Yesterday, I shared my new and improved homemade laundry detergent recipe with you. (Say THAT 10 times fast!) The main reason we needed a laundry boost is the incredibly hard water in our new house. We don’t have a water softener, and we don’t plan to buy one.

hard water stains

Unfortunately, laundry isn’t the only victim of the hard water. Our drinking glasses have been taking a beating, too. Every time I pull a cloudy glass from the dishwasher, I inwardly groan.

Today, thanks to a little experimenting with two of my favorite natural cleaners, vinegar and baking soda, I am happy to share with you how to remove hard water stains from drinking glasses. Even better, no harsh chemicals were involved in the cleaning of these dishes. 🙂


As you can see, the difference is pretty amazing!

Here’s what I did.


Step 1 – Soak the glasses in a bowl of white vinegar. At first, I soaked the glasses overnight, rotating them occasionally to make sure each side was exposed to the vinegar. Since I could only fit a few glasses in the bowl at a time, I experimented with shorter and shorter soaking times. I found that I could get the same results with just 30 minutes of soaking as I could from the overnight treatment.


Step 2 – Rub the glasses with a washcloth coated in baking soda. The white vinegar did a great job of breaking through the mineral deposits (can you say, “lime?”). I used the baking soda to remove all traces of the minerals and give the glasses a good shine.

Step 3 – Wash as usual. I didn’t even rinse the glasses before putting them in the dishwasher, figuring that a little extra baking soda could only help remove the cloudy mess.


And viola! Look at the difference. We’re all pretty excited about the shiny clean glasses around here, and I’m especially glad that we got such great results with fairly minimal effort. And that’s how to remove hard water stains from drinking glasses, no harsh chemicals required!

9 Responses to How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Drinking Glasses

  1. Michelle says:

    Worked great for me! Thanks for the simple solution.

    Wish I had thought of putting the vinegar in the dishwasher before pouring it down the garbage disposal and using it for a quick clean there. Next time!

  2. Dusty says:

    Recycle Note – also when you are done with the vinegar you can pour it in the bottom of your dishwasher and run a cycle, it will help in cleaning the dishwasher and drain.

  3. Jean K says:

    There is a difference between stains from hard water alone and stains from hard water plus the water softener equipment/chemicals. The latter causes etching and there is no way to reverse that. Buy nice but cheap glasses and replace often!

  4. Barbara May says:

    It didn’t work for me either and I even added a deliming agent to the dishwasher. The glasses are beautiful when wet, but cloud up as soon as they’re dry.

  5. kelsey says:

    I tried this and it didn’t really work. I did it twice. Any other ideas of what might work?

  6. Myia says:

    Thanks Mary Jane for the information. I will try it on the beautiful glasses I purchased from the flea market. will let you know how it worked. Again many thanks. Myia

  7. Shirley says:

    So, Maryjane, will you have use this treatment each time you wash your glasses in the dishwasher? Or, does it take a while to glaze the glasses again?

    • MaryJane says:

      Hi, Shirley. We’ve been running our glasses through the dishwasher for about a week now, and the glasses are still shiny clean. Hoping they’ll stay that way for awhile. I’ll keep you posted!

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