Cleaning Wine Glasses 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

Imagine yourself throwing an impressive, fancy dinner party, and your lovely guests look forward to having the finest wines. However, when you take your nice wine glasses out of the rack, you find them all spotted and cloudy. Well, cleaning wine glasses might be a bit complicated and tricky.

But the great news is you can do it yourself! So, without further introduction, here are hassle-free tips for cleaning wine glasses! Now, get moving, and make them sparkle and party-ready!

The “Basics” of Cleaning Wine Glasses


Whether hosting a grand celebration party or binge-watching Netflix films with your favorite Cabernet Sauvignon, you want to find your wine glasses sleek and clean.

But before we head on to some valuable things when cleaning wine glasses, let’s first stick to the basics. While figuring out whether you’ll wash your essential glass wares with your hands or a dishwasher, these quick tips will save your day.

  • Skip the Scented Dishwashing Soap: One of the basic rules in cleaning wine glasses is to avoid using some scented dish soap. Instead, it would be better to reach for mild, unscented dishwashing liquid. After all, we don’t want some traces of soap on our favorite wine glasses. And most of the time, scented soaps leave residues that can alter the wine’s taste.
  • Never Get Tired of Rinsing: Have you ever felt tired after a dinner party night? We can relate to this feeling. But before your head hits the pillow, try to rinse the wine glasses first with water. You’ll thank us later because this rinsing method will minimize possible stains or discoloration.
  • Say Yes to Gentle Cleaning Tools: Wine glasses are sensitive and prone to scratches that can never be removed. So, it would be helpful to put away those scouring pads, steel wools, scrubby sponges, brushes, and steel wools. And yes, say goodbye to abrasive cleaners! A gentle microfiber cloth would always do the job nicely.
  • Hold the Wine Glasses Properly: We can all agree that some strings could get loose when cleaning wine glasses, especially if they’re made of a delicate crystal. A golden rule teaches you to hold the wine glasses tightly in the palm of your hand. Doing this will prevent unnecessary accidental cracks and breakage.
  • Always Wipe the Wine Glasses Dry: Pick a dry, clean microfiber cloth to wipe your wine glasses so that it’s ready and sparkling the next time you pop the cork out of your wine bottles. Wiping will always do the trick. Because, in reverse, letting wine glasses drip dry would cause unwanted water spots and streaks.

How to Clean your Wine Glasses by Hand?


Ideally, the most brilliant and approved method of cleaning wine glasses is handwashing. I highly recommend this method, as washing this delicate glassware by hand can protect them from unsightly scratches and harsh detergents. So, let’s quickly look at the materials you’ll need and the smart tips you must do!

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Plastic Tub or Large Sink
  • Microfiber Towels
  • Rubber Mat
  • Wine Glass Brush
  • Mild or Unscented Dishwashing Liquid
  • Distilled Vinegar
  • Baking Soda


  1. Use a plastic tub or reach the sink. The first step when you opt to clean your wine glasses is to go for a plastic tub or a sink. Fill the sink or plastic tub with warm water and put drops of mild or unscented dishwashing liquid. Always remember that you don’t need too much soap when cleaning wine glasses. A drop of two or one would be enough.
  2. Pick the rubber mat or dishtowel. Afterward, line a dishtowel or mat at the tub or sink. These materials will prevent possible scratches or chips in the sink.
  3. Proceed to wash the wine glasses. It would always be best to use a gentle wine brush or a nylon scrubber when cleaning wine glasses. Focus slowly on the rim, then go to the wine glass’s interior. On another hand, if you’re cleaning a more fragile or delicate wine glass, hold the glass tightly and wash it with a brush using your other hand.
  4. Once you rinse your wine glasses, use warm water. Never go for either hot or cold water. And just a pro-tip: The washing water must be at the same temperature as the rinse water to avoid unnecessary glass breakage due to sudden or extreme temperature changes. Another helpful tip would be to spot-clean your wine glass with a dash of white vinegar. This kitchen ingredient can remove dark stains like lipstick residues or sanitize them without causing odors.
  5. Dry your wine glasses. Finally, get a lint-free or microfiber towel to dry your glasses. Hold it firmly with one hand and dry the interior, stem, and base of your wine glass.

