​​How To Clean Wine Stains From A Glass Decanter

Even if you’re not a sommelier, it’s easy to see the allure of decanted wine. Not only are these glass containers ultra-classy, but they also make your wine taste so much, well, tastier! On the downside, it’s easy for these clear vessels to get stained with red wine. Thankfully, you could use many simple techniques to wipe away wine schmutz without scratching your decanter. If you’re curious about how to make your glass decanter look sparkly clean, you’ve got to check out the info we’ve compiled below. 

The easiest way to remove wine stains from a glass decanter is as follows:

  • Wash your decanter with lukewarm water.
  • Pour enough warm water in your decanter to cover stains and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Pour out the water and rinse again.
  • Add more lukewarm water and about one teaspoon of white distilled vinegar to your decanter.
  • Swirl this mixture a few times and let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Pour out the vinegar and thoroughly wash with warm water. 
  • Put your decanter on a drying rack or use a decanter-approved drying cloth.

While this vinegar method usually works like a charm, it may not be enough to get rid of stubborn stains. No worries; there are plenty of other tricks you could try to clean your decanter safely. Please keep reading if you want “the dish” on de-staining decanters. 

The sommelier pours wine into a glass decanter, ​​How To Clean Wine Stains From A Glass Decanter

How Do You Clean Stains In A Glass Decanter?

There are dozens of ways you could get rid of wine stains in a decanter, but please remember to first wash your vessel with warm water. Even if you forgot to clean your decanter immediately after finishing your wine, you need to remove noticeable sediment before applying an approved cleanser. 

Also, if you have the time, it helps to fill your decanter with warm water and let it sit for about 15 minutes after rinsing it. While this may seem like a waste of time, most wine experts believe this trick will improve your stain-fighting success rate.

A decanter and two glasses of red wine.

After these preliminary steps are complete, it’s time to choose one of the methods listed below. 

How Do You Clean A Decanter With White Vinegar? 

Arguably, the simplest way to get rid of stains in a decanter is to use a pinch of distilled white vinegar. While it’s not as abrasive as other methods, usually, this is enough to get rid of staining. 

After you’ve rinsed your decanter with warm water, add about one teaspoon of white distilled vinegar and enough water to cover your stains. Swirl this mix around for a few seconds and let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes. Lastly, pour out the vinegar mix and thoroughly wash your decanter with lukewarm water. You should notice all or most of the staining is gone. 

If you feel this method wasn’t strong enough, you could repeat these steps for a deeper clean. Otherwise, you may need to use another cleaning material. 

Do Decanter Cleaning Beads Work? 

Glass Carafe

Cleaning beads designed for decanters are a convenient way to get rid of stains and sediment residue. These steel beads help naturally and safely clean your decanter, especially in hard-to-reach areas.

Find out more on this Amazon link. 

To use this method, pour the recommended amount of beads into your container with just a pinch of water. Swirl in a circular motion for a few minutes, or until you can see all the stains are gone. When you’re finished cleaning, pour the water into a cup with a fine mesh screen to catch the tiny beads. Wash out your decanter with warm water and place it on a decanter drying rack. 

Find out more on this Amazon link. 

For a video demonstration on how to use decanter beads, please watch this YouTube video: 

Could You Scrub Your Decanter With Salt & Ice?

Like white vinegar, chances are you have access to the following two decanter cleaners: coarse salt and crushed ice. Combining these everyday items could help wash away stubborn stains in just a few seconds. 

After you’ve rinsed your decanter with warm water, follow these three steps: 

  1. Pour about a teaspoon of coarse salt (e.g., Kosher) and a handful of crushed ice into your decanter. You could also add a little water to help lubricate this mix.
  2. Give your decanter a good shake to spread the salt around.
  3. When you notice the stains are gone, wash your decanter with warm water.

Find out more on this Amazon link.

If you want to learn more about the salt & ice method (in addition to many others!), then you’ve got to watch this YouTube video:

How Do You Clean A Decanter With Baking Soda? 

Baking soda is another fantastic cleaning solution that’s safe to use in glass decanters. All you have to do is fill your decanter with warm water and add about two teaspoons of baking soda. Give this mix a few swirls to ensure it’s well incorporated.

Next, let the baking soda sit in your decanter for at least 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes are up, pour out the baking soda and wash your decanter with warm water. 

If you want to learn more kitchen hacks with baking soda, you’ve got to check out this post: How To Clean Oven Door Glass 

Could Efferdent Clean A Glass Decanter?

If you love decanting your wine, then you may want to buy a few boxes of denture cleansers. Strange as it may sound, these fizzy cleaners do an excellent job of getting rid of wine stains in glass decanters. 

To use this method:

  1. Fill your decanter with plenty of warm water and add one denture-cleaning tablet.
  2. Let this mix sit for about 15 minutes or until the stains are gone.
  3. Pour the cleaning solution down the drain and wash with plenty of warm water. 

Find out more on this Amazon link. 

Should You Wash A Decanter?

Sommelier pouring wine to decanter

Ideally, you should always wash your decanter in lukewarm water once you’re finished using it. The longer you let wine residue sit inside your decanter, the greater chance you’ll end up with a stain. Washing away any remaining wine when you’re done drinking is an easy way to minimize the risk of staining or sediment buildup. 

Just remember to use lukewarm water when washing your decanter. While it may seem tempting to use boiling hot water, most wine experts claim that it’s too abrasive for delicate decanters. Also, never use dishwashing detergent, sponges, or abrasive brushes to clean the interior of your decanter. 

Could You Put Glass Decanters In The Dishwasher?

Dishwasher washing

You should never put glass decanters in the dishwasher. Even if the manufacturer claims your decanter is “dishwasher safe,” most wine fans strongly advise against this cleaning strategy. 

Since dishwashers reach average temps of between 130°F-150°F, there’s a greater chance of damaging your decanter. Also, any detergent you use to clean your decanter may cling to the inside, which will give your wine a disgusting “soapy taste.” Lastly, since most decanters have funky sizes, it can be cumbersome to put them in the dishwasher—thus increasing the risk of breakage.

Find out more on this Amazon link.

FYI: If you’re wondering how to clean your wine glasses, you’ve got to read our post “Are Wine Glasses Dishwasher Safe?

Does Wine Go Bad In A Decanter?

Cropped view of professional sommelier holding mixing bowl with red wine in hands over the table in wine restaurant.

One of the cons of using a decanter is that wine can go stale rather quickly. If you have any leftover wine in your glass decanter, it will probably go bad within one day. Too much oxygen exposure will change your wine’s chemical structure, and it could impart “vinegar-like” flavors the longer it’s left out.

However, you can preserve your wine for longer if your decanter comes with a stopper. Generally, your red wine will still taste fine two to three days later if you’re using this plug. 

Find out more on this Amazon link. 

For more info on this topic, you should read our previous post: How Long Should You Take To Drink A Glass of Wine?

There's No Need To "Whine" About Glass Decanter Stains!

Glass decanters are designed to catch your guests’ eyes. However, if your vessel has a ton of wine stains, it may attract the wrong kind of attention.

Luckily, there are numerous items you could use to get rid of unsightly stains without harming your decanter. Try mixing water with white vinegar, cleaning beads, ice & salt, denture cleaning tablets, or baking soda to get rid of those stains. Whatever method you choose, please never use soaps or sponges when cleaning glass decanters. 

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