I love decanting red wines. And some whites. But I have always struggled with cleaning decanters properly.
My usual technique is to was then in very hot water several times, and then leave them to drain. But they never seem to drain completely, and then some water always seems to condense in them, no matter how hot they are – it never seems to evaporate properly. And I don’t like to leave decanters with a few drops of water in the bottom when I store them.
There’s also the problem of removing red wine stains from them.
I have just discovered two solutions to these problems. The first is solved by a nifty product from Around Wine, called decanter drier crystals. These silica crystals are blue when dry, red when wet. You dry them in the microwave (or conventional oven), then suspend them in the neck of a drained, washed decanter. They absorb the moisture and the decanter dries properly. You can then recharge them in the microwave to use again.
The second problem is solved by using either rice, or BB gun pellets (made from stainless steel, and cheaply available on Ebay). These, with a bit of water, can abrade the most stubborn red wine stains from a decanter.
Both these solutions make me more willing to use decanters for all the wines I serve. A good thing.