How to Clean Etched Glasses From the Dishwasher

Written by louise harding
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The dishwasher is a modern convenience that has cut hours from the homemaker's household chore time. Some glasses, however, when washed in the dishwasher, refuse to come out sparkling clean. Instead the glasses end up cloudy and etched with a white film. Cleaning these etched glasses is a time-consuming chore, but if the glasses are allowed to soak in a cleaning agent such as Cascade dishwasher powder, the glass will return to its natural, clear state once again.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hot tap water
  • Sink
  • Cascade dishwasher powder
  • Scouring pad
  • Dish drying rack or dishtowel
  • Glasses

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  1. 1

    Fill the sink with the hottest tap water available and place the etched glasses into the hot water. Do not use this method for gold or silver painted or rimmed glasses. The plating on the rim may be removed.

  2. 2

    Pour one cup of Cascade dishwasher powder into the hot water. You can also drop two of the new Cascade packs into the water for the same effect. Allow the glasses to soak for at least four hours. Soaking overnight is the best way to ensure that the cloudiness will be alleviated.

  3. 3

    Drain the water from the sink and refill with hot water. Use the scouring pad to scrub the glasses to ensure that the cloudy film has been removed. Rinse the glasses with hot water.

  4. 4

    Allow the clean glasses to air dry on a dish rack or on top of a dishtowel spread over the counter top. In the future, you may want to hand wash the glasses that you have identified as ones being easily etched by the dishwasher process or use a dishwasher detergent with a specific protecting element that prevents glass etching.

Tips and warnings

  • The heat of the dishwasher in conjunction with minerals in the water sometimes combine with the formula of the dishwasher detergent used to cloud, film or etch glasses. Crystal glasses are the most susceptible to glass etching. Some rinse agents actually cloud fine crystal glasses more than protect them. To avoid etching from accumulating on crystal, always hand wash these glasses or tableware.
  • Don't pour boiling water over glasses. Some glasses if weakened or thin may crack as the water hits the glass. You may want to put a dishtowel on the bottom of the sink or place a rubber sink liner on the bottom of the sink before placing the glasses in to soak to protect the glasses from the sink if you have a hard porcelain sink.

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