Film on glasses from dishwasher: etched?

linnea56March 26, 2011

The drinking glasses now look cloudy. I have been using them for years, and they are favorites I can't find anymore. Look like French jelly glasses: heavy, hard to break. It's the only set I've ever had that the kids didn't smash up in a year.

They have a whitish haze. I don't normally get a film on dishes. How can I tell if they are etched? I assume there is no way to solve this? I use Cascade powder. It's the only one I've ever found that really works.

Someone else on here had a thread I checked, but that seemed to be a deposit left on the glasses.

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My guess is they are ruined, the etching/film/whatever is permanent. You could try soaking and hand-washing but they're probably unsalvagable. The same thing has happened to me. Throw them out and find a new favorite set. You may want to start at a 99 cent or dollar store. I found some nice glasses there when I realized my everyday kitchen set of glasses was beyond help.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 11:30AM
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I've used Cascade powder for years too. Recently, I couldn't find the original Cascade powder formula, I purchased the newer formula. It leaves a cloudy film on my dishes, plasticware and glasses too. Recently, I found Great Value, Sam's/Walmart brand, that is similar to the original Cascade formula and much cheaper.

If we're talking about the same type of white film, try to wash or rinse it with white distilled vinegar. Then rinse it with tap water. It will take it right off. Hopefully, it will work for you too.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 7:53PM
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If it is a film, vinegar will remove it. If vinegar does not remove it, they are permanently etched.

I stopped using Cascade a few years ago (couldn't stand the bleach/chemical smell).

Have you tried Electrasol? I use the power ball ones (from Costco) and they work amazing. Everything is clean and shiny. I have no issue with etching on my glasses. I have the Duralex French bistro ones from Williams Sonoma.

I read this on line:

You'll have to determine whether the film is removable or permanently etched. To do this, soak a glass in undiluted white vinegar for about 15 minutes.

If the film comes off, it is probably caused by hard water minerals, improper amounts of detergent, or unsuitable water temperature.

Permanent etching is often caused by a combination of soft water and excessive heat or detergent. If glassware is permanently etched, there isn't anything you can do to make it clear again. But you can avoid future etching by taking these steps:

1) Be sure hot water entering the dishwasher is no hotter than 140 degrees F. Don't use extra-hot settings such as "Power Scrub," and use the "Energy Saver" dry cycle.

2) Adjust the detergent amount.

3) Don't pre-rinse your dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. Food particles on the dishes actually help the detergent and drying agents clean better. (I actually saw a Bosch video that said exactly this.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Electrasol

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:45PM
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I quit using phosphate detergent and my DW repair guy said to just fill the cup 1/2 full for my DW to run better. The damage is already done. So I can't say if the condition has improved with the switch.

Here is a link that has some info and agrees with the previous post as well.

Hang in there Linnea, spring is almost here. :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 8:24AM
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Good news. We had struggled with huge hard water problems with our dishwasher for years. Tried everything. Someone a while ago suggested using Cascade Complete Pacs. They are excellent. They actually removed the white film which covered all of our clear water glasses. We still use Jet Dry to be safe, but these pacs include some Jet Dry in them. We can't believe the difference. They are absolutely worth the extra cost. Some stores carry Cascade regular pacs. The Cascade Complete pacs are different.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 7:35AM
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Connie K

We have had a continual problem with etching. For years I didn't realize that it was etching, and thought it was a film that I couldn't remove. Somewhere I learned that it was caused by soft water and too much detergent. Now we are using much less detergent and the issue has improved, although we still have issues. I'm not willing to give up my soft water, but it sure is a pain to have to replace water glasses frequently.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 8:49AM
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Another Cascade Complete fan. Our glassware starting fogging about a year. I took the insides of the dishwasher apart and cleaned, ran a citric acid cleaner, etc., no improvement. Then I read here how manufacturers' new phosphate-free formulas weren't working, except for Cascade Complete, and maybe Finish. Have been using the gel Complete for about a month, and yesterday someone asked if we had gotten new glasses!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 9:07AM
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I had to share this tip to help remove the etching and streaks in dishwashers. I thought the problem was my new Bosch which I bought because of its minimal noise (and it really is sooo quiet). But I found out that the etching and streaking problem was actually due to the "hard" water in my area. I now use a product called Lemi Shine along with my dish powder. I use 2 teas of powder to 1 teas of Lemi Shine. That's all that is needed and it lasts for quite a while. Also make sure the Rinse Agent cup is filled.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 11:53PM
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Consumer Reports is running tests on this very problem. They haven't tested all the detergents but several of the top scoring detergents did etch glasses.

The top scoring one that didn't etch is Cascade Complete All in One Action Pacs. This is the one I plan to buy next time.

The top scoring detergent for cleaning was Finish Quantum but it did etch the glasses. The second highest rated Finish Powerball hasn't been tested yet.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 3:56PM
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It sounds like your glasses may be from a line called the Working Glass. You can google that term and see if they are one and the same. They are still available, and with the lids are great for storing things in the fridge. I don't even bother buying any other type of glasses for everyday use. Some I've had since the 70's!


    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 4:14PM
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I put a bit of bleach in the machine. I pour some in with the dishes just before I start it, and that seems to help. I don't use it every time. I also use the jet dry stuff, but still need the bleach at times.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 9:29PM
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Barbara, it is very similar! Thanks for the ID. I happened to be in Ikea a few days ago. They had something very similar too. I went ahead and bought them, even though the sizes are not the same. To my surprise, they don't nest! That will take up much more space.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2011 at 11:08PM
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Have a look at the video linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: White film on your dishes? Here's why

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 11:27AM
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If you use water from some utility company and if someone around you household really wants to delve into this one explanation might be flocculants in the water.

The way we found it was taking some water from the drain at the bottom of the water heater and letting it sit for half a day or so. All manner of jelly like stuff formed in the container. A utility employ then conceded that this gooey stuff was flocculants.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:58PM
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I have hard water and the same problem with glasses. I read a suggestion to use white toothpaste with a sponge to hand wash the glasses. The slight abrasive material in the toothpaste seems to remove the cloudiness.
My glasses came out shiny and beautiful, but it only lasts for a couple of weeks or months after going back in the dishwasher regularly

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 4:30AM
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I soak my glasses and reg dishes in vinegar once a year. They sparkle like new, except for itching that of course is permanent and usually takes years to happen. Be careful about using vinegar and other chemicals in the dishwasher to often. My book said it can damage it. I am assuming it means seals and such.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Every now and then I go after my glasses with an SOS pad. It doesn't seem to hurt them and does get all the gunk off.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:32PM
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I never used to have cloudy/etched glasses until I got lazy and bought the pods with powdered soap in them. I have heard that powdered soap can etch glasses because it does not melt very quickly. So I'm going to buy a new set of glasses and go back to liquid soap.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2015 at 7:54AM
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