Why do glasses go cloudy in the dishwasher and can you avoid it?

Picture of the base of a wine glass which has become cloudy as a result of being washed in a dishwasherGlasses 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 then 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 has run a cycle fully empty to wash away left over lime scale and salt, these particles can etch the glass.  Some dishwasher detergents are harsh and can scratch the glass so try a liquid detergent instead.

Hard water areas can cause glass to cloud 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 on a low temperature. Most modern dishwashers have a special glassware cycle which is kind to your glasses which can be a good solution although 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°. One dishwasher owner’s advice was to always make sure you are using dishwasher rinse aid and salt as the dishwasher will not do its job properly if you are not using the right products.

Another tip that costs just pennies, is to rub lemon around your glasses before washing which apparently brings them up sparkling clean.  ‘Finish Glass Safe’ could be another good product to try. The general advice however is, to 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.

For a further handy tip to get your glasses sparkling again check out the video below. You’ve gotta love the guy’s enthusiasm. It seems that washing glasses is altogether more fun if you’ve spent the preceding hours sampling as many wines as you can lay your hands on.

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