If You See White Film on Glassware, This Is What It Means

Here's the simple science behind your cloudy glassware.

Keeping things clean in the kitchen usually isn’t easy or simple. Whether it’s a wooden spoon stained with spaghetti sauce or a pan crusted with burnt-on food, the tools we cook with require plenty of TLC. We’re talking heavy soaks in the sink, endless cleaning products and more.

But the same rule of thumb doesn’t apply to glassware. If you see a white film on glassware fresh out of the cycle, don’t assume it’s a dishwasher problem. Those cloudy stains might be from pre-rinsing.

Yes, You Can Rinse Too Much

It’s true. That annoying white film that settles on your glassware could be your doing. It may seem helpful to rinse off bits of food before loading the dishwasher, but it can actually decrease the effectiveness of your detergent.

According to the Midwest-based appliance company Warners’ Stellian, many dishwasher detergents include phosphates, which need a little bit of food grime to do their job properly. If you’ve already washed off any traces of food, these phosphates will simply end up on your glassware.

A cloudy film can also be a sign of hard water or too much detergent. But first, try to stop pre-rinsing. It will save you some time leave you with sparkling glasses if over-rinsing was the culprit.

How to Get Rid of That White Film

If your dishwasher just finished a cycle and you discover a cloudy film on your glassware, try this trick.

Grab your trusty white vinegar and pour two cups into a dishwasher-safe cup. Place the cup on the bottom of the rack, then run your dishwasher like normal. No need for detergent — the vinegar will mix with the water and clean your glasses.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.