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Can Glasses Be Washed In The Dishwasher? The Surprising Answer is YES & NO!

Glasses can be washed in the dishwasher. BUT, you might want to hand wash your glassware because the dishwasher can cause damage. Here’s how!

Can Glasses Be Washed In The Dishwasher?

Hi guys! I’m back with another information packed cleaning post for you. And, this one was a bit surprising for me. As the kitchen cleaner for a family of four, I’m VERY pro dishwasher.

But, I recently found out that I probably shouldn’t be washing my glasses in the dishwasher anymore.

Image of cloudy glassware, hazy glassware for a post that answers: Can glasses be cleaned in a dishwasher? Yes and No.
After years of washing this glassware in a dishwasher, it is permanently hazy.

Dishwashers are great at cleaning glassware! But, if you’re not careful, they can also cause permanent etching on those glasses.

Be sure to read this whole post to get a full guide for preventing hazy glassware. Don’t worry, it’s a quick read FULL of handy info!

Let’s get to what you need to know about whether or not your glasses can be washed in the dishwasher.

Can A Dishwasher Make Glassware Hazy Or Cloudy?

Yes, a dishwasher can make glassware hazy or cloudy. There’s 2 main ways this might happen.

Using Vinegar to clean hard water spots on glassware.
Soaking hazy glassware in vinegar can remove hard water spots.

First, if you use liquid dishwasher detergent, it can build up on glasses. After multiple washes in a dishwasher, you might notice a hazy residue on glassware.

The easiest way to remove that hazy residue on glasses is with distilled white vinegar (5% acidity). Just pop on some gloves, then soak a clean rag in vinegar to wipe your glassware clean.

If vinegar doesn’t clean hazy glassware, then the second way might be the real cause of your hazy glassware.

Drying glassware after removing hard water spots.
Hand washing and drying glassware is the easiest way to prevent permanently etched glassware.

Second, water heated to 140 degrees or above can permanently etch your glassware. Guess what, your dishwasher is likely hitting that temp during the wash cycle and definitely hitting it during a dry cycle.

In fact, most modern dishwashers will heat the water to about 155 degrees. See this post from Maytag for details about how and why dishwashers heat water to these high temps.

So, the only real way to protect glassware from permanent etching is to hand wash glasses and crystal. If you don’t care if your glasses are cloudy, go ahead and keep washing them in the dishwasher. It’s fine.

Is It OK To Put Crystal Glasses In The Dishwasher?

Some crystal glassware says that it is safe to put in the dishwasher. But, that doesn’t mean that you should. Water heated to 140 degrees or higher can permanently etch glassware, over time.

Water in most dishwashers can reach up to 155 degrees during the wash cycle. That high heat slowly breaks down the smooth finish on crystal and glassware.

It might take dozens of washes in a dishwasher, but eventually you’ll notice a hazy or cloudy look on your glassware. Unfortunately, once etching has happened, it’s pretty impossible to remove.

Image of vinegar in a cup on the top rack of a dishwasher. Vinegar used to clean the dishwasher.
Check out The Easy Way To Clean Dishwasher Filter to see my tips for keeping your dishwasher clean.

How Do You Clean Drinking Glasses In The Dishwasher?

You can clean drinking glasses in the dishwasher. Just be sure to place drinking glasses on the top shelf to be sure they are cleaned properly.

Also, it’s best to use a powdered dishwasher detergent when washing glassware. Liquid detergents can leave a film on glassware.

I always think that liquid dish detergent leaves a film inside my dishwasher too. So, I always use powdered dish detergent.

And, like I mentioned above, drinking glasses (glassware) can be permanently etched by the high heat water in a dishwasher. It may take months, or even a couple of years, but eventually you will have cloudy glassware.

Using dish soap to clean hard water spots on glassware.
Hand washing glassware can prevent etching caused by water heated to 140 degrees or higher in a dishwasher. Towel dry after to prevent water spots.

Can Cloudy Glassware Be Restored?

If your glassware is cloudy due to hard water, you can restore cloudy glassware with vinegar, bar keepers friend, or baking soda. Check out my steps to do this in 3 ways to remove hard water spots on glassware.

If your glassware is cloudy due to etching and scratches, then your cloudy glassware cannot be restored. Etching is permanent on glassware and crystal.

Image of cloudy glassware, hazy glassware for a post that answers: Can glasses be cleaned in a dishwasher? Yes and No.
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How To Clean Hard Water Spots & Hazy Glassware (Video Steps)

I have a separate post with 3 ways to remove hard water spots on glassware. See the short video showing all 3 ways below. You’ll also see why washing my glasses in a dishwasher caused hazy glasses.

3 EASY Ways To Clean Hazy Glassware & Hard Water Spots!

That’s it for, can glasses can be washed in the dishwasher. I hope this helped! Now, here’s a few more posts you might like.

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Feeling inspired? Now you’ve seen should glassware be washed in the dishwasher, get to it. It’s easy!