Spring Wine Cleaning

Tips for keeping your glassware and bar tools spotless and sparkly.

The arrival of spring brings ambitious thoughts of organizing the closets, scrubbing windows to spotless perfection and thoroughly vacuuming those hard-to-reach-places. While you are in cleaning mode, here are some reminders to keep your after-party efforts to a minimum:

Decanter Dilemmas
Those wide bottom decanters are strikingly beautiful and do wonders for letting your Bordeaux breathe. Here’s how to keep yours sparkling and ready for the next bottle:

• Rinse out the decanter immediately after pouring out the last drop of wine.
• To clean, fill halfway with warm water, dish liquid and lemon juice, and let soak. Add dried beans or rice to serve as scrubbing agents, and swirl around the decanter. Use a washcloth to clean the neck. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap.
• A handy Decanter Cleaning Brush ($8.95) is flexible enough for those hard-to-reach places.

Stemware Secrets
The worst part of savoring a glass or two of wine is sink duty, especially after a dinner party or large gathering. Get out of the kitchen fast with these tips:
• Rinse out the glasses right away, even if you don’t plan on cleaning them. Triple rinsing them immediately with hot water and a soft washcloth may even prevent the need for detergent.
• To hand wash, use just a drop of mild dishwashing detergent, add hot water, soak for a few minutes, and mildly wash with a soft washcloth. Be sure to rinse out all of the soap residue with cold water.
• If stemware is dishwasher safe, use a smaller amount of detergent than usual, and dry without the heat setting, which can adhere soap residue to the glasses.
• Towel dry glasses with a lint free towel, or place them upside down on an Air-Wave Silicone Drying Mat ($19.95), which effortlessly dries them without the cloth.

Wine Stain Pains
No need to avoid red wine for fear of spots and stains on carpet and clothing. Try one of these tricks and your memories will be the only reminder of the evening:
• For clothing stains, act quickly. Pour some white wine or club soda onto the fabric, and blot, rather than rub. Sponge some hot water over the stain, and dry with a clean cloth.
• For carpet stains, pour a small amount of hot water and either salt or baking soda, which will absorb the stain. Sponge with hot water, and blot with a clean cloth.
• If stains have set in, try blotting with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and hydrogen peroxide.
• Keep a bottle of handy Wine B’Gone ($14.95) in your pantry. A few sprays removes red wine, grape juice, tomato sauce and more.

Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website, www.kellymagyarics.com, or at www.twitter.com/kmagyarics. 

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