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Dishwasher makes glasses cloudy.... help [Moved from Not About Food board]

I used to use "glass magic" but it is no longer at local stores. it is wonderful to keep glasses sparkling clear. i use good detergent (typically powder cascade) and the rinse-aid in the dispenser. i have tried using water pre-heat, too. still....glasses are cloudy.

calgon powder did not work, as suggested by the "glass magic" people. i can buy it online, but wondered if there is a (cheaper) remedy?

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  1. Have you tried vinegar instead of a rinsing agent? I haven't tried this, myself, but I keep reading about it. Supposedly, it eliminates water spots, but I'm not sure if it does anything for cloudiness.

    Me, I don't use any rinsing agent, and I'm starting to notice cloudiness, alas.


    3 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      Jet Dry and similar products are rinsing agents that cause water to sheet off the glass. If your glasses are coming out with water spots that can be polished away, these products will help.

      But if your glasses are actually becoming cloudy, and it doesn't easily rub off, these glasses have been etched and won't ever be clear again. This is usually caused by your detergent. Some brands are notorious for causing this. Electrosol ruined all of our glassware some years ago. (I've no idea if current Electrosol formulations have this problem.) Cascade has never etched any glassware in our experience.

      1. re: embee

        i must repeat, glass magic cleared cloudy glasses. this is a fact. all cloudy glasses are not etched,,,,

        1. re: alkapal

          AND, some glassware etches more easily/sooner than others. Threw away all my Spieglaus because they etched so fast, though initially I'd been a fan of them for the price over Riedel. Riedel resists etching much longer.

    2. do you know if your water is hard? sounds like you have some solids in the water that are drying on the glasses. You may need a water softener to remove some of these metals.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        jfood, hence the calgon water softener. but that did not work. honestly, i may have to bite the bullet and order a case of this "glass magic dishwasher performance booster" from mfgr. Reckitt Benckiser. (oh no! their website doesn't list it anymore, ach!)

        look at the reviews on amazon...where it sells for $4 per box.

        the reviews are spot on (ha!): it works wonders
        (even clears existing cloudiness!!!!


        holy moly, they carry it at ace hardware (i used to get it at wally-mart):
        8 pack for around $32 on the net, but i will check locally. i notice ace offers free shipping to my closest ace hardware store. that saves at least $10.

        each box probably does at least 10 loads.
        i plan to stock up if i find it......seriously stock up (like, cases) -- in the event the manufacturer has stopped making it.

        AnneInMpls: you will love alkapal for this rec! ;-D
        you will be able to see your wine sparkle again.

        1. re: alkapal

          did not know you were referring to "Calgon Water Softener" as jfood has never purchased nor used. But he googled to see what the effect would be and he could not find any reference to using in your DW. In fact the only reference was that you should not use calgon in a dw.

          Jfood was referring to a whole house softener that resides in the basement and uses salts to reduce the metals in the water for the whole house. If you do have hard water you will notice its effects on your clothes and possibly anyone who has light colored hair.

          glad you found another option.

          http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com New posting 11/20/07

          1. re: jfood

            i assumed (and we know what that means) the chemistry was similar between the calgon and my beloved glass magic -- as the person recommending it was with the mfgr. of glass magic (when she learned i couldn't get it locally anymore...)

            1. re: alkapal

              Calgon used to make a dishwasher water softener. They're not a US product anymore so who knows what they're making now. But you used to be able to get water softener for dishwashers in the same aisle as the dishwasher detergent and the Jet Dry.

          2. re: alkapal

            Yep, that stuff is great. I just bought some a few weeks ago and it's clearing up the cloudiness on some of my glasses that's been there for years.

        2. Once glassware becomes "etched", there's no way to restore it to its pristine, clear condition. All you can do is keep it from getting worse. High-temperature washes can actually cause this etching.

          Do a Google search for "cloudy glassware" for more information. Here's one of the sites that will pop up: http://www.midamericaparts.com/faqdis...

          1. are you absolutely sure that your glasses are dishwasher safe? i was thinking of the same effect mentioned by mystic cobra, above, where glasses are damaged by the high heat of the machine. often, glasses are not marked "dishwasher safe" for that reason.

            1. as i said, "glass magic" clears cloudy glasses. it has done it for me! cloudiness is not necessarily caused by etching....

              1. I use a product called "Jet Dry" that hooks onto the top rack of the dishwasher. It solves the same problem you probably have, cloudy dishes due to very hard water. I wash my wine glasses by hand, but still have to dry them immediately otherwise they look awful and spotty.

                1. Your problem could be how your water and your dishwasher detergent work together. I had that problem. For me, switching to those little Cascade "pillows" that have a powder on one side and a liquid on the other did the trick. I also use Jet Dry. When it's running low, I start getting spots!

