What Is the Milky Film on Glasses from The Dishwasher

What Is the Milky Film on Glasses from The Dishwasher

It is disheartening that after washing some batches of glasses you hold a glass up that should normally be sparkling clean and clear, but they look foggy.

milky film on glasses from the dishwasher
Photo Credits: Kaboompics .com, pexels.com

You will notice a milky film on glasses from the dishwasher. Sometimes out of desperation you run another wash cycle.

The white milky film you notice on the washed glassware or dishware may be caused by different factors. You may ask, why is it happening?

Most of the time when people notice that their glasses have become cloudy after some time, they are embarrassed to use them.

They either hide them away at the back of the kitchen cupboard or cabinet or use them when no one is around to see them. 

This should not be as they are totally preventable. We must first understand what the milky film on glasses is and what is causing the milky film on glasses.

After which we can talk about how to remove this cloudiness and ways to prevent them from reoccurring. 

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

What Causes Milky Film on Glasses?

There are two major causes of the milky film on glasses from the dishwasher. They are hard water deposits and etching or corrosion.

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What Causes Milky Film on GlassesHard Water Deposits

How does hard water cause milky film on glasses?

Hard water will affect your glassware in two ways. First, the mineral deposits in the hard water will reduce the effect of dishwashing detergents and so you will need more detergents to get your glasses clean.

Second, homes supplied with hard water, will experience a high deposition of mineral contents. The major culprit here is limescale deposits. Limescale deposits will hold on to your glasses causing the appearance of a milky film on your glasses.

Hardwater does not completely rinse glasses well as soft water does.  This causes the milky film from dirty water or soap left on glasses. The addition of more detergents to hard water only makes this get worse.

How to test if I have hard water in my home?

You can test if your home is supplied with hard water by by filling an unclear glass with vinegar. Leave it for 5minutes, if the vinegar gets rids of the fogginess then your home is hook to a hard water supply.

The good news is that milky film deposits on your glassware caused by mineral deposits can be removed and prevented. Even though the hardness of water is determined by location, it is something that can you can fix.

How to Remove Milky Film Caused by Hard Water

  • Add detergent to your dishwasher.
  • Utilise the rinse aid.
  • Increase the water temperature.
  • Wash your glasswares using vinegar.
Method One: Add More Detergent to Your Dishwasher

How to remove milky films on glasses using detergent.

To remove milky films on your glasswares, increase the amount of detergent added to the dishwasher and run a wash cycle. This will be effective at removing mineral deposits or hard water from the foggy glasses. Using an awful amount of detergent will leave soapy films on your glasses. Try different quantities of detergents to find the perfect balance.

Video: White Film on Glassware and Dishware

Watch this video to know everything about milky film formation on glasses.

Method Two: Utilise the Rinse Aid

Can a rinse aid get rid of milky film on glassware?

A rinse aid will get rid of the milky film deposited on your glassware. Rinse aids reduce etching and spotting on glasses by breaking down the chemical bond between glasses and water. This comes in both liquid and solid forms. Add a rise aid to every dishwashing load.

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Method Three: Increase the Water Temperature

How does an increased water temperature get rid of milky film on glassware?

Increased water temperature will prevent the deposit of milky film on your glassware. The higher the wash temperature, the easier your detergent will form suds. This prevents the hard from leaving deposits on your glasswares.

This is a major factor in the dishwashing process. Check the water temperature in your kitchen by running water into a glass in your sink. Put a thermometer in the glass so you can determine the temperature of the water.

Most dishwashing detergent companies recommend using water at 130oF. To regulate your water to this temperature, use your dishwasher high temperature setting to heat water to about 140oF. 

If the water heater in your home is far away from your kitchen and hot water does not flow on time, run your kitchen tap for one minute or until you notice water temperature has increased. Thereafter switch on your dishwasher.

Method Four: Use Vinegar

Can vinegar get rid of milky film on glasses?

You can manually get rid of the cloudiness using vinegar. Soak all your glasses in white vinegar for 5 minutes. The acetic nature of vinegar will dissolve the mineral deposits. Using a paste made from baking soda and vinegar, gently wash stubborn spots. Rinse the glasses by hand and dry them with a lint-free microfiber cloth or towel. Use the glasses after this.

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What Causes Milky Film on Glasses — Etching or Corrosion

How does etching cause a milky film on a dishware?

Etching or corrosion will cause a milky film on your glassware. This corrosion occurs over time because of every day wash cycle in the dishwasher. The etching process is slow and can be easily ignored. It is the eroding of the material used in glassmaking. This results in scratches and tiny pits that can’t be removed.

What causes Corrosion on glasswares?

Corrosion of glasswares occurs because of:

  • Constant washing of glassware.
  • Using too much or bad detergent.
  • Overly soft water.
  • Full pre-washing of glasses.
  • Using water at a very high temperature for washing.

How to know if my glassware is etched?

To determine if your glass is undergoing etching, soak the glass in vinegar for about 5 minutes. If the milky film is still visible after five minutes, then the glass is etched. 

How to prevent etching on my glassware

To prevent etching on your glassware, use less detergent than recommended when running your dishwasher with soft water. Remove your glassware immediately after you complete a wash cycle. High heat emitted from the dryer speeds up glass etching. A low- or no-phosphate detergent, reduces the rate of glassware corrosion.

Even though etching is neither preventable nor reversible, you can slow down the etching process by doing a few things to protect your glasses. 

Other causes of the milky film on glasses are:
  • Excessive use of detergents. This will make it difficult for your dishwasher to completely rinse away all the soap.
  • Using water that is initially not hot. When you use water that is not hot enough, it will not be able to completely dissolve detergent thereby leaving the cloudiness on your glasses.
  • Stuck-on food or drinks remains on glasses. Do not let food or drinks dry on your glasses. Rinse them off before putting them inside your dishwasher but don’t completely wash them off.

