Though it may seem convenient, your dishwasher is not an appropriate vessel for cleaning your decanter. Typically made from glass or crystal, decanters need to be handled with care. Ideally, you’d rinse your decanter out with warm water as soon as you’ve finished using it. However, like the other post-party dishes piled up in your sink, you might not get to it right away. Here are the three best ways to clean your decanter the morning after.
1. Rinse with vinegar
This is something you likely already have in your pantry, which wins for convenience. But some vinegars are definitely better than others for this task. White distilled vinegar or white wine vinegar work best, since they’re pale in color and don’t have added flavorings or ingredients that could leave lingering aromas. First, rinse the decanter with very warm water, leaving it to soak for a few minutes if you have extra pesky stains. Then, pour a splash of vinegar inside and dilute with a little water. Swish the liquid around the bowl, or place your hand on the top and shake the decanter well (but carefully!). Empty, and rinse again thoroughly with warm water to get rid of the vinegar smell.
2. Scour with coarse salt and ice
This is another clever use for a pantry staple. Just make sure you’re using coarse salt for maximum effect. Drop a few pinches of salt at the bottom of your decanter and top it with a handful of crushed ice. Vigorously swirl the ice around the bowl. The combination of salt and ice will have a scouring effect on those tough stains. You can let the ice melt and sit for a while, if you’d like, then rinse out the decanter with room-temperature or lukewarm (not too hot!) water. Alternatively, you can use regular salt to make an extra-strong cleaning solution. Just add it to the vinegar and water method outlined above.
3. Swirl with cleaning beads
You’ll need to buy these beads, but they can be worth the investment. Purchased at kitchen shops or online retailers, these are small stainless-steel balls that you slide into your decanter with warm water and swirl around. They are able to loosen residue and tough stains pretty effectively and are guaranteed to get into those tough-to-reach spots. Pour the water and beads out into a mesh strainer so they don’t scatter across your kitchen floor. Then, wash them and let them dry completely before reusing.