champagne glass

How to Care for Champagne Glasses

In this section we discuss storage, serving preparation, and washing good champagne glasses.


Don’t store your fine champagne glasses upside down on a flat surface for long periods of time. This puts added strain on the rim and also traps stale air in the bowl. Racks that let the glasses hang freely upside down are best for long term storage. Go to our How to Store Champagne web page.

Before Serving Champagne

For the finest service, steam your champagne glasses before use and polish them with a lint free polishing cloth. Set them upside down in a chafing dish with a small amount of hot water and a shallow perforated pan inside or use a steamer that has been removed from the heat after boiling the water. Allow the steam to collect by placing a napkin or cloth over the group of glasses. This ensures that the inside and outside of the champagne glasses are impacted. Polish the entire glass, ensuring that only the polishing cloth comes in contact with the champagne glass.

Washing Champagne Glasses

There are two basic ways to wash champagne glasses: by hand or the dishwasher.

The Dishwasher
Good quality champagne glasses aren’t meant to be washed in a dishwasher for two reasons. They are fragile so they break very easily and the detergent often leaves an invisible soapy residue.

If you feel strongly about using a dishwasher (not recommended), load just the glasses by themselves (no flatware, plates, etc.) Make sure the champagne glasses are stable and don’t touch each other. Only use about half as much detergent as normal. Do not allow the champagne glasses to go through the heat dry cycle for drying as it will bake in any residual detergent. Remove the glasses as soon as the wash cycle is complete for hand drying.

Hand Wash
Many purists will religiously use only hot water with no detergent, at least triple rinsing and making sure all of the residual wine is removed.

My recommended technique is to use plain grocery store washing soda (look in the detergent section) – the cheapest you can find (it won’t have perfumes added). If you can’t find washing soda, you can substitute baking soda.

Recommended Hand Washing
After a party give yourself a break. Wait to hand wash champagne glasses the next day. A large percentage of champagne glasses are broken when they are hand washed. Remove lipstick (this may require some detergents, so rinse thoroughly), fill them with water, let them sit overnight then tackle them the next morning.

1. If you need to use detergent (lipstick is hard to remove without it), use a very mild, liquid detergent. Put one drop in each glass and use a clean sponge to cleanse the glass. Rinse the Champagne glasses several times and be sure all the soap has been removed.

2. Keep the water temperature consistent. Sudden changes in temperature can cause a champagne glass to crack.

3. If you are washing them in the sink, first put a towel or rubber mat in the bottom so that the champagne glasses won’t bump the enamel if you drop one. Wash one glass at a time rather than soaking multiple glasses together.

4. If you aren’t drying your champagne glasses right away, put warm water in the bowl of each glass and let them sit until you are ready. This keeps streaking and water spots to a minimum.

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