Foggy Glass Fail

February 7, 2018


Ways To Clean Cloudy Glass

A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent a blissful afternoon meandering through a few local thrift stores, picking up treasures along the way. I had no idea what I was looking for, but I was quite smitten with the glassware in one particular shop.

There were the most darling little glass plates for a buck apiece and I wanted them, but they were covered in a weird cloudy film, so I hesitated.

It'll wash off, my husband said, and if it doesn't, they're cheap enough, you'll find something crafty to do with them.

I wasn't as sure.

I think it's on there, whatever it is. I'm sure the ladies tried to wipe them down before they put them out.

My husband looked around the shop and shook his head. Yeah, I don't think so.

A woman near us was listening to our conversation and interjected in a low whisper. You know, they have a bathroom here. Sneak one inside and try to wash it off.

Glass Plates With A Cloudy Film

Oh my gosh. Does this woman know me? I am the ultimate rule follower. Sneaking anything in anywhere was way out of my comfort zone. I starting sweating at the mere mention of her plan. Nope. I was going to take them home and wash them off there. I mean honestly, how hard could it be to get rid of some smudge.

Well, turns out plenty hard and if you ask me the question I googled incessantly for three days, How To Remove Cloudy Film From Glass, I would have to say, I have absolutely no idea.

Ok, that's not true. I know what to do and I did it all. It's just that nothing worked.

How To Remove Cloudy Film From Glass


Here are all the tips I found and what happened when I used them.


Soap and Water


I started with the simple wash. Dishwashing liquid and a sponge, warm water and rinse. Perfectly clear results. Victory! Until the plate dried. The film was back. Ugh.

Ok, I tried again, scrubbing a little bit harder this time...with the same terrible results.

Boo.

Cleaning Glass With Vinegar

Vinegar 


Vinegar seems to be the recommended cure-all lately, so why wouldn't it work on my plates? First, I scrubbed with it. Nope. Another article said I should soak the plate in it. So I did. I sealed my glass dish in a large zippy bag and covered it in vinegar for two whole days. 

Nothing. Now I had very shiny, cloudy dishes. Not the desired result.


Baking Soda


Baking soda was the next suggested remedy. This didn't work either. I made a paste and I scrubbed. I added vinegar to the mix and I scrubbed. I added lemon juice to the mixture and ~ you guessed it ~ I scrubbed again. When I was done, the plate looked like it did, three days before. Filmy. Fabulous. 


Cerama Bryte


I've been a fan of Cerama Bryte for years. It works great on my glass stovetop and it has citric acid in it, which was also highly recommended to get rid of that glass film, but it didn't work either. 

Neither did Magic Eraser, Bar Keeper's Friend or citric acid on its own. I was striking out in huge way. And spending more money than I ever wanted on thrift store plates.

How To Remove Cloudy Film From Old Glass


Calcium and Lime Cleaner


I am ashamed to say that I even tried a Brillo pad on the stubborn stain, before I brought out the big guns. I really, really hate chemicals, but before I threw in the towel and admitted defeat, my husband and I went to the hardware store and bought Lime A-Way. Total waste of money.

It would probably clean my shower doors really well, if I let my husband bring that caustic stuff in the house (not happening), but my glass dishes looked just the same start to finish.

Cleaning Cloudy Glass

What I think I already knew before I started this process is that glass is porous and sometimes, a cloudy appearance is indicative of age and damage and that no cleaner is going to fix.

Unfortunately, I think that is where I am.

Vintage Glass Plates

There are two other things I didn't try, because I didn't have them on hand...denture tabs and nail polish remover...but I really don't think that they would make a difference after the bomb I already dropped on these poor sweet dishes.

But we'll see. I may get the itch to try every last little thing...

And of course, if you have a tip for me, I'd love to know.

Because that foggy, cloud really does bug me.

Even if I am just going to get crafty. (I did get crafty...you can check it out here!)

Anyone?



Looking for more thrift store topics?


Thrift Store Planter Ideas


Thrift Store Cutting Boards

72 comments:

  1. I could be way off, but I have some cereal bowls that look just like your plates. I've been told it's the dishwasher that made them cloudy and nothing can be done about it. It's like the cloudiness is etched into the glass. Bummer....

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    1. I'm thinking the same thing, PJ. It is a bummer. I guess I'm going to have to get very crafty...but they were so pretty on their own. It would've been great if they could've been cleaned up. Thanks for the input! 😊

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  2. How funny that you ended up with shiny, cloudy dishes. Such a paradox but I see what you mean. haha

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    1. I think I ended up with the same mess I started with!! And emptier pockets. πŸ˜‚

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  3. I think they have been subjected to high heat-probably in a dishwasher with a heating element and the glass is clouded all the way through-damaged. How about painting them? Either that or just use them to serve people with cataracts...that way they won't notice....please, please, please don't send me hate mail....I KNOW cataracts are not funny--- I am just wicked. xo Diana

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    1. I am going to have to get crafty with them, Diana, which was the intention all along. I had just hoped to be crafting with clear dishes! And no hate mail from me, I get your sass...it's part of your fabulous charm! ❤️

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  4. Crafts to the rescue - just paint them or decoupage them...doesn't look like there is anything that will change the cloudy appearance. Somehow the dishwasher does this to glassware, especially in hard water areas. Sigh.

