Decanters for wine and spirits are decorative vessels for storing and serving a wide variety of beverages.
Wine can be permitted time to ‘breath’ before serving, and a leaded crystal decanter is far more stately than a Jim Beam or Jack Daniels bottle. Often the decorative crystal or glass tops do not seal completely, and when used for alcoholic beverages, the alcohol can evaporate and leave stains, or even a hazy or cloudy appearance.
The first step is to place a thick towel in the bottom of the sink, as a sharp blow on a corner or edge might crack or chip the decanter. Using warm water and soap fill the decanter and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to loosen any residue. A bottle brush will allow you to gently scrub the bottom to loosen up tough stains. Rinse the decanter thoroughly, as any remaining soap can taint the taste of future contents. The decanter may look clean, and clear when wet, however the hazing or water stains, similar to a hard water deposits, may only be evident after the inside is dry. Allowing a mild acid, such as white vinegar to sit in the decanter, again over night, usually will remove this film. Some people use rice, rock salt, or baking powder to act as a bit of an abrasive that will aid in the removal of these stains as it is shaken or swirled around in the vinegar solution. If the vinegar is not acidic enough to remove the film, a mild commercial acid such as CLR can be employed. Limit the time that the CLR remains in the decanter, and give it a quick wash with regular dish detergent and water, ensuring a thorough rinse before drying the inside.
Some decanters have very narrow necks. Roll up a good quality paper towel and slide it inside the decanter. (A cheap paper towel might fall apart or leave lint inside) Spin it around to unroll it inside, being careful not to allow the paper towel to fall inside completely! Remove the paper towel and let the decanter sit out overnight to dry completely, then fill it up with your favorite beverage to be displayed and served in style!