Help, so frustrated with my cloudy glasses!

jalsy6July 30, 2012

Ugh, I am so frustrated. We purchased and installed a lovely new Bosch Integra 500 series, panel ready, this past winter. I've read all about the recommended finish powerball, but wanted to use something more environmentally (and health) friendly...so I've been using the Smarty dishtabs by Method.

6 months later, my glasses look HORRIBLE! So totally cloudy, and nothing will remove it, not vinegar, bleach, nothing. I called Bosch and was told it could be hard or soft water, but I don't understand why my neighbors' glasses look fine out of their dishwashers?

Is this my fate with this machine that cost me $800 plus dollars? If so, take it back. I can't give these glasses to company...nevermind that they look dirty just drinking from them.

Any suggestions would be so appreciated.

Thanks,

Jalsy

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jakvis

Maybe your neighbors are using a different/better detergent.
I gotten to where I only recommend the Finish tabs or Quantum for my customers that have the same complaint as yours and it seems to alsways take care of the problem. YOu may need to run a couple citric acid baths before switching but I do suggest switching to an enzyme based detergent. All the others seen to cause the conditions you describe.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:34AM
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dadoes

Cloudiness on glassware that *will not* wash or wipe off, even with vinegar, is likely etching, which is permanent. It's caused by excessive detergent dosage ... common in soft water conditions (do you have a household water softener?) and is exacerbated by prerinsing before loading (do you handwash your dishes before loading them into the machine?) -- there's very little food soil so the overly-strong detergent solution chemically-damages the glassware.

Use of tablets and gelpaks in soft water conditions also contributes to the problem because the dosage can't be moderated as it can with traditional powders.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Nunyabiz1

Yep sounds like etching which is more because of the detergent than anything else.
I use the "Finish all in one tabs" work just fine for us and get them cheap at Costco.

Glassware is crystal clear.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:02PM
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dadoes

Also, etched glassware is not dirty, it's simply covered with bunches of tiny scratches. The glasses still work so there's really no reason to dispose of them. They don't look nice for company or dinner parties, but can still be used for your daily meals & snacks.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:58PM
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ak0402

I agree with Dadoes that it's likely a case of excessive detergent. Do you know if your water is hard or soft? I use the Method Smarty Tabs and always break them in half, even for very full loads. I like that Method has no bleach nor excessive suds, but I think a whole tab would be too much unless your water is very hard.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:05PM
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jalsy6

Thanks for all the input. I did try breaking the smarty tabs in half...didn't seem to make a huge difference. I'm sad if my glasses are ruined, but if I understand dadoes point correctly one can't put glasses in the dw that have only been used for say, water, since they're not dirty enough? That is just a giant inconvenience for such an expensive appliance! Tonight we ran it using the finish powerball so we'll see how that turns out...
Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:55PM
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weissman

No, the glasses themselves don't have to be dirty but you need a load that has dirty dishes in it. If you pre-rinse everything, there won't be any dirt for the enzymes to interact with and they will start etching dishes, glasses, etc.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 12:21AM
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ca_mom

Your glasses may not be ruined. I was amazed at how lovely and clear all my horrible looking glassware became after four months of hand washing with sponge and Dawn during my remodel. I too was ready to throw them all away. They clouded up a bit again with a week or so using my brand new top of the line KA and Cascade. Searched this forum and tried the Finish tabs. Made it better. But still not as lovely as the hand washing. I'm thinking a week break of the DW then back to the Finish tabs. Don't give up yet!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:50AM
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dadoes

I did try breaking the smarty tabs in half...didn't seem to make a huge difference.

Tonight we ran it using the finish powerball so we'll see how that turns out... Etching *cannot* be removed from glassware after it has occurred ... so changing detergent, dosage, or dishwasher usage habits WILL NOT have any effect on the glasses that are already etched. The only visual feedback you will have on the change is whether no damage occurs on NEW glassware or any you already have that are not yet etched.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:13AM
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rococogurl

Etching, which is permanent, is a function of soft water, heat and detergent interaction. I had it before my DW was adjusted because we have a whole-house water softener.

First, it would be a good idea to test the water so you know the hardness for sure. Then, if your DW is hooked up to hot water, fimd out how hot the water is from your hot water heater.

With that info, Bosch should be able to help you adjust so you don't get etched glassware.

