The Easy Tip That Makes Cloudy Drinking Glasses Crystal Clear

Everyone knows that you eat (and drink) with your eyes first. Bright garnishes, pretty sugar rims, and fresh herb flourishes all enhance the drinking experience. Whether you are drinking a perfectly tart creamy Brazilian lemonade, a refreshing sangria, or just simply ice water, a cloudy glass totally ruins the vibe.

No one wants to feel like they are drinking out of a dirty glass. The good news is, they are actually still clean even if they appear a little grimy. The frosty look is likely due to hard water — both because of the extra minerals that are present in the water itself and because it just does not do as good of a job at washing off dish soap or detergent. With just a little time and effort, all your favorite glassware can be crystal clear again using items you likely already have at home. All you need is white vinegar, a gentle scrubber or nylon net, and a soft cloth.

How to clean cloudy glasses

Using warm vinegar will be most effective, but keep in mind the vapors from boiling vinegar can be irritating if inhaled. It's best to gently warm it on the stove, or you can fill your sink with hot water and let the whole bottle soak. Then, drain the water, and pour the warm vinegar back into the sink or a large bowl. Carefully place the glasses in the vessel to soak. A half-hour should do the trick, but you can always check and let them soak for another 30 minutes if the residue is a little stubborn. After an hour, some of the film should just rinse right off, but you can use your scrubber to help it along. After a scrub and a thorough rinse in hot water, your glasses should be sparkling again. Dry them by hand to make sure you don't leave behind any water marks.

If you followed these steps and are still left cloudy glassware, the film may not actually be from hard water. In that case, the discoloration might be due to glass etching. These tiny scratches can look similar to mineral buildup and happen due to a variety of reasons, such as cleaning dishes with super hot water, prewashing them before the dishwasher, or even soft water (yes, it's not just hard water). Unfortunately, once your glasses are etched, there is no way to fix it.

How to prevent glasses clouding from hard water

In a world of endless to-do lists, exactly no one needs one more cleaning task. By taking some steps up front, you can stop your glasses from getting cloudy from mineral residue in the first place. It is actually the hard water droplets drying on the glass that causes the cloudiness — not the act of washing in hard water. Simply washing and drying your glasses by hand is a simple solution to this problem. You can also use this parchment paper trick to clean your hard water stains.

If you still want to give your dishwasher a chance, try running it on the hot water cycle. Using the wrong amount of dishwashing detergent could also be to blame. Figuring out the best quantity may take some trial and error as it depends on the mineral content of the water, the soap, and the model of the machine. You may need to use more or less detergent depending on those factors. Additives like a rinse aid, booster, or even running a used lemon through your dishwasher can also help fight tough mineral buildup.