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How to Wash Your Wine Glasses Part 1

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We, at Abino Mills, are often asked the best way to wash fine wine glasses. Whether just a question or as an excuse for why a customer “can’t have nice things,” there is definitely a great deal of fear or concern about breakage in the washing process. The first and most important rule is never wash the glasses if you have had anything at all to drink! I know, why would you have to wash a glass if you haven’t been using it? Well, it is not that it shouldn't be washed, just not at that very moment. Any alcohol in your system or even fatigue will decrease your dexterity and increase your chances of damaging the glasses.


The first step is to place them on the counter and fill them with water to soak overnight. That is right, just fill them up and walk away. This way the wine will not dry in the glasses and will be very easy to wash the next morning. In the morning dump out the water and gently wash the glasses with a bottle brush with bristles all the way around the head. We prefer these brushes by Oxo because they have a plastic shaft. A metal shaft ofter results in accidental rim strikes and potentially a chipped rim.

Best Brushes

Once rinsed well, you can place the glasses upside down on a soft cloth for the initial drip dry, or even better, hang them on a Dartington Wine Glass drying rack

Wine Glass Drying Rack

You don't want to let them dry completely or you will get water spots or a ring around the rim. So, do the final dry with a soft cloth while the glasses are still slightly damp. Be careful not to use a cloth that has gotten too wet during the process. The wetter the cloth gets the more it sticks to the glass and increases your chances of damage. A final polish or even drying can best be achieved with a Riedel Microfiber Polishing Cloth.

Riedel Microfiber Polishing Cloth

When polishing it is important to use proper technique and avoid one cardinal sin. Never hold the glass by the foot while polishing the bowl. We have all watched bartenders do this with vigor but with nice glasses and fine stems it is an avoidable recipe for disaster. Always support the bowl with one hand while polishing with the other.

This may seem like a lot but it really isn’t. Just follow a few basic guildlines and there is no need to fear washing nice glasses.


Don’t: Do:
Wash after drinking Let glasses soak overnight
Let dirty glasses dry Pay attention to how wet your cloth is
Twist the stem of the glass Use a good quality brush and cloth

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