Care & Handling: Restoring shine to cloudy or etched glassware
It happened again: You unload your dishwasher, only to find that your (allegedly) freshly cleaned glasses are cloudy, hazy or frosted. What gives?
You may be dealing with filming or etching. While these may create the same cloudy effect on your glassware, the causes (and prevention methods) are different. Here’s how to deal with this frustrating problem:
Etching is a permanent eroding or pitting of the surface of glass where the metal ions have been removed, leaving the silica exposed. One easy way to tell if your cloudy glassware has been etched is if you hold it up to light at an angle and see shades of blue, purple, pink and brown.
Natural soft water or softened hard water is most often to blame for etching, as well food bits left on the glass before washing. Unfortunately, once a glass has been etched, there is no practical method to restore its luster, but there are ways to prevent or slow the etching of your glassware:
-Use minimum detergent, less than one tablespoon
-Under-load your dishwasher to allow maximum rinsing
-Use a rinsing agent, like Jet Dry or equivalent, to provide sheeting off of water in the final rinse
-Use the correct water temperature of 140°F to 150°F
-Use Glass Magic or an equivalent product with detergent. This provides the stripping of hard water film or food soil film
Cloudy glasses caused by filming are a byproduct of hard water that dries on your glassware, leaving minerals like calcium and magnesium behind. Luckily, this type of hazy appearance is easy to remove and prevent:
-Soak your cloudy glasses in vinegar to help release the minerals from your glassware
-Remove the film by gently scrubbing the vinegar-soaked glasses with a nylon net or plastic scrubber
-After rinsing your glasses in hot water, dry your glasses with a lint-free towel, ensuring that no fibers are left behind
-Consider hand-drying your dishes immediately after a dishwasher cycle to prevent water from drying on the surface
Following these steps will help keep your glassware looking brilliant for many celebrations to come. For more information on caring for your Libbey products, click here.