How to clean wine glasses with a perfect streak-free finish

Cleaning your wine glasses is the perfect excuse for some sauvignon blanc, right?

Wine glasses repeated on light pink background
(Image credit: Future)

If you enjoy a good glass of vino, you're going to need to know how to clean wine glasses. Whether you’re hosting a group of friends, sipping some vino with your partner, or enjoying a drink on your own, it’s important to know how to clean wine glasses thoroughly. 

Because wine glasses are typically made of clear glass, they are prone to showing every little spot or watermark that’s left behind. They can also get quite dusty if left out on countertops, open shelving, or on a bar cart, so even when they aren’t in use, it’s helpful to know how to give them a good clean. 

Here, we’re walking you through exactly how to clean and polish your wine glasses with the best cleaning supplies. Sparkly glassware here you come.  

Good to know

Time: 3-10 minutes  

Difficulty: Easy

Helpful hints: Use clear dish soap to avoid cloudiness in your glassware. 

Here's what you'll need

How to clean wine glasses

 Step 1: Rinse the wine glass 

Whether you have any leftover wine in your glass or not (we aren’t judging), give it a quick rinse with water to remove any residue.  

Step 2: Fill your sink with hot water and soap 

For the best possible clean, we recommend filling your sink with hot water and clear dish soap so you can soak, scrub, and thoroughly clean your glasses. One thing to keep in mind if choosing this route: make sure your kitchen sink is clean before you wash glassware in it. A dirty sink doesn’t exactly make the best place to disinfect or clean dishes.

Don’t have that much time or energy? You can also wash each glass individually by placing a small drop of soap inside each glass (using too much soap will make it difficult to rinse out, so be careful with how much you use).

Step 3: Gently scrub each wine glass

Regardless of which cleaning method you choose, use a dishcloth or bottle brush to gently scrub hard-to-reach places. Champagne flutes can be particularly challenging to clean because they have a small opening, but that’s when a bottle brush comes in handy.

Tip: Wear dishwashing gloves while scrubbing your wine glasses. This will allow you to use warmer water without harming your skin.  

Step 4: Rinse and re-rinse 

Leftover soap residue will give your glassware a streaky and unfinished look, which is why it’s so important to rinse glasses out well. Rinsing with cold water after using hot water to clean your glasses can help eliminate the streaky look. Rinse and re-rinse as many times as necessary. 

Step 5: Dry with a cotton dish towel 

Make sure to dry your wine glasses completely with a cotton dish towel. If you don’t dry them well, you’ll end up with water spots along the glass. 

 Step 6: Polish with a coffee filter (optional)

If there are any remaining spots when you hold your wine glasses up to a light, it will be helpful to take an extra step and polish them. Use a coffee filter to carefully polish and buff your glasses, on both the inside and outside. This will leave your glasses shiny and clear. 

Tip: You can order large coffee filters to double the use and polish multiple glasses with just one filter. 


How do you clear cloudy wine glasses?

It can be frustrating to have cloudy wine glasses because they look dirty even though they really might not be. To get rid of the cloudy look, soak your wine glasses in vinegar before washing and rinsing them with hot water and clear dish soap.

Are wine glasses dishwasher safe?

Most wine glasses are dishwasher safe, however, if you have glassware that is particularly thin or delicate, hand washing is best. It’s also smart to hand wash any glasses that have sentimental or monetary value, as running them through a dishwasher could potentially cause damage.  

While doing the dishes isn't exactly exciting, we guarantee the satisfaction of sparkling wine glasses will be worth it. To make the chore a little more interesting, you can always pick up some dishwashing tools to get if you hate doing the dishes including fun sponges and cute brushes.

Kara Thompson

About me: 

Kara Thompson is a Denver-based journalist with over five years of experience writing lifestyle content. She has written for a variety of publications, including,,, and Parents, where she covered all things home, food, fashion, travel, and holidays. During her time on staff at Parents, Kara launched her own home decor and organization column named Save My Space. In 2022, she left her full-time job as an editor and started her own writing, editing, and social media firm, Kara Thompson and Co.

Tennis, New York City, bourbon cocktails, and her sister's German Shepherd are a few of her favorite things.