How to clean cloudy glassware

Updated November 21, 2016

Cloudy glassware is a fact of life for people who have hard water in their homes. Hard water contains a high mineral content that includes calcium and magnesium, among other metals. This abundance of minerals in the water can cause deposits to adhere to glassware when running the dishwasher. The same deposits that form on your tub, toilet and faucet can also form on your dishes. Instead of throwing out cloudy glassware, there are some ways to remove the mineral deposits from your glasses. These tips will also work to remove mineral deposits from pans, utensils and dishes.

Fill a pan with water and pour in a cup of white vinegar. Heat the water to just boiling and move the pan to the sink. Place the cloudy glassware into the pan for a few minutes. Wash the glasses in mild soapy water and rinse completely. If the cloudy appearance remains on the glass, apply vinegar directly to a sponge and rub the glass until the cloudiness disappears. If you prefer, allow the dishes to soak in the solution for longer to remove tougher mineral deposits.

Apply white toothpaste (cheap, dollar-store variety works fine) to a toothbrush. Scrub the cloudy mineral deposits completely until they are completely removed. Rinse the toothpaste off the glass and wash in mild detergent. This method tends to last longer that other mineral deposit removal methods.

Make a paste of baking soda and water. Scrub the cloudy spots with a toothbrush until removed. Make sure to rinse the glass completely and wash in mild detergent to remove the baking soda residue. You can also use a soft dish scrubber pad to gently remove the cloudiness from your glasses. Don't scrub too hard or you might create permanent fine scratches in the glassware.

Fill a pot or basin with hot water. Add a small amount of ammonia to the wash and place the cloudy glassware into the solution. Let sit for a half-hour, rinse and wash completely to remove ammonia traces.

Help prevent the cloudy build-up by using Jet-Dry with every dishwasher cycle. Jet-Dry prevents hard water build-up on dishes as well as spots. Set your dishwasher to a lower temperature dry setting to prevent the hard water deposits from baking onto your glassware.

Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • White toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Medium sized pan
  • Baking soda
  • Ammonia
  • Vaseline petroleum jelly
  • Soft dish scrubber
  • Mild dish detergent
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