We have very soft water and I use smarty tabs. No problems now since my machine ( older Miele) was adjusted. I do use Quantum tabs for dirty or Loads with pots & pans.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 5:53PM
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jakvis

I had not ever heard of Smarty Tabs so I looked them up. It appears that not too many people are happy with the product. Many complaints about film and cloudy dishes.

I would recommend that you call or email them and see what they can tell you. Here is the contact info from their website.
email info@methodhome.com
phone (866) 9-method or (866) 963-8463

As for as a dishwasher. It's just a box with hot water spraying in it. The dishwasher it'self doesn't cause etching. It's the chemicals used and water type that causes the issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: Method - Smarty Tab

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 6:42PM
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alwaysfixin

There were quite a lot of 5 star reviews on Jakvis' link too. Actually 4 out of 5 stars total from 48 reviewers, pretty good.

I agree with other posters here that negative reviews due to etching are from too much detergent and people's irrational compulsion to pre-rinse. Why spend the money on a DW, plus the water and energy costs, if you are also going to wash dishes in the sink beforehand? Anyway, when there is nothing for the detergent to "work on", it etches glass. I too use Method Smarty tablets and break them in half. I've tried the Finish balls and you cannot break them in half, and they fill my DW with too much suds. Though Finish is cheaper.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 8:31PM
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RoundRockMom

We had the same problem and I was ready to replace the dishwasher. It also left a visible film on dishes (that could be wiped away) in addition to ruining the glasses with etching. The problem for us was using too much detergent - I guess I was filling the cup with the liquid I had used for years. I changed to Cascade all in one packets, to control the dosage better, and bought a new set of cheap glasses at Walmart to try it. The film disappeared and in nearly a year, the glasses still look nearly brand new, no etching. I threw the old ones away. They looked so bad I was embarrassed to have a guest use them. We run that dishwasher daily (4 kids) and my kids don't typically prerinse, just hopefully empty out the big chunks of food first.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:22PM
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westsider40

I cut the finish tabs in half with a sturdy knife. no etching and always clean. I read it on the web, and chose to try it out. It works just fine.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 9:29PM
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jalsy6

Wow you guys are great. Thank you for all the input, and Jakvis for the resource at method. Just to be clear, I don't prewash the dishes, but I do give them a quick rinse because my dw doesn't have a food grinder. I guess maybe I should just scrape really well?
I would agree that the glasses are etched. Beautifully clean, but etched. I do find it frustrating that I have to go out and buy cheap glasses so I can use my brand new appliance...seems kind of funny actually. I did find the smarty tabs did fine in terms of cleaning...just the glass problem stinks. How would I go about testing the water, and then how would that info influence how I deal with the dishwasher/detergent?
I'm overwhelmed and sort of annoyed that this problem is going to require so much work...by this time I could have hand washed all my dishes LOL!!
Thanks again for all the great suggestions.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:45PM
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dadoes

I guess maybe I should just scrape really well? DO NOT rinse. Scrape off the bulk of food chunks, bones & seeds ... *really well* isn't necessary.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 11:17PM
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rococogurl

You get strips to test the water. Then tell customer care what the water hardness is and ask if dishwasher can be adjusted.
Again, check the temp of the water coming from the hot water heater. Perhaps it needs to be turned down. Someone here can tell you optimum water temp.
We just scrape dishes. Any bits are trapped in the filter. You likely have one, too.

Once this is done you should be set for the life of the dw. Some of us went through the same thing.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 7:50AM
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Cavimum

I found the water hardness/softness test strips at my local Lowe's or Home Depot (can't remember which store).

FWIW, I have also read that it is now quite necessary to have a rinse agent with these new DWs. For some reason, it makes a difference. Maybe because the new detergents are so *carppy* with their new formulations, now that phosphates have been removed. Nobody complained before then.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 8:09AM
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jakvis

Before throwing your glasses out try washing them in the d/w just using Glass Magic. The Glass Magic will not make your glasses worse but it may make them better so it's worth a try. I believe glass magic can be picked up at most super markets.

I also had some glasses that had some slight etching and I noticed they looked much better after I switched to Quantum detergent. There is something about the Quantum that really puts a good shine on the dishes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glass Magic

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 11:54AM
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jxbrown

I had no problem for years with Seventh Generation, but Finish has caused etching recently.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 12:49PM
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vickinbobyo

I have extremely soft water, I have done everything Bosch says to do with this $2K piece of you know what dishwasher. Use the tabs, don't use the tabs, use Cascade Complete, do not use Cascade Complete, use regular Cascade (try to find that). You are using to much, then they try to show me I am using too much detergent, by running this dishwasher with no soap. Guess what WRONG!! All my glasses are etched and I am pretty pissed off.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 9:47PM
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jakvis

Vickinbobyo
A dishwasher does not cause glasses to etch.
A dishwasher just heats and sprays water.

