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-   -   How to get calcium deposits off my glassware (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=645734)

Palo Verde 03-20-2012 01:32 AM

How to get calcium deposits off my glassware
 
We have hard water and my glassware are covered with that filmy opaque stuff that makes them not look clean. And the calcium is also clogging up my dishwasher jets. How can I get that stuff off?

andyleonard 03-20-2012 01:48 AM

If it's really nasty, buy some CLR at the store and add a cup of it when the machine is in a wash cycle so it stays in there for a while. A gallon of vinegar works too.

Someone gave me a machine once that was so bad we fed it pool acid as a last resort and it worked. Hard on the plastic though.

Get in the habit of using a hard water final rinse in the washer. All this stuff is at the grocery with the dishwasher soap. Spend a minute reading some labels and no worries.

JC112680 03-20-2012 03:38 AM

Eh, I don't know if I would recommend CLR for the dishwasher. You never know what kind of residue it's going to leave behind, only to deposit itself on your dishes later. Works GREAT for tubs, toilets, and sinks though. When I moved into my place the dishwasher was leaving a filmy, hard water, soap residue mess. Dishes came out worse than going in. Here's what I did to get my dishes to come out SPOTLESS: (even with hard water)

1. Go to your local box store and find a product called 'Lemi-Shine'. It's near the dishwasher soap. I got mine at Target. I'm assuming other large retailers carry it also. Lemi-Shine is made for dishwashers, no worries of harming the dishwasher or leaving toxic residue on dishes.

2. Although Lemi-Shine does work OK for cleaning dishes (they recommend using it in addition to dishwasher detergent), I do not recommend this. I learned the hard way that it will eat off the paint from glassware (measuring glasses, pint glasses with logos, shot glasses, etc)

3. SO. What you DO use it for is to run the Lemi-Shine in the dishwasher about once a month on an empty cycle. This is a good maintenance dose to keep the crud out. It make take a few cycles to get out all the original residue though.

4. Make sure you use the rinse stuff also (Jet-Dri or whatever it's called). And the last thing to remember, most of the residue on your dishes probably isn't just minerals, it's soap residue. Cascade is in the business of selling you as much detergent as they can. DO NOT fill up the normal and pre-wash dispensers with detergent. Fill the part with the door that opens mid cycle about halfway full. Thats it. It's plenty to get a full load clean. If it doesn't, check your incoming water temp. If it's not hot enough it won't clean well. The element in the dishwasher is to keep the water hot, not a substitute for a hot water heater.

Hope this helps! My dishes come out cleaner than when I used to hand wash. :cool:

Baffle 03-20-2012 03:55 AM

Concentrated nitric acid should do the trick. Brush a bit on the glassware and it'll vaporize the deposits in a few seconds.

johnpost 03-20-2012 10:10 AM

do not use concentrated acid for this. it is unnecessary and a hazard.

vinegar and water soak will likely clean the glassware just fine.

jasg 03-20-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnpost (Post 14883962)
do not use concentrated acid for this. it is unnecessary and a hazard.

vinegar and water soak will likely clean the glassware just fine.

This. Used by my mother for as long as I can remember.

Chefguy 03-20-2012 01:27 PM

Those dishwasher tablets seem to work much better than the powder. Everything comes out squeaky clean.

purplehorseshoe 03-20-2012 01:50 PM

Option #1
Vinegar. Cheap-ass white vinegar, whichever store brand is lowest dollar.

Option #2
Ammonia. Downside: smells like cat piss. Do not mix with bleach under any circumstances ever.

Option #3
I had a box of those fizzy effervescent denture-cleaning tablets left over from when I had a retainer. (Ohhhhh ... that was a long time ago. Ick.) Anyway, once I unearthed it, I went through it rather rapidly and recently bought a fresh box. Perfect for cleaning those funny-shaped vases that are hard to scrub. Good for mineral and/or soap scum deposits.

Option # 4
Move to a place with better water and a better dishwasher.

awldune 03-20-2012 03:41 PM

Vinegar works great. Not sure why anyone would use anything else, since it is readily available, inexpensive, and non-toxic.

barbitu8 03-20-2012 05:41 PM

I would add baking soda to the vinegar.

DrDeth 03-20-2012 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baffle (Post 14883475)
Concentrated nitric acid should do the trick. Brush a bit on the glassware and it'll vaporize the deposits in a few seconds.



Extremely dangerous advice given (hopefully) as a (quite un-funny) joke.
:rolleyes:
Use plain old white vinegar.

Baffle 03-20-2012 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 14885779)
Extremely dangerous advice given (hopefully) as a (quite un-funny) joke.
:rolleyes:
Use plain old white vinegar.

I'd hope nobody has nitric acid just sitting around, anyway. The question had already been answered, but yeah, you don't really want to do that without some serious PPE.

MLS 03-21-2012 12:28 PM

Put about a half-cup of plain white vinegar in a (right-side-up) small cup in the dishwasher with the other dishes. Run as usual.

Baracus 03-21-2012 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by barbitu8 (Post 14885569)
I would add baking soda to the vinegar.

Wouldn't that just neutralize the effect of the vinegar?

johnpost 03-21-2012 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by barbitu8 (Post 14885569)
I would add baking soda to the vinegar.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baracus (Post 14888104)
Wouldn't that just neutralize the effect of the vinegar?

yes that would though it makes an exciting fizz.

barbitu8 03-21-2012 04:01 PM

I would think that the bubbling action would aid in the cleaning.

Baffle 03-21-2012 07:52 PM

The calcium carbonate on the glassware will bubble in the vinegar solution all on its own, in this case producing a aqueous calcium salt and carbon dioxide.


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