How to Clean Cloudy Wine Glasses

There are two forms of cloudiness that can appear on glassware: hard water mineral deposits and the etching caused by repeatedly washing with strong detergents. Both issues can be remedied using household items.

Mila suggests soaking glasses in white vinegar to eliminate hard water stains. The acid breaks down minerals and should leave your glassware sparkling clean.


When your crystal or glassware begins to appear dull or milky, it’s likely due to hard water mineral deposits from hard water supplies. While these are easy to treat with white vinegar and some elbow grease, it’s important to distinguish this kind of cloudiness from etching which damages the atomic structure of glass due to strong detergents or phosphates found in dishwasher chemicals – if your piece has become etched it’s probably beyond repair.

Pour some distilled white vinegar into a bowl or glass container and soak your glasses for 15 minutes or until any haze has dissipated, before washing with warm soapy water and drying with a microfiber cloth to ensure there is no residual moisture that may lead to new spots forming.

Soaking glasses in vinegar should help remove most of the haze, though you may require further scrubbing with soft scrub brushes or your fingernail to eliminate any remaining residue. Once finished, rinse your glasses again using warm water and dish soap before drying them with a microfiber cloth and storing.

Alternatively to vinegar, toothpaste can also be an effective means of cleaning glasses without damaging them – just remember it requires more elbow grease than just using vinegar alone!

Handwashing glassware is the best way to prevent it from becoming cloudy, as this method is both gentle and effective in keeping them looking their best. Hand washing will also lessen the frequency with which haze needs to be addressed.

Baking soda stands out from other cleaning solutions as an exceptional tool to tackle even serious build-up issues. To create a baking soda paste, combine equal parts of baking soda with warm water until a thick consistency forms; apply this paste over all areas of glassware and allow to sit for 15 minutes before filling your sink with hot water and dish soap, using nylon scrubbers to scrub them away haze before washing, rinsing and drying thoroughly afterwards.

Baking Soda

If white vinegar’s pungent odor puts off you, baking soda may be your answer to glass cleaning. Baking soda is one of the most efficient DIY agents for this task and works by gently lifting away stains while at the same time abrading away water minerals that form on glass surfaces. Baking soda may even help relieve etching caused by harsh detergents in hand washing or dishwasher cleaning processes.

Before performing an investigation into what’s causing your glasses to cloud over, conduct a spot check in order to understand the source. Determine whether it is due to film build-up or damage from etching by scratching a small area with something such as a pin – if that section clears when treated with vinegar then this indicates film, otherwise milky and dull areas could indicate that damage occurred by etching.

Once you have identified what type of damage has occurred to your glasses, you can begin the restoration process to restore them back to their former beauty. Professional hard-water stain remover is often most successful at eliminating film and etching while cerium oxide polishing may help with polishing. Unfortunately, many home remedies found online — like toothpaste, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, borax, WD-40 and baking soda are either ineffective or damaging to glassware.

To bring back the beauty of crystal glasses, soak them for 15 minutes in an equal mix of white vinegar and warm water before washing with soapy hot water, and rinsing and drying after every use with a lint-free towel before use again. Be sure to rinse and dry your glasses right after each use to avoid mineral deposits forming over time, helping your crystal glassware stay sparklingly clean for years! And wine won’t hurt either. -Molly Maid housekeeping experts

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly (commonly referred to as Vaseline) can be an ideal cleaner for cloudy glassware. Contained of waxes and mineral oils that dissolve quickly, petroleum jelly provides a cost-effective and straightforward method for keeping glassware clear – simply apply some to dampened paper toweling then use to wipe over glass surfaces before wiping excess away for crystal-clear glasses!

Glassware can become cloudy from hard water deposits and detergent etching caused by harsh detergents. While dishwashers can remove most of these substances, leaving behind a milky residue which makes the glasses appear foggy and dull. Although there are various homemade remedies that you could try out yourself, most will likely prove ineffective; for more effective solutions use professional products like hard water spot remover or cerium oxide spot remover instead.

White vinegar is an indispensable cleaning essential, ranging from pots and pans to windows with streaks to cloudy glassware. First, run a quick spot test to ascertain if hard water deposits or etching is the cause of cloudy glasses; use a dampened cloth soaked with white vinegar to rub a small area of your glasses – if it turns clear quickly then this indicates hard water deposits have built up and can be effectively eliminated; otherwise milky patches indicate they have become etched beyond repair.

Place glasses on their sides in a sink or large dishpan and fill it with vinegar, leaving it fully immersed for 15 minutes before scrubbing them using something gentle but effective – such as nylon bristle brushes – without scratching their surfaces. If any milky residue remains after this second soak and scrub attempt has expired, repeat for five more minutes of soaking and repeat the scrub process again.

After thoroughly scrubbing your glasses, wash and rinse them by hand with hot soapy water before drying with a soft lint-free cloth. In order to maintain permanent damage-resistant glassware, always remember to wash and dry immediately after each use and avoid leaving glasses near other types of glassware that could potentially contain deposits and etching; keep dry after washing; don’t use too much soap or abrasives in washing; don’t store near other glass pieces when storing; avoid storage near similar types; don’t store near other types; avoid storage near other types; and don’t use excess amounts of soap or abrasives when cleaning.


Cloudy glassware often results from either hard water mineral buildup or etching, both of which are easy to eliminate with vinegar, baking soda and rubbing alcohol products you likely already possess in your home. They will work wonders in revitalizing them so they look as good as new!

Before diving in with white vinegar, it’s wise to perform a spot check. Use a wet rag soaked with vinegar to wipe your cloudy glasses down; if each wipe results in clearer glass surfaces, this indicates hard water deposits that can easily be removed; otherwise it indicates an etched surface which cannot be rectified.

A quick soak in a solution of water and vinegar should be enough to rid your glasses of milky, mineral-rich deposits that make them look dull and lifeless. After this treatment is completed, be sure to handwash and dry them promptly, as leaving them air dry may result in spots or stains appearing later.

Your first step when your glasses have hard water deposits or etching is to rinse them with warm tap water from your tap, ideally from your dishwasher which has heated and softened it first as this will ensure that any detergent used to wash them will work effectively; hard tap water may not dissolve minerals as easily.

After you have rinsed your glasses, fill a sink or large dishpan with enough distilled vinegar to cover them and let them soak for 15 minutes. Remove and hand wash with mild dish soap and warm water immediately afterwards drenching them in hot water to rinse completely before drying with a microfiber cloth in order to avoid spots or stains forming on them.

If your glasses are still somewhat foggy, repeat this process several times until they become truly crystal clear again. Luckily, all these treatments are quite cost-effective and more environmentally-friendly than chemicals found in commercial glass cleaners; alternatively rubbing alcohol may prove cheaper but just as effective in clearing away fogging issues.