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Removing Cloudy Film on Glass

Category Glass
Mineral deposits and detergents can build up on glass and result in an ugly white film. This is a guide about removing cloudy film on glass.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 4 found this helpful
June 6, 2008

To clean old windows that have a cloudy film, use Easy Off oven cleaner or any other that has LYE in it. Wet the window pane with wet cloth and spray oven cleaner over area. Leave set a minute or so and wipe off. If the film is not entirely off then repeat or leave on a little longer. I got this tip from a professional window washer. He also stated that a fine steel wool and straight ammonia will also remove the cloudiness from window panes if it isn't inside a double insulated window.


By Lorelei from Georgetown, OH

Comment Was this helpful? 4
January 14, 20170 found this helpful

I tired the white toothpaste idea. My toothpaste was Arm & Hammer with baking soda. It worked like a charm. It's a bit pricey, so I'm going to try the rest of my windows with a cheaper toothpaste, and maybe a bit of baking soda too.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
May 5, 2009

I have a small, old glass bowl that was my mother's. I would like to know how to clean the whitish film from it. I have tried using vinegar and hot water with no success and wonder if anyone can help me. Perhaps a baking soda mixture may do the trick? Thanks for any help you may be able to give to me.


By fanceefree

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 5, 20090 found this helpful

I do know that the denture tablets trick will work--it may not get all off, but will make a big difference. Just don't try anything that will ruin it---better to have a stained family item, than none!

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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

Could be etching on the glass from a dishwasher. This can happen to all glass items. this would be permanent.

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May 12, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure what the product is, but many car window repair places say they can make small cracks disappear. I have also seen the same thing offered for eye glasses. If you could find out what they use, maybe it would remove these etchings from the dishwasher. Just remember you'd never be able to use it for edibles anymore, but it would be beautiful for centerpieces.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 12, 20090 found this helpful

Try a magic eraser. If that doesn't work then try scratch free comet. I clean houses for a living and these 2 things usually work on everything.

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May 12, 20090 found this helpful

Use LemiShine from Walmart. Works in dishwasher. Great stuff. Got the film off all of my dishes/glasses so now I use it all the time. Look for it with the dishwasher detergents.

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August 18, 20160 found this helpful

Use barkeepers friend let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes before cleaning it off best kept secret

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September 17, 20160 found this helpful

White film on windows

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March 23, 20120 found this helpful

I bought some clear bowls from the thrift store. They are really nice, however they have this film on them like they have been sitting in the cupboard for years. I have washed them in the dishwasher, used CLR on them, soaked them in hot vinegar and I still have a film although it seems to be getting better. Does anyone have another suggestion? I really like these bowls, but I guess I always have the alternative of throwing them away. Help!

By AnnMarie G.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 24, 20120 found this helpful

I checked the thrifty fun archives, and found a post that recommended using Easy Off or a similar oven cleaner to remove the film. The post also said you could use fine steel wool and straight ammonia. Hope this helps.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 26, 20120 found this helpful

I have used denture cleaning tablets to clean up glass vases/glasses and such. If the bowls are glass, try this. If they are etched, maybe a glass polishing and good washing would improve them. Good luck. I have many "treasures" from thrift stores. Love them!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
April 30, 2008

I got a really great deal on a 40 gallon aqaurium setup. I have noticed the tank glass is cloudy, and need some solutions to properly clean the glass. I have tried vinegar and warm water without success. I would really appreciate any help.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 30, 20080 found this helpful

I always use table salt to scrub with. Sometimes I use a Brillo pad too. I know it's not recommended but if your rinse it well it will be fine. I have also used Magic Erasers. They work wonders. I have had aquariums for 30 years and never any problems. Good luck.

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May 3, 20080 found this helpful

You might try CLR. It's supposed to be environmentally friendly and it's available at lots of places, Walgreen's, etc.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have worked and made aquariums for yrs. The thing is, is it plexi-glass or glass?. If it's plexi glass, do not use anything but the softest suff for teflon pans. It scratches really easily. Fill it & let the water sit on it for a few days, then use something really gentle. If you use any cleaning products on it, the plexi-glass will absorb it, then you might have many fish or whatever, die. If it's glass, do mostly the same thing. Let the water do the work, with maybe some bleach in it. After a few days, just clean with these cleaning pads for glass aquariums & rinse really well, before putting any animal life in it.

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March 24, 20110 found this helpful

The aquarium that I got from my sister had the cloudy look and rings in it and I took just plain baking soda and scrubbed the glass real good and it cleaned right up and rinsed real good to be sure I got all of the baking soda out.

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helene0 found this helpful
August 14, 2005

Our new clear glass table top, has a cloudy stain on it after we had dinner on it one day. The problem is this stain is unremovable, I've tried a razor, lighter fluid, nailpolish remover and nothing has budged it. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before, or do you have any solutions?


Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 12, 20100 found this helpful

Try CLR, it is unbelievable stuff, just do the whole glass then rinse well.

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August 5, 20160 found this helpful

What is CLR? I saw in one of the comments that I can buy it at Walgreen's-but I'm not sure what to ask for.

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August 28, 20160 found this helpful

CLR is the actual name of the product. Stands for Calcium, Lime, and Rust remover. You can find it at most grocery and building stores like lowes and Home Depot

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February 21, 20130 found this helpful

I have tried soaking clear glass dishes and tumblers with vinegar and water, and that took off a little, but there is still more on them. Any ideas?

By Judith

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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