etching on my good drinking glasses

sooeyDecember 7, 2006

Hi Kids,

This seems to be a recurring problem for many of us here on this forum...etching/film on glasses. I did a search and found several recent questions about this issue. Here is another one.

I have several items, all clear glass, that have become etched in my dishwasher. I am very sure that if it's happening to the glasses, its happening to everything...its just noticed on the clear glass. I'm sure it's etching from the strong dishwashing detergent. I have always used Cascade. I'm sure its not an issue of pre rinsing or not, that should make no difference. I'm sure it's an issue of dishwasing detergents that are way too strong.

In one of the other posts, jmac mentioned phosphate free dish detergent. Has any one tried this? It seems to make sense. Water 'type' can also be an issue and I know that there can be reactions between minerals in our water and the chemicals in the cleaning agent that is used. It may well be that we all have the same problem but caused by different factors. I really hate to see my glasses becoming cloudy and yuckie.

I also think that anyone who has a septic tank needs to scrape and rinse their dishes no matter what the people who make the dishwashing detergent tell us. Food particals left on plates goes directly into our septic tanks. Food particals, even those ground up in a disposal cause the vast majority of septic failure.

So, my question is, have any of you tried the phosphate free dish detergent? If so, how has it worked?

Thanks, Gang. As always...I'm guilty of over thinking a problem. If it bothers me that much...I should just hand wash everything! But...thanks for your time.


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Actually there's a line of thought that pre rinsing your dishes can in fact lead to more etching. By eliminating a lot of the soil prior to loading you might not be leaving enough gunk for all those chemicals to work away on and expire leaving them full strength to etch away at your glasses. Hope that makes sense.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 9:16AM
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Pete's right.....toomuch rinsing equals too much detergent and etched glasses.
Also all glass is not created equal. Some formulae for glass are more prone to etching than others.....
Also a dishwasher that doesn't rinse properly before going into the heated dry cycle will cause glass to etch.
What you can do? Don't rinse....use less detergent and turn off the power dry.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 9, 2006 at 10:40AM
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I have found Cascade to ruin many of my dishes. Etches the glass and strips the color off the outside of my pans. Once I stopped using Cascade and switched to the cheap store brand (Kroger/Fred Meyers) I've not had etched glasses. I still have color loss on the pans, so when these totally die I'm only going to replace with stainless.

I read on another board the suggestion to use just baking soda. I've been trying that with good results. I like to use vintage Pyrex, but get the color loss on the outsides of the baking dishes. With the baking soda, I can't tell any difference in cleaning. Even plastics are coming out with no grease residue. We have very soft water and I dry on the heated dry cycle.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 4:20AM
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Have you tried Amway's dishwashing detergent? I used to use Cascade, but once I installed a water softener, I found my glasses were etching. I was told it was the interaction of the detergent with the PH of the water, to use something designed for soft water. The only manufacturer of a soft water dishwashing detergent that I found was Amway. I've been using it for years, and if it hasn't stopped the etching, then it has seriously retarded it.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 8:25AM
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Etching is caused by soft water 99% of the time. If you have a water softener, don't connect it to the dishwasher. If you have naturally soft
water, try using less detergent.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:51AM
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I never rinse my dishes and mine are also etching. I'm just one of those people that think if I have a dishwasher, then it can wash my dishes. I don't see a need to halfway wash them before the dishwasher does it. However, I do have a water softener and use cascade. Maybe that is the answer. I think I will switch detergents next time and see if that doesn't make a difference.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Having tried without success everything on this site and others, it occurred to me to try an automotive rubbing compound. It works! Not 100% of every stain, but 90% is good enough for me. Repetitive application and abrasion is needed to reduce the etching/staining to an acceptable amount.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Do you use the automotive rubbing compound to polish away the etching on the glasses?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 10:41PM
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I've had a soft water system...whole house. I have etching. Don't remember having it in years past. But I think it may also be the cheapo detergent. I used to use the kind that came with the soft water system. I don't remember etching. Not sure which did it, the cheap stuff or the water. I'm guessing maybe both? Can't disconnect from dishwasher. I guessing etching is permanent??? Didn't think about baking soda (as I saw in a post earlier. ) Helpful posts.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 7:33AM
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If the etching is due to calcium deposits, use Lime-a-Way liquid to clean the glasses.

If your water contains Silicone, it will never come off. You can find out from your water department whether the water contains Silicone and how much. Los Alamos, New Mexico has this problem.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:36PM
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I don't have soft water, don't pre-rinse the dishes but DO use Cascade. I thought my glasses were etched after years of washing in the dishwasher. But after posting about it here, I found out they were not etched after all. I soaked the whole set in white vinegar for several days (Stacked them up vertically inside a tall pitcher). They were clean! So it was mineral deposits after all. If you have hard water, it's worth a try, in case your cloudy glasses are not really etched.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 8:32PM
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My dishwasher broke recently. (Sears is coming Thursday to fix it). I've been hand-washing using any good name-brand liquid detergent. My glasses have never looked so shiny!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Fill the rinse dispenser of dishwasher with "white vinegar" and your problem will be solved.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 1:08PM
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