​​How to Clean Wine Glasses Like an Expert


We are all familiar with the headache a line-up of dirty glasses creates. Even if you’re so privileged as to own a dishwasher, the task is dreadful nonetheless. A pile of dishes yet to be cleaned is always unfortunate. But with wine glasses and delicate glassware specifically, you pay special attention to the results. You want no spots, streaks, film or residue, and certainly no broken glass. What is the best way to wash wine glasses? Should you wash wine glasses in the dishwasher? Should you towel dry or air dry your glassware? Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Washing Wine Glasses in the Dishwasher

Believe it or not, washing your wine glasses in the dishwasher is the optimal choice. Makers of even the most delicate glasses will recommend you do so. But it’s how you set them up in the dishwasher that matters most. Make sure your glasses are arranged upside-down on the top rack, so they avoid being bumped, scratched, and damaged. You don’t want any of the glasses to be touching each other or other dishes. If the top rack of your dishwasher has little clips to secure the stems, make use of them.

2. What Kind of Detergent Should You Use for Stemware?

One of the most important things to remember when cleaning wine glasses is to use a mild detergent. You don’t want to use anything too abrasive for the fine glass. If you’re washing wine glasses separate from the rest of your dishes, you have the opportunity to use a more gentle detergent.

Your main concern here is going to be not using too much detergent. A soapy residue left in each of your glasses is going to be your biggest enemy. Too strong of a soapy scent can seriously interfere with your wine tasting experience. Consider using powder detergent for easier measurement. Cleaning your stemware with too much detergent is going to give your glasses a cloudy appearance overtime.

3. How to Clean Wine Glasses By Hand

Not all of us enjoy the simple pleasure of a fully-operative dishwasher. If you have to wash your wine glasses by hand, there’s no need to fret. Producing perfectly clean, sparkling, and unbroken stemware is still well within your reach.

One principle to keep in mind: a soapy pair of hands is your wine glass’s favorite place to break. So while the pile of dishes ahead of you might tempt you to do so, avoid speeding through the process. That’s how accidents happen.

We recommend utilizing a brush to make this process as easy as possible. Using a dish brush allows you to avoid twisting the glass in your hand over and over again, creating less opportunities for breakage. Make sure to use a gentle—and if possible, unscented—dish soap. Give the glasses an extra rinse when you’re finished washing to avoid any leftover residue.

4. Always Polish

Whether you’re washing your stemware by hand or in the dishwasher, always polish. It’s well worth the extra effort. Streaks and water spots are often inevitable, especially depending on the mineral makeup of your water. But finishing with a quick polish negates this problem. Use a microfiber cloth for polishing, but don’t use it for anything else. The point of the microfiber is that it’s not going to leave behind little feathery bits of cotton or carry a greasy residue. But if you use your cloths for other purposes, you might not end up with the streak-free glasses you’re looking for. Even if you wash your cloths well, you’re not going to fully get rid of the residue they carry if you used them for something like furniture polish.

Best Way to Wash Stemware

Keep in mind you know your specific stemware and dishwasher better than we’re ever going to. So if you’ve had a problem in the past with your dishwasher breaking glasses, there’s no need to run the risk. If your handmade stemware has some nooks and crannies that your sponge can’t seem to reach, look for a specialty brush that will do the trick.

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