Cloudy Glassware

chisueMarch 17, 2013

I'm sure we've discussed this on KT but I wasn't having the problem at that time.

We have the same everyday glassware at home and at the condo -- cheapie Big Box stuff. When we got home I noticed that our glasses are NOT CLEAN -- cloudy, ring marks (from milk?), smudged along the edges (lipstick?). At first I thought the house-sitter had let things sit for days without running the dishwasher, but nothing has improved after two weeks.
I ran a vinegar rinse through the dishwasher and checked the trap. I'm still using Cascade Complete and Jet-Dry rinse aid. I've tried a longer cycle -- nothing helps.

I was able to clean two glasses using CLR, but that seems drastic. Is my dishwasher broken (12-yr-old Fisher Paykel dish drawers) or is there something I can try adding to the detergent? (Neither drawer gets these glasses clean.)

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Hard water deposits are what you clear up with CLR, so I'd use that or plain vinegar to dissolve the haze. Do you have hard water? Or is your water softener working ok?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:16AM
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Thanks, sushipup. I had only used the vinegar to clean the dishwasher, not directly on the glasses. I just tried vinegar on some glasses -- it works! (With elbow grease.) We'll have to see how they look after a trip through the dishwasher.

We don't have hard water and have no water softener. I'm still puzzled how the glasses GOT this way -- and not thrilled to think that our *dishes* are probably not clean-clean either, but that's not as visible. Blech.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:58AM
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New product I have tried---Oxi-Clean. Dishwashing Booster claims it removes cloudy film, food particles and spots and streaks.
Clear directions on the back. I tried it on mine, but I also have very soft water. Hard to tell, for me, to see if was better than regular rinse agents.
In the dishwashing area at Walmart

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:37PM
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As of this year, the phosphates in dishwasher soap are banned in all states. I switched to Finish complete and the cloudiness went away. I was on Cascade.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Every few days, I add a spoon full of citric acid when washing a load of dishes. Everything comes out sparkling, and it also cleans hard water deposits if you have them. I've read it can pit silverware and etch glassware, but haven't had any such problems with it.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 3:02PM
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I use a dishwasher cleaner routinely, otherwise I use Finish tablets and a rinse aid. My glassware is clear. The dishwasher is a Whirlpool, if water makes a difference I live in Colorado....

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 5:55PM
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I think Illinois has banned phosphates for a LONG time, but I might try the Finish product anyway. I saw the Oxi-Clean Dishwasher Booster at the store this afternoon -- do you use that *instead* of Jet-Dry? (It will be months before the reservoir of Jet-Dry is used up.) I can't use tablets -- too much soap for a little Dishdrawer.

Guess I don't understand why you'd need to clean a dishwasher -- never did that in my life. The vinegar rinse I gave ours took care of any excess soap. The thing isn't stained and the water inlets and outlets are clear in both the upper and lower drawers.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 6:08PM
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I suddenly had problems a few years ago and had the plumber here fixing something. So I asked him. He said that the formulas had changed on dish washer soaps and suggested I try the Finish Power Ball packets and use Jet Dry. I had been a fan of Cascade for 45 years and used it successfully all over the country on our many moves. The Finish Power Ball did the trick. I really don't need the Jet Dry.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 7:47PM
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Petra, where do you put the spoonful of citric acid in your dishwasher? I would like to try it.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:09PM
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We have very hard water here. To get my glasses sparkly, I load glasses in the top rack and leave the bottom rack empty. Wash through a complete regular cycle using 1 cup of white vinegar and no detergent. It cleans the glasses as well as the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 8:43PM
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We have hard water too, and I've encountered more of a problem with cloudiness than in the past. I switched to Finish Powerball because the leading consumer magazine rated them the highest, but things didn't improve much. Then I read (maybe here?) about Lemi Shine Original detergent additive & started using it with the Finish. It took at least 3 loads, but the glasses are looking much better & even the dishes are shinier.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:00PM
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Tami, you can put it on the bottom of the dishwasher or add it to the dispenser along with the detergent. We buy 5 pounds at a time via Amazon, lasts a long time and works out much cheaper than buying at a grocery or drug store. I ordered some recently and it was around $18 for 5 pounds of food grade. If you want to use it to clean hard water deposits from your dishwasher, you should use a couple tablespoons. One in the bottom of the dishwasher and one in the soap dispenser (close after adding) in lieu of soap and run the dishwasher without any dishes in it. It might take several times and once it's clean, you can use it once a week or so for maintenance.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Thanks Petra. I think I will try it. My glasses look horrible, and have for years, but it's getting worse and the dishes don't seem as clean.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Could be hard water deposit build-up. If so, the citric acid should fix it. Just keep in mind that it should not be used with fine china or expensive glasses as it could cause some etching and stripping of color borders, etc. Like I mentioned, that has not happened in our case, but just wanted to mention it again. Better safe than sorry. :o)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 10:16PM
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Vinegar (5% acetic acid) attacks lime based deposits (calcium-carbonate). If your water comes from a source that lies on top of, or below a limestone bed, it will very likely carry calcuim carbonate. Acid rains increases the dissolving of limestone into the water. To counteract, you willneed a water softner that removes lime and calcium deposits. However, removing all calcium from drinking water may not be a good idea.

