Cleaning a wine decanter after you have used it for your red wine or port can be tricky, especially if you have finished the bottle and gone to bed without rinsing it out!
So, the first rule is never to let the last few drops of wine or port dry overnight. Even if you don’t have time to wash it properly just fill the decanter with water and clean and dry it the next day. That way your decanter will ready and sparkling the next time you come to use it.
Just so you know, the glass has not stained red, it’s the microscopic particles of lime scale clinging to the bottom of the bottle that have been dyed red.
For more persistent stains use a decanter brush, and if you don’t have one here’s another method:
Rinse the decanter first with warm water, swirling it around the stains. Then add a mixture of white wine vinegar and salt 1.5cm of salt and about twice as much white wine vinegar. Agitate the inside of the decanter and let the solution scrub the stains away. Unless you want the decanter smelling of vinegar rinse thoroughly with warm water.
If you have no white wine vinegar to hand, try a squirt of Jif cleaner (other cleaning products are available!), a little warm water and swirl the solution around the decanter and then rinse thoroughly.
How to Dry a Decanter
Decanters generally have narrow necks and odd shapes, so drying the decanter after washing it can be tricky.
First of all, dry the outside of the decanter with a glass cleaning cloth to polish away water spots. Then place the decanter on a solid work surface upside down with a piece of cutlery or flatware under one side of the neck so that the decanter can drain and air can circulate. Be careful not to knock the decanter over while this is in progress.
Preparing Your Decanter for Its Next Use
If your decanter has been stored for a little while with the stopper in place the inside of the decanter may have a musty smell. Rinse the decanter before use with warm water or a modicum of the wine you are decanting into it.
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