How to Clean Wine Glasses

Whether you drink wine from fine crystal or everyday glassware, a little thoughtful scrubbing will keep your wine glasses looking their best. Party hosts will appreciate these ideas for avoiding red wine stains, saving their stemware from chips, and solving the debate over cleaning wine glasses in the dishwasher versus handwashing them (hint: with some TLC, both methods can keep your wine glasses looking great).
The Basics of Cleaning Wine Glasses

Hosting a casual get-together or a big party can often result in a sink full of dishes. If you're serving wine and have wine glasses to clean at the end of night, it's helpful to know the best ways to ensure that your stemware is spot-free and chip-free for your next party.

See tips, below, for our takes on washing your glasses in the dishwasher and by hand.

Clean Your Wine Glasses in the Dishwasher

Yes, you can put most wine glasses in the dishwasher. Be sure to use a delicate wash cycle, skip the heated drying cycle, and space glasses so they won't clink. The best long-term results, though, come from washing special glassware by hand.

Clean Your Wine Glasses by Hand

The safest cleaning method for your wine glasses is to scrub them by hand. Follow these tips to avoid chips and spots.

1. Lay a towel in the sink before filling with hot water. Wash one wine glass at a time to avoid damage.

2. To keep soap from flavoring your next glass of wine, use a small amount of detergent and use it only where it's needed -- in the bottom of the glass and around the rim. Cradle the bowl of the glass in one hand while washing to protect the stem.

3. To clean the inside of a glass, use a stemware brush with soft-foam bristles.

4. After rinsing thoroughly with hot water, dry the wine glasses with a smooth lint-free cloth, such as a microfiber or flour sack towel.

Editor's Tip: Red wine can leave stains if left overnight. As you clear the food after your party quickly rinse any glasses. The final clean can wait until the morning.