Wine Tips & Tricks

How to Clean Wine Glasses Properly

It’s important to learn how to clean your wine glasses properly. If you let a water spot dry on crystal glassware it may cause a permanent blemish. Below, I’ll show you how to clean wine glasses easily and leave them sparkling. This is serious business!

How to Clean Wine Glasses

Crystal glassware is porous and will absorb smells easily, so use fragrance-free detergent. If it’s late and you’d like to leave your dish-cleaning till the morning, be sure to add water to all your dirty glasses to keep the wine from evaporating and leaving a stain.

  • Clean wine glasses by hand with a sponge and warm soapy water.
  • Focus scrub delicately on the rim of glass and on any hand prints on the outside of the bell.
  • Rinse and sterilize glass in a bath of 1 Tbsp bleach / 1 Gallon of water.
  • Dry with a flour sack and polish to remove any finger prints or water spots from the wine glass.

This is the same method I used at a wine bar where I hand washed over 60 crystal glasses a day. Oh joy!

How to Clean Wine Glasses Transcript I like to have parties at my house, except for one thing … dirty glassware. You can’t very well clean it in your dishwasher, because it leaves water spots and it’s a disaster. The detergent will actually ruin the crystal, and the other method of not cleaning your glasses at all (which has grown in popularity within the wine expert category) doesn’t work either because you might have friends like these (lipstick lovers). So what do you do? Well, this is a pretty simple method. After a large party I’d recommend sanitizing your wine glasses, which involves 1 gallon of water to 1 tablespoon of bleach. If you’re just for at-home use, some warm soapy water will do the trick just nicely. Get yourself a sponge, a clean sponge. Maybe with a little bit of abrasive if you need to take off lipstick. And then you just do a simple method that I’ll show you. The most important part is actually drying your glasses so that you don’t leave water spots, and I’ll show you how to do that too. Take a glass, apply some soapy water, particularly on the edge of the glass. If you’re like me you can stick your hand in it. If not, make a friend who has small hands. And then rinse and put in the sanitizing solution. Sanitizer is super important if you have friends who are cute and may have merpies. Once you’ve cleaned your glasses, you will notice they still have a lot of water on them and will need to be dried properly. My favorite tool for this is actually extremely cheap ($3 flour sack). It’s not a Reidel cloth, it’s just a flour sack. You can buy them usually in sets of 3. You’ll use the entire flour sack to dry the glass with both edges. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I like to use my whole hand if it’s a big glass. If your hands are too big, I would just take a big clump of it and jam it in the glass. It’s pretty simple and now you don’t have any water spots. That’s all there is to it. These are crystal glasses, so detergent with fragrance in it is not a good idea. You want to use a scent-free detergent when washing glasses. Remember to sanitize if you have weird friends and then dry with a flour sack or similar cloth and you’ll be very satisfied keeping your glasses beautiful for many years.

About Madeline Puckette

I'm a certified sommelier and creator of the NYT Bestseller, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Find me out there in the wine world @WineFolly.

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