You sailed for Christmas lunch. Everyone ate and drank well. Peace and harmony reign. So now it’s time to tackle the dishes. Where is it?
Certainly, it is sobering to face a pile of filthy plates and glassware the size of Kosciuszko. But if you still experience an alcohol glint after lunch, experts suggest that you postpone treating the dirt – at least when it comes to taking care of those precious stemware.
The dishwasher dilemma
Ashley Iredale is a white goods specialist with consumer advocacy group Choice and a wine fan. As part of his work, he studies the operation of dishwashers and detergents. So you can expect him be a dishwasher pro, but no: not for wine glassware.
“Modern dishwashers do a great job of washing stemware. Some models even have special cup holders. But personally, I recommend against using them, ”he says.
“Wine glasses are fragile and require gentle handling. If you put them in a dishwasher yourself after a few drinks, there is a risk of an accident, ”he says. “You not only lose your wine glass, but you have a dishwasher full of broken glass.”
Repeated dishwashing has implications for the life of some stemware – glassware brand Riedel, for example, claims its products can last up to 1,500 washes in a Miele.
Over time, the detergent itself in the dishwasher can also produce “cloudy discolorationAdds Iredale. “It’s not a lamination. It’s glass damage on a microscopic level.
Ian Trinkle is a former group sommelier at Brisbane’s busy Howard Smith Wharves and a former head sommelier at the closed-end gourmet restaurant Aria Brisbane. Recently, Trinkle opened a wine shop in the northeast of the city, but he has hand washed and polished hundreds of expensive wine glasses during his career.
Unlike Iredale, he appreciates the ease that a dishwasher brings to a boring chore. “I put all my glasses in the dishwasher – most are very safe these days and you don’t accumulate detergent. “
“It’s a lot easier to break glasses when you’re making them by hand because you have to go straight into the bowl to clean them,” he says.
Avoid washing problems
Don’t know which method is the best? This is because there is no one answer.
Many high-end glassmakers now recommend using a dishwasher – even for thin stemmed wine glasses – so if you don’t want to hand wash, it’s worth paying attention to cleaning instructions when cleaning. buying glassware first.
If you are using a dishwasher, Iredale suggests ignoring advice from the internet about disposing of rinse aid and soap. Choice’s lab tests have shown that it’s best to use both, especially rinse aid. “The rinse aid contains surfactants that reduce the viscosity of water, which means it spreads out rather than beads, which is why it helps prevent stains. “
Yet the handwashing team firmly remains. Her pro tip for successful washing after intensive Christmas-style use? Leave it until the next morning.
Before you go for a nap, Iredale suggests diluting any wine residue in glasses with water, which will make cleanup easier. Then, the next day, use warm soapy water to wash by hand, using a clean sponge and good quality dish soap, as this method extends the life of your glass.
And if your wine glasses have severe red wine stains, use a denture cleaner. It is designed to displace tannins and is also suitable for tea cups.
After washing by hand, says Iredale, simply air dry and polish any streaks or stains with a soft, dry cloth. Do not polish the base and the bowl at the same time when polishing by hand, and never hold a wine glass by the stem. Also, do not use a twisting motion – the tension could cause the rod to snap.
Another way to ease tensions on the subject? Just reduce the number of glasses you use.
Over the past decade, so-called all-purpose or universal glasses – medium sized glasses that can hold all types of wine without sacrificing function – have become popular with wine connoisseurs. Trinkle now uses the same style of glass for everything from Pinot Noir to Riesling – and even Champagne.
But what about the environment – which washing method does the least damage here? Science is not cut and dried.
Dr Simon Lockrey is Associate Professor of Sustainable Design and Innovation at RMIT University Melbourne. He studied the impact of hand washing and dishwashing reusable coffee cups. He says marketers and the media prefer definitive answers from life cycle studies, but he embraces the ambiguities.
There are many variables to consider – different models of dishwashers and also styles of hand washing – from what he calls “the one-man rinse” (only 150 milliliters of water and no detergent) to a sink. full of hot soapy water.
“Simply put, it depends on the energy source you are using, how efficient that energy source is in heating the water, and how efficient the method of using the water is.”
Human behavior is the key. If you have a 20 liter sink and only wash 20 items, that’s one liter per item. If you are using a fully stacked dishwasher that is super efficient and reuses water, it is likely to have less of an impact.
Hack your dishwasher
If you’ve ditched the dishwasher completely because you can’t fit tall wine glasses into your top rack, this TikTok hack is a Christmas present for you.
And if you need more tips on how to maximize your next dishwasher load, Iredale made dishwashers do amazing things at Choice. He is even whipped a snack after the dishes, served on plates washed in the same cycle, of course.
“We wanted people to better understand how their dishwasher works – and the boss was away,” says Iredale with a laugh.
“In reality, however, you don’t get a Michelin-starred meal with this method.”