Sometimes a glass of red is the perfect accompaniment to a lovingly prepared meal – and a good bottle of Saint-Emilion is sure to help a dinner party go down well. But when it comes to cleaning wine glasses and maintaining them in good condition, many are unsure of the best method to treat these fragile and easily stained vessels.
When and How to Clean Wine Glasses in a Dishwasher
Only glass, and not crystal, should be washed in the dishwasher. If you opt for cleaning wine glasses in the dishwasher, it’s advisable to set it at a short cycle, using a small amount of detergent. Once the wash is finished, open the dishwasher door, in order to release the humidity and allow the glasses to air dry.
Many are not keen on the dishwasher option however, as the high temperatures can cause the glass to crack and the humidity can cause the glass to cloud. No problem – cleaning wine glasses by hand is safe and practical. Just follow these steps to keep those crystals and glasses sparkling clean.
Cleaning Wine Glasses by Hand
- If done promptly and regularly, a simple thorough rinse of the glasses may well be sufficient. Run the glass under the tap, using hot water (the hotter the water the more effective the clean, but run it too hot and the glass risks cracking). Hold the bowl of the glass rather than the stem, which can be easily broken, then use a sponge to scrub the glass, turning the glass round against the sponge. A handled sponge is preferable, thus avoiding applying too much direct hand pressure onto the glass whilst cleaning.
- Washing up liquid can be used for cleaning wine glasses, but do not use bleach-based detergent, and avoid perfumed detergent, which can linger and affect the wine’s bouquet in subsequent use.
- Prepare a white vinegar and water solution and, either using a spray bottle or a scent free paper towel, apply the solution to the glass. The acid within the vinegar will break down any resistant wine. It will also give a more sparkling finish to the glass.
- If the wine is really ingrained, fill a bowl with a vinegar solution (five tablespoons of vinegar to half a bowl of water), and leave the glass to soak in the bowl. Lemon juice, also naturally containing acid, can be used as a substitute for the vinegar. Laying paper towels at the bottom of the bowl will protect the glass from being damaged.
- Once the above steps have been followed, rinse the glass clean using hot water, and leave the glass to air dry, upside down. Lay a dish cloth or paper towel on the surface first, to avoid the rim of the glass being damaged by a hard surface.
How to Clean Cloudy Wine Glasses
Cleaning wine glasses by hand, regularly and carefully, should prevent glasses from staining and clouding over. However, cleaning cloudy wine glasses is not a problem, should clouding occur. Create a solution by dissolving baking soda in hot (not boiling) water, fill the glass with the solution and let it stand in the glass for a few minutes. Apply a cloth dampened by the solution to the inside of the glass if you want to apply more pressure. Then rinse and allow to dry, as described above.
There are now various specialised wine glass cleaning products available. However, cleaning wine glasses need not be a cause for concern if the above steps are followed.