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Mar 16, 2007 02:43 PM

Cleaning and polishing a decanter

For cleaning I usually do a mixture of fresh sqeezed lemons and salt, then a thorough rinse. This seems to clean and deordorize, but what really gets me is the drying on the interior. It is virutally impoossible to polish the inside of a decanter (I'm talking about the wide flat bottomed one with the narrow necks) but believe me I've tried.

I'm looking for tips on how to dry without water spots and odor. I've googled and found things like adding vinegar to the rinse, or rinsing it with vodka, but both of these sound like they would leave a distinct scent behind. Another suggestion was the foaming denture cleansing tablets.... (yikes!)

Do the drying stands work?


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  1. wash with super hot water, and rinse with cool, then cold, water. efferdent definitely works to remove caked on stuff, and rinses out quite easily. and yes, those stands work very well. i would never put in vinegar or vodka. i also never use soap.

    1. I'm surprised to hear about the odour, which has never been a problem with decanters, glasses and bottles I've used. A couple of rinses with scalding hot water seems to eliminate any traces of wine they've contained. And drying stands work fine.

      My occasional problem with decanters is staining. The best solution I've found is swirling a slurry of rinsed and crushed eggshells and water. In a pinch, coarse salt will also do the trick.

      1. Most decanters can be effectively dried with a nice floursack cloth. Stuff it down the neck, holding onto the end, of course, and then twist to get the cloth in contact with entire bottom of the decanter.

        Unless you are talking about that crazy Amadeo Lyra, then I have no suggestions.

        1. Depending on the design of the decanter, there are several types of drying racks for decanters. I have three, and there is still a nouveau-style, that does not work in any.

          First, I use "Stem Shine," from Wine Enthusiast for "cleaning." I rinse in very warm water, then immerse the decanter into a large "stock pot," with a few drops of Jet Dry, or similar. I then place the decanter on the appropriate rack to drain and dry. I have several decanter brushes (most are also from Wine Enthusiast) for internal scrubbing. After the decanter is dry, I hold (using mittens) the decanter over a tea-kettle of distilled water to steam the decanter. Now, in Phoenix, the water is about as hard, as you will find anyplace, so spots are always a problem. The steam helps there - thanks to the Riedel rep for that tip. I then cap the dry decanter, if it has a stopper, so no dust will enter. Phoenix is full of dust, and even with doors on all of our glassware storage units, it is still a problem.

          Most of this depends entirely on the design of the decanter used. As I stated, some of the newer iterations do not lend themselves to this workflow.

          I do use a solution of about 1% bleach, if there are Port, or Bdx. stains, though with clear water washing on the night of an event, then handwashing the next day, this is seldom called for.

          Before I use a decanter, I always smell it carefully, and will steam it, if there is any trace of dust, or any cleaning agent.


          1. After a thorough cleaning with HOT water , try rinsing it with distilled water. I rinse my wine glasses with distilled water and it leaves a spotless shine.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vinosnob

              i use these beads that looks like bb that i got from wine store or use oxy clean