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How To Get Rid of That Pesky White Film on Your Glasses When They Come Out of the Dishwasher

Plus, how to prevent it.


Loading and unloading my dishwasher every day is both a blessing and a curse. I’m happy I don’t have to wash my dishes by hand, but the process of unloading is one of my least favorite tasks. So when my glasses sometimes comes out with that pesky white film everywhere, I’m immediately enraged. Now I have to do double the work! But the solution is super simple: Stop over-rinsing, and use vinegar to clean the film off.

Why do my glasses have a white film after the dishwasher?

When it comes to glassware, a quick rinse before popping it in the dishwasher actually keeps it from getting totally clean. Instead, it gets in the way of the detergent doing its work. That’s because most major detergent brands include properties made to stick to the grime and leftover food on your dirty dishes. If there’s nothing to cling to, these properties, called phosphates, just get stuck to the surface of your glassware. That’s what makes up the thin white film that’s so annoying to see on your glasses when they’re straight out of the dishwasher.

How do I get rid of the white film on my glasses in my dishwasher?

To prevent the dreaded white film from developing, simply place your dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher, rather than rinsing them first. Trust me, that goes against everything I’ve ever been taught about dishwashers. I’ve always made sure to get as much stuck-on food as I can off my dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. But skipping this step will save you from having to clean your glasses later!

If you already pre-rinsed and are stuck with seemingly dirty glassware and dishes, there’s also a quick trick for getting this residue off, which I found on Taste of Home. Before running the cycle again, fill a dishwasher-safe cup with regular white vinegar. You only need about two cups of if before adding it to the bottom rack of your dishwasher. Run your dishwasher again on its own, without adding detergent. The vinegar will mix with the water and work its magic on the residue left on your dishes. Everything should be sparkling at the end!

Don’t fight against the white film on your glasses. Just nip it in the bud with this easy trick!

This article was updated on Thursday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m. EST. It was originally published on January 19, 2022.

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