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How to Clean Wine Glasses with Hand-Painted Holiday Art

Everyone wants that perfect holiday table setting that feels like a Christmas with the Waltons, the Huxtables, the Bankses, the Tanners, or any other TV family holiday get-together you grew up watching (minus the high jinks). Among that magazine-ready place setting are sparkling wine glasses with hand-painted holiday-themed art.  

It’s estimated that 7.9 billion people worldwide are wine drinkers, meaning many wine glasses are purchased and used annually. Especially during Christmas, these delicate items may be family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation or purchased at a local home décor store. Either way, we can help you preserve your hand-painted wine glasses and learn the best care instructions for continued upkeep.  

4 Tips to Care for Hand-Painted Wine Glasses 

1. Wash with Care 

One of the many mistakes people make when caring for wine glasses with hand-painted art is washing them with abandon or throwing them in the dishwasher because of convenience. It’s vital to be gentle when washing holiday-themed wine glasses to avoid surface damage and paint wear.  

Follow these wine glass care instructions to hand-wash: 

  • Don’t hold the wine glass by the stem, as that’s the most fragile part. 

  • Use lukewarm or cold water and mild dish soap or white vinegar to wash your wine glass, and don’t let it soak in the water. 

  • Use a sponge attached to a handle or microfiber cloth to gently wash the inside and outside of the glass.  

  • Let the glass air dry to reduce handling as much as possible.  

We understand dishwashers are time-savers and help you knock out the dishes faster than handwashing. So, if you’re planning to use the dishwasher to disinfect wine glasses with hand-painted art, consider these tips: 

  • Don’t make dishwasher washing a habit with hand-painted wine glasses.  

  • Place wine glasses on the bottom rack at least 2-3 inches apart, so they don’t touch. 

  • Set the dishwasher to a delicate wash cycle for an hour (at most) and skip the heating feature. 

  • Once the cycle ends, immediately take out the glasses and dap them with a dry cloth to remove excess water.  

  • Let the glasses air dry fully before using them. 

Remember, if your art is fairly new or not sealed, you shouldn’t use the dishwasher until you’re certain the paint can withstand a dishwashing cycle.  

2. Use Gentle Cleaning Products 

Dish soap is a cleaning product we use regularly, but we’re not a fan when washing hand-painted wine glasses. Normal dish soap can cause art to rub off, and other traditional cleaners could be abrasive and cause irreparable damage to the glass.  

We recommend using the following: 

Ensure that the cleaning products you use don’t contain alcohol or acetone, as they can remove acrylic-based paints. Additionally, you’ll want to avoid hot water and bleach if your hand-painted wine glass is decorated with water-based paint.  

3. Avoid Soaking in Water 

Typically, any stains will likely be from wine residue inside the glass, so soaking the entire glass is unnecessary. It may also weaken the paint enamel, causing it to rub off. To remove any stubborn stains on the inside or outside of your glass, simply use white vinegar on a cloth and spot clean. You’ll want to avoid submerging your glass as much as possible to protect the beautiful holiday-themed art on the glass’s exterior.  

4. Cure the Artwork 

Sometimes, it’s not enough to avoid certain products or washing methods. You have to do everything possible to preserve your hand-painted wine glasses, including sealing them or curing them to make potential damage a non-issue. Most store-bought wine glasses will have already completed this step for you, so you won’t have to worry about it. However, DIY art on wine glasses may require curing before use.  

You can cure hand-painted wine glasses in the oven or use a sealer like Mod Podge. Most DIY-painted glass won’t need oven curing unless the paint specifically requires it. Otherwise, Mod Podge or a similar sealer will work perfectly for acrylic-based paint.  

To cure your hand-painted wine glasses, follow these instructions: 

  • Hand wash your glass first with mild dish soap and a sponge. 

  • Protect the rim and inside of the glass by covering it with plastic wrap and using painter’s tape to tack down the plastic wrap.  

  • Use the super high-shine version of Mod Podge on your wine glass. Normally, this will come in a spray can, saving you time. 

  • Use rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove oil, dirt, and any fingerprints near the art before sealing it. 

  • Go to a well-ventilated area or outside to spray the sealer onto the wine glass.  

  • Turn the glass over so that it’s standing on the rim, and you can stand far enough away to add a light coat of sealer without breathing it in. 

  • Place the glass 10-12 inches away from the can as you lightly spray the sealer on the outside of the glass. 

  • Let the sealer dry for 24 hours before removing the tape and plastic wrap.  

Merry Maids® Can Help You Prepare for Any Holiday! 

Now that you have the tips and tricks to preserve and clean your hand-painted wine glasses for your next holiday dinner, let’s focus on the setting. Is your home ready to host a large, lavish Thanksgiving or Christmas party? If you’re unsure, contact our cleaning professionals. We’ll provide you with an estimate for various cleaning services, including green cleaning, holiday cleaning, detailed cleaning, and more! 

Call (888) 490-4227 to request your free estimate today!