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How to Clean Wine Glasses

How to Clean Wine Glasses

Four Methods:Cleaning Crystal Wine GlassesCleaning Regular Wine GlassesSteam Cleaning Wine GlassesRemoving Stubborn StainsCommunity Q&A

Wine glasses are beautiful, and often very delicate. If your wine glasses are made out of crystal, they cannot be washed in the dishwasher like ordinary glasses, and will require extra special care. This article will show you a few different ways of cleaning wine glasses, as well as how to remove stubborn stains.

 

Cleaning Crystal Wine Glasses

  1. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 1Hold the glass carefully by the bowl and not by the stem. The stem is fragile, and the glass can break easily if you hold it by that. Instead, cup your hand around the bottom of the bowl, with your fingers to either side of the steam.

    • This method will also work for regular wine glasses.

    • If you are cleaning painted or glittered wine glasses, use this method.

  2. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 2

    Rinse the glasses in lukewarm to hot water. If the water is too hot for you, it is likely too hot for the wine glass; water can cause glass to crack if it is hot enough. Sometimes, this is all that is needed to clean the glass.

  3. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 3Wipe the glass clean with a long-handled sponge. Avoid sticking your hand into the glass itself, or you will risk breaking the glass. Instead, find a soft sponge attached to a long, plastic handle. Focus your cleaning on the places that get the most dirty, such as the rim, the bottom of the glass, and the outside of the bowl.

    • Do not use steal wool or a scouring pad. Also, avoid using anything with stiff, plastic bristles. All of these can scratch the surface.

  4. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 4Use a mild, odorless dish soap if needed. Usually, a simple rinse and light buffing with a soft sponge is all that is needed. If the wine glass is especially dirty, however, you might need to use a mild dish soap. You will not need a lot; a small drop will be enough.

    • Try to use a low-alkaline detergent, if possible.

  5. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 5

    Rinse each glass well, inside and out, with hot water. Be sure to get rid of any soap residue. Crystal absorbs odors and flavors easily. If you don't rinse the wine glass well enough, your next glass of wine might have a slight soapy flavor.

  6. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 6

    Place the wine glass upside down on a soft towel so that it can air dry. The soft cloth will help protect the rim from the hard surface of your counter or table.

  7. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 7

    Dry the glasses with a soft, lint-free towel if you live in an area that has hard water. This will help prevent any hard water stains. Use a soft, lint-free cloth, such as microfiber.

  8. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 8

    Know that some stains may be permanent. Crystal is a very porous material. It absorbs flavors and is easily damaged. If the crystal wine glasses have turned foggy because they were cleaned in the dishwasher at some point in time, the damage is permanent. The heat of the dishwasher would have baked the detergent into the glass.

Cleaning Regular Wine Glasses

  1. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 9

    Choose short-stemmed wine glasses made out of glass. Do not use this method for crystal wine glasses, or for wine glasses with long, delicate stems. Also, do not use this method for painted or glittered wine glasses.

  2. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 10Plan on washing the glasses separate from the rest of your dishes. Do not load them in with anything that is very dirty or greasy. The grease can get on the glasses and smear them.

  3. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 11

    Place the glasses upside down on the top rack, and space them so that they are not touching. Try to have about a hands width between each glass. This will lessen the chances of the glasses bumping against each other and chipping.

  4. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 12Use a small amount of odorless detergent. The less detergent you use, the better. Also, try to use a mild, low-alkaline detergent. Do not add any rinse-aid. Rinse-aid may help prevent water stains, but it will also leave behind a chemical residue that will affect the flavor of your next glass of wine.

    • If the wine glasses are stained, consider adding half a wine glass of white vinegar into the wash cycle.

  5. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 13

    Use a short, gentle cycle. If you can, try to use a lower water temperature setting as well. The higher the water temperature, the more likely your wine glasses will be to crack.

  6. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 14Skip the drying cycle. Instead, open the door at the end of the cycle to let the glasses air dry without humidity.

  7. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 15

    Dry the glasses by hand if you live in an area with hard water. Gently wipe them dry with a soft, lint-free cloth (such as microfiber), and put them away.

Steam Cleaning Wine Glasses

  1. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 16

    Bring a pot of water to a boil over the stove. Fill a pot with water and place it on the stove. Turn the stove on to high and wait for the water to begin boiling. This method is generally safe for wine glasses made out of crystal or glass. It may not be safe for painted or glittered wine glasses, however.

  2. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 17

    Hold the wine glass upside down above the water. Slip the stem between your fingers loosely so that the base is resting on your hand.

  3. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 18

    Wait until the steam covers the wine glass. If the steam is not covering the glass, try bringing it closer to the water. Do not let the glass touch the water, however, or it may crack.

  4. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 19

    Wait a few moments, then take the glass away. The hot steam will have sterilized the glass.

  5. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 20Wipe the wine glass off with a soft, lint-free towel. Choose a soft cloth, such as microfiber, and wipe down the inside and outside of the glass.

Removing Stubborn Stains

  1. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 21Line the bottom of plastic container with a soft cloth. The container should be large enough to fit your wine glass. The soft cloth is important, as it will help protect the wine glass from getting scratched.

    • This method is great for glasses that have turned foggy. It is also good for tough wine stains.

    • Do not use this one painted or glittered wine glasses. Soaking these glasses in water for long periods of time can cause the paint or glitter to flake off.

  2. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 22

    Fill the bowl with warm water. Use just enough water so that the wine glass will be covered if you put it in.

  3. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 23Add five tablespoons of white vinegar. The vinegar will dissolve any wine or mineral residue. If you can't find any vinegar, you can use some baking soda or washing soda instead. Make sure that the washing soda or baking soda are completely dissolved; any remaining specks may scratch the glass.

    • Washing soda will help remove cloudiness, but it may not remove wine stains. Baking soda will work the same way, just not as well.

  4. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 24

    Lay the wine glass down in the container. The wine glass should be completely submerged. If it isn't, add some more warm water.

  5. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 25Wait one to two hours before removing the wine glass. This will give the acids in the vinegar enough time to dissolve the stains.

  6. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 26Rinse the glass using fresh water. Hold the glass by the bowl. Do not hold it by the stem, especially if it is a crystal wine glass. The stem is very fragile, and may break. If the wine glass is still foggy, it is possible that the damage is permanent. Wine glasses, especially those made from crystal, often turn foggy if they are washed in the dishwasher.

  7. Image titled Clean Wine Glasses Step 27

    Set the wine glass upside down on a soft, lint-free cloth to air dry.Spread the cloth over your table or counter. Set the wine glass upside down on it. If you live in an area that has hard water, you might want to dry the glass off by hand using a soft, lint-free cloth instead.

Community Q&A

  • Why should we use hot water?

    Hot water kills bacteria, which there is a lot of in wine. Cold water does not kill bacteria, and in some cases causes it to grow faster. 

  • How do I clean white film inside of my crystal wine glasses?

    Were the wine glasses ever cleaned inside of a dishwasher? If so, the damage is permanent. The heat of the dishwasher would have baked the detergent into the crystal. You can, however, try soaking them in a plastic container of warm water and a few tablespoons of white vinegar. This may help dissolve mineral deposits and hard water stains. Read method 4 for more information. 

  • Why should I make steam?

    You should do so because all the water turns into steam and when you flip the glass over, it releases into the air, getting rid of the water.

  • What is the benefit?

    The benefit of cleaning wine glasses is that you have fresh, clean glasses that people want to use instead of dirty ones.