Remedies for Cloudy Glassware from the Dishwasher

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Clean cloudy glassware to keep them clear and sparkling.
Clean cloudy glassware to keep them clear and sparkling. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Glasses may become cloudy after you wash them due to a variety of reasons such as hard or soft water, detergents and even the temperature of the water. While glasses appear dirty or cloudy, they may contain small-etched scratches. These scratches are not repairable, but you can prevent them from happening the next time you wash dishes. The use of household items allows you to use home remedies to fix the problem instead of purchasing commercial products or calling a technician.

Vinegar and Dishwasher

The acid in vinegar removes the film and cloudiness on glasses to return them to their original clear appearance. Remove all the dishes from the dishwasher except the glassware. Do not add detergent to the dishwasher load. Fill a dishwasher-safe bowl with 2 cups of white distilled vinegar and place it on the bottom rack of the dishwasher. After you place the vinegar on the bottom shelf, set the appliance to complete a full cycle. Add the detergent to the dishwasher and run it through another cycle to remove the vinegar residue.

Vinegar and Paper Towels

While washing the glasses again in the dishwasher with vinegar may be more convenient, it will cause you to use more water and energy. When you want to fix cloudy glassware without using the dishwasher, soak paper towels in white distilled vinegar. Wrap the paper towels around the inside and outside of the glasses and allow them to sit for one hour. Rinse them with hot water to remove the vinegar residue. Use a lint-free cloth to dry the glassware after you remove the cloudiness.

Less Detergent

When soft water combines with detergent, it can cause etched scratches on the glassware, according to Good Housekeeping. Detergents high in phosphates promote etching and ruin glassware. Add less detergent than recommended or use a no-phosphate detergent. Run the hot water in the sink before you use the dishwasher to ensure that the appliance fills with hot water and dissolves the detergent quickly. Avoid using the heat setting on the dishwasher, and remove the glasses immediately after the cycle ends. Dry the dishes with a microfiber towel. Avoid allowing the glasses to air dry because spots or streaks can form.

Switch Detergent

The type of detergent that you use can cause a film to form on the glasses. Use a different type of detergent such as a powder, gel or tablet when cleaning the glassware. Kim Painter of "USA Today" suggests that tablets and packets often work better than cheaper gels and powders. The type of ingredients used in different detergents can react differently with the water in the dishwasher. If switching your detergent does not work after trying the other methods, you may need to install a water softener because the water may contain a high amount of minerals.

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