Do Drinking Glasses Wear Out? [And How To Prevent That]

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Are you wondering if it's time to replace your drinking glasses or how to tell if it's time? Well, you've come to the right place. We've done the research to provide you with a detailed guide on determining whether or not you need to get new glasses.

Although drinking glasses won't necessarily wear down, they can be subject to the ravages of time. They may accumulate scratches, chips, and fogginess with extended use. That said, if you start to notice these signs of wear and tear, it's likely time for new drinking glasses.

You probably want to know the best way to care for your glasses to prolong their life, and how do you restore dingy glasses? Keep reading to learn all about proper glass maintenance and the lifespan of a drinking glass.

Pouring of fresh water into glass on table in kitchen, Do Drinking Glasses Wear Out? [And How To Prevent That]

When Should You Replace Your Drinking Glasses?

Close up of a woman hand filling a glass of water directly from the tap.

If your glasses have noticeable scratches, cracks, or are chipped around the rim, it's probably time to replace them. Scratches are purely cosmetic most of the time, but chips and cracks in glasses can be dangerous. Dingy glasses that have been coated in a film can usually be saved with some elbow grease.

A glass with a crack can shatter if it is exposed to extreme temperatures or set down too hard. A glass with a chip in it could cut your hand while washing it or your lip while drinking.

Le'raze Drinking Glasses

This 10-pack of drinking glasses is the perfect set to replace your old collection. Each glass holds 16-ounces, and they're dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. They also have a 1-year satisfaction guarantee for easy returns if you're unhappy.

Click here to see these glasses on Amazon.

How Long Do Drinking Glasses Last?

According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, left alone glass can remain unchanged for thousands of years without losing its integrity. Glasses that receive daily use probably aren't going to withstand centuries of abuse, but they can be kept for many years.

There isn't a set standard for how often you should replace your glasses, so as long as you're happy with them and they're in nice shape, you can keep using them.

How To Get The Most Time Out Of Your Drinking Glasses?

To get as much use out of your drinking glasses, always wash them by hand and avoid putting them in the dishwasher since these machines can be aggressive.

Handle them gently when mixing drinks or placing them on the table or counter and use coasters. Avoid abrasive soaps and cleaners that could scratch the glass and opt for more gentle dish soap solutions.

XIAMOOR Absorbent Braided Coasters

These coasters are the perfect solution if you're worried about breaking your glasses when you set them on hard surfaces. They're soft and absorbent, so they'll protect your table as well as your glass. They come in a pack of six, and they're available in a variety of different colors.

Click here to check out these coasters on Amazon.

How To Clean Drinking Glasses?

Close-up of woman's hands filling glass with water in garden sink.

If you have a dishwasher, you can wash your drinking glasses in it as long as they're dishwasher safe, but you'll get the best results by using a rinse agent to avoid spots.

Dishwashers are rougher on glasses than handwashing, so if you're looking for longevity, you should stick with this alternative cloth method.

If you have hard water, you may want to add some vinegar to your dishwater to reduce spots. Always dry your glasses with a lint-free dishtowel for a perfect finish before you put them away.

The Rag Company Microfiber Dishtowels

This 12-pack of lint-free dish towels is perfect for drying your dishes. They come in 10 different color choices to match your home decor, and they can be machine washed and dried.

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How Do You Fix Cloudy Drinking Glasses?

If your drinking glasses are cloudy after being washed, there are some options you can try to make them crystal clear again. Soaking them in hot soapy water and vinegar solution can brighten them up again.

If vinegar doesn't help, you can try dipping the glasses in nail polish remover or acetone, then washing them with mild soapy water like usual.

How To Store Drinking Glasses?

Drinking glasses are commonly stored rim down to keep dust from collecting inside the glass. Wine glasses and champagne flutes are an exception due to their fragility and can be left rim up but should be rinsed before use in case of dust.

Ultimately you can store your glasses any way you like as long as you're sure they're clean.

Coverware Drink Tops

These glass lids are the perfect solution for keeping dust, bugs, and any other debris out of your glasses. They're easy to use and unbelievably convenient for storage and things like cookouts and other outdoor events. They come in a 4-pack and are available in multiple color options.

Click here to check these out on Amazon.

How Do You Know If Your Drinking Glasses Are Old?

Cropped shot of an attractive young woman sitting alone and holding a glass of water at home

The best way to determine the age of a drinking glass is to search for its maker's mark. If you find a maker's mark, you can research the company and style of the glass to determine the exact age of the item.

However, not all antique glasses have an identification mark, so you may need to do extensive research on the piece using its appearance as a guide to finding an exact date.

Kingrol Drinking Glass Set

This six-pack of drinking glasses has a gorgeous, classic antique appearance. They hold 9.5-ounces per glass, and they're dishwasher safe. They're clear with an embossed pattern for a subtle but intricate look, perfect for antique lovers but without the lead.

Click here to take a look at these glasses on Amazon.

Are Old Drinking Glasses Safe?

You will need to verify the material your antique glasses are made of before you use them for drinking.

The safest bet is to avoid drinking out of glasses if you're not sure what they are made of. Antique glasses can contain high levels of lead, which is very toxic.

Bormioli Rocco Glass Co. Inc Glass Tumbler

This 4-pack of glasses is a great option for those who love the look of antique glasses but don't want to risk drinking out of them. The pink tone and decorative scrollwork are reminiscent of vintage glasses providing a classic and unique appearance. They old 10.25-ounces per glass, and they're dishwasher safe.

Click here to see these glasses on Amazon.

Are New Drinking Glasses Safe?

Most modern drinking glasses are perfectly safe. However, you should always wash them before using them for the first time.

Avoid purchasing drinking glasses with designs on them, like pictures or paint, as these may contain cadmium, a radioactive material that is very dangerous for humans.

In 2010 a popular fast-food chain recalled glasses that they gave to customers because the design on the glass was found to contain dangerous levels of cadmium.

How Often Should You Wash Your Drinking Glass?

Woman hand-washing a drinking glass with soapy sponge in kitchen sink.

You should wash your drinking glass daily at a minimum, even if you only use it for water. You should also clean your glass anytime you switch beverages.

Rinsing your glass between refills is also an example of good hygiene that one should follow.

How To Dispose Of Old Drinking Glasses?

If you're throwing away broken glass, carefully wrap it before placing it in the trash. You can use newspaper, paper bags, or any other material that will cover the sharp edges of the glass.

If your glasses are still in good shape, you can re-sell them, drop them off at a thrift store, or offer them for free to the first taker. Always try to repurpose good glasses rather than just throwing them away.

To Wrap Up

Now that you know all about drinking glasses and how they show wear and tear, you're ready to decide if you need new glasses or not.

Make sure to choose a style that you can live with for a long time, and if you like the look of antique glasses, buy a reproduction if you want to use them for anything other than display.

And with that said, have fun shopping and enjoy your new drinking glasses!

If you want to learn more about keeping your glasses dust-free and how to store them properly, read our article "How To Keep Wine Glasses From Getting Dusty."

For more information on when you should buy new drinking glasses, read our article "How Often Should You Replace Drinking Glasses?"

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