Do your drinking glasses smell bad after washing? Maybe your glassware comes out of the dishwasher stinking like fish or a wet dog? It’s bad enough when you’re thirsty and get a whiff of something not right. When guests notice that odor, it’s downright embarrassing.
Do Your Drinking Glasses Smell Weird?
Why Your Drinking Glasses Smell Bad
Ever since the EPA required soap manufacturers to remove phosphates from dishwasher detergent, many of us have noticed our drinking glasses smell bad even after washing them. Some liken the smell to fish; others say it’s more like rotting meat or a wet dog.
As if the smell wasn’t enough, you might also see your glasses don’t look clean after washing. Instead, they have a cloudy haze that makes them look grimy. Over time that film builds up, and your once clear drinking glasses look etched. If you do nothing, that can become permanent.
That haze, even if it’s not built up sufficiently to be noticeable yet, is the source of the smell. Unlike perfectly smooth glass, the film left behind by our phosphate-free detergents is rough enough to hold onto bacteria. And where bacteria breeds, odor breeds.
Fix That Drinking Glasses Smell
There are a couple of ways to treat this problem, depending on whether you hand-wash your glasses or stick them in the dishwasher.
In the Sink
- Line the bottom of your basin with a thick towel and arrange glassware on it.
- Add 2 cups of distilled white vinegar then run the hot water until the glasses are completely submerged.
- Wait 20-30 minutes to give the vinegar time to dissolve and remove the odor-causing haze then scrub, wash, and dry them thoroughly.
In the Dishwasher
- Pour 2 cups of white distilled vinegar in the bottom of the machine.
- Let the dishwasher run for a minute or two and pause the cycle for 20-30 minutes to give the vinegary water time to dissolve the haze. (In most dishwashers, this involves popping the door open.)
- Close the door and allow the cycle to continue as usual.
Tips To Keep Drinking Glasses From Smelling
• To prevent hazing in the future, fill your dishwasher’s rinse aid reservoir with white vinegar — it works just as well Jet Dry or similar products and saves money, too.
• Deep clean your dishwasher to ensure it’s not circulating bacteria-filled water or growing hidden mold. It’s especially important to clean the filter since food residue collects there. (Related: How to Clean a Dishwasher.)
• Or skip the dishwasher altogether and hand-wash your drinking glasses then let them air dry on a dish rack that allows for proper air circulation.