6 Easy Steps to Clean a Decanter (Step-by-Step Guide)

Are you wondering how to clean a wine decanter? Wine decanters are neat things. However, it could be tricky to keep them, well, neat. You do not have to worry, though. Today, we will show you the step-by-step guide on how to do so.

Without further ado, let us get right on to it and leave no decanter unclean!

1. Pour Out the Leftover Wine


The first thing you want to do is to pour out the remaining wine out of the decanter. It would be best to clean your decanter as soon as possible. However, if you cannot get to it immediately, at least do not leave the wine residue inside for too long.

2. Rinse the Decanter With Warm Water


Next, you want to rinse the decanter with warm water. Lukewarm water could also work, but ensure you do not use boiling water.

Again, as we have said, it is best to clean your decanter immediately. However, if that cannot be, you want to at least get to this step. Emptying the decanter of the remaining wine is not enough. Later on, it could introduce problems in the form of spots and streaks that could be tough to remove.

3. Fill the Decanter With Warm Water


If you cleaned your decanter immediately, you likely do not have to deal with stains. However, if there are wine spots and streaks already that you cannot get off, you might want to fill and soak your decanter with warm water for some time before you start.

This process and some scrubbing should be enough to get superficial stains off. On the other hand, it might not do much for marks that have set in already. However, whether there are or there are no stains and whatever type of mark it is, if you cannot get to cleaning the decanter right away, consider this step.

4. Pick Your Tools and Cleaning Agents


There are many tools and cleaning agents one can use to clean decanters. Depending on the decanter you have, the best cleaning partner would change. However, before we go ahead and talk about the many options you have, let us briefly discuss what you do not want to use at any cost.

  • Do Not Use Dishwashing Liquid to Clean Your Decanters: As you will likely wash your decanter in a sink, the first thing you might grab to clean it would be dishwashing liquid. However, dishwashing liquid is a cleaning agent you want to avoid, as it could ruin your next pour. It can help clean a decanter but it can also leave faint smells and flavors.
  • Do Not Use the Dishwasher to Clean Your Decanters: It might seem convenient to toss the decanter in the dishwasher to clean it. However, that is not ideal for two reasons. First, most decanters do not have a wide opening. A dishwasher will likely not help much in cleaning the insides of your decanters. On the other hand, the mechanisms of this machine could be too much for a dainty decanter. It might do more harm than good.

(1). Use Vinegar and Warm Water to Clean Your Decanters


First, you can use a vinegar and warm water solution. The best vinegar to use would probably be white distilled vinegar. It will help with the job and will unlikely leave any stain or scent on the decanter.

As for the proportions, we suggest using a ratio of one part vinegar and two parts water. However, feel free to adjust these numbers as you see fit.

(2). Use Vinegar, Warm Water, and Rice to Clean Your Decanters


If the first solution does not work, you might also want to add some rice to the mix. Again, it might be best to stick with white distilled vinegar. On the other hand, white rice is the most common choice for this mix.

This one is one of the most convenient mixes on this list. However, it is not the most effective. It works well for easy-to-remove stains, but the chances are low that it will get rid of those that have already set in.

(3). Use Vinegar and Salt to Clean Your Decanters


If you are dealing with a tough stain, this is a mix you want to consider. In this solution, the vinegar will help break down the stains, while the salt will aid in scrubbing them away.

For the vinegar, you still want to use white distilled vinegar. As for the salt, you want coarse salt. For the proportions, use one part salt and two parts vinegar.

This mix is one of the best ones on the list. Not only are the things for it easy to find, but it is one of the most effective solutions on the list too.

(4). Use Salt and Ice to Clean Your Decanters


This mix works like steel wool, only less abrasive. With that, it is another solution you can consider for tough stains. If you do not have or want to use vinegar for your decanter, this one might be for you.

For the salt, you still want to use coarse salt. As for the ice, you want some crushed ice.

One thing you want to keep in mind with this one is to avoid using hot water. As you probably already know, sudden temperature changes can cause damage. If you use hot water and suddenly dump ice in your decanter, the sudden change from hot to cold might break it.

(5). Use Cleaning Beads to Clean Your Decanters


If you use your decanter often, you might want to consider investing in some cleaning beads instead. These balls are easy to find, convenient to use, and reusable.

(6). Use Cleaning Tablets to Clean Your Decanters


You might have heard of and used cleaning tablets before. It can help clean many things like retainers and food containers, to name a few. Now, you can add decanters to that list!

Cleaning tablets are easy to acquire and use. Additionally, they work well even with tough stains. If you tried everything you can think of and the spots and streaks are still not budging, consider getting a cleaning tablet to save your badly stained decanter.

(7). Use Baking Soda and Warm Water to Clean Your Decanters


Baking soda is a cleaning wonder. As the name suggests, it is often in cabinets for baking purposes. However, it has proven itself time and time again in the cleaning scene. One can use it for pastries, clothes, and now, decanters too!

5. Swirl the Decanter


Once you have chosen a cleaning agent or tool, it is time for some action!

First, pour out the water if you filled and soaked your decanter before starting. After that, you want to pour your cleaning partner of choice into it. Next, you want to give your decanter a good swirl.

How fast or vigorous you want to swirl depends on your chosen cleaning partner. Generally, you can whirl your decanter as hard as you want. However, you want to be gentler if there are any solids in it.

With that said, it is not how hard you whirl that matters. Patience is of more importance. At first, it might seem like nothing is happening. However, you want to give your chosen cleaning partner some time before moving on to the next one.

For badly stained decanters, you might have to go through steps 4 and 5 repeatedly before you get your decanter back to its shiny and sparkling state.

6. Dry the Decanter


Once you see your decanter free of spots and streaks, it is time to dry it. There are several ways to dry a decanter.

First, you can employ some tools specifically made for decanters.

You can use a drying stand to air dry your decanter. While most – if not all – drying stands work the same, they do not all look the same. In the same way that decanters come in different shapes and sizes, drying stands do too. If you plan to invest in a drying stand, check that it can accommodate your decanter.

On the other hand, you can also use a drying brush to wipe and absorb the excess water inside the decanter. There are also different types of drying brushes. If you plan to get one, check that it is one that can fit your needs.

Second, you can use common things you can find in your kitchen. If you have a paper towel, a cheesecloth, or something similar, roll it to a size that can fit the opening of the decanter.

After that, it can act as a drying brush substitute. Since this method offers less flexibility, it is also less effective. However, it can still work if you do not have a drying brush.


Are you still wondering how to clean a wine decanter? Well, we hope not! Today, we answered this question, showed you the six easy steps to clean your decanter, and much more!

We hope we got to be of service to you today. If you find yourself with another wine worry in the future, do not hesitate to give us another visit then!

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