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How to Remove Calcium Build-Up From Crystal or Glass

Genae Valecia Hinesman

When a misty, or cloudy film covers the surfaces of your newly washed crystal or glassware, you are experiencing calcium build-up. "Hard" water is the culprit and it can confound even the most conscientious cleaning efforts. Water is considered hard when a large amount of dissolved minerals are found suspended within it. These deposits form a residue when water air-dries from the surface of glass, crystal, aluminum, steel or chrome. Because the problem lies within the water itself, normal cleaning won't get rid of the stains. Fortunately, you probably already have the solution sitting in your kitchen pantry.

  1. Fill your sink or a large nonmetal bowl with clear, distilled, full-strength (undiluted) vinegar. Place your glassware or crystal into the vinegar, submerging it, if possible.

  2. Leave the item or items in the vinegar for half an hour or overnight, depending on the extent of the residue and how long it has been present. Spray the entire surface with the vinegar or apply it with a cloth if the surface you wish to clean is large. Let the vinegar remain on the surface without wiping or deliberately drying.

  3. Remove the submerged items and rinse them repeatedly in running water. Dry them immediately with a clean, dry cloth.

  4. Wipe away all traces of the rinsing water from the crystal or glass. Apply one more layer of vinegar and rinse with plain water for larger surfaces that were treated. Dry the surface well.

  5. Repeat this process once or twice a year to prevent future calcium deposits from accumulating on the surface of crystal or glass.