3 Secrets To Perfectly Washing Your Wine Glasses

Let's face it — sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your wine glasses never turn out as clean as you want them to. Instead of looking sparkling clean, you're left with smudges, fingerprints, and wine stains covering your glasses, making them look as if they've never been washed. Even if you've given them a thorough cleaning, if you dry your wine glasses incorrectly, you'll be left with wine glasses full of water spots and a puddle of old wine at the bottom, per Kitchn. Should you dry them upside down, water will collect at the rim, which also causes spots.

Yes, you can wash your wine glasses in the dishwasher; however, there's a good chance they may break, unless you're washing short glasses with sturdier stems, according to Veranda. Though it may seem like an impossible task, there are cleaning methods you can try to ensure your glasses will look good as new. To get your wine glasses sparkling clean, here are three secrets you ought to know.

1. Soak your glasses before washing

According to Wineware, you should never wash your wine glasses once you're done drinking from them; it's crucial you soak them first. Soaking your glasses with warm water and dish soap will soften any wine stains on the glass so they're easier to wash off, explains Grove Collaborative. If you forget to soak your glass, you might be compelled to use a hard bristle brush, which may cause the glass to break in your hand. If you're dealing with really stubborn wine stains, Veranda suggests soaking your glass in vinegar (warm vinegar works best) for an hour or so.

If you have some really stubborn stains at the bottom of your glasses, go ahead and leave them a little bit longer. You'll notice how much easier the stains are to remove after you've given your wine glass enough time to properly soak. Once the stains have been lifted, it's time to wash your glasses.

2. Never hold the glass by its stem

While you might think you're getting a better grasp on your wine glass by holding it by its stem, we're here to tell you that isn't the case. In fact, doing so can actually cause more harm than good. If you're twisting your glass as you wash it, holding it by the stem can potentially cause it to snap off, leaving you with one less wine glass and an injured hand, according to Veranda. Instead, hold it right underneath the bowl and keep it low to the sink in case it slips from your grip. 

To wash your wine glasses, all you need is warm water, dish soap, and a sponge (you could also use a brush specifically designed to clean this type of glassware), says Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The key is delicacy — we don't want any broken glasses here! Using a circular motion, use your sponge or brush to work your way from the bottom of the glass to the top. Rinse with warm water, then it's time to dry.

3. Use a microfiber polishing cloth to dry

As we mentioned earlier, improperly drying your wine glasses will leave behind water spots and a cloudy glass, so professionals recommend using a microfiber polishing cloth to dry each one. Using this type of cloth guarantees your glasses are squeaky clean without any streaks or spots, The International Wine & Food Society explains. It should be obvious, but make sure your cloth is 100% clean before use. If you dry your wine glass with a musty towel, it's going to leave behind an awful stench (which you won't know about until you take a sip). 

Many people forget to polish their wine glasses, which makes all the difference in how clean they turn out. Polishing your glasses after they dry really gives them that sparkling clean you're looking for. You could use pricey polishing cloths for this step, but an inexpensive, large, lint-free cotton cloth will work just fine, per Wine Folly. To prevent leaving any fingerprints behind, palm the bottom of the glass with the cloth while simultaneously rotating and polishing the inside of the bowl. Next, you'll want to polish the base, and lastly, the stem.