If you kitchen is plumbed like mine, the cold water faucet on the sink is directly connected to the incomming supply and does not run through the softner. This was done to bypass the softner for drinking water.

The dishwasher, however, should have both hot and cold softened water. There is a chance that the cold water supply to your dishwasher bypasses the water softner and is a source of 'hard' water in the machine.

If you have a basement, you can easily sort out what you got by going to the basement and looking where the water supply comes from. If the water supply for the washer is connected to the plumbing under the kitchen sink, you may have un-softened cold water to the washer.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 11:57PM
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Oh great, so the Finish only comes in 'power balls'? Maybe I could open them and use half? I just re-washed all the towels at the condo with vinegar to get overloads of soap out. Don't want to over-soap my dishes now. (The Dishdrawers use about 1 T of detergent per load.)

We have Lake Michigan water -- not hard/not soft -- and have no water softener. Maybe I'll have to try the citric acid trick along with the Cascade Complete and Jet-Dry.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Cascade has been known to be the most abrasive dishwashing detergent. The cloudyness you're seeing is actually etching from the detergent. You can't make the etching go away.

You have Lake Michigan water, which is considered hard water. The mineral content is not nearly as high as well water in that area (I know, I lived there for a long time and my family was in the water softener business for decades). You just need to change the dishwashing detergent you use or handwash your glasses.

You have 12 year old F&P drawers? Check to see if there is a filter anywhere in the incoming or discharge lines. You may have a clogged filter which is restricting water flow.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Dees, if the cloudiness comes off with an acidic wash such as vinegar, it is hard water deposits, not etching.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:52PM
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There are other kinds of Finish, but the Power Ball kind is what is recommended. It works. I use just one Finish Power Ball per load of dishes.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Thank you ALL! What a great support team to have 'on call'.

I do have some 'etched' glasses, but the cloudy appearance of these does come off with a vinegar rub. Now I've given all of them the vinegar treatment and will see if some we are using either do or do not get clean in the dishdrawer when we run it after dinner tonight. I can try both drawers -- have to remind myself to actually use the lower drawer to keep it from getting stale.

I've had Lake Michigan water all my life and never needed a water softener. F & P recommended using Cascade Complete. I think F & P sold to...what, Whirlpool? I never had this problem until now, returning after the house-sitter was here for two months.

I'd have to borrow someone's handy husband to look inside the supply and outflow lines for filters! LOL However, it was worth looking at them because I see a sort of 'rubbery' connection with clamps that looks like it is getting dried out. Sigh. Now I can watch *that*.

sheilajoyce -- I'm afraid a powerball would have too much detergent for my F & P dishdrawer, which is about half the size of a normal dishwasher -- or do you have a drawer too?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:52PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

Lemishine it shines ! it's awesome. I add the liquid to the rinse dispenser and the powder booster with my cascade pods. They now make the pods too so I am going to get those too.

My problem at this house is this dishwasher, hate it.

Here is a link that might be useful: lemishine

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:07PM
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I had the same problem--suddenly the glasses just weren't getting clean. It was about the time we had that discussion on the KT and I contributed it to no more phosphates. But I was wrong--it was the dishwasher and we had to replace it. After one washing in the new one, the glasses sparkled again. Sure hope you can solve the problem without having to get new drawers.

Off topic, but I find those drawers fascinating--up to now, have you liked them. They sure look cool!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Ta-DAH! Clean glasses out of the top 'drawer' last night! Hope this continues.

I'm now betting that the house-sitter a) Used up all the glasses before running the dishwasher, leaving them to stand dirty for a week, and b) Used too much soap in the dishwasher.

I've loved the dishdrawers -- once they were properly installed, which took some arm-twisting, eventually at the level of the U.S. manager for Fisher & Paykel, but they 'made good'. They replaced both drawers with full start-over warranty.

I have a pull-out for garbage and recycling to the left of my double sink and the dishdrawers stacked to the right. With just DH and me, one drawer is perfect for the whole day; we run it after dinner. With more people, I can run both drawers. Most of the time I give the bottom drawer a rinse cycle now and then just to keep it from drying out.

I think Whirlpool bought F & P, and they may have made changes. The F & P drawers are a little tight for some American dinner plates. Try yours in the store model before deciding. I could use a slightly larger utensil container too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:39AM
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I haven't read the replies but the cloudiness/film/hardwater spots vanished as soon as I started using "Lemi Shine."

It's so popular here that Walmart sells out almost as soon as they stock the shelves. I buy 2 at a time.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Cascade doesn't work as well for me as the Finish quantum. Great stuff!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:50AM
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