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woman cleaning a cloudy wine glass

What To Do If Your Wine Glasses Are Cloudy

There’s nothing worse than a cloudy wine glass. Cloudy glassware is unavoidable, especially for some people, because the cloudiness comes from the water we use to clean our glassware. You can’t avoid it. So, how do you deal with cloudy stemware?

The good news is that cleaning glasses is easy, even if they look like they’ve been sitting in a cellar for a decade. Let’s talk about how to get hard water stains off glass. Cloudy glassware might be hard to avoid, but it’s easy to remedy. Have your polishing cloth ready, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Why Do Wine Glasses Get Cloudy?

Cloudy glass is nothing more than minerals from hard water building up on the crystal, and it is typical in places with water high in calcium and magnesium. The thin mineral film that gives crystal cloudiness is mainly a combination of calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide and calcium sulfate, and although harmless, it can seriously damage the crystal’s clarity.

Heat drying can also cause cloudiness since you’re literally evaporating those tiny drops of water, leaving all its minerals behind. The longer you let these minerals accumulate, the harder they’ll be to remove, so treating your glassware every few months against hard water stains is recommended.

clean wine glasses on counter

How To Clean Cloudy Wine Glasses The Right Way

To eliminate the cloudiness in wine glasses and any other glassware, soak the stained glassware in distilled white vinegar and allow the acid to react with the mineral deposits. Scrub gently with a soft sponge. Adding a few tablespoons of baking soda to the mixture creates a more violent chemical reaction that could speed up stain removal.

After a few minutes, scrub and clean your wine glasses, air dry and polish them. Doing this every couple of months is encouraged, primarily if you deal with hard water. Of course, not everyone has to deal with hard water, and there are filters and purifying systems that can soften your tap water.

How To Prevent Cloudy Wine Glasses

To prevent cloudy wine glasses, wash and dry your glassware immediately after use. Avoid using copious amounts of detergent, and polish the stemware after every use. Don’t let them sit overnight!

If using a dishwasher, ensure your glassware is dishwasher safe, avoid excessive pre-rinsing and use detergents with rinsing agents created explicitly for households and environments with hard water.

man taking wine glass out of the dishwasher

Getting hard water stains off glass is easy, and it’s all about cleaning glasses promptly and methodically. There’s no hard water stain that can’t be removed, but don’t wait until the mineral buildup is dramatic to treat your glassware.

Polishing stemware is often overlooked, but you’ll keep your crystal collection in better shape if you have a polishing cloth in hand! Take care of your wine glasses, and they’ll take care of you.

Wine glass accessories and solid wine service (including cleaning after your wine tasting sessions) will ensure you and your guests have a better time. Keep those wine glasses as good as new!

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