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Ask Dr. Vinny

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

We have plastic glasses, stemmed and stemless, we use to be safe when drinking wine around our spa. The stemless glasses are lighter and have taken on a brown discoloration that our dishwasher doesn't remove. This doesn't impact taste, but the appearance is undesirable. Can you suggest a way to remove the discoloration?

—Charlie M., Houston

Dear Charlie,

That’s a tough one because the most efficient way to get rid of wine stains is to put in a little elbow grease and scrub. But if you scrub plastic you run the risk of scratching it, which makes it more susceptible to staining.

I’d start by soaking the wineglasses in soapy water for a while and then trying to clean them by hand. Then there are a few other non-abrasive methods to try—soaking in a solution of vinegar and water, rubbing alcohol (which might cloud the plastic, so be careful) and club soda. You can try to make a paste of baking soda and water or salt and water, which might be enough abrasion for cleaning the stain without scratching your glasses.

Finally, I’ve had some luck with denture cleaners in my decanters lately, and that might work here too. Just make sure to rinse well afterward, since most denture cleaners leave a minty aftertaste.

—Dr. Vinny

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