If you live in an area where hard water runs from the tap, you most likely discover that, with time, your stemware starts looking cloudy. This results more quickly when you clean your stemware in the dishwasher. Very hot water enables the minerals to adhere to the glass, giving that etched, hazy look, and even a rough texture. Wine served in cloudy glassware is less appealing, as the mineral build-up grabs the wine and prevents the pretty “tears” or “legs” from streaming down the inside of the glass. Highly pigmented wines appear to “stain” the inside of the glass, further diminishing the visual experience.
There is a way remove the cloudiness that is simple and inexpensive. Household white distilled vinegar, added to hot water in the sink and left in contact with your stemware for a few hours can often completely rid your glasses of the annoying haze.
Start by running very hot water into the kitchen sink. (You may want to boil water and pour it in the sink if your tap water doesn’t run really hot). Add 2 quarts of white vinegar to the water and gently submerge the glassware. Leave to soak for 3-4 hours, then rinse thoroughly and repeatedly before drying with a lint-free towel.
You can prevent the haze from re-occurring by regularly soaking clean glasses briefly (30 minutes) in this solution before rinsing and drying. Washing your stems by hand in tepid, not hot water also prevents mineral build-up.
For super stubborn hazy glassware, soak paper towels in full-strength white distilled vinegar and wrap around the inside and outside of the glass. Let the glasses sit for an hour, then rub well and rinse before toweling dry.