It's what you are putting into a dishwasher or not putting in that can cause etching.

First switch to an enzyme based detergent.
DO NOT PRE-RINSE YOUR DISHES
Since you have a Bosch I would recommend to NOT preheat your water since the Bosch heats the water so fast and the Enzymes start dieing off at 130F.
Use your Auto Wash cycle - The dishwasher has a brain that will figure out how long and how hot the cycle needs to be.
Call your detergent manufacturer and tell them you are getting etching and see what they recommend for extremely soft water.
Detergents become more aggresive in soft water.

In my service business most customers that experinence etching are pre-rinsing their dishes and that means the detergent has no soils to attack so the dishes get the brunt of the detergent attack and the etch.

Try cliking on the link I provided to help you with your situation.
You can also do a Google search for What causes glasses to etch

Here is a link that might be useful: What causes Glasses to Etch

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 6:00PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

I've never rinsed a dish before putting it into the DW, but our new house has to have whole-house softening, and I've never had that, either. How does a person "adjust" their DW and what is it you are adjusting? We are likely to get a Bosch, 500 series of some sort, if that matters.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 6:33PM
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jakvis

THere are a couple things you can do
First is to not set your whole house water softener to extreme soft water. Most modern water softeners you can adjust the water hardness. You can test the hardness with strips you can get at Lowes or Home Depot.
Use the Auto cycle on the Bosch.
Call the detergent manufacturer and ask which detergent they recommend for soft water.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 6:57PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

Thanks, jakvis. Our water softener is not operational yet, but is installed in the pumphouse, so I will check it out and see how it's set up. I don't like showering in super-soft water anyway, so glad to find out we can do that. My only experience with water softeners is at a relatives where I never felt like I got the soap off, but that was in the old days, and maybe it wasn't adjustable.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 7:17PM
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herring_maven

vickinbobyo: "I have extremely soft water, I have done everything Bosch says to do with this $2K piece of you know what dishwasher. Use the tabs, don't use the tabs, use Cascade Complete, do not use Cascade Complete, use regular Cascade (try to find that). You are using to much, then they try to show me I am using too much detergent, by running this dishwasher with no soap. Guess what WRONG!! All my glasses are etched and I am pretty pissed off."

We live in Portland, Oregon, which also has very, very soft water. We used to have a set of everyday use glass bowls, not fancy at all, that we washed several times a week, and we were using "supermarket" name-brand dishwashing detergents -- Cascade, Unilever Sunlight, Electrasol, etc. -- in our dishwasher (but no rinse aid, although not that is not especially relevant to the matter under discussion). Those bowls got pretty wasted by the process -- see the image attached.

Once we learned a few years ago that the culprit causing our etching was probably the dishwashing detergent we switched to Ecover detergent (see link), powder only, not tablets, and Somat Rinse Aid. The etched bowls did not get better, but new (cheap) glassware that we washed repeatedly did not etch, either, and we started entrusting our not-so-cheap fine glassware and china -- tentatively, at first -- to the dishwasher, carefully monitoring the process.

Fast forward to 2013, and we have a pair of crystal wine glasses that were part of the "flight" at a visit to a very toney winery (their 750 ml bottles sell for $250 and up) in the Dundee Hills subregion near here; we partake of a glass of wine from those two glasses every night, seven days a week, and wash the glasses in the dishwasher afterwards. We took that winery tour over Thanksgiving weekend in 2008, so I estimate that those glasses have been through the dishwasher somewhere between 2500 and 3000 times by now, and they look today exactly as they did when we were given them in the winery.

There is balm in Gilead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ecover powder

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:08PM
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dadoes

Once we learned a few years ago that the culprit causing our etching was probably the dishwashing detergent we switched to Ecover detergent (see link), powder only, not tablets, and Somat Rinse Aid. The etched bowls did not get better, ... Etching is not reversible, it's permanent damage to the glass.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 8:20PM
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herring_maven

dadoes: "Etching is not reversible, it's permanent damage to the glass.

Are you under the mistaken impression that you are disagreeing with me?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 11:27PM
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