Why Do Glasses Go Cloudy In The Dishwasher And Can You Avoid It?
Glasses can go cloudy in the dishwasher for several reasons. You can work out what’s causing the cloudiness by soaking a glass in vinegar for 15 minutes; if the glass comes out clean, it has clouded due to limescale deposits.
If it’s still cloudy, it has been etched, perhaps because you are using too much detergent. The first thing to do is to check the dishwasher is clean and run a fully empty cycle to wash away the leftover limescale and salt; these particles can etch the glass. Some dishwasher detergents are harsh and can scratch the glass, so try a liquid detergent instead.
Now let’s look at what can cause cloudy glasses in dishwasher and what we can do to remedy the situation.
Hard Water Deposits
Hard water areas can cause cloudy glass because of the limescale, in which case it is essential to add salt, which reacts with the calcium particles to soften the water. There are other tips such as turn the hot tap on for 10 minutes before starting the dishwasher as this clears the water pipes of any particles that may scratch your glasses. Also, always wash at a low temperature.
Remedies for Hard Water
Have you noticed hard water after a dishwasher cycle and also noticed that your glassware is becoming discoloured? Read on for a few remedies for hard water. These should be tried after you fill the dishwasher cups with detergent and run a wash cycle. Sometimes, you may just need hotter water because dishwasher detergent works best with hot water above 54-degrees Celsius.
White vinegar is a household staple and can be found in most pantries. White distilled vinegar can remove limescale deposits that are left due to hard water. The vinegar helps loosen the minerals that leave a residue on your glassware, causing it to appear filmy.
Apply some white vinegar to a rag and rub the mineral deposits off by hand. You can also choose to soak your glassware in hot water with two cups of white vinegar. Leave the glassware submerged for several minutes before you rinse off the vinegar and allow the glassware to dry.
Another option is to add the white vinegar directly to your dishwasher. Simply add it to the rinse compartment and run a rinse cycle with hot water. This not only helps hard water stains but can also help keep odours at bay as well.
If you have a black and white newspaper laying around the house, you can use this to get those spots off your glassware. Newspaper is just as absorbent as paper towels, so you can use vinegar with newspaper instead of a cloth or paper towels to wipe down your glassware. The newspaper readily absorbs the vinegar while leaving a streak-free shine.
Newspaper is also a good choice because it is easy to find, disposable, and recyclable. Once you are done wiping down your glassware, use the newspaper on your windows as well.
Antacid tablets can also be used to clean cloudy glassware effectively. If you have an item you don’t want to risk putting into your dishwasher, to begin with, then antacid tabs also make a welcomed alternative in this case as well.
Start by filling your glassware with water and then drop in an antacid tablet. You can also crush it before dropping it in. Wait a few minutes for the antacid to work its magic before you empty the water, rinse the glassware, and wipe it down. It is an easy and effective way to clean glassware and leave it shiny, streak-free, and with no water spots or cloudiness.
If you don’t believe that hard water is your issue, you may want to start using less detergent during your wash cycles. Soft water helps the cleaning process but might not be the best for your glassware.
It is recommended that you remove your glassware from the dishwasher when the wash cycle has finished, in addition to using less detergent. The high heat during the drying process can make the etching worse and permanently damage your delicate glassware. Water temperatures that are above 54-degrees Celsius can also worsen the etching.
Avoid using dishwasher detergent that contains any phosphates, as this can also damage your glassware. They are aggressive cleaning agents that may get other dishes squeaky clean but will leave small scratches and damage behind on your more delicate dishware items.
Sometimes even something as simple as a clogged drain could be the culprit for your cloudy dishes. Your dishwasher works to remove all left on food particles and other grime from your dishes during each wash cycle. The water is drained from the dishwasher through a screen, and over time, the gunk that is being washed away can begin to build up. This build-up can cause the dishwasher to cycle through dirty water instead of clean water.
To remedy this and get cloud-free dishes, try checking the dishwasher filter and then drain the area around the filter, making sure there is no more build-up and gunk. This ensures that the water used during your wash cycles is fresh and clean, leaving you with squeaky clean and sanitised dishes.
The water temperature used in a dishwasher typically needs to be around the 54-degree Celsius mark. If the water is colder than this, then the dishwasher detergent will not properly dissolve and will leave a residue behind on the dishes; this can be what is causing the cloudiness.
So, to remedy this, test the water temperature and ensure that the water being used in your wash cycle is hot enough to dissolve the detergent you are using but not too hot that it can damage your delicate glassware.
Using Too Much or Too Little Detergent
As already mentioned above, it can be detrimental when you use too much or too little detergent during your wash cycles. Even if you just use a dishwasher tab, you want to look into this a bit more if you have cloudy dishes. Sometimes it helps to consult with a professional who can help you narrow down the cause to find the right remedy or solution.
Gel detergents are one of the more popular dishwasher detergent types used in households today. However, these detergents are also known for leaving a residue behind on your dishes, and this residue could be what is causing your cloudiness. To test this out, switch from gel detergents to powder or tablets and see if the cloudiness improves at all or goes away completely.
What Should I Handwash Instead of Putting in the Dishwasher?
We purchase a dishwasher to make it easier to clean dishes and less of a chore. However, some cases may require that you handwash instead of putting the items in your dishwasher.
If you don’t have a modern dishwasher with more premium features like glassware holders and a cutlery basket, you may find it safer and even more convenient to wash them by hand.
You should also only put items in the dishwasher that have been labelled as dishwasher safe. Some items may also be labelled as top-rack dishwasher safe, so watch for this as well.
The general advice is never to put your most expensive glasses in the dishwasher, particularly lead crystal glasses, as the lead reacts with phosphates in the detergent, causing irreparable damage.
Dishwasher Cleaning Solutions
Most modern dishwashers have a special glassware cycle that is kind to your glasses which can be a good solution. However, it can be slightly impractical (and not very eco-friendly) to run a separate program just for your glasses.
Finish Dishwasher Cleaner might be a good investment to clear any limescale or chemical residue in the machine. Limescale remover might be a good idea too, just put a capful in the detergent drawer and run the machine at 40°.
You can also choose to use Miele rinse aid in your dishwasher. It is specially formulated to speed up the drying process and prevent water and limescale stains on your glassware. It also provides you with long term etching prevention and can be used for any dishwasher brand, not just Miele.
Finish Rinse Aid is another good option that allows for 100% better drying.
One dishwasher owner’s advice was to always make sure you are using a dishwasher rinse aid, and salt as the dishwasher will not do its job properly if you are not using the right products. Dishwasher salt helps improve the cleaning results by softening the water that is entering your dishwasher. Hard water has more lime and can make it more difficult to dissolve the dishwashing detergent.
Another tip that costs just pennies is to rub lemon around your glasses before washing which brings them up sparkling clean. You can also purchase Finish Dishwasher Freshener in a lemon fragrance. It helps eliminate unpleasant dishwasher odours and releases a pleasant and fresh scent after every wash.