How to Clean Cloudy Glassware to a Sparkling Shine

Add a bit of shine to your life by cleaning your cloudy glasses with a few simple methods.

Published January 28, 2023
Woman cleaning wine glass

Glassware makes a nice addition to your table, but not if it's covered in a white film. The cloudiness comes from mineral deposits and buildup or from etching, so to clean cloudy glasses, you need to use vinegar or baking soda. With these simple household staples along with some Dawn dish detergent, you'll have your glassware sparkling like the day you got it in no time flat.

Vinegar Soak for Cloudy Glasses

Over time, glassware can get cloudy from use and cleaning. Fortunately, you can easily do a vinegar soak to remove the haze.

  1. Line the bottom of your sink or container with a towel.
  2. Carefully place the glasses in.
  3. Cover them with cleaning vinegar (you can substitute regular white vinegar in a pinch).
  4. Rotate after about 8 minutes.
  5. Remove after soaking for 16 minutes. Soak longer if needed.
  6. Fill the sink with hot water and dish soap.
  7. Use a nylon scrubber to remove any remaining cloudiness.
  8. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  9. Dry with a microfiber cloth to prevent any further spots.

How to Clean Cloudy Glasses With Baking Soda

White vinegar works pretty well for most build-up issues. But not everyone keeps a jug lying around to clean glassware. Thankfully, you have other options. Baking soda is a master at cutting through some pretty gnarly stuff, including mineral deposits.

mixing baking soda paste
  1. Create a paste of equal parts baking of baking soda and Dawn dish soap.
  2. Cover all the cloudiness with the paste.
  3. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  4. Fill the sink with hot water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and a few drops of Dawn.
  5. Agitate the water to mix and add the glasses.
  6. Soak for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. Wash and dry.

You can also scrub the cloudy spots with toothpaste and a soft toothbrush or a bit of Bar Keeper's Friend.

Remove Haze Caused by Etching

Most of the time, the mineral buildup is what causes cloudiness as hard water reacts with food. But not all cloudiness is caused by mineral deposits, so if the cleaning vinegar doesn't work, try polishing with a polishing pad drillbit and polishing compound.

  1. Put a foam polishing pad on a drill.
  2. Add the polishing compound to the pad.
  3. Polish the glass.

Prevent Cloudy Glassware

One of the best ways to keep your glasses from getting cloudy is to reduce the hardness of your water by adding a water softening system. Sure, it's pricey, but your glasses will thank you. If that's not in the cards, you can:

  • Hand wash glasses rather than using a dishwasher.
  • Rinse them well before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Clean your dishwasher regularly.
  • Add a rinsing agent.
  • Try detergents made for hard water.
  • Avoid overloading the dishwasher with detergent.
  • Dry glasses immediately to avoid water droplets drying on them.
  • Try adjusting the temperature of your dishwasher to get that perfect clean.

Clear the Clouds From Your Glasses

Don't let cloudy glasses get you down. Try a few simple and easy DIY ways to get them sparkling again. If nothing works, grab your laptop and order some new ones. It's time to treat yourself, anyway!

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How to Clean Cloudy Glassware to a Sparkling Shine