wine glass

With the holiday season in full swing, you'll most definitely be using your ''good'' wine glasses over and over. That means a lot of washing and drying. You want your glasses to be sparkling clean for every festive event and probably abhor the thought of embarrassing spots, streaks, or lipstick stain. With these tips for cleaning wine glasses, you won't have to worry about them being ready for the party! Now all that's left is to figure out what to wear!

Some wine glasses are made of crystal and can't be washed in the dishwasher. Even if they aren't, it's still best if you wash and dry your glasses by hand. You'll get a much better result. Crystal demands to be treated with care, but if you treat all your wine glasses to the same careful treatment, they'll not only last longer, but look better as well. Here's a quick tip: when washing your stemware, hold them by the bowl, cupping it with a finger on each side of the stem and not the stem itself. Stems are more fragile and therefore more prone to breaking. This works for all types of stemware, included glittered and painted specialty wine glasses.

Now, down to business. You may not want to hear this, but those wine glasses need to be washed immediately after the party. It's obviously the last thing you'll want to do after a great party, but if you don't want stains, it's best to do it right away. At the very least, fill the glasses with warm water overnight. This will keep them from staining any further. 

Be sure to wash your wine glasses and other stemware in warm water, not hot. Hot water may be too harsh for delicate crystal, so check the water prior to using it. If it feels too hot to you, it's certainly too hot for your wine glasses. As for soap, it's really your preference. Some people don't like using soap and some do. If you choose to use soap, make sure it's mild and only use a few drops. You don't want your next glass of wine to taste like dish soap. If you do have stains, add a bit of baking soda to your water and soak your glass in it for a few minutes. The stain should come right off!

Next, use a long-handled soft sponge to clean inside the glass. Always avoid putting your hand down inside wine glasses and other stemware; it can cause them to crack and break. It's best to hold the sponge still and move the glass around on it, instead of the other way around. It's harder to tell how much pressure you're placing on the glass when using a sponge, so by keeping the sponge stationary and moving the glass, you'll avoid putting undo pressure on it.
Don't try to rush through cleaning your wine glasses, either. Take your time. Pay special attention to the areas that get the most dirty, such as the rim, the bottom, and the bowl. Don't use anything that may scratch the surface, like scouring pads or steal wool. 

First rinse your glasses in warm water, then after the soap has been rinsed away, do a second rinse in cool or cold water. Have a soft towel ready for turning the wine glasses upside down on which will protect their delicate rims. Allow them to air dry for about a minute.
Now you'll need to finish drying them with a soft, lint-free cloth, such as microfiber, cotton, or linen. These fabrics are gently, nonabrasive, and won't leave fuzzy lint behind. Terry cloth is okay to use, but it's not recommended. Just so you know, drying your stemware with a cloth will help prevent hard water stains as well.

Lastly, if you want them to have a polished look, you can steam them over a pot of boiling water, using a microfiber cloth to buff. Don't be surprised if you get compliments on your wine glasses. After all, they're going to be clean, shiny, and crystal clear!

Remember, it's always best to hand wash your stemware, including all your wine glasses, but especially those that are used for special occasions. If you do put them in the dishwasher, though, be sure to remove them as soon as they get dry. Leaving them can lead to spots, or worse, cracking if they drying cycle gets too hot. 

When storing your wine glasses, and other stemware, it's best to stand them upside down in a wine rack. If you don't have a wine rack, it's fine to store them in a cabinet. Just be sure they are completely dry before standing them upside down in the cabinet of your choice. 
Washing wine glasses is certainly no one's idea of a good time, but a party is and that's what they're for. So, roll up your sleeves and get to washing! Your next party is just around the corner. 'Tis the season, after all.