I have some cheap wine glasses that I regularly put in the dishwasher. (They are not the really cheap greenish glass but rather thick clear glass.)

White cloudy rings develop over time, and also from where a water drop dried, so I think it is mineral deposits.

I've unsuccessfully tried wiping them with vinegar and I'm also now using "12-in-1" wash tablets that seem to have gradually taken the deposits off my juice glasses (but not the wine glasses.)

3 Answers 3


I could be wrong, but I got the impression that this "build-up" was actually "frosting" of the glass created by the abrasion in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent contains abrasive particles designed to "sand-blast" the deposits from dishes. I think delicate glasses simply can't take the punishment and the surface starts to go cloudy.


There are two types of cloudiness - vinegar will remove the 'film' type, but it sounds like you have the same problem I had, which was an 'etching' of the glass itself from the abrasives as @Lefty mentioned.

Etched glass is not a simple fix - you need to polish the glass back to smooth.

From the Rocks and Gems site:

Mix cerium oxide with water to create a slurry that's the same consistency as milk. Put the slurry on spinning buffing pad. Harder buffing pads made out of hard felt, or leather work best. The polishing action will be fastest when the cerium oxide is damp, but not dry, or runny wet. Fill a spray bottle with water and use it to keep the area you are polishing damp.

The problem that site does highlight is that cerium oxide is now becoming difficult to find, so recommend tin oxide as an alternative.


When I get these on my wine glasses, it's generally just some elbow grease with a dry washcloth that does the trick.

To solve the problem forever, try softening your water. We got a Hague Water Max system a couple of months ago, and I haven't had spots on my glasses/dishes, since.

  • I've tried a dry washcloth with no apparent change, so maybe it is etching or I've allowed it to buildup too long. My city water is "rather soft (14-19°fH)."
    – user1312
    Jan 6, 2015 at 8:48
  • When we had our dishwasher installed, the installer said that they have had issues with people getting clogged dishwashers because of cheap detergent made with "clay" ingredients. Perhaps these same ingredients cause the etching too? Also, the softer the water, the less detergent you need to use. Apparently, using too much detergent with soft water can leave etching: ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/cleaning/msg1209514811176.html?13
    – Jason D.
    Jan 7, 2015 at 2:44

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