How to clean a decanter?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Some popular ways to clean your decanter include a variety of products and tools. One of these on-the-market products you can find online or at your local wine outlet would be cleaning beads. Cleaning beads are metal beads that you pour into your decanter with extremely hot water, you swirl them around, and they help to remove stains, sediments, and other residues that might be impossible to reach yourself.

An alternative to the metal beads rolling around on your precious glass decanter would be rice and vinegar. Pouring rice and vinegar in your decanter will ultimately serve the same purpose as hot water and cleaning beads but is not as effective. There are also other combinations to try, such as salt and ice or a more simple vinegar and water.

While there are plenty of different ways to keep your decanter clean, it’s about finding a process that works best for you. Also, it’s about what you’re willing to invest in when it comes to tools and products. Cleaning your decanter immediately after every use is important. It helps keep your decanter in good condition and improves its lifespan. In other words, the more you keep your decanter clean, the less likely you’ll have to replace it. 

Wine being poured into one of two wine glasses - Decanting White Wine.

How do you clean the inside of a glass decanter?

Cleaning the inside of a glass decanter is most effective with the methods listed above. In addition, cleaning beads and a cleaning brush are great investments for keeping your decanter clean and stain-free. Upon any method you decide to use, it’s always important to rinse out your decanter immediately after every use. Immediately rinsing will prevent stains that are nearly impossible to remove. 

However, you can buy plenty of different tools to help you clean a glass decanter. From wine decanter dryers to flexible cleaning brushes, finding what works best for you is a matter of finding what works best. There are also decanter ‘cleaning kits’ available for purchase online. 

How do you clean the inside of a crystal decanter?

The most effective way to clean the inside of a crystal decanter would be to soak the inside with hot water and powdered dish detergent for roughly 15 minutes. Another method you could try is to fill your decanter with hot vinegar overnight and scrub again in the morning. This method is good for regularly cleaning the decanter. Again, this is because it’s quick and easy, something you could do after you’re done serving wine for the evening. 

If these methods don’t satisfy the removal of stains enough for your liking, there are other methods to try. Some often rely on overnight hot water and denture cleaning tablets. Another might just invest in professional cleaning solutions that any alcohol outlet might use to clean the crystal wear. To avoid stains and residue buildup in a crystal decanter, it’s important to always at least give your decanter a quick rinse after every use. Then, after you rinse, follow that up with a more thorough cleaning method. 

How do you clean a cloudy decanter?

Rinsing your decanter after every use before going into a deeper clean will decrease the chances of the cloudy residue buildup. It’s important to note to never use boiling hot water to clean your decanter. Doing so could cause your decanter to break or crack, leading to a replacement purchase. If you know you have hard water running to your house, consider using distilled water to clean the decanter. Hard water will leave calcium buildup resulting in this cloudy appearance we are trying to avoid. 

Removing cloudiness from a crystal decanter can be done with simple household products such as:

  • Ammonia
  • Water Soap Vinegar Solution
  • Toothpaste

Yes, toothpaste is on this list! Wiping the outside surface with toothpaste will assist a shine that will make the decanter look brand new. 

How do you remove port sediment from a decanter?

Port sediments are natural sediments usually made up of grape skins, stems, and seeds from the creation process. This sediment can be rather difficult to remove. It can be so difficult that some refer to the sediment buildup as ‘crust.’ The buildup tends to happen when you fail to maintain the cleanliness of your glassware in general. This is why it’s very important to maintain a clean decanter and clean serving cups to maintain the quality. Not keeping your glassware clean over time will completely ruin it. It will also make it extremely difficult, if not near impossible, to remove the stains and sediments.

As listed above, the ingredients best used to remove port sediments from a decanter – or even the wine bottle itself – is a mixture of warm water and vinegar. First, pour the mixture into the decanter and allow it to sit. Then, use a flexible scrub brush to loosen the sediments enough to fall out after a few rinses. 

How do you remove red wine residue from a decanter?

Red wine stains occur when the decanter is not properly cleaned after every use. White vinegar can be used with a mixture of warm water in an attempt to remove the red wine stains or residue. 

However, when it comes to your crystal decanter, pay close attention to your mixture. For example, when creating the mixture of white vinegar and warm water, make sure to add one part vinegar and two parts water. 

Vinegar, in general, helps eliminate any organic matter, sediments, or residues left behind on your glassware. It’s also a great product used for everyday cleaning and an array of other things. After every use, using it regularly to clean your decanter and other wine glassware will ensure a clean sparkle for all your glassware. It’s just a matter of not getting lazy and leaving your decanters out for too long, uncleaned after use. 

Can you put a decanter in the dishwasher?

It is vital to never put your decanter in the dishwasher. This will increase the likeliness of buildup not just from hard water but also from the dishwasher detergent. The heat from the dishwasher can damage a decanter. It can do more damage to crystal decanters. Washing your lead crystal decanter in the dishwasher is something you never want to do. It will lead to scratches on the surface, making it dull and losing quality in the investment.

Depending on the shape and size of the decanter, the dishwasher could cause the decanter to crack or break. This could lead to a replacement of not only your decanter but also your dishwasher. Therefore, I urge you to look into every other cleaning method before turning to your dishwasher. If you’re persistent in using the dishwasher to dry your decanter and other glassware – make sure the settings are set to air dry mode.


There’s an array of different products that can be used when cleaning your decanters. The absolute most common solution is a warm water and white vinegar mixture. Cleaning the inside of your decanter can be difficult. It is recommended to invest in tools made for this, such as:

  • Cleaning beads
  • Flexible scrub brushes
  • Magnetic decanter cleaning brushes

There are also decanter cleaning kits on sale to help ensure a nice clean decanter. Toothpaste is a good household product you can use to remove the cloudiness from your decanter. However, there’s a variety of different products on the market for this. Even professional crystal cleaning solutions used by restaurants work. Port sediments and red wine residues can be removed with white vinegar and warm – not boiling – water. It’s recommended not to put any decanter – crystal or not – in the dishwasher. This is because it could lead to even more cloudy residue buildup and cracking and even breaking of the decanter. Not only would your decanter be broken, but your dishwasher might need to be replaced as well.