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Cleaning decanters.

Any advise? I have been using my decanter pretty regularly for about 3 months and sometimes I will open a bottle at noon for dinner drinking. noticed this morning that there was a bit of dried residue on the bottom. I don't have any tools that can take the bend in the decanter form and provide pressure to scrub. No help from lemon juice or vinegar.


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  1. Denture cleaner. Plop plop fizz fizz, as it were. let it sit until the water goes clear and then rinse.

    2 Replies
    1. re: plaidbowtie

      Yep, that's the easiest way to clean a decanter or get red wine stains off your wine glasses.

      1. re: plaidbowtie

        Agreed. Just don't by the flavored kind!

      2. I add kosher salt and a little water and shake like crazy. The salt works to 'scrub' the residue out.

        2 Replies
        1. re: thegforceny

          I am stunned how well the salt and water worked. Not perfect but really great for quick fix, thanx.

          1. re: budnball

            add some crushed ice -- the ice helps the salt scrub.

            Vinegar can also help loosen the gunk.

        2. A decanter brush will help. I've found the ones on Amazon are the best buy.


          1 Reply
          1. re: maria lorraine


            I have several of each size/shape, and find them to be very useful. Depending on the design of the particular decanter (like the Riedel Lyra), they might not fit every possibility, but should for 99% of the designs on the market.


          2. Alcotabs Critical-Cleaning Detergent Tablets.
            Made by Alconox Inc.
            Works like magic.

            1. Great tips! Thanx all. I will try the salt first since i have that on hand.

              1. We discovered that we could use the same "detergent" that we back flush through our espresso machine (pulling blind shots at the group head) mixed in hot water, allowed to soak and sloshed around for 10 minutes just dissolves the film away. We have used several brands of backflush cleaner and all have proven effective without damaging our decanters

                1 Reply
                1. re: ThanksVille

                  Danger! Danger! Warning, Will Robinson . . . Thread Drift Approaching . . . .

                  What sort of espresso machine do you have? ;^)

                2. The dollar store sells a tool to clean vases etc.

                  1. I stopped using "decanters" about ten years ago because they are such a pain to keep up. My primary use is decanting off the sediment.

                    I find that using glass pitcher works just as well and they are much easier to keep clean. I found a couple of nice cut/pressed glass pitchers at a local antique mall for practically nothing. I make certain that I can get my hand into the opening so that I can wash and dry them easily. Problem solved.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jock

                      +1 for glass pitchers.
                      [ Did it take 2000+ years for winos to reach this conclusion? ]

                      1. re: jock


                        You are such a perfect gentleman, I almost find it difficult to imagine you decanting into a pitcher.

                        Guess that I am just an old "traditionalist," and love my decanters. My wife swears that I collect them, but that is not entirely true.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          My cut glass "pitchers" are quite elegant - aaand - spotless! As are my wine glasses. Always washed and polished by hand even when there are dozens of them. I have dishpan hand as I type this. :)

                        2. re: jock

                          D*mn, Jock! That sounds too practical! :D

                        3. I have a small dish of 2mm stainless steal ballbearings (about 60 of them), they go into the decanter with a little water and then swirl for about a minute... cleans up the decanter far better than the brushes I used to use.

                          But denture cleaner has me intrigued and I'm going to try it.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: vanderb

                            I've used the denture cleaner to "finish" up the cleaning.

                            1. re: vanderb

                              I used to use BB's, but have switched to the denture tablets. They really do an amazing job. I let the vessel soak overnight, then rinse multiple times.

                              1. re: vanderb

                                I've been using the brushes, but I'm going to try the peroxide method tonight. Merci!

                              2. Keep it filled. An empty decanter is as useless as an unloaded gun :)

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: Veggo

                                  oh, no, it's an extremely efficient dust-collection device when unused. :P

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    I love the maintenance ease of my crystal trophies. Silver is a burden, to the third power. Tiresome.

                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                      You are correct. That is one reason that I seek out decanters, that have stoppers - less for the wine, and more for the dust, when I empty the decanter. However, some designs just do not allow for stoppers.


                                    2. re: Veggo

                                      Sorry to dissent.
                                      Crystal decanters tend to have high lead content, and lead will leak into the wine.
                                      Short intervals ( a few hours ) are OK, but I definitely wouldn't keep it any longer.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          Actually, no joke. I'm aware that (former) Czechoslovakian and some Polish crystal have a high lead content, but I'm uninformed about Waterford and other types, or how lead may leech into the contents over any length of time in a deleterious amount.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            no, just that the comment about unused decanters was more of a joke....

                                            wine never sits in a decanter long enough to finish the meal Chez Sunshine, let alone long enough to leach. (and I use a WMF blown-glass decanter, anyway)

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        I agree. Next thing you know, some Senator will want us to lock up our decanters...


                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            Hey, Senator Cantor is not looking to seize our decanters. I am thinking across the country on that one.


                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              You've elevated Rep Cantor! and I'll bet he doesn't de-cant (pun intended) his wine! :)

                                        1. Hydrogen peroxide. Swirl. Same effect as denture tablets but no smell/flavor or harshness. Then warm water rinse.