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    1. Absolutely, Linda! I have a few ideas in mind already. I am just waiting for a warm day and a free afternoon. I'll keep you posted! Thanks for the visit!

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  5. Try LemiShine (sold next to dishwasher soap). It took the cloudy stuff off my cheapo wine glasses - they are clear as a bell now! Mix it in with your dishwasher soap, all your dishes will be super clean and very shiny. If you'd rather, LemiShine also makes a liquid to replace Jet Dry that works like a charm as well. (I use all of it as we have super hard water.)

    The frog planter? We had one of those when I was younger, and it was a storage spot for the kitchen sponge. :)

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    1. I have heard this suggestion before...it keeps coming up in the comments. I may have to give it one more shot. If not, I am sure it will make my own glassware sparkle! Thanks for the tip...and I love that frog planter, too. We had one for the sponge growing up as well. He was too cute for a dirty mouth though!πŸ˜‰

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  6. Are they slightly green? They could be very special! Look up "Uranium Glass"

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    1. They aren't green, but now I am looking up Uranium Glass and I will probably be on the lookout for some when I am thrifting. Thanks for the tip!!

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  7. Hi Kim, not sure if you researched it or not but I think the beaded plates are a pattern called candlewick. My mom used to have some and many years ago she gave hers to my niece who also had pieces of the same pattern. I was going to guess dishwasher too. I don't have any suggestions for how to clear it but I do have a couple of craft suggestions. You can get a cream to etch glass, usually you would leave part of the design without etching so the contrast would show but I think that you could etch the entire plate to cover up the dishwasher etching and maybe they would look frosted. My other suggestion is glass paint. Gallery glass made by Plaid has a paint that you put on glass and it looks like stained glass. There is a thick paint that you can put between the colors to look like the leading on real stained glass and some of the colors are transparent and some are more opaque. It is has been a long time since I have used it but they used to come in a squeeze bottle so they were easy to use and they had instruction books with all kinds of designs that you could copy. I can picture some red tulips and green stems and leaves with an opaque white background....

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    1. Of course, I looked it up after your suggestion and yup, they are Candlewick! They are so dainty and lovely and if they were clear, I would've kept them for the table. Alas, that does not seem to be...so I will be playing with them to see what I can come with. Thanks for the suggestions, they are all on the list! I will keep you posted!

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  8. Try the borax solution shown here:
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/natural-homemade-streakfree-window-cleaners-78848.html
    I cleaned all the windows in my house last year using this. I was getting tired of cleaning them, only to still have them look streaked and foggy. True, you have to go over them again with the vinegar/water solution, but boy oh boy did they sparkle!
    Another trick listed on this page is toothpaste. Maybe try that first if you don't like the idea of borax.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! I am going to to give it a try. I know I should quit already, but I am determined to see if I can get them clean! It's personal now. πŸ˜‰If not, I will certainly be set to give my windows new life. I appreciate the help.

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  9. I have no idea, but they look like how all our clear glasses get here. They are cloudy due to hard-water scratches. Those look vintage so I would not necessarily toss them. If they are big enough you can use them as a charger. I like to take the regular size plate and put a smaller china salad plate on it for a meal. I have some clear Ikea plates that I use this way. xoxo Su

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    1. Thanks Su. I haven't given up on them yet! They are way too pretty to toss!

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  10. Maybe they’re supposed to be that way...like frosted glass, you know? I’m really surprised vinegar didn’t work. Guess you’ll have to disguise it & paint over it. You’ll think of something clever.

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    1. I did consider that they were supposed to be that way, but the film isn't uniform...unless it's chipped away, which is also a possibility. So many mysteries for 99 cents! I appreciate your confidence in my ability to create something clever from them. I already have my thinking cap on! Thanks so much for the visit and the thoughts!

