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Mar 12, 2011 06:44 AM

How do you clean your stemware?

Can anybody help? We drink wine regularly, which means I have to regularly clean those pesky, stubborn wine glasses. I'd love to put them through the dishwasher, but if I don't get them out right away, there's a rim of dried residue on one side of the glasses, and they tend to come out of the dishwasher splattered with soap spots and streaks. Maybe I just need a better dishwasher. Anyway, by hand is a real bear, and I break them, and they still dry with streaks. Please tell me what you do to get your wine glasses clean!

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  1. If you have spots on them from the diswasher, then you are likely using too much detergent or the wrong kind for your water type (hard or soft) in your area. Your dishwasher itself is probably fine. I would suggest that you try using half as much dishwashing power or liquid and see how your stuff turns out and adjust from there. As to the rim of dried reside along the bottom edge, I get that occasionally and I just clean that off with a damp sponge. It comes off really easy and it is certainly easier than cleaning wine glasses by hand.

    We buy cheap stemware from Crate and Barrel. It tends to etch over time but I don't care. By the time it is noticeable we have likely broken a few glasses anyway. I just order a new set and toss out the old ones.

    1. Good (crystal) stemware should not go in the DW. When we use ours, I just rinse the glasses out the night before and set them aside in an area on the counter where they are unlikely to be jostled. Then, the next morning when I've completely emptied whatever dishes are in my dishdrainer, I wash each glass carefully and place them inverted in the portion of the dishdrainer designed to hold stemware upside-down. They should air dry just fine without any spotting.

      I don't like to clean the glasses right after using them because (a) I've been drinking and may be a bit careless, and break one, and (b) I want an absolutely empty dishdrainer in which to place them upside down, without any chance that some other item will shift weight and impact them.

      Cheaper stemware (if not too tall) goes in the DW. Do you use a rinsing agent in your DW? That may address the spotting issue. And I agree with LS that you may be using too much dw detergent. The detergent has become way more concentrated than it used to be. You only need to fill the dispenser about 1/3 to 1/2.

      1. Hi,

        You might try a rinse agent. I use Jet Dry. My dishwasher has a dispenser in the door. If yours doesn't, I think there might also be one that hangs from the rack.

        Yes, washing stemware by hand is a big pain. Almost impossible to get them no-spots clean...

        Edited to add: Masha is correct. Crystal doesn't belong in the dishwasher.


        1. I live in So Cal, so the water is very hard. That eliminates my favorite method which is wash by hand and let air dry in drainer--spots galore. So I either wash, and dry, by hand or, if it's time to run the dishwasher I put them in there--they come out sparkling.

          1 Reply
          1. re: escondido123

            Our water here in Virginia is very hard, too. After our well water goes through the softener, then it goes through reverse osmosis.

            So.... I do wash all my wine glasses by hand, but I rinse first in the soft sink water, then a quick final rinse under the reverse osmosis faucet and then put on the dish rack (not the dishwasher rack) to dry. Nary a spot. I never dry them with a towel.

            My reason besides spotting is that I read that Robert Parker insists on a very clean glass. However, mine is not 'sterilized.' :-))

          2. B&B, we preface our remarks by noting that our municipal water supply (Portland, Oregon) provides us with very soft water.

            We wash all of our stemware, except the very tall items that will not fit, in the dishwasher (its a Miele G848), using Ecover powder detergent and Cascade Crystal Clear rinse aid. Before we switched to Ecover, we used to have serious etching problems with any glassware (not just stemware; we had a set of glass salad bowls that ended up looking as if they had been pelted with buckshot, and had to be discarded). But with Ecover we have repeatedly washed Reidel, Eisch, and Schott Zweissel stemware without the slightest hint of etching. I do agree with LovingSpoonful, however, that it sounds as if you have been using too much detergent in your dishwasher.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Politeness

              Ecover is my preference; another reason is that it is OK for our septic system. Before that, etching was a problem.