Keep those glasses spot-free with these tips from the pros.

Karla Walsh
December 25, 2020
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Even if you're far-from-Somm status in terms of your wine intel level, we bet you know you probably shouldn't store or serve your vinos at freezing or scorching temps. And perhaps you're well-versed about the basics about your favorite wine. But how often do you think about what's holding what you're drinking?

The size and shape of your glass drastically impacts the flavor (a thin glass vessel is going to offer a much more sensory-loaded experience than a red Solo cup), and the way you clean your glass makes a big difference, too.

Don't worry: We're not asking you to polish each piece by hand. You can put nearly all of those stemmed glasses in the dishwasher—if you do so correctly. Here are seven wineglass cleaning and care tips from the pros at the centuries-old glassware company Riedel.

How to Clean Wineglasses

1. Go ahead and pop 'em in the dishwasher.

Check the manufacturer information for specifics, but even delicate glasses like Riedels are certified for up to 1,500 washes in the appliance. Just make sure to be extra careful when loading and unloading.

2. Hold steady.

For best results while cleaning wineglasses in a dishwasher, use a stemware rack (like this Xavax Geschirrspüler-Weinglashalter Dishwasher Wine Glass Holder; $25 on Amazon).

3. Space things out.

When using a dishwasher to clean your wineglasses, spread them out so they're not touching and use the top rack if they fit there. Check to ensure they won't get hit by any spray arms or moving parts.

4. If possible, stick with soft water.

Soft water with a low mineral content will limit any chance of cloudiness or stains. If you do see anything looking off, soak your glasses in white vinegar, rinse with warm water and dry carefully.

5. Hand wash carefully.

No dishwasher (or don't have a rack that can fit your glasses)? No problem. You can absolutely hand wash using warm water and a bit of dishwashing soap. To reduce the chance of broken glass, hold either the bowl (the top "U"-shaped part) or the base carefully while rinsing and don't twist or place too much pressure on the stem.

6. Shine on.

For extra luster, steam the clean classes over boiling water before you polish them completely dry.

7. Dry wisely.

Don't use a tea towel or old dish cloth. Instead, try a microfiber polishing cloth ($14 on Amazon) that won't cause damage or shed lint. Hold the bowl with the cloth while gently rubbing the inside and outside of the glass. Then hold the bottom base as you gently polish that portion.