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Cleaning bar ware


haresfur
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Is there a right way or a wrong way to clean my (home) shakers, strainers, etc? I have always washed beer glasses by hand because it is supposed to result in a better head but I have either just rinsed off the cocktail gear or thrown it in the dishwasher. Recommendations?

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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The antique hollow stemmed crystal cocktail glasses are always hand washed. Other than that it depends how I feel. Right now everything is hand washed 'cuz the dishwasher is broken. :angry:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Depends what they're made of, I suppose.

But if we're talking about stainless and/or tempered glass, the dishwasher should be fine.

Wish I had one.

Depending on type/quality of stainless and your water, you may see spotting or corrosion when you use the heat dry cycle and/or leave them to dry on their own. So it may be best to wash/sanitize and then hand dry.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Just to add, pretty much the same rules apply to barware as to any other kitchen utensils, serving glasses, and equipment.

I can't think of any particularly special cases, where the normal rules of cleaning everything else in your kitchen don't apply.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I'll insert a dishwasher caveat - if you had a spicy or particularly strong flavored meal, be aware that some of that flavor and aroma from the dishes can transfer to your glassware, and if you have a sensitive nose, it can make for an unpleasant experience. There's nothing like sticking your nose in a glass and getting a big whiff of curried daiquiri. I have no idea how that stuff survives the heat and detergent, but it does. Pre-wash rinsing is a good thing.

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Just to add, pretty much the same rules apply to barware as to any other kitchen utensils, serving glasses, and equipment.

I can't think of any particularly special cases, where the normal rules of cleaning everything else in your kitchen don't apply.

Exactly. I put most of my barware into the dishwasher, unless it's something that I feel might be damaged by being in the dishwasher (e.g., fine crystal or gold leaf, etc.).

I'll insert a dishwasher caveat - if you had a spicy or particularly strong flavored meal, be aware that some of that flavor and aroma from the dishes can transfer to your glassware, and if you have a sensitive nose, it can make for an unpleasant experience. There's nothing like sticking your nose in a glass and getting a big whiff of curried daiquiri. I have no idea how that stuff survives the heat and detergent, but it does. Pre-wash rinsing is a good thing.

I'm going to come out against pre-washing, especially when glassware will be in the dishwasher. Dishwashing detergents are specially formulated to balance the pH inside the dishwasher on the assumption that there will be food particles, etc. in the dishwasher. If there are insufficient food particles in the dishwasher, the pH is way too strong and the glassware ends up permanently etched. In fact, overly zealous rinsing and pre-washing is the leading cause of glassware etching in the dishwasher. For this reason, especially when I have glassware I care about, I always make sure there is some food gunk in the dishwasher (even going so far as to deliberately toss in the dregs of half-finished cups of coffee, etc.).

The other way around this is to do what my friend Dave Solomon does with his expensive wine glasses: Just save them someplace to the side for a week or more, and then do a special "gentle" load of nothing but the fancy glassware with a small amount of very mild detergent (or perhaps no detergent at all).

--

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I know of one very fine bar that keeps dishwashers around just for the health inspector. All glasses and stainless barware are washed by hand with hot water only, then polished with linen.

I guess they don't do many egg or cream drinks!

It really isn't possible to clean cream with just hot water. Tins and/or glassware that have had egg in them need to be cleaned with detergent and warm or cool water. Just hot water won't cut it, they'll just continue to smell of egg.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I know of one very fine bar that keeps dishwashers around just for the health inspector. All glasses and stainless barware are washed by hand with hot water only, then polished with linen.

I guess they don't do many egg or cream drinks!

It really isn't possible to clean cream with just hot water. Tins and/or glassware that have had egg in them need to be cleaned with detergent and warm or cool water. Just hot water won't cut it, they'll just continue to smell of egg.

Good point. There's usually something dairy-based on the menu. I guess I'll just have to stop by and have a few drinks -- for research purposes only, of course.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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It really isn't possible to clean cream with just hot water. Tins and/or glassware that have had egg in them need to be cleaned with detergent and warm or cool water. Just hot water won't cut it, they'll just continue to smell of egg.

This is likely why many cocktail bars have an absolute prohibition against rinsing egg or cream tins in the dip sink.

--

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I'm going to come out against pre-washing, especially when glassware will be in the dishwasher. Dishwashing detergents are specially formulated to balance the pH inside the dishwasher on the assumption that there will be food particles, etc. in the dishwasher. If there are insufficient food particles in the dishwasher, the pH is way too strong and the glassware ends up permanently etched. In fact, overly zealous rinsing and pre-washing is the leading cause of glassware etching in the dishwasher. For this reason, especially when I have glassware I care about, I always make sure there is some food gunk in the dishwasher (even going so far as to deliberately toss in the dregs of half-finished cups of coffee, etc.).

Interesting. I was always told that lemon-scented detergents would wreck your dishes and glassware, but I hadn't heard about things being "too clean." Luckily, I'm too lazy to rinse unless it's something that I think will make the glasses nasty. To be honest, I'm not even sure what etching is. I've seen cloudy glasses at some people's houses - is that from etching?

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