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  11. I'm sorry darling bean! I have never laughed at a post this late in ages. the puppy in the next apartment even started barking. (they have fantastic hearing you know.)
    I am still laughing! but when you spend a small fortune on thrift plates... well. it's primo stand up stuff! you should be on stage!
    actually in this post I have just grown to love those little plates. they took your torture and they're still intact. that counts for something right there!
    I would serve a special strawberry desert on them and call it "strawberry cloud." I would put the plates in the freezer or the fridge and let them chill before I put the strawberry cloud dessert on them. as they get less cool they will still LOOK like they're frosty! voila'! case closed! XOXO♥

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    1. I'm glad I could make you chuckle Tammy...although, I'm sorry about the dog! πŸ˜‰Can you believe this tale? I should've left those dishes in the store...or listened to the lady and snuck in the bathroom to wash them and put it to rest right then and there. Although, with my luck I probably would've been arrested for attempted shoplifting. Oh boy...can you image THAT story?? xoxo And I will consider your cloudy dessert idea. At least it will be tasty!

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  12. Sorry Kim that you tried so many cleaners and nothing worked. Sounds like the consensus is that it was probably from the heat in a dishwasher. I bet if you painted them and then did some kind of art work on them they would be pretty cute. I am sure your crafty self will figure out something to do with them!!! Have a great week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Thanks Kris! Looks like I had better get my craft on! What a lot of wasted time. I probably should've posted about them first for advice and tried to wash them later...oh well, next time! xoxo

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  13. Maybe they are suppose to look like that. Did you try something as simple as Windex ? One of my favorite thrift shops uses a Sharpie to put prices on dishes. Finally, the lady who works there said Windex will take it off. Like magic. White vinegar rather than cider vinegar?
    Love them for what they are- opaque.

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    1. I did not try Windex, but how funny would that be if after all that weird and wacky scrubbing, Windex removed the smudge? Oh my goodness..

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  14. Looks like Candlewick to me too . . .
    I would have tried all your remedies . . .
    They certainly must be “clean as a whistle . . .”
    Recycle them back . . .
    (Smiling . . . I can’t imagine you giving up!)

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    1. I googled Candlewick and I believe you are correct. They are so pretty and yes!! they are clean as a whistle...but still cloudy. Grrrr...

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  15. You have the patience of a saint. I would have flung them out the window in 20 minutes flat!!!!

    Janexxxx

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    1. Jane. I was *THIS* close. Trust me. πŸ˜‰ xoxo

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  16. The plates are adorable with the beaded trim and it's too bad that you can't get rid of the cloudiness. I would guess the dishwasher has permanently etched them. I knew a lady who used her dishwasher even for her good dishes and her drinking glasses looked like milk had been left in them.

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    1. Aren't they just darling? That bead just stole my heart and once I got them home, it was all over. I was in love. I will find a way to use them regardless, but it would've been nice if they were crystal clear! And I think you're right...dishwasher damage. Grrr...Thanks for weighing in!! 😊

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  17. Hi Kim, sorry about the plate situation and I really don't have any tips either on how to get them to be clean and shiny. How about trying that LemiShine or just do a crafty with them. I hope you figure out the situation with the plates.
    Julie

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    1. I am totally going to try that LemiShine, Julie. Thanks! At this point it can't hurt!!

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  18. I have had a couple of cheap wine glasses come out of the dishwasher like that, and I tried just about everything you did to no avail. I have some of that LemiShine and plan to try that...I forgot I had it. I first heard about that from The Pioneer Woman! If all else fails, I'd spray-paint them!

    Hugs,
    Carol

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    1. Everyone keeps talking about the LemiShine, Carol. I am totally going to try it! And yes, I have the spray paint at the ready...in case!

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  19. I would try the nail polish remover, which is basically acetone, a universal solvent. That might work. If not, the plates are still cute!

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    1. I just may try that, thanks Melissa!! I am really determined...or crazy. πŸ˜‰

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  20. My thinking is you just accept the imperfection and add a stain or metallic color to it and transform it. I use this stuff from DecoArt that really makes a difference it goes on anything. They're called Metallic Lustre and they also come in this beautiful pearl color.

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    1. Other people have suggested the DecoArt paint, Mary. I am off to look for it! Thanks!

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  21. That's a shame....I think I would have given up by now! At my house they would become saucers for under a plant at this point!

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    1. I actually got to that point, Debbie. And then it passed. I don’t like losing! Lot of good it did me, huh? πŸ˜‰

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  22. Oh, Kim, the first time I saw the plates I raised my hand and said, "I know Iknow"! I am so disappointed that most everyone knew too, the dreaded dishwasher. I bought some little beauties too, a little different pattern than yours, thought it was just dirt and grime so washed them and, like you said, when wet they were beautiful, but dry, the same. I just put them up in my old wavy glass windows and they look pretty anyway. From a distance you can't really tell..Yours are pretty ones though. Think about price not about quality!! You will think of something great, I am sure..Happy Thursday..xxoJudy

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    1. Judy, your comment made me giggle. I can actually picture you at your computer raising your hand. 😊 Unfortunately, I think you really do know...and now, so do I. I was really hoping that I was wrong and that the etching was just a build up. But nope. I mean, I basically bombed these plates with all that I had and nothing. Time to get crafty...for 99 each, it's still not a bad base for something fun! xoxo

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  23. Never even heard of some of this stuff including Cerama Bryte

    In my mind if Dawn Dish Detergent can't do it nothing can lol! You are quite persistent :) maybe they are supposed to be that way...if they are clean, use them :)

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    1. They sure are clean, now, Deb. No doubt about that!!

