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Clean Wine Decanters with a Dishwasher (Best Way to Clean)

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Wine decanters are oddly shaped glass, making it difficult to wash at times. Putting it in the dishwasher seems like the obvious solution, as it would be for any type of dish that is hard to reach in certain areas. But between its abnormal shape and its purpose for your wine, there are
more considerations to be made.

Can you put a wine decanter in the dishwasher? You can put a wine decanter in the dishwasher. But considering the age, shape, size, and quality of the decanter, a dishwasher is not ideal. Aside from causing cracks or damage, a dishwasher may also leave unwanted residue. Other cleaning techniques can be considered as alternatives.

If you plan to use a dishwasher to wash your wine decanter, there are some simple steps to take to make sure it is safe and cleans it as efficiently as possible. But there are also some other hacks out there that will help you clean the decanter in less harsh circumstances.

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Clean Wine Decanters with a Dishwasher

Pros & Cons of Using a Dishwasher for Your Wine Decanter

If you have an older vintage decanter or it holds some sort of sentimental value such as a wedding gift or a family heirloom, the dishwasher may not be the best place for it. You don’t want to risk breaking something of value if there are other ways to do it.

Whereas if it is a high quality, brand new decanter, it may be okay in the dishwasher. Aside from the dishwasher being a bit rough to the dishes, there are other considerations to be made as well as far as the quality of the wash goes.

The easiest way to wash itCracks or breaks are common due to harsh conditions
Auto dry settings will prevent smudges or
residue from hand drying
Dishwasher soap tends to leave cloudiness to the glass
Wash multiple decanters at once (a big pro
for bars, restaurants, or wine collectors)
It may not reach all areas properly depending
on the shape at the bottom of the decanter
Pros & Cons of Using a Dishwasher for Your Wine Decanter

Washing Wine Decanter in the Dishwasher

When you put a wine decanter in the dishwasher, you will want to do more than just toss it in there like any other glass or dish. The size and shape can make it hard to place correctly, and it should be handled as something fragile.

Here are some simple steps that will help you keep it safe and get it as clean as possible in the dishwasher:

1. Ensure Nothing Else is Touching It

Any time you put sensitive dishes in the dishwasher, they should remain untouched. The same would go for delicate wine glasses.

Make sure there is an area around it of at least an inch or two. This will help keep it safe if anything else shifts or shakes around during the wash.

2. Place it on the Lower Rack

Since you will want the decanter to sit with its opening facing downward, it’s a common misconception that it should go on top as glass would. Typically, decanters will be too tall for most top racks.

More importantly, the bottom rack will lend more stability. Placing the opening over one of the lower rack tines will provide more stability during the wash.

3. Use a Gentle Cycle

If your dishwasher has multiple settings, always stick with the gentlest. The roughness of most settings in dishwashers is not good for a decanter.

The temperature setting can still be hot, as the glass can withstand high temperatures, but if there is an option for a gentle wash, use it.

4. Allow it to Heat Dry

If your dishwasher offers air dry or auto heat dry, you will want to have it dried by heat. This will help prevent watermarks and additional cloudiness. Once you take it out, if there are still water droplets, take a soft clean towel and wipe them away before they leave marks.

5. Use High-Quality Detergent

This isn’t the time to skimp and save on your detergent. If you want the best results and a clear glass that sparkles, you will want to go with brands that boast the best results for glassware.

Consumer Reports put together a great list with some excellent information regarding some of the best dishwasher detergents specifically to help maintain a sparkle in your glassware.

Your number one priority with decanters in a dishwasher will be keeping them safe. Secondly, you will want to make sure it keeps its sparkle and doesn’t become cloudy from the detergent.

Other Methods to Clean Your Wine Decanter

If you have concerns over the fragility of your wine decanter and don’t want to risk it breaking, there are plenty of other options to explore.

Whether you are a casual wine drinker or a wine enthusiast, everyone has their preferred method or tips and tricks that they have come to appreciate.

Depending on the size and shape of your decanter, there may be some trial and error involved to see which will work best as well. Everyone’s immediate reaction is “Soap and water. Right?”

Technically, while you can wash your decanter with soap and water, doing so might leave a residue on the glass. If the sparkle and aesthetic of your decanter are important to you, other options will keep it looking brand new.

Here are some great methods that will help you decide what will work best for you.

Vinegar and Water

Vinegar may not have the most appetizing smell, but it is a wonder-substance when it comes to cleaning things. Complete a thorough rinse and soak using hot water, followed by swishing around a mixture of water and white vinegar. After the vinegar, you will want to do another solid soak and rinse.

Decanter Beads

These have become a favorite among wine enthusiasts and restaurants needing to do frequent cleaning, but they don’t trust the dishwasher.

These stainless-steel beads should be swished around in hot water, and they will pick up residue or leftover sediment like a sponge. For great decanter beads that work, check out this decanter bead set available for a cheap price on Amazon.

Uncooked Rice and Vinegar

This method is somewhat of a combination of the first two listed. Using rice instead of the beads will provide a softer, gentler way to help scrub and clean as it is swished around. And you will still utilize a vinegar and water mixture. This may also help remove some subtle red wine stains.

Removing Stains from Your Decanter

After a lot of use from your decanter, you may notice a red ring forming around the glass or some deep burgundy stains throughout the bottom. Some of these stains may be tricky, but a good soak can help.

Rinse out the decanter thoroughly and fill it with warm vinegar. No water is needed for this step. Fill it as high as the stains go and allow it to soak overnight. The vinegar will begin to eat away at the stains and break them up.

In the morning, rinse the decanter thoroughly a few times with warm water to wash away sediment and the rest of the vinegar.

Keeping Your Wine Decanter Clean and Safe

If you have a precious wine decanter that you would be crushed to live without, it would be highly advised to stick with hand washing methods.

Keeping it away from the rough waters of a dishwasher will be its best bet. If you feel comfortable placing it in a dishwasher, just be sure to put in place best practices to keep it safe and help keep it sparkling like new.