Do you ever have a problem finding your wine decanter wet and covered in watermarks? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone! This is one of the most common issues experienced by passionate wine lovers.
Luckily, with just a few simple steps, drying out your decanter can be easy and hassle-free. In this blog post, we’ll show you exactly how to dry a wine decanter quickly and without damaging it in any way.
Hang on to your stemware – we’re about to dive into the perfect technique for drying all kinds of kitchen items safely!
1. What is a wine decanter?
A wine decanter is a glass container that is designed to assist in the aeration of wine. It usually has a narrow neck and a broad base which allows for maximum exposure of the wine to air.
When decanting wine, make sure to pour it slowly from the original bottle into a decanter without disturbing any sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
It may take time to master this technique, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. With a little practice, you’ll soon be able to do it with ease.
2. Why do we need to clean wine decanters?
If you often use your wine decanter, it may get stained with tannins and pigment from red wine. This residue can make it look unappealing and affect the smell of future wines.
Regularly cleaning your wine decanters can prevent stains. However, if stains have already formed, you can remove them to restore your decanter’s condition.
3. What kind of stains might be built up in a wine decanter?
The most common type of stains found in wine decanters are tannins and pigments from red wines. These are natural compounds that give the red wine its vibrant color and flavor but can leave a residue if left uncleaned.
Some types of whites may also result in a cloudy film on the inside walls of the decanter which needs to be removed.
Other components that may cause residue in your wine decanters are Residual and un-fermented sugars, tartrates, pigments, and proteins.
4. The principles of cleaning a wine decanter
- At the beginning of the cleaning, you empty any wine excess wine.
- Then rinse with warm and clean water.
- Then fill it again with warm and clean water.
- The next step is to let it steep or soak to loosen any residue stains or marks.
5. How to clean a wine decanter? The easy and effective methods to follow
Method 1: Crushed Ice and Warm Water
This method is super effective as crushed ice easily agitates the inside of your decanter and scrubs the stains away. Once the ice is melted, you simply pour it out. No mess. No fuss.
The hardest part of this method is getting a hold of crushed ice if you don’t have this function in your refrigerator.
So the steps are:
- Empty the decanter of any excess wine
- Rinse, rinse with warm and clean water
- Fill and soak
- Fill it again with warm and clean water
- Let it steep or soak to loosen any residue or marks
- Empty the decanter again
- Then place crushed ice into the decanter accompanied with half a cup of water
- Swirl, swirl around slowly in a circular motion, and repeat until the stains start lifting
- Then rinse the decanter with warm water again to make sure there are no stains in the decanter.
Method 2: Denture tablets and warm water
This is one of the most popular ways of cleaning wine decanters. It is a very effective method that produces excellent results.
Now, you might don’t have denture tablets. But you can always run out to the store to get some and keep them on hand for future use.
However, the way for cleaning takes a little bit longer time because of the time for steeping and soaking.
To do this, you empty, rinse, fill, and soak.
Now, place one denture tablet into the decanter, and fill it with enough warm water to cover the stains.
Once, the stains are gone, empty and rinse it with warm water.
Method 3: Use decanter-cleaning balls or decanter-cleaning beads.
You will the cleaning balls and warm water. This is a fantastic way to clean your decanter and you can reuse these beads time and time again.
If you don’t have cleaning beads, you can get them at a specialty shop or online somewhere between $8 to $15.
The way it works is that you empty, rinse, fill and soak, empty again. Pour the beads into the decanter and fill it with plenty of water ensuring that all the stains are covered. Swirl and repeat this step for any stubborn stains.
Once the stains are gone, empty and rinse.
Method 4: Rice or crushed eggshells
To do this, you will need uncooked rice or crushed eggshells and warm water.
While this method is convenient, it is not as effective as other methods.
It is convenient as everybody has uncooked rice somewhere in the kitchen.
If you don’t have uncooked rice, grab the decanter that you left on the counter the night before, roll up your bathrobe sleeves, and grab the eggs out of the trash that you just made scrambled eggs.
Use the crushed eggshells to clean your decanter.
Steps to follow:
- Fill and soak
- Pour around 2 tablespoons of rice or crushed eggshells into the decanter
- Add warm water to cover the stains and swirl.
- Keep repeating all the steps until all the stains are lifted.
Method 5: Salt and wine vinegar
You need vinegar and coarse salt. I like this method because I have everything on hand the vinegar works extremely well. Vinegar breaks down stubborn stains and the salt acts like a scrubbing agent.
This process is pretty much the same as the rest. Empty, rinse, fill and soak, and empty again.
Place your hand over the top of the decanter and shake well. You will start seeing the solution changing colors as the stain start lifting.
Depending on how touche the stains are, you might need to repeat the steps. Then empty and rinse until the vinegar smell is gone.
You can see more:
- Do You Store Red Wine in A Wine Fridge?
- Best Wine for Italian Food: A Pairing Guide by Wine Experts
- Common Problems With Wine Coolers | Reasons and Solutions
6. Pro tips to prevent residue built in a wine decanter
- Clean your decanter regularly so it stays stain free.
- Clean your decanter as soon as possible after use. This will be much easier and quicker to remove stains.
- Actually, a good rinsing after using it is the best way to stay ahead of the game.
- Make sure you rinse well to remove all the cleaning agents. This will prevent foreign smells and taste in your wine.
7. How not to clean your decanter
- Don’t use dishwashing detergent when cleaning your decanter. This will dull the glass and leave an aftertaste.
- Don’t use a sponge with an abrasive type coating. Only use a spain sponge or cloth. An abrasive sponge may scratch the glass or crystal.
- Don’t let your decanter sit upside down on a cloth or wood surface. It can pick up a scent.
