How To Clean A Wine Decanter With Rice – And it WORKS!

how to clean a decanter with rice

Cleaning a wine decanter can be such a nightmare. I’ve tried so many products and purported hacks that simply don’t work, that I’ve given up. I just stick to my same 2 go to products that have worked for me each time. And they are the handy decanter cleaning brush as well as the decanter cleaning balls.

So you can imagine my surprise, when I was at a dinner party, and the host rinsed his decanter and began cleaning it with rice. I almost screamed. I was in for a treat because my friend was going to show me how to clean a wine decanter with rice that very night. Step by step….And it works!!!!

what are you doing?

I shrieked.

I’m cleaning my decanter with rice.

Almost like it was so normal.

As always, keen to show off useful and functional wine accessries that I own, I said

Don’t you have a decanter cleaning brush or the balls

To which he just laughed and said

Just watch and learn.

Cleaning Your Wine Decanter With Just Rice

As he swirled the decanter around with the rice inside, I could see some of the red wine stains being removed from the underneath of curves within the decanter. I was astonished. The more he kept doing it, the more I was astonished.

The rice acted much like the decanter balls; their rough surface would take away the wine stains with ease.

I couldn’t help myself. The next time I used my wine decanter at home, I needed to try this technique. Would it work for me? At my next dinner, I decided to put this hack to the test.

After a great bottle of my Pontet Canet 1996, and rave reviews on all the wines we served, it was time for the dishes. There were simply glasses everywhere. Champagne flutes, wine glasses, water glasses, just glasses everywhere. All I cared about though was getting my decanter clean.

I was keeping my guests waiting for the port, sweet wines, whiskey and of course the cheese until myself and Mrs 12×75 could get on top of all this washing up. It wasn’t long before all that was left was just a few decanters.

I followed the below steps, added the rice and swirled away. I quickly rinsed my decanters and left them up to dry. I could see that all the stains were out but I didn’t want to get too excited until the decanters were completely dry of all water marks.

So, if you don’t have a decanter cleaning brush handy, or those all important decanter balls, don’t worry. Just follow the steps below and you’ll have your decanter ‘showroom shiny’ in no time. And remember, if you don’t even own the right decanter, you can see what we think of some of the best red wine decanters on the market today.

How To Clean A Wine Decanter With Rice in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Fill your decanter up with warm water. Give it a good swirl and empty. Repeat this step a couple more times. And then do the same with hot water.
  2. Fill up the base of your now empty decanter with some warm water.
  3. Add a little bit of washing up liquid
  4. Chuck in a cup’s worth of uncooked rice
  5. Give it a good swirl making sure the rice hits all those hard to reach places (sounds like a toothbrush ad doesn’t it?!).
  6. Empty & dry your wine decanter

To watch this being done with a few variations, check this out:

Once back to the table with all the cheese and more drinks, I couldn’t contain myself. I knew I was surrounded by wine lovers and asked them if they’d ever heard of cleaning a wine decanter with rice. As guessed, their reaction was filled with bemusement. None of them had heard of it and before even having seen the results, they just laughed at the suggestion.

I went on to explain how I had seen it at a recent dinner party and had been vying to try it myself. I went on to tell them how the 2 decanters that we had just used, were washed using the rice method. I had built it up and with all the intoxication in the room, waiting for these decanters to dry suddenly became a point of excitement.

Everyone wanted to see the results. Everyone wanted to know if this simple little hack would actually work.

After another hour of devouring some more cheese, finishing the bottle of port and beginning to attack the whiskey, I was reminded every quarter of an hour of how the wine decanter would likely still have wine stains in it. My guests just kept teasing me.

An hour later, with all the wine gone, the port gone and the cheese devoured. All that was left to do was go and get the wine decanters from the kitchen. I did. Almost holding them up like Oscars.

They were perfect. The rice did the job and everyone finally submitted. Using rice to clean a wine decanter was quite possibly one of the coolest wine hacks around. As of course is ‘how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew‘.

The beauty about using the uncooked rice is that it acts much like the decanter balls do. In fact if I’m honest, I  much prefer this way. As you swirl the decanter around, the rice starts to chip away at any remaining wine stains.

If I had my way, I’d probably exclusively use this method, however I don’t think my wife would be too chuffed if I kept wasting rice on cleaning my decanters. Sadly, I’m stuck using my handy decanter brush or the balls.

That said, it’s one hell of a cool hack to know. No doubt, I’ll be using this myself again sometime soon. It just probably won’t be at my house.

Happy decanting….