How to clean a wine decanter?

by Gavin Trimble

After the wine is poured and the wine has been drunk comes the part that no one wants to have to think about: the time to clean. Depending on the decanter shape will certainly depend on the best method to clean it, but the Drinkind slim wine decanter can be cleaned through just a few simple steps, ready for its next use. 

Given that decanters are made of crystal or in Drinkind’s Slim Decanter’s case, hand-blown glass, it is best to wash it by hand as opposed to putting it in the dishwasher, to avoid cracking the vessel. 

Dishwasher soap is advised against by many wine connoisseurs, due to the fact that it leaves behind a faint residue and can even leave behind a faint flavour, affecting the taste of the wine you next decant and drink. 

Ideally, if it’s red wine that you drink, once the decanter is empty you should soak it immediately, so that the sticky residue lifts off without fuss and so that no tough stains are left behind in the morning. 

A simple method of cleaning the wine decanter is by splashing a small amount of vinegar into the vessel diluted with warm water. All that’s left to do is swish the bottle or cover the top and carefully shake it. Leaving it to soak will allow any residual stains to be further lifted. Finally, rinse the vessel with warm water to eliminate any residue. As vinegar is known to have a lingering smell, it is advised to use white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar. Not only are they light in colour, but they have less ingredients, meaning they are less likely to leave a scent or taste once used. 

If decanting your wine is something you do fairly often, it is worth investing in some cleaning beads, designed specifically for decanters of all kinds. These small round beads made of stainless steel slide into the decanter and are swirled around with warm water. This will loosen any sticky residue left behind by the wine and in the case of a red wine, will loosen the tough stains in any hard to reach spots. This is particularly worth doing for those hard to reach spots or if you have left the wine decanter overnight without soaking it, and will certainly allow you to take care of the decanter far more easily. Given the shape of many traditional decanters, having something to reach the corners will make the process just that much more convenient. 


If you want to get a similar effect as cleaning beads without investing in them, it’s worth using ice and salt. This will scour the glass as you shake it, acting as a substitute steel wool sponge. Afterwards, all that’s left to do is rinse with warm water to remove any salt left in the glass and leave it to air-dry. 

Drinkind’s slim wine decanter comes with a few very convenient accessories - 250 steel balls for cleaning and a cloth for hand drying the decanter, or for allowing it to rest on as it air dries. Either way that you decide to drink your wine and clean it, we’re sure it’s in safe hands, ready for its next use.