A Step By Step Guide On How To Clean Glasses For A Large Event

by Kara Richards on January 30, 2019

Do your glasses come out cloudy or spotty and not suitable for guests? We’ll show you how to make your glasses sparkling clean for your next event. We spend hours finding the perfect wine or spirit for an event, but why do so few of us pay an equal amount of attention to cleaning glassware?

Reaching blindly for the nearest wine or pint glass, serving guests, and then tossing them in the dishwasher when you finish doesn’t match the quality of the drinks you serve. Your next party or large event deserves one better: perfectly clean glasses that serve as the blank canvas the beverage you carefully chose deserves. Picking up a glass, using it, and washing it with any old soap won’t do.

A sparkling glass requires a carefully maintained process, but it’s not as tricky or laborious as you might expect. We’ll show you the steps you need to learn how to clean glasses for a large event and see them come out free of spots, clouds, and odors.

Skip the Dishwasher

Skip the Dishwasher

Cleaning up before or after a large event usually is simple with the use of one of the most beloved domestic appliances ever invented: the dishwasher.

Unfortunately, the first rule of cleaning glassware is avoiding the dishwasher like the plague, especially if it’s a domestic-grade dishwasher. Some commercial dishwashers’ feature settings that are suitable for glass deemed dishwasher-safe.

However, high-end or crystal glassware should never see the inside of a dishwasher. The only exception is automatic glass washing machines that you properly maintain and only use for washing glassware.

We know you don’t want to believe that the dishwasher isn’t your friend. But here’s why it pays to wash glasses by hand: Dishwashers run hotter water than you add to a sink. Hot water helps clean and sterilize, but the heat from the water also bakes the washing powder into the glassware. It is the heat of the dishwasher causing dishes to come out spotty and covered in powdery grime.

Because glasses get washed just before the event, grimy dishes mean you have two options:
● You need to either rerun the machine or
● You handwash them manually often at the least convenient time possible. Even worse, multiple washing cycles only make the glasses cloudier.
You can’t win.

Moreover, you should never put fine stemware in the dishwasher because you risk damaging the integrity of the glass. Dishwashers also etch the glass over time, and regular washing leaves them looking worn rather quickly.

Let’s not forget that one precariously stacked glass could cause an avalanche of broken glasses. Dishwashers are our friends for plates, cutlery, and other dishwasher-safe cooking utensils, but they are our enemy when cleaning glassware. Skip the “convenience” and save yourself the hassle and wash them by hand.

Choose an Unscented Soap, Glass Cleaning Brush, and a Basin

Glasses for delicate beverages like wine or spirits need a special touch. Taste comes as much from your nose as it does from your mouth. If guests lift a glass to their mouth and the smell of lemon- scented dish soap smacks them in the face, then their wine will taste like dish soap no matter how well you rinsed the glass.

Wash your glasses with unscented dish soap. Choose a specialist glass soap for fine stemware and ensure it’s unscented as well. While shopping, pick up a glass cleaning brush and a basin to fit inside the sink as well. A glass cleaning brush is gentler on the most delicate features of the glass while still giving them the clean they need. Glass brushes feature bristles that match the bowl shape and avoid hard edges anywhere near the part of the brush that meets the bowl or rim.

Sponges also work. Replace them on a regular basis to avoid the build-up of bacteria. A small plastic basin is suitable for washing glasses. The pan is slightly softer than your steel or ceramic sink, but it likely won’t save you if you drop it from any distance. Basins also remove the temptation to overload the tub.

In other words, basins discourage our worst tendencies to work towards efficiency and force you to slow down and work carefully. For this, a washing basin is worth its weight in gold.

Handwash Carefully

Handwashing uses a proper technique and all the materials listed above: unscented soap, glass brush, and a small basin. Use the following steps to get clean and spotless glasses every time and avoid the dreaded re-washing tasks.

Finally, hold the glassware carefully by the bowl of the glass to avoid the stem. Stems are more fragile than the bowl. Plus, it gives you a better grip on the glass as a whole to prevent any accidents.


Start by rinsing the glass under hot water. A quick rinse removes leftover sediment or wine. Add Drop of Crystal Clean Per Glass

Once rinsed, add a drop of soap to the glass itself or add it to the basin.

We recommend adding the soap directly to glasses used for a fragrant or colored liquid. It’s a good idea to add it directly to the glass if you just pulled them out of storage. You’ll need the extra help to eliminate the grime and dust.

Take your bottle brush and carefully wash the bowl of the glass while resisting the urge to hold the glass by the stem.

Rinse Again

Once clean, rinse the glass under semi-hot water a second time to remove soap suds and residue.Glass cleaners come in handy during this phase because the formula creates a minimal amount of grime or residue on the glass.


If you work in catering or in a restaurant or bar, laws and regulations encourage you to sanitize each glass before drying.

Dry with a Soft Lint Towel

Those new to hosting or party planning may justifiably believe the most crucial part of the process is washing. After all, the wash basin is where the magic happens.

In reality, your drying technique determines whether your clean glasses come out spotless or filthy. Never let your glassware stand to air dry. Air drying is where spots occur even when you use the best glassware soap on the market. Drying the glasses on a towel might also leave behind more than lint. Bacteria and odors also transfer to the glasses as they dry.

As soon as it is clean, dry it carefully with a soft, lint towel. Microfiber towels do the trick, but if you’re on a budget, try a flour sack.

Once dried, store the glasses somewhere where they aren’t subject to smoke, odors, dust, or grease. If possible, put them in a wire basket or another corrugated basket or surface to encourage air circulation and prevent the build-up.

How to Tell If Your Glass Was Truly Clean

How to Tell If Your Glass Was Truly Clean

Cleaning glasses for a large event is both art and science. To see whether you mastered either means examining the glass not after it’s dry but after you used it.

Check in on your cleaning skills by looking carefully at the glass after finishing a pint of beer. When a glass contains beer, the foam leaves residue on the side of the glass that beer specialists call “lacing.” Lacing appears in a ring of foam on the inside of a glass. A clean glass accumulates a new ring for each sip. Your goal is to see a ring for every single sip of beer taken. If the rings don’t appear or they look less like a ring and more like a blob, then your cleaning skills need improvement.

Don’t have any beer on hand? Use the water test instead. Take a glass you think is clean and flip it so that the bowl end faces down. Fill up the sink and place the glass rim side down into the water.

Remove the glass from the water in one fell swoop and examine the inside of the glass. If the glass is clean, then the water should flow out like a sheet of water. Water sticks to the inside of the glass when it finds residue.

The salt test is another fool-proof method for divining leftover reside on the glass. Sprinkle some salt into an empty glass and turn the glass upside down. You should see a uniform pattern. Bare spots show where residue still lies.

Glass Cleaning Made Easy

Your next event deserves spotless glasses that help every note of flavor in your drinks stand out. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. Dishwashers are fast but do more harm than good because they leave behind residue, odors, and speed up the wearing process of your glasses.

To clean glasses for a large event, you’ll need semi-hot water, unperfumed, sud-free soap, and enthusiasm for hand-drying your glasses. Don’t forget to test a glass or two with your own glass of beer or wine, for research purposes.

What are your tips for preparing for parties? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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