I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’ve often found cleaning my wine glasses to be a bit of a pain… If I’m not getting water spots appearing in the glass then I’m probably getting bits of fluff from my tea towel stuck to the outside. Worse still is accidently snapping the stem off or cracking the glass trying to remove red stains from the rim.
I want to clean my glasses hygienically as well of course, and yet I’ve also heard dishwashing liquid should actually be avoided!
So what to do then? Porous crystal glassware can easily stain and leave permanent marks if not cleaned properly, so it’s worth doing things right.
After a bit of research and experimentation I’ve come up with a few suggestions that should hopefully make the chore of wine glass cleaning just that little bit more easy and effective.
1. Always rinse or soak
Red wine in particular easily leaves stains; there’s a reason they use red wine as an example substance for all those ads spruiking carpet cleaning products after all! If you’ve had a dinner party and can’t bring yourself to clean up all your glasses at the end of the night, do yourself a favour and at least rinse them out with warm water to avoid stains forming on the bottom of the glass that will be much harder to clean off the next day.
2. Do it all by hand
This suggestion might be a bit controversial and it can definitely be tempting to simply let your dishwasher take care of business, but I’ve found I get much better results doing things by hand. Not only does running your glasses through a dishwasher risk cracking or chipping them, harsh dishwashing liquids can potentially damage the glass crystal, and I find the high level of enclosed steam leads to more water spots.
3. Use a fragrance free detergent
Some believe it’s better to avoid using dishwashing detergent altogether, as porous glass crystal can easily absorb smells. While no one wants their next glass of wine to smell like detergent, this can be avoided by using fragrance free options. I recommend using only a relatively small amount in a sink of warm to hot water (though not too hot as this can make the glass easier to crack). Using a soft cloth, cradle the bowl of the glass in one hand and carefully wipe down the areas needing most attention with the other; usually the bottom of the glass bowl and the rim. A stemware brush with soft bristles can be effective in reaching the bottom of the glass. Be delicate around the rim and the stem, as these can break quite easily. Once clean, give a final rinse to remove any detergent residue.
4. Get yourself a lint free cloth
If using a regular tea towel to dry my glasses, I always find little bits of lint and fluff getting stuck to the glass, and it can be frustrating to say the least. This can be avoided however by using a nice lint-free cloth such as microfiber or a flour sack towel. Glassware products like the ‘Spot-Not’ are also said to be effective (www.spot-not.com). Air-drying in my experience is more likely to leave water spots, so this I tend to avoid.
5. Final Tips
For particularly tough stains, try using lemon juice or soaking the glasses in a hot water and vinegar solution. To give your glasses a nice polish, hold them over a pot of boiling water and give them a bit of steam treatment while carefully wiping down with a microfiber towel.