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Cleaning a Wine Decanter


kitchensqueen
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The water in my area has a high mineral content so I rinse well with distilled water before the wine dries and set it upside down to dry. If there is scum or dried/stained wine I fill it to the top with boiling water* and let it sit overnight, which will loosen the stain, then rinse well again with the distilled water to prevent spots. I don't think sanitation per se is really an issue with a decanter so long as you aren't actually drinking directly from the thing and it's being rinsed thoroughly. I work in a wine restaraunt with several different shapes and sizes of decanters and thorough rinsing with hot water is all we do there to good effect.

*Do at your own risk, in theory you could crack it this way--if you need to do the boiling water maybe a good idea to add warm water, then dump that and put the boiling water.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Not a special brush as such, but I quite enjoy using my "Magic Balls." (This is their brand name, I think.) They are a jar of little metal balls that you tip into the decanter with a bit of water and then swish about, I suppose the idea being that they are scouring away at any sediment or stains as they rattle around.

Catherine

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If you have a decanter that's stained with red wine, you can fill it with water and then add one of those denture cleaners - the kind that promise to "get the stains out" - or something like that. It works very well.

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I don't know what kind of decanters you have, but mine are inherited crystal and I'd never put them in a dishwasher. They have the narrow necks, with the carved stoppers, so brushes don't work well either.

I use denture cleaner and rice. Works great. Put the denture cleaner and water in there, let it soak for about an hour or so, then add the raw rice and swish, swish, swish until clean. The rice won't scratch anything. Plus, it's cheap and I always have it on hand.

If I don't have any denture cleaner, then I use vinegar or ammonia or Windex.

Some of those denture cleaner tabs have chlorine bleach, so don't mix them with anything containing ammonia.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Here's a handy guide with some good tips:

Cleaning and restoring glass

They say not to use hot water, and I'd never take a chance on pouring boiling water into any of my glass unless I know for a fact it's been tempered.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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The "magic balls" are none other than ....(drum roll please) 3/32" loose ball bearings, and believe me, they work fantastic: No need for soaps or detergnets, just water and ball bearings. Totally reusable, and if you think cleaning wine decanters is hard, flower vases--especially clear glass ones with tiny necks are even harder, but the ball bearings get into every nook and cranny and do the job

Back in my dishwashing days I watched wide eyed as an old waitress would clean out the stained and scorched "Bunn-omatic" glass coffee caraffes with pennies and hot water. Like new again....

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If you're concerned about using ball bearings and want to save money, use the old standby of (uncooked) rice in water and detergent. Swirl it around and you'll clean away the stains.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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If you have any old glass, in particular decanters but also pitchers, that develop "fogging" where the inner surface has actually been micro-etched by the liquids left in them for extended periods, there is a product called "The Restorer" which really works well, especially with antique crystal.

made in Tennessee by Quicksilver

I have a lot of antique cut crystal, Waterford, etc., Fostoria and other American made glass from the last half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries and I have tried just about everything and this works best.

I have used it for years.

I was also a glass artist for many years and did engraving in glass and did many flat, beveled-edge, panels for installation in windows that are exposed to the elements. The glass I used was German water-white, which has a high lead content and does become "fogged" after years of exposure. Professionals who "restore" these windows use this product. (Which does require the removal of the panel but all of mine were installed so the piece could be removed for cleaning. - This is how I originally learned about this product.)

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 8 years later...

I know that this is a rather late response. But since I have recently created a website about carafes & decanters of all kind I feel that adding it here might be of some help and value to future readers. I also wrote about the different cleaning techniques, what to do and what not to as well as how to clean your wine decanter. Feel free to visit and I am glad about any critics or suggestions coming from you.

Anyways, from personal experience, I can tell you that that decanter cleaning balls are working rather well when it comes to removing stains. But it is most helpful if you give your decanter a good rinse right after you used it. If you leave it for awhile or even overnight, well, then you will have a hard time getting it clean. The decanter cleaning brushes are okay but not necessary I'd say. And if nothing helps I'd take a denture cleaning tab and put it in the decanter together with some hot water and leave it overnight. Result: As good as new!

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