Get rid of fogginess—and prevent it from happening again.

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glasses stacked
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

It's perplexing: You grab a glass out of the cabinet and even though you know it's clean, it looks foggy and dingy. A few things might be going on. First, check your water. Cloudy glasses can develop over time, but often it occurs in areas of both hard water (mineral deposits build up and cling to glassware and dishes) and soft water (due to corrosion). In some cases, your dishwasher might have permanently scratched the surface of the glass.

The only surefire way to prevent glasses from developing a hazy film is to keep them out of the dishwasher. Instead, wash them by hand with a mild soap, rinse thoroughly, and dry immediately.

To figure out if your glasses have fogged up because of your water, soak a small dish towel or rag in a small amount of white vinegar and wipe the glass with the cloth. If the glass is no longer cloudy, then the cloudiness was caused by hard water build up. If you wipe the glass with vinegar and it's still cloudy, then that is etching caused by soft water corrosion and it cannot be fixed.

You can remove the buildup caused by calcium and magnesium ions in hard water by swabbing the glass with acetone (nail polish remover), and then scrub gently with a mild detergent. Soaking the glasses in plain white distilled vinegar for 15 minutes is another effective home remedy.

If you have soft water and still want to use your dishwasher to clean your glasses, you can prevent ruining them by making sure that glasses are dishwasher-safe when you buy. When you run the machine, open the door to allow steam to escape once the cycle has finished, and let your glasses cool before removing them.

Comments (9)

Martha Stewart Member
July 2, 2021
What about polishing the glass with something like "Bar Keeper's Friend?"
Martha Stewart Member
May 2, 2019
I find the best product for cloudy glasses is using cloudy ammonia in some water. Works a treat.
Martha Stewart Member
February 27, 2014
White vinegar also makes your crystal shine like never before!
Martha Stewart Member
June 15, 2009
Thanks for great idea.
Martha Stewart Member
June 15, 2009
Gret idea for tough job.
Martha Stewart Member
July 16, 2008
thanx alot for this idea...i really need it!!
Martha Stewart Member
July 16, 2008
thanx alot for this idea...i really need it!!
Martha Stewart Member
April 17, 2008
I have also used efferdent tablets to clean the milky film. Will try acetone for those hard to remove stains from now on! Great tip Martha!!!
Martha Stewart Member
January 12, 2008
I thought I woul dhave to search for this, but here it is! Thank you!