                  You probably know this, but just in case... One thing that makes a dishwasher work better is running the hot water to get all of the cold out of the pipes before you start the machine. This can be a serious problem if you use a powder detergent. My hot water heater could be fifteen miles away, based on how long it takes to get hot water at the sink. I'm seriously considering putting in one of those "on demand" water heaters under the sink.

                  But despite the problems, it's still better than washing by hand! '-)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I use vinegar. It is completely safe and cheap too

                  2. i use the jet dry liquid in it the jet dry dispenser. no help. maybe i should try the basket that hangs in with the top drawer.

                    hot water seems like a good idea, too.

                    warneral, how do you add the vinegar? how much?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: alkapal

                      Alkapa, I too am wondering how that works. I always run my Kitchenaid on "energy saver dry" which means air drying, essentially, and as I have hard water I never know when or how to add water softening agents to keep glasses from getting cloudy.

                      1. re: MysticYoYo

                        when i had the glass magic, it instructed to add at the beginning. just pour 1/4 cup on floor of dishwasher (i did it in corner near the door hinges on the right, just to keep it away from the heating element...) i use air dry too. saves energy.
                        when i used the glass magic, air dry was just fine -- crystal clear glasses!

                      2. re: alkapal

                        I use the basket that hangs with the top drawer and it works wonderfully. As a previous poster said, you can tell when it is getting low because the glasses spot and cloud up again.

                      3. I know dishwashers and there is much truth to what is being said here. However; once your glasses are etched and if you have hard water, the mineral will penetrate the glass and lock itself in during the hot wash process. First thing: test your water hardness and look for a maximum of just a few grains per gallon hardness. Cheap test kits can be found at some hardware store, Sears or your water district. Any more than a few gpg and you are asking for trouble. Second: test your water temperature well into the wash process with a meat thermometer. While washing, just slowly unlock the door and the dishwasher will shut off. When the wash action subsides go ahead and open it the rest of the way. Because we arent talking about sanitizers here, look for no more than 110-135. And never run your clear glass wear through a sani cycle. The lower the temp the better for delicate/ clear glass. A dishwasher that recieves ample warm water right from the start and while using powdered soap like Electrosol or Cascade, doesnt need any more temp than that to do a great job. Third: rinse aid, most modern dishwashers have an adjustable rinse aid dispenser. They usually adjust from 1 to 6 ML per last rinse. If adjusted too high, it can actually spot your dishes as well. I recommend turning it down to 1 or 2 and see if that helps with your spotting. The less the better for spotting. Also, with glass wear in place, run your dishwasher without detergent for a few minutes to warm it up and then add two cups of white vinager and let it run until it pumps out. If pumps out quickly, add more vin to the next fill cycle. This will nuetralize the mineral buildup in the glass and you can start from scratch with hand washing at lower temps.

                        Also, like whats been said earlier in the thread: look into demineralizing your water. Cuno, Everpure and others (I like Everpure because the filters systems are easy to change) make special filters just for removing minerals. They can be easily installed on site and immediately in front of the dishwasher for max results. Doing this will make a big difference.

                        Good luck to you and i hope this helps.

                        1. It seems that a lot of beverages leave a residue on glass; many red wines certainly do. Every now and then, wash your glassware by hand with regular dish detergent and hot water, don't rinse it and then put it in the dishwasher with everything else. Do this as needed; perhaps after every 10 dishwasher-washings it will have to be repeated.

                          1. there is a new product out that filters the water going into your dishwasher. it solves the cloudy look problem. after i hooked it up (which was very easy) the first load i ran i was amazed at how sparkling my dishes looked. you can get it at dishwasherfilter.com. it is very affordable and works great.

                            1. there is a new product out that actually filters the water before it goes into your dishwasher. it solves the case of the cloudy,spotty,dishes. its very affordable and works great. you can get it at www.dishwasherfilter.com. my dishes have never looked so clean!!!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: mambro1

                                mambro, how many loads will it do?

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  it depends on your hardness level and useage but my water is very hard(25 gpg) and i usually get about 35-40 loads. The replacements are cheap especially if you buy a 4 pak you get a discount and they are simple to change. www.dishwasherfilter.com

                                  1. re: mambro1

                                    thanks, i'll def. look into that.

                              2. If you use powdered dishwashing soap (required by Miele for some reason I can't fathom), the particles can etch the glass. With the gel type liquid, this will not happen as easily.

                                1. Vinegar works!! My glasses looked cloudy and etched but I decided to randomly throw about 1 cup of white vingar in after the load had washed and put on the rinse cyle with hot water. Everything came out spotless. Don't worry that they smell a little like vinegar when you open the door. That goes away after you take them out. I even washed them at night and the next morning put the vinegar in the bottom and put on the rinse cycle and they came out spotless.
                                  I joined this just to let everyone know as I once threw out a whole set of glasses thinking they were no good anymore.

