Why Do Glasses Get Cloudy in the Cabinet – 4 Easy Steps to Prevent it From Happening

Why Do Glasses Get Cloudy in the Cabinet and how to prevent cloudy glasses

Opening up the cabinet to find cloudy glasses can be quite the mystery, especially when you know they were put away freshly washed.

Often the cloudy residue will appear after the glasses are completely dry. As a result, it can seem like they are getting cloudy from being in the cabinet. However, the cloudiness is most likely due to how they were washed. 

Hard water, washing dishes in water that is too cool, the wrong amount of detergent, and using a dishwasher can all cause a cloudy film on your glasses. 

Table of Contents

How Do You Prevent Cloudy Glassware?

1. Wash your dishes in water that is between 120° F (49°C) and 150° (65.5°C). 

If you wash your dishes in water that isn’t hot enough, it won’t dissolve dish detergent sufficiently. The detergent then leaves a residue on your glasses that makes them look cloudy once they dry. This isn’t always noticeable straight away, hence why you might not notice it until you open your cabinet. 

If you are using a dishwasher, set the temperature to between 120° F (49°C) and 150° (65.5°C). If it doesn’t have a temperature option, you will need to adjust it manually. Turn on the tap nearest your dishwasher. All the water to run for 60 seconds and then pour it into a glass. Dip a candy or meat thermometer into the water and test the temperature. If it is below 120° F (49°C), increase the temperature on your water heater. 

If you hand-wash your dishes, test the temperature of the water in your kitchen and adjust your water heater so that the water temperature is above 120° F (49°C). Most people find water this temperature too hot. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from hot water and ensure that children can’t reach the hot tap. 

How Do You Prevent Cloudy Glassware?

2. Avoid prewashing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

Dishwasher detergent targets food particles. If there aren’t enough dirty dishes, the enzymes that are designed to break down food will build up on your glasses. Over time, this can cause glasses to look cloudy.

To keep your glasses looking crystal clear, scrape off any major food residue, but leave the rest for the detergent to target. 

Preventing glasses from getting cloudy

3. Use the correct amount of detergent.

It can be a fine balance getting the right amount of detergent. If you use too much, the detergent will leave a film on your glasses and make them look cloudy. If you use too little, you will end up with dirty dishes. 

Follow the directions on the packet to ensure that you are using the correct amount. Alternatively, buy dissolvable dishwasher tablets for a quick and easy solution. 

Use the right amount of detergent to prevent cloudy glasses

4. Check if you have hard water.

Hard water (water with high mineral content) can leave mineral deposits on your glasses. Over time, this can make them look cloudy. To test if hard water is causing the cloudiness on your glasses, rub white vinegar over a section of the glass. If it removes the haze, hard water is likely to be causing the cloudiness. 

The easiest way to fix this issue is to use a detergent that contains sodium carbonate. This softens the water and helps to prevent a film on your glasses. 

Another option is to install a water softener. This filters hard minerals out of your water. This is a great option if you are looking for a long term solution. It will also help to prevent cloudy shower doors. https://www.freshwatersystems.com/blogs/blog/what-is-a-water-softener-and-how-does-it-work

How to Clean Cloudy Glasses With Vinegar?

  1. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and liberally spray it over the entire surface of your cloudy glasses. If you don’t have white vinegar, use apple cider vinegar instead. 
  2. Leave the vinegar to soak for 5 minutes. This gives time for the vinegar to break down grease, excess detergents and mineral deposits.  Set a timer and wait for the vinegar to work its magic. 
  3. Rinse the glasses in warm water. 
  4. Buff the glasses with a microfibre cloth. Dry the glasses with the cloth and buff out any remaining cloudiness. Avoid using paper towels to dry your glasses, as these can leave lint and dust behind. 

Why Do Some Glasses Get Greasy?

This phenomenon is called crizzling. The instability of glass can causes moisture to penetrate the glass. This produces miniscule cracks in the surface of the glass which can cause the glasses to feel greasy. 

Storing glasses in wooden cabinets, seasonal dampness, and unstable elemental composition of the glasses can all contribute to this problem. 

To prevent this from happening, remove the glasses from wooden cabinets and place them in an area with good airflow. 

To remove the grease, simply wash the glasses in hot soapy water or put them in the dishwasher.


Opening up the cabinet only to find cloudy glasses is pretty frustrating. This occurs for of reasons. Most commonly, hard water, detergent residue, and using cold dishwashing water is too blame for cloudy glasses.

To clean the clouded glasses, simply wipe them clean with vinegar.

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