How to Clean a Decanter

Written by keith dooley
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How to Clean a Decanter
Clean a decanter to remove stains and residue. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Decanters are commonly used to store a variety of liquids, including wine. Wine can leave a residue or even a slight stain on the glass that requires more than a simple washing process. Decanters are typically designed with a bulb-shaped base that tapers and narrows to a smaller neck. Cleaning a decanter can present some challenges that can be overcome with simple cleaning tricks at home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Decanter
  • Dish detergent
  • Water
  • Rice
  • Bottle brush
  • White vinegar
  • Denture tablets
  • Baking soda
  • Small ball bearings
  • Salt
  • Crushed ice

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  1. 1

    Rinse the decanter with plain water to remove any remaining liquid. Pour water into the decanter and swish it around. Pour out the water.

  2. 2

    Place several drops of dish detergent in the decanter. Fill the decanter one-quarter full with water along with one-eighth cup of uncooked rice.

  3. 3

    Cover the top of the decanter with your hand and shake. Swish and shake the decanter to create a soapy solution and begin scrubbing the inside of the decanter with the rice as you swish.

  4. 4

    Allow the solution to sit in the decanter for a day or so. Periodically swish the decanter to scrub the inside with the rice.

  5. 5

    Pour out the soapy solution and rice. Scrub the inside neck of the decanter with a bottle brush, water and a small amount of detergent. Thoroughly rinse the decanter, inside and out, with running water until clean.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider using white vinegar, baking soda or even denture-cleaning tablets instead of dish detergent for mixing with water to clean the decanter.
  • Also consider using small ball bearings or salt to replace the rice as a scrubber.
  • Crushed ice also can be used. However, do not use the ice in conjunction with water because this will cause it to melt more rapidly.

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