The most common myth that many people labour under is that stemmed glassware needs to be washed by hand. Many people believe that dishwashers are actually harsh on their glasses, and that the glasses turn cloudy with regular washing. This idea comes from an era when dishwashers were not the sophisticated contraptions they are today. Besides, there were no good cleaning products like Finish Quantum to wash the glasses properly. But it cannot be denied that there are different ways of cleaning different stemmed glassware and delicate glasses, owing to their different make, shape, sizes and thickness. Also, the way you position and stack the glasses will minimise damage and breakage.
We’ve compiled a simple guide for you to understand why different glasses need different care methods. There are tips on how to ensure that you wash your glasses properly, so read on.
Wine glasses are of two types, based on the colour of the wine they hold. Red wine glasses have a broad and round base and a short stem. In contrast, white wine glasses have a longer body and a narrower stem. The different shapes are created because red wine needs more space to circulate and react with the air, so that its complex flavours are gently revealed with each sip. Whereas, a white wine glass inhibits oxidisation, so that its subtle flavour is contained.
As with all drinking glasses, it is important to load wine glasses onto the top rack of your dishwasher, away from the dishes. To accommodate the white wine glasses, it may be necessary to lower the rack to make space for their longer stems, a feature available on many modern dishwashers. It is also important to ensure they do not touch each other, as this could cause them to crack as they knock together in the machine.
The Martini glass was made in the early 20th century, though it is often confused with the cocktail glass. They were designed much like white wine glasses to control oxidisation. The conical shape and obtuse profile of the bowl gives the gin maximum exposure to air, and this makes the flavours open up and become discernible to the palate. Another theory goes that the glasses were devised during the times of Prohibition, so that if a speakeasy was raided, a slight flick of the wrist disposed of any incriminating liquids from the glass.
Martini or cocktail glasses need to be washed carefully, since they have an even longer and more delicate stem than their wine counterparts. Lower the top rack to create more space, and make sure they do not touch each other while being washed.
The short stem of the brandy glass combined with a large surface area means that the alcohol in it evaporates more quickly. This makes the sides of the drink ‘curve up’, thus filling the bowl with the brandy’s aroma and giving the drinker a full blast of the flavour.
Because of their design, they can be washed more like red wine glasses. There’s no need to lower the top rack, but their low centre of gravity makes them prone to sliding. Give them sufficient space so that don’t knock against other glasses in the dishwasher.
Crystal glass was originally made by replacing the calcium content of glass with lead, and a piece has been found dating from 1400BC.
When it comes to crystal glasses, it is best to check with the specific manufacturers about washing instructions. Different manufactures recommend different dishwasher specifications for their glasses. Some may specify that their glasses are too thin for a dishwasher, so you will have to wash them by hand. Others mention that the glasses are dishwasher safe on a cycle that uses temperature below 150 Degrees. Use a mild detergent when washing crystal; Dartington Crystal and Villeroy & Boch both recommend Finish detergent for dishwasher use.
So now you know how different glasses are made and how to clean them. It is time to invite family and friends over for an evening of drinks and conversation.