How to remove etching from glass

Updated February 21, 2017

Decorative glass is a popular and beautiful collectable. However, older glass often becomes cloudy over time, or etched. This etching is usually caused by chemicals in water or alcohol, especially if the liquid is left standing in the glass for a long period of time, such as in a vase. Some dishwasher detergents can also cause etching. The good news there is a solution. Read on to learn how to remove etching from glass.

Use dentures to eat away at the etching. First, fill the glass with very hot water. Drop in a denture tablet and leave it there for about 30 minutes. Dip a scrub brush into the glass and try to scrub away the etching.

Run your fingers under water and then coat them with baking soda. Using your coated fingers, scrub the inside and outside of the glass and rinse. This works best for light etchings, such as the kind left by dishwasher detergents.

Consider using a metal polish. These work well on glass as well as metal. Simichrome is a metal polish that has been found to be effective on light etchings.

Try using a strong cleaner as long as your glassware is not extremely thin or fragile. Let the etched glass soak in the cleaner for a while, then use a scrub brush (or dry rice, if your glassware is too small for a brush) to scrub at the etching. Rinse well before using.

Disguise the etching. Some etchings are just too deep to get rid of. You can "hide" etched or cloudy glass by filling it with decorative marbles, pebbles or coloured water.


Use an enzyme-based dishwasher detergent to minimise etching.


When using a strong cleaner or metal polish, it is a good idea to wear gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Denture tablets
  • Baking soda
  • Metal polish
  • Decorative marbles or pebbles
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