Tips for washing delicate stemware?
November 25, 2011 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Tips for washing delicate stemware?

My husband and I are not fancy people but over the years we have accumulated many "fancy" wine glasses/stemware. These glasses typically have a long stem and very thin glass. I am seeking tips and tricks on how best to wash these glasses.

We certainly have cheap "everyday" wine glasses that we use more frequently and just throw in the dishwasher. But we enjoy using our fancier stemware, especially over the holiday season.

I am hesitant to throw them in the dishwasher as they are rather large and in some cases tall and wobbly (?) and bang against dishes near them. And making adequate space for them in the dishwasher seems like a waste as I could have loaded many dishes if these delicate flowers were not in there.

So I typically hand wash them except every 20 glasses or so I end up banging them against the sink or they slip out of my hand and break.

I am looking for any tips you have on how to wash delicate stemware. Thank you very much for answering my petty question!
posted by click to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
I'm not the greatest at handling delicate items, but it certainly helps to put a folded bath towel in the bottom of the sink full of suds and wash one glass at a time.

It's a royal pain, but ya do what ya gotta do.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:41 PM on November 25, 2011

I found that even just that grippy stuff you put on shelves and use to open jars is helpful (to line sinks with,) since the accidents are pretty slow-speed. I also tend to try and move breakable things from cloth-covered-surface to cloth-covered-surface while holding the thing with a cloth. The last time I broke one of those things it was the stem snapping in my hand.

And by the way, I feel there has to be a better way than the extra thin glass stuff. The only super-fragile stemware I own came as housewarming gifts, and I only use it when it's been long enough that I've forgotten what a royal pain this is.
posted by SMPA at 9:01 PM on November 25, 2011

So leave them until the next morning, when everyone at the sink has sobered up.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:04 PM on November 25, 2011

Handwash. There are special soft long-handled brushes that are just the right size to go inside a wine glass. You can also was them like a bartender: fill your sink with soapy water and dunk them repeatedly.
posted by supercres at 9:16 PM on November 25, 2011

It's wine residue left in a glass, not raw chicken. You don't need to use soap. Rinse it out with hot water when you're finished using the glass. If you're a slow wine drinker and a little bit of residue has dried to the side of the glass, wipe it off with a soft cloth.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:26 PM on November 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

This is why they had wooden sinks in the old days. Or so I was told at the John Greenleaf Whittier homestead.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:34 PM on November 25, 2011

I don't have a dishwasher, and I've always washed my Riedel by hand with just a regular green-pad sponge. They've only ever broken by dropping them or cranking the stem. All told I wouldn't use the green-pad side of the sponge, but other than that wine is very water soluble so washing usually isn't a tough job.
posted by rhizome at 11:44 PM on November 25, 2011

Thanks everyone!
posted by click at 9:53 AM on November 26, 2011

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