How To Clean Wine Glasses

If you’re partial to a glass of red wine, then you’re more than likely to know that wine glasses can become stained over time.

In this article, I will cover how to clean wine glasses thoroughly, including how to clean cloudy wine glasses and stained wine glasses. So, next time you have guests over, your glasses look crystal clear!

Keep reading to find out more.

A guide on how to clean wine glasses

Equipment you’ll need 

  • White vinegar 
  • A scrubber


  • Warm the white vinegar by running it under hot water for a few minutes or by placing it in a microwavable bowl and microwaving it.
  • Make sure that the sink is clean before you begin. If you have multiple glasses to clean, fill the sink with warm vinegar. If you’re only cleaning a few glasses, use a large bowl.
  • Place the wine glasses in the vinegar and allow them to soak for up to three hours.
  • Once your glasses have soaked, take your scrubber to remove the film.
  • Once the glasses have been cleaned, thoroughly rinse the wine glasses in warm water. If the water is too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for china and crystal, and sudden changes of temperature can cause dishes and glasses to crack. 
  • Dry your wine glasses with a lint-free towel to ensure all your elbow grease wasn’t wasted!
  • Once dry, place your crystal-clear wine glasses back in the cupboard so that they are ready to use next time!

A guide on how to clean stained wine glasses 

  • Begin by soaking your wine glass in warm vinegar for one hour.
  • If you have a red ring stuck at the bottom of your glass, you will need a long scrubber. Alternatively, you can create a bottle cleaner by wrapping a kitchen towel around a knife and clean the bottom.
  • Scrub away at the wine stain in the bottom of the glass.
  • Next, you’ll need to clean the rest of the glass with your scrubber. Focus on the outside and rim of the glass. Red wine stains are most common on the outside of the glass and at the bottom of the glass.
  • Once clean, thoroughly rinse the glass in warm water.
  • Finish off by drying your wine glasses with a lint-free towel to ensure that they remain streak-free for your next use.

Sometimes white vinegar alone isn’t always effective for red wine stains. If you still have a red wine stain on your glass after this process, then you’ll need to try something else.

You will need to fill the glass with vinegar then add a teaspoon of baking soda and let it sit for an hour.

The chemical reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda will help break down the stain making it easier to scrub away using your bottle scrubber. 

Prevention is fundamental when it comes to drinking red wine. Red wine can leave stains if left overnight.

As you clear the food after your guests go home, quickly rinse any glasses that have had red wine in them. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. The final clean can wait until the morning. 

Is it safe to put wine glasses in the dishwasher?

When it comes to cleaning wine glasses, washing by hand is by far the most effective wine glass cleaning method without scratching them or breaking them.

This is because dishwashers are more likely to leave behind scratches, which can make the glasses appear cloudy or dirty. 

Unless the manufacturer tells you otherwise, china and crystal should be washed by hand. China and crystal should not be put in the dishwasher because these dishes can be easily chipped.

If you have expensive wine glasses that were given to you as a gift or are particularly special to you, I would advise against putting them in the dishwasher for this reason. 

If you do use the dishwasher to wash your standard wine glasses, make sure that you put them through on a delicate cycle.

Additionally, you will need to leave plenty of room between your wine glasses to prevent them from clinking together and potentially causing damage. 

In terms of general care, crystal is much more porous than typical glass and is more likely to absorb odors from its surroundings.

Bearing this in mind, it’s best not to store them near your coffee, spice rack or cleaning supplies.

How do you get streak free wine glasses?

To achieve streak free wine glasses after you’ve cleaned them, you need to make sure that you dry them the right way.

To ensure that they are streak free when you dry your wine glasses, you’ll need to use a microfiber towel as opposed to a cotton one.

Microfiber towels or cloths are great because they don’t leave trace fibers behind. They pick up and hold the dust and dirt, and also work to absorb liquid. This makes them a great option to polish and dry your wine glasses.

Buy a microfiber towel at Amazon here: MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Pack of 6, Size: 13.8″ x 15.7″

Additionally, when you are drying your wine glasses you should try using two cloths to hold the glass to avoid leaving smudged fingerprints behind.

This will ensure that your glasses remain sparkling clean after you’ve cleaned them in the vinegar soak and rinsed them off. 

Steam your glass before polishing. Hold it above a boiling teapot, being careful not to burn your fingers, just enough to get the glass steamed up and then polish.

You’ll know you’re done when no steam remains, and your glasses will shine. 

In summary 

Over time, it’s natural for your wine glasses to become cloudy and stained with marks.

The best way to ensure that your wine glasses remain in the best possible condition is to hand wash them carefully. For the best results, soak them in vinegar first and rinse before drying them with a microfiber towel to ensure that they are streak free.

Christina Day
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