Check out other related dishwasher articles:

How to Manage the Etching Process on Your Glass

Here are some ways you can control the etching process on glassware:

  • Don’t fully pre-wash or rinse your glasses
  • Try another detergent
  • Do not use too much detergent

Don’t Fully Pre-wash or Rinse Your Glasses

It is not good to fully rinse your glasses before washing them in the dishwasher. Most detergents contain alkaline salts and they are harsh. They are counteracted by food particles or oils in your glasses. 

When you remove these remains fully before loading your machine, the detergents will have nothing to counteract it. This will result in an abrasive effect on your glassware.

Try Another Detergent

Some dishwashing detergents cause more etching than others. This depends on the water softness and other causes. Use a mild detergent or phosphate-free detergents such as Finish Quantum Ultimate.

Some detergents contain phosphate and so leave a white milky film on glassware and sometimes on the dishwasher basin itself.

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Do Not Use Too Much Detergent

It is worse when you use soft water. When using soft water in your home then you need to use fewer detergents to wash your glassware. 

Try different quantities of dishwashing detergents until there is just enough amount to completely clean your glassware.

What Are Other Ways To Prevent Milky Film Formation On Glasses

  1. Always buy dishwasher safe glassware.
  2. Check your water softening unit and make sure the setting is not too high. 
  3. For delicate glassware, wash them at a low temperature or use a glass washing setting. You must find a balance in the water temperature. Use hot water but not too hot or too cold.
  4. After a dishwashing cycle, open your dishwasher so that the excess steam formed during the cycle escapes. Most modern dishwashers take care of this with the inclusion of internal vents and fans. 

If yours did not come with this feature, remove the glassware immediately after a wash cycle to prevent the high heat effect on glasses. 

If you are not living in a hard water area but you still notice milky film formation on your glasses. Then it might be caused by other factors like too much exposure to heat or poor-quality glassware subjected to long wash cycles.

It is important that you adhere to these instructions since the fogginess is irreversible.

What are other ways to prolong the lifespan of your glassware?

  1. Make sure your dishwasher has enough rinse aid to increase the drying process. Water remnant will not be able to leave spot marks on your glasses. You can use Finish Rinse Aid.
  2. Ensure that your dishwasher salt level is always topped. These salts help to soften water to improve the cleansing effect of your dishwashing soap. This prevents watermarks and spots from forming on your glassware or other kitchenware. An example of dishwasher salt is Finish Dishwasher Salt.

What Is The milky Film On Glasses From The Dishwasher — Related FAQs

What Is The Best Dishwasher Detergent To Prevent Etching?

The best dishwasher detergent to prevent etching on your glassware are those that are phosphate free and have a low pH. Dishwasher detergents with low pH have the best effects on your glassware. Once your glasses are etched, there is no remedy to that, therefore, be cautious of the detergent you use in washing your glassware. 

Look for a tag that says “glassware safe” before buying a detergent for your glassware. Dishwasher detergents like Cascade Complete Dishwasher ActionPac are best for preventing etching on your glassware. 

How To Clean Cloudy Wine Glasses

To clean cloudy wine glasses and get back their sparkle, fill them up with white vinegar. Let the vinegar sit in the glasses overnight. This will dissolve all the mineral build up on them. 

Use nail polish remover or soda bicarbonate to get rid of any leftover deposit. Use warm soapy water to hand wash the glasses, then rinse with clean running water. Use a microfiber towel to dry them. In place of a vinegar solution, you can make use of effervescent denture cleaner. 

How To Prevent Etching On Glasses In Dishwashers

To prevent etching on glasses in dishwashers, do not use a detergent that has phosphate to wash your glassware. Use only soft water detergent while washing glassware in the dishwasher. 

While running a wash cycle, use as little detergent as possible. Never wash glassware in water above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Overloading the dishwasher will also cause etching on your glassware. 

Ensure you do not over-stack your dishwasher. Glassware etching is more prevalent in soft water areas. The etching is worsened when the dishes are washed with detergent made for hard water. 

What Is The Best Detergent for Cloudy Glasses?

The best detergent for cloudy glasses is the Cascade Complete ActionPac. It resists mineral build on glasswares that causes the cloudy film. It also returns your dishes sparkling clean. It contains enzymes that quickly break down food particles, making the wash cycle short and effective. 

The shorter time the glass spends during the wash cycle, the less chance of etching occurring. Finish Gelpac and Finish Power Tabs are also very excellent choices. Also, using a rinse agent will remove water spots which are a mild form of cloudy films on glasswares. 

Do You Need Rinse Aid with Soft Water?

You do not need a rinse aid while running a wash cycle with soft water. A rinse aid helps to break down the bond between your dish and the water molecule. This makes the drying cycle more effective. 

If your water is hard, use a water softener to treat the water before it gets into the dishwasher. Otherwise, make use of a rinse aid and dishwashing detergents with low pH. 

If you constantly have your dishes coming out of the dishwasher with a lot of water spots, then you must add a rinse aid to your dishwasher. 

If you do not have rinse aid, fill a cup with vinegar, place it upright in the dishwasher, and run a wash cycle. 

Do Dishwashers Damage Glasses?

Constant washing of your glassware inside a dishwasher will lead to glass corrosion. This is a form of damage to the glass that causes etching. This form of damage cannot be reversed once it happens; it can only be delayed. 

Glass corrosion or etching washes away the finishing on the glass. This causes the glass to have a milky coat finishing. 

Washing the glass in very hot water and using too many detergents increase the rate of glass corrosion. To reduce the rate of glass corrosion, use glassware safe detergent to wash your glass in the most delicate setting on the dishwasher. 

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