Wine glasses are delicate and require extra care and tenderness.
Preparation, maintenance, and serious cleaning routines are essential. Butlers and headwaiters should know the proper way to clean glasses, it is a daily routine in a household or in a Hotel. Crystal is the most preferred material when it comes to wine glasses, and washing is best done by hand – to ensure a spotless result.
Bigger facilities like Hotels and Restaurants will probably have their own glass washer. This is a machine dedicated to glassware only and will wash with a special soda soap like Dishguard or Toprinse. When using these machines, it is important to have a cold pre-shower program, to correctly position the glasses on the glass holders located inside the machine, and also that the machine then washes softly between 85-90 degrees. Remember that the machine itself needs a wash and that the water needs to be changed after every 10-12 items cycles.
In Private households, or in your own home, a good, real thorough hand washing process is best for your wine and champagne glasses. You should follow these procedures for a shining, and spotless wine glass experience for both you and your guests
• Hold the glass carefully by the bowl, never by the stem. The stem is fragile and can break easily if you hold it there. Instead, cup your hand around the bottom of the bowl with your fingers.
• Rinse in lukewarm to hot water. Water can cause the glass to crack if it is too hot.
• Wipe the glass clean with a long-handled sponge. Never stick your hand into the glass itself as you will risk breaking the glass, use a soft sponge with a long plastic or wooden handle.
• A simple rinse and light buffing with a soft sponge is often all that is needed. If the wine glass is especially dirty, you might need to use a mild dish soap without perfume. 3 drops into a water full sink with semi-hot water is enough.
• Rinse each glass well, inside and out, with semi-hot water, and get rid of any soap residue. Crystal absorbs odours easily. Hold the glass carefully when wiping, never turn it by the stem.
• Place the wine glass upside down on a soft towel for a short air drying. Then dry the glasses with a soft lint-free cloth; such as microfiber.
• Always make sure that the whole glass is dry before storage. Always leave your glasses standing in a locked area/cupboard.
Important notice when handling wine glasses and other glassware from a long life in hospitality
• Semi-hot water is a glasses’ best friend.
• For difficult spots on the outside of the glass – Use some drops of vinegar, and rinse properly.
• Multiple dish-washings can lead to cloudy glasses.
• Limit the use of soap to where it is strictly needed.
• Always use a mild, perfume free dish-soap – In drop measures.
• Have a log and manual for all of your washing program.
• Wine carafe washing: Rinse and use a cheap sodawater inside.
Don`t call the world dirty because You forgot to clean Your Wine Glasses…
Written by hospitality expert, Tore Berger who is a British Butler Institute graduate, as well as a F&B Consultant