8. Expert’s Advice on How to Dry a Wine Decanter
One of the trickiest things to do after cleaning a decanter is to dry it. Sometimes it takes an act of Congress to drive many of the more modern ornate decanters. The long narrow necks and strange shapes make it tough to dry insight them.
Here are some easy solutions:
Step 1: Dry the outside of the decanter with a glass cleaning cloth to prevent water spots.
Step 2: Upside down on a cold work surface for about 30 – 45 minutes.
Remember: Do not put it on a wood surface or a cloth.
You know a formica, granite, marble, or tile surface, any no-porous surface will work.
This will help you prevent any strange smells from the cloth or porous surface.
A little trick that I use is placing a piece of cutlery under the edge of the decanter while it’s upside down. This slight tilt or lift lets the oxygen inside, minimizing condensation and water spotting.
Step 3: You can purchase a drying stand. This is a great way to ensure your decanter dries correctly.
9. Five easy ways to dry a wine decanter
Method 1: Use your hand to dry a wine decanter
Drying your wine decanter is a simple and low-cost process that doesn’t require any special equipment except paper towels or a soft dish rag.
To dry it by hand, remember to use a smooth and steady hand. Tilt the decanter to allow the extra water to drain out before wiping it dry.
To properly dry the decanter, twist a few thick paper towels or a clean dish rag into a thin tube shape.
If you use a dish rag, make sure it is a spot-free glass drying towel. Insert the towel into the neck of the decanter to reach the bottom and dry it thoroughly.
If you want to dry your decanter thoroughly and avoid water spots, insert a towel inside and move it around to reach all corners. You might need to replace the towel multiple times until it absorbs enough water.
Method 2: Use a Drying Brush to dry a wine decanter
To dry a decanter fast and effectively, you can use a drying brush.
There are two types, one of which resembles a small mop. This brush has a long, thin handle that can reach the bottom of the decanter, and it features a microfiber cloth cut into strips at the end.
To use it, insert the cloth into the decanter and hold the handle between your palms. Rub your palms together in a motion similar to warming your hands. This will allow the cloth to absorb the liquid and polish the glass at the same time.
Although the other drying brush appears dissimilar, it functions similarly. It consists of a wire interior completely enveloped with foam that soaks up moisture from the inside of the decanter.
Its overall length, including the handle, is roughly 16 inches. Since it is constructed of wire, it is flexible enough to reach the decanter’s edges and difficult-to-reach areas.
Method 3: Use air cupboards to dry your wine decanter
Another way is to use your airing cupboards. If you have an airing cupboard at home, you can place the decanter upside down on the stand and leave it overnight to remove any moisture.
Use a warm hair blow-dryer to dry your wine decanter
Another option is to use a warm hair blow-dryer to quickly dry the inside of the decanter, making sure to keep it away from water.
Method 4: Use Magnetic Wine Decanter Dryer
This is a clever and uncommon method of drying the inside of a decanter that relies on magnets. While it may seem complex, it is highly effective.
The system consists of two parts, one for the interior and one for the exterior, both composed of highly absorbent microfiber material with built-in magnets.
To dry a decanter with a complex shape, first, pull out the inner cloth attached to a string. Then, use the outer cloth or mitt to wipe both the inside and the outside simultaneously with the help of magnets.
This ingenious method dries both the inner and outer parts at the same time and in the same direction.
Is it safe to clean a wine decanter in the dishwasher?
It is not recommended to clean your wine decanter in the dishwasher, regardless of whether it is made of crystal or glass. Due to its delicate nature, hand-washing is the best practice to preserve your decanter’s quality.
Despite the convenience, avoid putting it in the dishwasher after an enjoyable wine party with your friends.
The decanter might break during the wash cycle if it hits other dishes, which is a significant risk. Additionally, prolonged exposure to the high temperature inside the dishwasher may put too much pressure on the fragile glass material of the decanter.
What causes condensation to form in my decanter?
When you clean and dry a wine decanter, condensation can occur if the temperature of the glass (or crystal) is cooler than the temperature of the air outside it. This is a frequent occurrence.
To prevent or remove condensation from a decanter, use a soft towel or wine decanter brush to hand dry it. By completely drying the decanter, you can eliminate any excess condensation and achieve a clear, polished appearance.
How Do You Remove Tannins From a Decanter?
Removing tannin stains from the inside of a wine decanter can be frustrating. However, a simple solution to this problem is to use a mixture of warm/hot water and white vinegar.
Using vinegar can remove the tannin staining and gritty texture inside your decanter. To avoid tannin stains in the future, wash your decanter soon after each use, without letting wine sit in the decanter for too long, especially deep red wines.
Is it possible to clean a decanter by washing it?
We recommend using only water to wash your decanter immediately after use. However, if your tap water is of poor quality or hard, we suggest using distilled water to prevent cloudiness, as highly alkaline water can cause this issue.
Would it be a good idea to use a decanter?
If you like drinking red wine or often opt for more budget-friendly options, using a decanter can enhance your experience.
Despite its simple appearance, decanting exposes the wine to more oxygen which improves the flavor by reducing sharp tannins and bringing out fruity and floral aromas.
Can whiskey evaporate if it’s kept in a decanter?
Although a decanter may look beautiful when filled with whiskey, using a glass decanter with an airtight seal is crucial in preventing whiskey from evaporating.
There are plenty of ways to dry your wine decanter. If you prefer using household items, microfiber cloths or paper towels would work well. To prevent moisture, store the decanter in a cool, dry place after thoroughly drying any remaining water droplets inside. Always make sure to clean and dry the decanter before and after every use.
In 2014, Leo Colon began working with Big Cottonwood Winery. Over the years he has remained part of this prestigious winery’s team and is also a contributor to other notable wine publications. As an ardent advocate for knowledge, Leo continues his vinous education to this day.