair, because there are ways you can clean cloudy glasses and prevent them from happening again.
Why do my glasses look cloudy?
If your glasses have a layer of grime on them, there are two possible reasons. The first is that your dishwasher has scratched them, which is either because your glassware isn't dishwasher safe or because you have soft water, which can cause corrosion.
The second, which is most often the case, is that the clouding is from hard water stains. Hard water has a higher level of dissolved minerals in it. Those minerals, which are mostly calcium and magnesium can form hard water deposits on your dishes, which results in build-up and cloudiness on everything that you run through your dishwasher.
How to Clean Cloudy Glasses
You can get the cloudy film off your glassware with a good soak in white vinegar and water solution, or by soaking a soft dishcloth in vinegar and using a little elbow grease to wipe down the cloudy glassware. Soak the glasses for 30 minutes and then rinse them with warm water.
If you don't have vinegar, you can DIY a paste out of equal parts baking soda and water, spread the paste on the glass with a sponge and let it sit for 10 minutes. Use a soft scrubber and hot water to wash the paste off the glass and rinse the glass in hot water.
You can also use toothpaste (the white kind, not the gel) for scrubbing mineral deposits off your cloudy drinking glasses.
If you try any these cleaning tips and your glasses still look cloudy, then the problem is because of etching. Unfortunately, that's a problem that you can't fix.
How to Keep Your Glassware Clean
The best way to keep your glasses from getting cloudy again is to do the dishwashing by hand, not in the dishwasher. Wash your glasses with a mild dish soap in warm water. Rinsing glasses in hot water helps, as does drying them with a soft microfiber cloth.
If you're going to wash glasses in the dishwasher, try using a little bit less or a little bit more dishwasher detergent. You can also use a rinse aid to break up those hard water minerals. Open the door of the dishwasher as soon as the wash cycle is done to let the steam out and allow the dishes to air dry as the cool.