How to properly clean wine glasses?

Did you know that wine can taste different, depending on the glass you use? There are many types of wine glasses – from narrow champagne flutes to large-bowled stemware for rich red wine, whatever it is that you use, should be sparkling clean. This is something all master sommeliers and wine professionals agree with. That is why we will show you how to properly clean your wine glasses and make sure that your wine tastes its best.

Keep reading to find out how to clean stains and make your glasses clean and spotless.

Ideally, you should wash your wine glasses after every use. You also need to use a fresh one every time you switch between wines. If your glasses are not being used and are stored in a closed cabinet, you still have to wash them at least once a year. That way you will remove dust and dirt and prevent them from etching the glass. The methods explained are tried by professional cleaners.

You will need:

  • large sink/plastic tub
  • rubber sink mat
  • microfiber cloth
  • wine glass brush
  • fork/bamboo skewer
  • nylon net dish scrubber
  • stovetop/microwave
  • pan/pot
  • mild dishwashing liquid
  • distilled white vinegar
  • baking soda

In order to protect your wine glasses from damage, it is best that you hand-wash them. If you choose to use an automatic dishwasher, make sure you place them on the top rack with a lot of space in between them. If they are too tall to fit on the first rack, readjust it or place them on the bottom rack but ensure that your wine glasses are not touching any silverware or plates. Use a gentle, no heat dry cycle. Remove the glasses as soon as the cycle is finished and while they are still wet, dry them with a lint-free microfiber cloth.

  1. Skip the suds. When cleaning freshly used wine glasses, you don’t actually need to use a lot of cleaning products. Fill a tub or a sink with warm water and add only a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid. Make sure to line the bottom of the sink with a rubber sink mat. That will prevent chips and scratches on your glasses. Never use abrasive sponges because they may cause permanent damage to the glass.
  2. Wash gently. Use a wine glass brush or a nylon scrubber to gently clean the inside and outside of the glass. Focus on the bottom and rim. If the glass has a delicate stem, hold it by the bowl and wash it like that.
  3. Use warm water. Never use cold or hot water when rinsing your wine glasses. Extreme changes in the water temperature may cause cracks in the glass. To avoid this, make sure the temperature of the rinse water is the same as one of the water you used for washing them.
  4. Lint-free drying. Use a lint-free microfiber towel to dry the glasses. Do not let them air-dry because this will cause spotting on the inside and outside. Hold the glass gently and dry the inside, outside, stem, and base of the glass.

To remove cloudiness and tough red wine stains.
Tough wine stains may occur if you left your glass sitting overnight with a bit of wine left on the bottom of it. Keep reading to see what steps you can take in order to clean those.

  1. Fill a bowl with water and warm it up in a microwave until it’s simmering. You can also do this in a pot or pan on the stove. Place a bottle of white distilled vinegar in the water and let it warm up for about 10 minutes.
  2. Soak the glasses in the warm vinegar. Pour it into a large tub and soak the wine glasses in it for an hour. You can also pour vinegar into the bowls of the glasses and let them sit for an hour.
  3. Scrub the inside of the glasses. Use a wine glass brush or a nylon net scrubber. Make sure you remove all of the wine residues from the bottom of the wine glass. After that, wash and dry the glasses as usual.

If this cleaning technique does not remove all of the stains, fill the glass half-full of warm white vinegar and add a teaspoon of baking soda. The chemical reaction between the two will cause fizzing and will help to loosen the tough stain. When the fizzing stops, you can scrub the bottom of the wine glass with a soft brush or a nylon scrubber. Clean them as usual, rinse and dry.

Extra tip: This cleaning method may be too tough for more delicate wine glasses. If they are thin and fragile, do not try it. They may crack or even shatter.

If you frequently wash your wine glasses in hard water, etching or scratches may appear. Unfortunately, those are impossible to remove. However, soaking your glasses in warm vinegar is a great cleaning method that will rid you of cloudiness, detergent residue, fingerprints, or pollution.

Tips on how to keep your wine glasses clean and in good condition:

  • always hand-wash them as soon as possible after using them.
  • use less detergent to prevent cloudiness from the soapy residue.
  • always use warm water when washing and rinsing.
  • do a warm white vinegar soak at least once a year.