                                  1. I just used Finish Glass Magic for the first time after reading this post. WOW, it really works! I hate our dishwasher, it's the worst we've ever had. Dishes don't get clean, glasses and silverware look awful. I've tried vinegar but it didn't do much. This product is awesome. I'll be forever grateful to you, alkapal, for mentioning it here. The glasses look great, and so does the silverware. I can hardly believe it.

                                    btw, I found mine at Home Depot.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Georgia Sommers

                                      oooh, bless you! home depot, huh!? yay!

                                      THANKS, georgia.

                                      ps, georgia is my mom's name.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        I hope you find it easily! I can't tell you what a relief it is to have this stuff. I've been going from cupboard to cupboard and running things through the dishwasher to bring them back to life. Love it!

                                        and guess what? alkapal is *my* mom's name! tee hee, just kidding! :)

                                        Thank you, again. I am unnaturally excited about Glass Magic.

                                        1. re: Georgia Sommers

                                          LOL, that's a good one!

                                          yes, glass magic is "da bomb!" i need to get over to home depot and find it. (i was so sad when the wal-mart stopped carrying it, but that was a far trip, anyhow).

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            alkapal, just learned today that my Home Depot has stopped carrying Glass Magic. I just ordered from Ace Hardware online, $34.32 for an 8-pack. Free shipping to my local store. THANK GOODNESS!

                                            1. re: Georgia Sommers

                                              thanks georgia, i'm going to go to ace! that's a good price, too.

                                    2. For me, switching to buying my dishwasher powder in the organic section ended my problem. I have tried three brands. One did not get my dishes clean, the other two did. When I figure out which was not a good product, I will post it here.

                                      I am currently using the Seventh Generation brand & it is cleaning fine and not etching my glasses.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: jianji

                                        jianji: "...switching to buying my dishwasher powder in the organic section ended my problem. I have tried three brands. One did not get my dishes clean, the other two did."

                                        We used to have very serious etching problems here in Portland (Oregon), because the water is so soft, and the water softening chemicals -- mainly phosphates -- that "supermarket" dishwasher detergent manufacturers put in their formulas (for conditions in other markets but sold by the supermarket chains here) had no minerals in the wash water to work on, so they leeched chemicals in glass that were put there by the glassware manufacturers.

                                        About ten years ago, we switched to Ecover powder, which is completely phosphate-free, and the problem ceased completely; we wash even our fine crystal in the dishwasher now. Like you, we tried some other brands, but none has worked as well for the basic task of cleaning dishes as Ecover.

                                        1. re: Politeness

                                          I believe Ecover is the other brand that I like also. :-)

                                        2. re: jianji

                                          I am going to investigate this, too. It is quite likely that I never read the owner's manual for the DW. Perhaps I'm using the wrong soap. Thanks, jianji.

                                          1. re: Georgia Sommers

                                            You're welcome! I've located the brand name of the dishwasher detergent that does NOT work well for me. It is the Earth Friendly Products brand & the name is high performance Wave. I would not recommend this at all!

                                          2. re: jianji

                                            Seventh Generation did not cut it for me, but I love the (also very eco-friendly) Bio-Kleen powder detergent. It's pricey, but works great in my crappy dishwasher. Way better than the gel.

                                            1. re: guilty

                                              guilty: "... I love the (also very eco-friendly) Bio-Kleen powder detergent."

                                              Bio-Kleen is headquartered and made in our neighborhood, so to speak (about ten miles from us as the crow flies), and we were biased in its favor from the start. We use Bio-Kleen liquid as our only laundry detergent. However, for dishwashing, at least with our (very soft) water and our (Miele) dishwasher, Ecover powder significantly outperforms Bio-Kleen.

                                          3. Chiming in way late here, but some of the newer, energy star dishwashers simply do not wash well with certain detergents. Ours, a Kenmore Elite, says in the instruction manual not to use an enzymatic detergent or you will get cloudy glasses. We use Cascade and it works well now, but we had to get a whole house water softener because our water was so hard. We did nothing to treat our cloudy glasses other than to wash them daily for about a month in the dishwasher, using the Cascade, Jet Dry, and the softened water. The cloudiness slowly disappeared and now the glasses are crystal clear.

                                            1. Here's what I use... and it works! Hard water caused all the white crud that was on the glasses, and actually everything.

                                              It's Lemishine- I get it at Vons/Pavilions/Safeway, have also seen it at Albertson's- it comes and goes.

                                              Use 1 T in the main covered section where the detergent usually goes, and 1 T Cascade in the other, open section. It took a few times, but even the stainless interior of the dishwasher is clean!

                                              1. there is a new cheap remedy for cloudy glasses. Search for "CitriClean of Florida"

                                                1. I don not have a dishwasher. and I often buy glasses from the thrift stores. Iget the cloudiness out with hot soapy water and apple cider vinegar