How to Clean Your Wine Glasses Using the Dishwasher?


Aside from dropping wine glasses accidentally, they can most likely break when one washes them by hand because of their delicate nature. After all, a dripping wet wine glass could easily slip on our hands or knock hard against the sink. On top of that, twisting its stem as you scrub it can put pressure or strain, making it snap.

So, we might think cleaning our special wine glasses through a dishwasher might be better. Isn’t it? How do you do it? In case you finally decide to use a dishwasher, here are the tips to keep in mind.


  1. Utilize the stemware rack. Put your wine glasses securely on the top shelf, the stemware rack. Always ensure that your wine glasses do not touch any glass or metal to avoid the risk of scratching. Also, placing glass wares on the bottom could cause cracks and breakage.
  2. Choose the regular wash cycle. After loading and filling the dishwasher detergent, put the dishwasher on normal wash cycle mode.
  3. Get away with the dry cycle setting. Skip the dry heat mode. High temperatures may cause cloudy wine glasses. So, on the other hand, just let your wine glasses air dry.

Want to know more about how you can wash your wine glasses in a dishwasher? Watch this video.

Is it Safe to Use the Dishwasher to Cleaning Wine Glasses?

Yes, using and placing your wine glasses in the dishwasher is safe. While the best long-term results call for a handwashing method, it’s not a bad idea to go for a dishwasher.

However, choose the delicate wash cycle, skip the dry heat cycle, and put a space for each wine glass so it won’t chip or break. If possible, angle the glass wares on the top shelf to prevent water from collecting after every complete wash cycle.

How to Clean Cloudy or Stained Wine Glasses?


Have you ever felt tired and let the wine glasses sit overnight holding a bit of wine? And if you find them cloudy or have some red wine stains from your favorite Merlot, here’s something you can do.


  1. Use warm, distilled white vinegar. Get a microwaveable bowl and fill half of it with water. Heat it in the microwave until you find the water simmering.Or another way, heat a pan filled with water on the stove until it simmers. Afterward, put a distilled white vinegar bottle in the water. Let the distilled vinegar sit for around five to ten minutes to warm.
  2. Allow the wine glasses to soak in warm vinegar. Fill the insides of wine glasses with warm vinegar. Or use a plastic tub, pour the vinegar, and submerge your wine glasses. Let the glass wares sit for an hour.
  3. Wash and scrub your wine glasses. After the soaking process, you might use a wine glass brush, bamboo skewer, or a fork wrapped with a microfiber cloth to scrub the wine glass’ bottom. Proceed to wash, rinse, and dry the wine glasses as usual. If you find some left stains, fill the wine glasses in half with warm vinegar mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda.
  4. When combined, their chemical reaction will loosen and remove the wine stain. Once the fizzling settles and stops, it’s time to scrub the wine glass gently with a brush. And again, wash the wine glass as usual. And just a tip: Exercise caution when doing this cleaning method. Because of solid chemical reactions, delicate wine glasses like champagne flutes might shatter and break.
  5. Start clearing away the cloudy film. Remove any film from detergent, pollution, or fingerprint remains with a microfiber cloth or towel.

How Often Should You Wash Your Wine Glasses?


The rule of thumb is to wash your wine glasses after using them. Most probably, wine glasses need to be sleek and clean before you try different wine varieties or vintages.

On top of everything, even if you keep the wine glasses in a closed cabinet, it’s best to wash them at least once every year. Doing this can remove possible dust and pollution that will most likely cause etching in the glasses.

Further, suppose you move houses. In that situation, you must wash wine glasses before storing them in a rack or cabinet.

Ending Thoughts

Washing wine glasses is not that tricky and challenging. One must only stick to the basics of cleaning these delicate glass wares. So, if you’re having a wine party or even a simple gathering, check out those wine glasses in the cabinet. With our tips in mind, make them shine!

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