Cleaning glassware - best method

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by jjboesen, May 12, 2013.

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  1. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,216) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    This is probably a worn out Ground Hog Day sort of question, but here goes: what is the most effective way to clean glassware without detergent or dishwasher? My method has been to flush each item out with hot water; however, this does nothing to eradicate spotting. It's not that I am a geek or anything; I simply want to serve my brews in clean spot free glassware.

    Any suggestions or recommendations will be appreciated. Cheers!
  2. Groomsy

    Groomsy Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2010 Kentucky

    I usually clean my glasses with a bottle brush and baking soda - just do a hot water rinse, coat the inside of the glass with about a tablespoon of baking soda, and scrub the glass inside and out. I usually give a thorough rinse to make sure there's nothing left behind.

    Been doing it for two years with no problems! It can be slightly messy, but my glasses are always beer clean. Cheers!
  3. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (304) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    I can understand the dishwasher, but why the aversion to detergent? (I assume you mean a 'dish soap' like Dawn or a functional equivalent). Thoroughly rinsed, there's no residue left behind to screw up your beer.
    JrGtr, psuKinger and inchrisin like this.
  4. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I believe there are a dozen ways to clean glassware. As Mikehartigan mentions, I don' think it matters how you clean your glassware so long as there's nothing on the glass by the time you go to pour your next pint. Usually when you run glassware through the dishwasher, there will be a rinse agent or some film left over. It's a great way to start, but if you'r drinking an $11 beer, you should probably give that glass an extra rinse or two.

    When I don't use the dishwasher I reach for the Dawn, or any other dish soap. I rinse about 3 times and I don't have any trouble with head retention.
    Scrapss likes this.
  5. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,216) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    Thanks for the info.
  6. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    I just throw mine in the dishwasher and rinse them before use but, if you're really particular, you should get some microfiber cloths. They remove all the residue from the glass.
  7. marshmeli

    marshmeli Devotee (420) Feb 14, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    I use a wine glass brush (a little big for some glasses, so will start using extra bottle brushes we have), with hot water and dawn. I rinse a lot when done cleaning.
  8. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I soak every glass for a couple minutes in warm water with a small amount of dish soap. I then clean them each with a non-scratch sponge, rinse them and then set them aside. After they sit for a couple minutes, I go through and dry each with a higher quality towel to leave nothing behind. This is all obviously by hand. I only do this for glassware with a logo that I care about.....which is really the only glassware I use for beer.

    Annoying process, but it works really well.
  9. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Disciple (304) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    When I wash them by hand, I skip the drying step. I store the glasses upside down in a rack. If I'm going to use them immediately, they're going to get rinsed with cold water before filling anyway (less foaming), so it's no big deal.
  10. claaark13

    claaark13 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    That doesn't leave any streaks? I don't have a means to putting them upside down on a rack, but I've thought about getting one. My concern was that it would leave some sort of streaking on the glassware.

    We are such nerds. Like a couple streaks is going to make my Zombie Dust or Chocolate Rain taste different.
    Rollzroyce21 likes this.
  11. FiddlersBrew

    FiddlersBrew Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2011 New Jersey

    Detergent and other soaps usually leave some extra oils on the glass which may effect head retention. Is this noticeable? Not so much; but occasionally it can be. For my glasses I usually soak them in water for a little bit and then sprinkle salt around the inside of the glass and rub that around with my fingers. You'll notice that when you wet the glass and sprinkle salt, if the salt doesn't stick to the glass you have some unwanted residue.

    Necessary? No, but it leaves my glasses squeaky clean and makes for an excellent pour every time.
  12. ohiobeer29

    ohiobeer29 Defender (680) Feb 2, 2013 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    hot water soap rinse then dry takes a few minutes but worth it gotta have good glassware hygiene
    psuKinger likes this.
  13. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (400) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Standard hand wash here. Normal dish soap and sponge. I do wash the glasses first, and always rinse the sponge well after washing everything and before starting. Rinse well and dry upside down on a kitchen towel. I have no complaints with taste, head retention or anything else.
  14. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I soak any glasses that have beer stains (avoid any extra scrubbing). I use either a mild, unscented detergent or a 50/50 water/white vinegar mixture. I wash with as hot of tap water as my hands can stand, I use a no-scratch sponge to clean the interior and exterior of the glass. I will do an initial rinse in the hot water, but I always do a finishing rinse in cold water (cold water has less dissolved minerals) for a streak free shine every time!
  15. queens1130

    queens1130 Initiate (109) Nov 21, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    I fill the glass with hot water & a drop of Dawn (mild detergent), let soak a little bit. Use a microfiber sponge to clean the glass inside & out. Rinse thoroughly with mild to warm to last cold water. Used to let air dry upside down on a towel, now I think I need to upgrade to microfiber towels since the house's water is is abundant with minerals...
  16. tehzachatak

    tehzachatak Initiate (0) Sep 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    I disagree with this, and frankly, surprised nobody else has called this out. Dishwashers degrade the surface of the glass, scratch the glasses, cause scale to build up, etc. - handwashing is really the only way to go. But yeah, no issues with using detergent as long as you get it all off before you drink out of it.

