Thursday, 27 June 2013 13:01

Glass Etching: Can You Avoid It?

If your clear drinking glasses have turned a shade of deep purple and you are not listening to that old song by that same name about romantic sunsets, you may be having a problem with your dishwasher known as etching. There is nothing at all romantic or even pleasant about etching. The condition involves a pitting or eroding of glassware in certain spots, which often occurs in areas with very hard water. In its initial stages, etching may render an iridescent look with
tinges of blue, purple, brown or pink when the glass is held up to the light. This color change marks the onset of the etching process. In more advanced stages, the surface becomes frosted, spotted or cloudy and unfortunately permanent.

Although there are solutions to this particular predicament, there is no advance warning that etching will happen, as its occurrence has nothing at all to do with the cost or quality of the glassware in question. Controlling etching is solely dependant on preventive measures. These include:

Too much pre-rinsing

Do not manually rinse dishes before loading them into the dishwasher because the alkaline concentration in the detergent is meant to remove the dirt and only requires a little bit to function at maximum capacity. If all the dirt has been eliminated, chemical agents still need a job to do, which may mean damage your glassware.

Use less soap and lower water temperature

The amount of soap should correspond to the degree of water hardness. For example, one teaspoon of detergent is needed per grain of hardness with a maximum of three teaspoons. The proper water temperature, which should be approximately 140 degrees F as it enters the washer, activates the detergent. Avoid using water-heating options such as such as Temp Boost, Power Boost or Power Scrub.

Use a rinse additive

The sheeting action of the water is greatly improved with a rinse additive such as JET-DRY. If the dishwasher is not equipped with a rinse dispenser, hang a basket of solid JET-DRY in a back corner of the lower rack.