How to Clean Cloudy Glasses So They Sparkle Again—and Prevent Future Fogginess
Whether you're hosting a dinner party or reaching for a cup of water, few kitchen woes are more inconvenient than cloudy glasses. Although you know the piece is clean, it still—somehow—looks dirty. "Cloudy glasses are a byproduct of hard water," says Ron Shimek, the president of Mr. Appliance, a Neighborly company. "Minerals like lime are trapped in the water and the water sticks onto glasses and dries. This gives that cloudy condition."
There is a way to remedy cloudy glasses, though, and limit how often the unwanted haze returns—and you can do so with a few cleaning supplies you likely already have on hand.
Remedying cloudy glasses is a low-maintenance cleaning task—you only need a few easy-to-come-by materials.
- White vinegar
- Plastic scrubber or nylon net
- Lint-free towel
- Sink or large bowl
How to Clean Cloudy Glasses
Cloudiness in glassware is usually caused by two things: Calcium and magnesium left behind from hard water. Washing them by hand is the most effective way to keep them clean and spot-free, says Vera Peterson, President of Molly Maid, a Neighborly company.
1. Soak in Vinegar
You want the vinegar to be warm before using it as an effective cleaning agent. To start, fill your sink with hot water and let your bottle of white vinegar soak for one minute. Next, drain the sink and refill it with the now warm vinegar. Peterson says to use a bowl if you're just cleaning a couple of glasses. Once the sink is filled with vinegar, let the glasses soak for one hour.
2. Remove the Film
Take the glasses out of their vinegar bath and use either a nylon net or plastic scrubber to remove the cloudy film. Next, thoroughly rinse the glasses with hot water until crystal clear.
3. Dry the Glasses
To make the drinkware look its best after cleaning, Peterson says to dry each with a flour sack towel or other lint-free option. This will ensure that stray fibers aren't left behind, which can make your glasses look dingy.
How to Prevent the Cloudiness From Returning
Since glassware becomes cloudy from dried water droplets, Peterson says the best way to keep your glasses clear is to prevent water from drying on them in the first place—which commonly happens when using the dishwasher. "Hand washing and drying immediately will help keep your glasses from getting cloudy," she says.
She also recommends considering installing a water softener. "This is an expensive solution, but it will solve many other problems by reducing mineral buildup on your glasses and the insides of your pipes, faucets, dishwasher, showerheads, shower glass, and more," she says.
Cloudiness Could Be Permanent
If you've tried the process outlined above and your glasses are still cloudy after they dry, Peterson says the condition is likely permanent. "If you angle the glass toward the light, you'll probably see shades of pink, purple, brown, or blue," she says. "At that point, it's unlikely you can restore the glasses."