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  24. I bought a couple of glasses made in France in a thrift store. They were a bit cloudy so I decided to use and wash them a lot in the dishwasher. The rinse agent(JetDryRinse) is what I think did it but after a couple of years they were much clearer. However I think your plates are lost causes. Too much acid over the years. Older glass was susceptible I believe

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    1. I think you are right. The were really lovely when they were wet and stunning on a table, but I am sure they will be stunning crafts instead. Thanks for the comment. I really didn't want to give up, but it helps when others back me up and say, yes, it's time!

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  25. The plates are adorable! Wish I knew what to suggest to get rid of the cloudiness, but maybe you could spray the back of them with a frosted glass paint?

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    1. I think I am ready for the craft aisle now, Karen and your suggestion tops the list! Thanks!

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  26. What is that old Mary Engelbriet quote? - if you can't change something, change how you think about it...I think they are imperfectly pretty! Aren't we all? (:

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  27. I'm heading out thrifting later today and now with your tips I might choose something that otherwise I would have passed up.

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    1. I hope you have better luck than I did, Carol. Or at least something that requires less elbow grease! πŸ˜‰

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  28. What a great post, Kim! Thank you so much for sharing, my friend. Kisses!!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mia. It was a frustration process, but I am excited to get crafty now!

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  29. My two go to cleaners are Lemi Shine for cloudy dishes and Stain Solver for baked on grease. Both work best with a good strong solution and patience, like soak them overnight patience. A few years ago I bought a set of used Jordan Pond House restaurant dishes covered in cloudy film. I knew underneath those years of dishwasher cloud were beautiful dishes. It took 3 soakings in Lemi Shine but they look brand new now. Nothing beats Stain Solver for baked on grease. You have to buy it online but I'm totally sold on how effortless it makes cleaning brown kitchen grease out of the metal stove filter. Just amazing how it worked.

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    1. I am going to try the Lemi Shine, Judy! You are one of many who have said to try it so I am! I will keep you posted. I also need to keep the Stain Solver in mind. Thanks so much!

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  30. I'm cracking up at your reaction to the woman's suggestion to take the plates into the bathroom! But I'm a rule follower too and I'd be afraid they'd think I was stealing it. The horror! Lol! I have no idea how to remove that film either. Sounds like you gave it the good ol' college try though. :)

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    1. Oh my gosh...can you imagine, Lisa!! I could never do that. I would be sweating! I would make a terrible criminal!

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  31. That is a real bummer! I have two suggestions. Dishes washed in a dishwasher can get that cloudy film. Dishwasher use to have an ingredient that they took out to preserve the environment. Silly though, that you can buy that ingredient separately. It's called Lemi-shine. Add a little to the small compartment next to the detergent and it works wonders in taking off that film. I get it on my red handled utensils if I don't use Lemi shine. The other suggestion is to soak them in rubbing alcohol. Hope one of these work! Thanks for sharing with SYC. P.S. I can't break rules either!! :)
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. I am totally going to try the Lemi Shine, Jann. It seems to be the consensus...although I do already have rubbing alcohol. So I may try that first! Thanks for the tip!

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  32. I have a feeling you will paint or come up with something else and surprise us. :-) I do like them, they are unique designs.
    Carla

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    1. I have a few thoughts and tricks up my sleeve, Carla! I really did want to get that film off though. Grrr.

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  33. I have absolutely no idea how to uncloud those gorgeous plates Kim but I'm 100% convinced you'll come up with something exquisitely remarkable.

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    1. Thanks Michelle! I have a few ideas...I hope they go as well in real life as they look in my head!!

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  34. Gee I'm stuck for ideas on what you could try. Maybe cut half a lemon in half and rub over the plates. Works wonders on cleaning grime of stainless steal.... A long shot I know but maybe worth a try? Those plates are just gorgeous by the way!

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    1. I will try, Sam! Thanks! Anything is worth a try...because I agree, they are gorgeous.

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  35. that's not cloudy film. it is in fact, the smooth finish of the glass has been etched off by dishwasher detergent. there is nothing that can be done about that- it's just gone- like a top layer of skin.

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    1. Thank you for your explanation. I was afraid that was the problem. I am glad I gave them a pretty makeover instead. I will have to keep an eye out next time I buy for sure.

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  36. Wow this is impressive! Love the dishes now!

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    1. Thanks so much, Maria! I am happy with the new version...

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