Can you wash crystal in the dishwasher? The jury is out on that answer. Some dishwashers have crystal and glass cycles, and many people feel that it's safe to wash them on the top rack. Other people include crystal on the list of things that should never be put in dishwashers. Even if you get away with doing it for a while, you might take out those glasses one day and notice that you now have etched or cloudy crystal. Don't throw them out or recycle them just yet because there may still be hope.
How to Clean Cloudy Glass
Calcium deposits cause cloudy glass, and if you have hard water, this is a common problem. Fortunately, good old household vinegar can clean cloudy crystal glass. Combine one part of that with three parts warm water and a few drops of dish detergent in a bottle; put on the lid and shake well. Pour some of the liquid onto a nonabrasive sponge, scrubber or dishcloth and clean the crystal inside and out until it is clear. Now, you can rinse the crystal thoroughly with clean water and dry it with a clean dishtowel.
Video of the Day
For more stubborn cloudiness, leave the items in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water overnight. The next day, you should rinse them and dry them with a clean microfiber towel. Petroleum jelly can also work, but you'll have to wait four to five days after you apply it. This jelly solution can be pretty messy and slippery, though.
Etched Crystal in a Dishwasher
Glass and crystal get etched in dishwashers because these machines can remove metal ions from the glass, which leads to a microscopic roughening over time. You're more likely to see this etching when the water is too hot or too soft, but using too much dishwashing detergent can also cause issues. There are a few methods for how to remove etching from drinking glasses, but they don't always work. None should damage the glass or crystal further, so it's worth giving them a try.
The first technique is the same for cleaning cloudy crystal: using distilled white vinegar. Some claim that acetone also works, but it has a strong smell. Denture cleaning tablets can also work, or you can get out a tube of toothpaste. Mix a bit with some baking soda until you have a paste and apply it to the glassware with a toothbrush, soft cloth or finger. Rinse off your cleaning solution well and dry the pieces. Check to see if there are any marks left.
Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Glass
Another trick for cleaning cloudy glass is filling up your sink with lukewarm water and tossing a denture-cleaning tablet into the water. Other suggestions include Dow Tub and Tile cleaner and Pearl Drops toothpaste. Remember that these methods can damage fine crystal, so you should only use them on your sturdier pieces. On top of that, in general, you'll want to avoid using very hot or very cold water for your cleaning process because it can damage all kinds of glassware and other dishes.
The best ways to prevent cloudy and etched glassware are to switch dish detergents, check the dishwasher's water temperature or wash these things by hand. Other things that you should never put in dishwashers are vintage pieces, wood, cast iron skillets and insulated mugs. Also, you must hand wash copper pots and pans, things that have adhesive labels, expensive kitchen knives, graters and nonstick pans.