    I never dry my glasses any way other than air drying - have yet to find a cloth that doesn't leave ANY lint whatsoever, even the supposed lint free ones - guess I could try microfiber. Air drying is the only way I've ever been able to pour a beer into a dry glass (which I don't do anyway - I rinse beforehand) and not get at least a little bit of streaking/spotting.
  17. zero_signal

    zero_signal Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I like using "BeerClean" Glass cleaner. Then Rinse in HOT water so they air dry quickly.
  18. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (3,333) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    The goal of a clean glass is to visually represent the beer as best as possible, including allowing it to lace (or not, as the case may be) the way it should - again, this is all for visual appeal; also, you don't want any tastes or odors present in the glass that would impinge on the beer's own tastes and aromas.

    I try to keep my glasses clean for visual purposes...
    Here are some random pics so you can see what I'm talking about:
    Applies to Scotch, too... :wink:
    ..and you'll just have to trust me that I don't get any odors or tastes other than those intended by the brewers.

    If you think my glassware looks appropriately clean...

    This is my practice:
    1. Hot (like, "ouch-hot") water with a drop of Dawn, using my fingers on the rim till it squeaks - beer glasses never went in the dishwasher simply because I didn't want to risk chipping/cracking - I never really thought about the effects of the (harsh?) detergents on them
    2. Air dry upside down on a drain-board rack
    3. Towel-off with whatever's available to remove any water-spotting - honestly, I use my t-shirt or whatever dish-towel's hanging on the fridge door - I'd never thought to use special micro-fiber products or whatever
    ...and that's it.

    Geefiasco, ehammond1 and queens1130 like this.
  19. HattedClassic

    HattedClassic Poo-Bah (2,119) Nov 23, 2009 Virginia

    Dishwashing will also get rid of the really cool logo on your glass and turn it into a stale and boring generic beer glass over time. Regarding microfiber clothes, I've had mixed success with a proper cleaning most of the time. My guess is that one probably has to clean the cloth after a certain number of washes and store it properly.
  20. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Yeah, but old glassware is like wearing old clothes. Yes they're faded and maybe not in as good of shape as the new stuff, but I'd rather drink out of these glasses than most of the suggested bev glasses that most styles insist on.
  21. creepinjeeper

    creepinjeeper Champion (840) Nov 8, 2012 Missouri
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    These tips have all been great. My equal concern is the gold logos and rim on my teku and anniversary snifter.
  22. psuKinger

    psuKinger Devotee (487) Feb 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    This is what I do.

    I hand-wash with straight-hot water and Dawn. But the most important step is to rinse-rinse-rinse.

    I then air-dry upside down on a special pad my wife got me to dry glass on... dunno what it's called, but it's basically just a fancy dish-towel.
  23. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,095) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I use a baby bottle brush that is designated specifically for my beer glasses (no grease or food particles from the sponge or formula residue from sharing the bottle brush with the baby - he has his own). A drop of Walmart liquid dish soap that rinses clean and leaves no smells, hot water, rinse well, then dry upside down on a baby bottle rack. Store upside down on my glassware shelf. Never have any head issues or added aroma problems.
  24. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,216) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    Thanks for the advice - but why do you let your baby drink beer?
  25. darky

    darky Aspirant (212) Apr 16, 2010 South Dakota

  26. CasanovaCummins

    CasanovaCummins Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2012 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    Disagree with any detergent at all. Riedel themselves advise against it. It leaves a film and chemicals behind. Just use hot water, elbow grease, and a polishing cloth.
    Geefiasco and Gushue3 like this.
  27. Ish1

    Ish1 Devotee (466) Feb 25, 2010 Minnesota
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Can you provide a link. Here is what I found:
    • All RIEDEL glasses are dishwasher safe!
    • Riedel exclusively recommends Miele dishwashers; laboratory testing has shown that Riedel glasses have an estimated lifespan of 1,500 washing cycles when washed properly in a Miele dishwasher. This is the statistical equivalent of the average number of washes during a 20 year timeframe.
    • To avoid scratches: Avoid glass contact with other glass or metal. If available use a stemware rack.
    • To avoid stains: Use soft water (low mineral content).
    • To remove stains: Use white vinegar.
    • If washing by hand, wash the glass under warm water (use detergent and rinse the glass carefully).
    • Wash cleaning towels at boiling temperature (to kill bacteria) with odorless soap.
    • Never use linen softener, when rinsing your cleaning towels (to avoid grease film on surface).
    • To polish the glass: Use two towels, never hold the glass by the base to polish the bowl as the stem could snap due to mishandling.
    • Avoid storing glasses in kitchen cabinets next to items with a strong odor, as this can taint the glass and have an effect on the wines aroma.
  28. CasanovaCummins

    CasanovaCummins Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2012 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    I see. So instead of a little effort, I can buy an expensive dishwasher.

    You can buy a lot of Riedel for the price of a dishwasher. And a lot of beer to go in it!

    My advice came from a Riedel rep and was mostly concerning glassware for Scotch. He advised hand washing as the very best method. I guess the dishwashing was a concession to those who don't want to hand wash. I should read the side of my Riedel boxes for the complete list! And I agree with all the rest of the advice.

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