Ghost Glassplosion

Spontaneously Exploding Glass

My wife and I are both just a bit bonkers when it comes to glassware.

For general purpose drinking glasses, we want heavy glassware that is dishwasher safe, has a bit of texture, and can contain at least 12 ounces, preferably 16, of the beverage of our choice.

We had found that the ” Mexican glass” style of drinking glasses work really well. It is a heavy, typically bubbled, glass that is well balanced.

Unfortunately, it has a tendency to spontaneously break for no apparent reason.

This is an example. I was sitting in the other room and I heard *pop* *tink ca-tink*. “What the hell was that?”

Investigating, I found that this purple glass had broken rather forcefully, shooting a very large chunk of glass into a bowl near it (and several smaller chunks of glass quite a bit further away).

This wasn’t a case of massive thermal shock. The glass had been washed the day before and left on the towel to dry for nearly 24 hours.

And this isn’t the first glass of this style — and not even of this batch — that we have lost to similar catastrophic surprise failure.

So… if anyone has a suggestion for durable, heavy, dishwasher safe, glasses of a similar magnitude that don’t spontaneously fail, I’d love a pointer!

10 Responses to “Ghost Glassplosion”

  1. Janine says:

    These may be a bit too boring for your tastes, but they are heavy and durable, and I like the way the 17 oz ones fit my hands:

  2. Miguel says:

    WMDs – Weapons of Mexican Destruction

  3. Matt says:

    I’ve noticed this phenomenon with cheap drinking glasses where two pieces of glass were fused together. Had some heavy bottomed tumblers where the bottom would just pop off: The entire set offed itself one by one over the course of a few months.

  4. annbb says:

    I think Janine has a good idea. Or get the huge tervis tumblers. You can customize them any way you want. (Ours say “Pippin’s House.)

    See all the non-custom styles here:

    Personalized here:

  5. annbb says:

    BTW – that’s just bizarre! Never had a glass do that.

  6. Fitz says:

    I highly recommend real imperial pint glasses (aka “Harp style” glasses, 20oz.), the ones with the actual seal stamped into the glass in the bottom, not cheapo knockoffs. I bought a dozen of them from a local Irish pub ten years ago for $4 a piece, and I’ve only broken one (dropped onto the granite counter from 24″ up), and we use these all the time. I frequently drop them, and stuff them pretty much anywhere they fit in the dishwasher. They’ve also survived several moves. The fact that they easily hold pretty much any bottle/can of beer is a nice bonus. Oh, and before I had a dishwasher, an added benefit was that I could get my whole hand inside them to wash them well. Just do it.

  7. John C. Randolph says:

    I wonder if you could just make the glasses you have stronger by annealing them. Know anyone with a kiln?

    I use laboratory glassware myself. Pyrex beakers aren’t especially thick, but they’re double-annealed borosilicate glass, and they’re not too expensive when you order them in lots of 20 or 30.


  8. Papa Joe says:

    it’s from that Tequila that u made. did the same to my stomach.

  9. David says:

    It’s possible that the bubbles in the glass are responsible for this. Most dishwashers heat the water to a pretty high temperature for best cleaning results and that could have caused the air inside the bubble to expand. While that might not have been enough to crack it in one go, it could have started a crack in the glass, which opened and closed with every washing cycle as the glass was heated and cooled, progressively increasing the crack size until you reached the strength limit of the glass and then…pop. This is mostly speculation, but I notice that the photo shows a round shape in the glass fracture surface (in the floor of the glass, near the inner surface) which could be a bubble and the source of the crack.

  10. karen williams says:

    I have had the exact same thing happen to 2 heavy bubble glasses in the last 3 days. I returned one set, then bought a different brand at a totally different store and within 24 hours the bottoms exploded off them also. They were sitting on the counter. It seems the minute you get them wet, they do this. Shouldn’t someone look into this as people could sustain injuries here.

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