How to Clean Cloudy Crystal Glassware

Updated November 21, 2016

When crystal begins to exhibit a cloudy or foggy appearance, it is important to act fast to remedy the problem and prevent permanent damage. This clouding is either a film build-up on the crystal or etching. While you can remove the film from your crystal with simple cleaning techniques, etching is a permanent problem. If you notice spots or film on your crystal glassware, start treating the problem immediately to avoid permanent damage.

Scrape the at the cloudy part of the crystal gently with a pin. If you can scratch away the cloudiness, it is film and you can remove it. If the pin has no effect, your crystal is probably etched and you cannot remove the cloudy effect.

Wet a dishcloth with white vinegar.

Wipe the cloudy crystal with the vinegar soaked dishcloth to remove the film completely. Remember to clean the inside and outside of the glassware to ensure that all of the film is gone.

Hand wash the crystal glassware in warm, soapy water to remove all of the vinegar.

Dry your crystal glassware gently with a soft, lint-free cloth.


The high temperatures of your dishwasher can cause etching. Hand wash your crystal glassware to avoid this problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Pin
  • Dishcloth
  • White vinegar
  • Soapy water
  • Lint-free cloth
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About the Author

Kittie McCoy has been a freelance writer since 2008. She is also a part-time personal trainer and licensed entertainer in Las Vegas. She enjoys sharing her love of physical fitness and experience in the entertainment industry via her writing.