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How to Clean a Decanter | Wine Decanter Cleaning Guide

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So, you need to know how to clean a decanter.

Maybe you had a soirée last night and went to bed without rinsing it out. Or, you just learned how to decant wine and you're just not sure what the best cleaning method is.

We'll walk you through the best methods and tools to take care of those stubborn decanter stains. If all else fails, we can even help you pick out one of the best wine decanters as a quality replacement. You should also look into wine aerators as there are different uses for a  wine aerator vs decanter. 

How to Clean a Wine Decanter

Knowing how to clean a decanter is an important part of using a decanter. The longer you go without cleaning, the more likely difficult-to-remove wine stains will set in.

Here are a few tips to help you make that decanter look good-as-new.

  • Rinse it ASAP. The most important thing you can do when cleaning a decanter is to rinse out any leftover wine as soon as possible. The longer red wine sits, the more set-in stains can get.
  • Try purchasing bulk white vinegar. Vinegar is a great solution for cleaning decanters. Just pour vinegar and hot water into the decanter and let it sit for 10 minutes. Don’t use boiling water as it may be too hot for the delicate glass. Drain, rinse, and the wine should scrub off easily.
  • Use some salt. Add some crushed ice and a few pinches of salt then shake the decanter. Don't go crazy with the shaking, but do more than swirl. This combo acts like a scrub brush as the gritty salt scours the stains away.
  • Don't use soap. This may seem counterintuitive, but soap is the last thing you want to touch your decanter. Soap leaves residue and streaks that will hurt the overall taste and look of your decanted wine.

Best Decanter Cleaning Equipment

From beads and brushes to drying stands, we can walk you through some of the best tools for cleaning wine decanters. These items cut down the time it takes to clean and ensure you end up with crisp, clear glass.

The two main tools are brushes and beads. Decanter cleaning brushes are made of flexible foam. This allows them to clean the wide base of a decanter with ease, and we highly recommend you don't use a stiff brush. Decanter cleaning beads are small, stainless steel balls that you swirl around in a decanter that loosen stains with each pass.

We also recommend you pick up cleaning tablets and a decanter drying stand. The tablets help remove stains that are too tough to remove with regular scrubbing. The drying stand helps your decanter thoroughly dry and avoid developing streaks. You can't just use a regular wine stain remover for these delicate items.

Best Decanter Cleaning Brushes

3-Piece Wine Decanter Cleaning Brush Set

3 Piece Wine Decanter Cleaning Brush Set

This set comes with everything you need to clean a decanter. Three sizes of foam cotton brushes ensure total coverage when scrubbing. The set even comes with a pack of stainless steel 150 cleaning balls for thorough cleaning.

KUWAN Bottle Cleaning Brush

KUWAN Bottle Cleaning Brush

If you want a single brush that can do the job of many, the KUWAN Bottle Cleaning brush is for you. This brush is flexible, lightweight, and easy to store. It's also over 17 inches long, so it can handle the biggest of decanters.

9.6'' Hangable Coconut Fibre Bottle Cleaning Brush

9.6'' Hangable Coconut Fibre Bottle Cleaning Brush

If you're looking for an eco-friendly option, this coconut-fiber-and-wood brush is a great choice. It's durable but soft enough to never damage your glass and has a convenient handle hole for hanging. This brush is on the short side, so it may not be the one for you if you have a larger decanter.

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Best Decanter Cleaning Beads

Simtive 1000-Piece Decanter Cleaning Beads

Simtive 1000 Piece Decanter Cleaning Beads

You can't go wrong with 1,000 stainless steel cleaning beads. These 3-mm beads can fit into any oddly-shaped decanter you may own and lift stains with ease. They're also rust-proof so you won't have to purchase more beads any time soon.

Riedel Bottle Cleaner Beads

Riedel Bottle Cleaner Beads

If you don't want to have thousands of beads kicking around, this pack of 50-60 beads is a good option. This low count of beads is perfect for smaller decanters and comes in an equally small storage box. These beads are also clear and look a little more sophisticated than their steel counterparts.

Best Decanter Cleaning Tablets

Wine Decanter Cleaner Tablets

Wine Decanter Cleaner Tablets

If you've tried everything but you just can’t remove that stubborn decanter stain, it might be time for a tablet. All you have to do is fill your decanter with water, add a tablet, and wait. They begin working immediately, and most stains won't take more than 30 minutes. Set-in stains can be soaked overnight, and you'll be amazed at the luster these tablets can bring.

Best Decanter Drying Stands

Lily's Home Wine Decanter Drying Stand

Lily's Home Wine Decanter Drying Stand

Lily's Home offers the best simple drying stand for decanters. This stand has a rubber coating to prevent scratches and can double as a decanter display stand. It fits all standard decanters, but unusual decanters may not fit.

VOOV Contemporary Premium Decanter Cleaning Set with Drying Stand

VOOV Contemporary Premium Decanter Cleaning Set with Drying Stand

The VOOV Premium Decanter Cleaning Set comes with brushes, cloths, and beads. Those are all great perks but aren't the main reason we recommend the set. This decanter stand is conveniently foldable for storage, so you won't have to find a use for it when your decanter is put away.

FIAMER Countertop Wine Glass Holder

FIAMER Countertop Wine Glass Holder

Much more than just a decanter stand, this multi-purpose glassware stand is pretty enough to be on display. The center holds your decanter for air drying while the branches can hold six wine glasses. You’ll be able to enjoy each pour of wine with this charming set. This holder is the perfect blend of form and function and can go in any kitchen. It's evenperfect for displaying those wine glasses with pour lines you picked up.

How to Clean a Decanter with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great and easy solution to clean a decanter without using tablets. Fill the decanter with lukewarm water and add a spoonful of baking soda. Stir and leave for at least 30 minutes. Rinse out the decanter and it should be back to its former glory. If stains remain, repeat the process, but soak for a longer time.

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How to Clean a Wine Decanter with Rice

Rice is a surprisingly versatile tool and can be used to repair water-damaged phones, as a hair conditioner, and even clean a decanter. There are two ways to use rice if cleaning a decanter. First, fill the decanter with warm water then add uncooked rice and swirl. The rice acts as cleaning beads to lift the easier stains. Second, for tougher stains, add vinegar into the mixture. Swirl as normal but then let rest for at least 30 minutes. Together, rice and vinegar should take out the toughest of stains.

We Decant Believe It

A stained decanter takes all the joy out of a perfectly oxidized wine and you don't want to waste hours scrubbing and cleaning. Next time, remember the tips and tools we've shared to clean a decanter and avoid the annoyance. You should also look into picking up an electric wine opener or wine pourer to maximize your enjoyment.

Whether you’re a master sommelier or you’ve just learned how to open wine, there are plenty of ways to help you restore that shine to your beautiful decanter. Hey, it's easier than how to clean a bar. We can even teach you how to find the calories in wine or how much sugar in wine.

BinWise is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and makes commission through advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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