Washing champagne glasses with soap and water is a common practice in the hospitality industry. And if you have a dishwasher, you’ve probably tossed your glassware in there a few times and called it a day.
Cleaning and caring for champagne glasses is a delicate process. You must choose your fabric and detergent carefully, and you need to store them in a safe position.
That said, many experts argue that using soap for cleaning delicate vessels could do more harm than good. Washing champagne glasses in your dishwasher isn’t the best idea, either.
But, did you know that you can use wine to clean your glasses? There are a few effective techniques other than the customary soap and water to keep your glasses crystal clear.
Below, we’ll guide you through the most practical ways to care for your champagne glasses and help get you into the cleaning mode.
How To Wash Champagne Glasses
So you’ve just purchased a pair of flutes, sipped from them, and now what? Washing them can be a challenge, especially if you don’t want to damage dainty and expensive champagne glasses that you want to preserve for the next special occasion.
Here is a simple step-by-step approach to cleaning them properly:
- Soak the glasses in medium-hot clear water to clean the glasses and keep the temperature consistent. Let it sit overnight and tackle the next day.
- You can use a soft sponge, cloth, nylon net, or plastic scrubber to scrape off any sediment or wine residue, but using your hands may do. Make sure that the sponge, cloth, or scrubber you use hasn’t been used to clean other items to avoid cross-contamination.
- You can add a small amount of mild detergent. But we recommend doing this only when your champagne glass has stains and residual wine that won’t budge. You may consider using baking soda instead. It dissolves stains, deodorizes, and is inexpensive.
- Then, rinse them thoroughly with hot water.
After rinsing, it’s important to dry them immediately to keep water spots from forming. You can air dry them or use a clean, soft cloth to wipe them dry. However, keep in mind that there are only certain fabrics you can use.
You can use a soft towel or linen towel, a microfiber, or a flour sack cloth. When polishing the glasses, don’t use a tea towel. Use a lint-free polishing cloth instead. You don’t want any bits of cloth on the glasses!
If possible use a dedicated cloth for drying and polishing.
Washing Champagne Glasses in the Dishwasher
Good champagne glasses are often not safe for dishwashers. They are very fragile and can break easily. Champagne flutes are also tall. Tall glasses rarely fit in the stemware holders of the machine.
If you’re the type who irks at the thought of handwashing the glasses, look for dishwasher-safe ones. Just make sure to load the machine with the glasses by themselves and don’t mix them with other items such as plates and utensils.
After the wash cycle, take out the glasses right away and dry them. Don’t leave them in the dry cycle because they will only bake in any soap residue.
Steam the Glasses
Steaming the glasses helps soften any residual soap that you don’t see with your naked eyes. To do this, place the glasses in a chafing dish filled with hot water in a shallow perforated pan. Make sure they are in the upside-down position.
Then, place a paper towel or cloth over the glasses to soak up the steam and reach the inner and outer surfaces of the glasses. Next, polish the glasses with a lint-free cloth.
Polishing Tips: Watch out for two weak points: the top and bottom of the stem. This is important even in washing the glasses so hold the part where you intend to clean. When you clean the bowl, hold it by the bowl. And when you clean the base, hold it by its base.
If you’re holding the stem while cleaning the glass, don’t twist it or else… Well, you know what happens next.
Store the Glasses Properly
Proper storage is important in keeping your glasses in tip-top shape. For drying, you may allow the vessels to drip upside down for a few minutes. But when it comes to storing, you shouldn’t let them sit in such a position for long periods.
This adds strain to the glasses’ rims and they may collect stale air. You can use baby bottle racks to store or hang the wine glass upside down. Or, you can store your champagne glasses upright in a clean and airy cupboard to avoid aromatic wooden furniture.
A Word of Caution About Using Soap
There are some debates on whether you should use dish soap for washing wine glasses. According to experts, you should never wash glasses meant to serve Champagne with soap or any other washing liquid.
However, lipstick, red wine stains, and cloudy glasses happen. The smell can also linger on those precious glasses. They are almost always tough to remove without soap.
So, if you must use soap, try to use a mild detergent to get rid of any stains and smells. And make sure to rinse the glasses thoroughly. You may not see it right after the rinse, but the soap can leave behind a thin film or residue and that can cloud the surface of the glass, making your sparkling wine flatter and less fizzy.
Or, you can just skip soap altogether and just fill the glasses with water, let it soak overnight, and the stains should come off the next morning. To get rid of any smell and cloudy film, you can use white vinegar as a cleaning agent. A vinegar bath works effectively and keeps your champagne glass sparkling clean.
Another way to clean your glasses without soap is to wipe them using a soft cotton cloth soaked in inexpensive champagne or wine. A little bit odd but it works. The alcohol content in the wine will cut through stains, lip gloss, or grease.
What Is the Best Way To Wash Champagne Glasses?
Hand washing is the best way to clean your champagne glasses. Of course, there’s the risk of breaking them if you’re not careful, so proper handling is key.
Cleaning champagne glasses by hand is generally recommended to keep their delicate structure intact. Doing so also gives you more control over the process, making sure that there are no scratches and residues left behind.
How Do You Clean Crystal Champagne Glasses?
Crystal champagne glasses are typical of thinner construction and are therefore more fragile. Some manufacturers may label them as dishwasher-safe, but it’s always safer to wash crystal flutes by hand.
Using hot water to wash crystal champagne glasses is one of the best ways to clean them. This helps get rid of any leftover wine and sediment. Use a mild detergent and a soft sponge or fresh cloth to clean the inner surface of the glasses to avoid any scratches.
To prevent water spots, dry your crystal flutes right away after rinsing. Wipe each glass dry with a soft lint-free cloth. You can store the wine glasses in the glassware box that came with them if you still have it. A soft, dry cloth can also act as a protective cushion for the glasses in storage.
What Water Do You Use for Champagne Glasses?
Hot water makes washing the glasses easier and it helps get rid of smell. You should not use boiling water either as this can cause the vessels to go into thermal shock.
The perfect temperature would be 104 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to keep a consistent temperature throughout the cleaning process as any sudden changes can break the glasses.
If you can avoid dish soap, do so to keep your glasses crystal clear. It may lend your glasses squeaky clean but there are other natural cleaning agents hiding in your pantry. Remember to keep a consistent temperature and use the right cloth to protect fine champagne glass from breaking and scratching.
And lastly, store them properly for long-lasting use!
We hope you’ve found this helpful in how to properly wash and care for your champagne glasses. Feel free to reach out if you have more questions, and we’ll be happy to help. Cheers!