Cleaning the Film Left on Stems?

I’ve cleaned these Grassl stems 3 times with soap and hot water and lots of scrubbing with a flexible micro sponge stick that gets in there really easily. The glasses are shiny and beautiful on the counter, I just can’t get rid of this ugly film visible in the light. It seems to be left over from the wine as it’s only on the inside.

What do I need to use to get it back to original shape?

Some of the sponges with different textures don’t seem to work as well as the more typical ones. You might try squeezing a regular sponge into the glass and using that (carefully with your fingers, or with the wand you’ve been using). If that doesn’t do it, fill the glass to the brim with hot water and drop in an unscented denture cleaner tablet. After letting that do its thing, I would wash the glass again with regular soap and water.

I’d run some vinegar and water solution through there and wash with water and dry with a microfiber cloth

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Just a thought, but there’s a product I’ve used on glass that has been stained like decanters and smoke stains on my toaster oven glass. It’s called Dawn Ultra and comes in a spray bottle. It’s more of a detergent than a soap, and is made for baked on crud on pans. Works pretty good on everything I’ve tried it on. Might be worth a try. Spray it on and let it sit for awhile, then rinse. If it doesn’t work on the stems, it will work on grill grates.

Just checked the bottle, and it’s called Dawn Ultra Powerwash

Agree with Philip. Try a vinegar solution or CLR.

If that fails, reach out:

I’m curious if folks have a standard post-dishwasher cleaning routine?

I’m starting to suspect that some residue from our city tap water is interfering with wine aromas. Maybe we just need a better rinse agent?

Hot water & the Mr. Clean white eraser sponges…then polish with a “flour sack” cloth.

Have your water tested.
Try the dishwasher, it really cleaned the stains from decanters. I had tried lots of things including denture tables, none worked.

I’ve had good luck with denture tablets (e.g., Polydent) removing stains from decanters, but I think a lot of these things depend on the glass.

Film is different, though. My old Riedel Burgundy bowls show the kind of film that Andrew mentioned in his OP. For those, I hand wash with soap and then dry carefully with a towel. I’m in NYC, where the water is very soft (i.e., few minerals), but there’s something about the surface of those glasses that resists water just sheeting off. Instead, it retains the water until it dries to a film unless you dry them.

Andrew; up for an experiment?

Run it through your dishwasher. If it remains, email me.
I’ll pay for you to send the glass to me and I’ll run it through mine. I have a Miele with a built in water softener that was set to handle the grains of hardness of my local water. I also use Miele’s rinse aid.

We wash plenty of our stems in it weekly from tastings and family consumption. I have no film or residue.

I’d be very curious at the results.

I use my Grassl microfiber cloth, it works wonders. We hand wash all our stems though and I use the microfiber to dry and polish. Works great keeping my eyeglasses clean too. I’m down at FMIII’s this weekend and he has hard water issues with his stems. He was trying to get them clean yesterday, I pulled out my microfiber (yeah I packed it, don’t ask), rinsed the glasses and dried/polished them, no spots!


Great news Brian. Do you have the original one or the Turkish Bath version?

Chris, the back story for some more information, I regularly wash these in the dishwasher. We have 4 Crus that we rotate through and are generally using 2 every night. After a few weeks I usually do a full hand scrub to get rid of any film that might build up over the heavy use. So in this case I did a full hand wash with soap, then ran them through the dishwasher, then did another scrub with soap. All four of them still have this film on the inside to varying degrees. I think what I’m missing is some type of cleaner that will break down the film and restore the original shine. I think next I’m going to try some vinegar.

A simple “white film on glassware” google search reveals hard water and or phosphate free DW detergent can be culprits. I know I’ll be condemned for seeking advice outside the confines of WB, but I’m not guaranteeing results.
Edit we have hard water, I’ve only tested for TDS (ppm). Our Bosch uses salt to soften the water. ZeroWater link allows you to get water quality by zip code What is TDS & Why it Matters - Pure Tasting Water with ZeroWater.
Where’s our NJ water quality expert?

If it’s buildup from wine, vinegar doesn’t help, because they both are acidic. It’s like trying to put out fire with fire. Vinegar helps removing buildup that has high pH, for example calcium from hard water.

Some of my wine glasses have started to turn slightly cloudy due to wine-based buildup getting into the microscopic grooves in the seemingly smooth inside of the glass. Since that buildup is mainly different acids from wine, I’ve had success in cleaning these glasses by making a paste from baking soda and a tiny addition of water. Just scrubbing this stuff on the inside cleans it almost immediately.

You can easily see how effective the stuff is - at first I tried to clean the glasses just with unscentend dish soap, yet after cleaning them, they were still slightly cloudy, but otherwise completely clean. Then after a minute of scrubbing with the soda paste the originally white paste had turned murky reddish-gray (thus obviously removing something from the glass) and the glasses were crystal clear once again.


If it’s hard water, the vinegar soak should do the trick!

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You rang?

Total dissolved solids (tds) can be an issue, as the water dries it leaves behind the dissolved solids, showing up as the cloudiness. Hardness which is made up of calcium and magnesium in the water though are the primary culprits, which is where using vinegar comes into help.

Some of the soaps can also leave behind a film. Our best results are running through the dishwasher, immediately taking them out after the wash cycle and wipe down and drops remaining.

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Both, I brought the bath towel with me. I keep the smaller one in my vehicle to clean my eyeglasses.

I don’t think this is hard water as the dishwasher works great with the new glasses for a while. I know what water stains look like when you don’t get a good rinse or dry and those can usually be polished off.

I’m pretty sure it’s wine build up and I’m going to try the baking soda paste Otto Forsberg recommended.

Phew, I thought you using one towel for both.