The Way You Store Cups and Glasses (Almost) Never Matters, Actually

The Way You Store Cups and Glasses (Almost) Never Matters, Actually

You’ve just washed some glasses, and you’re putting them away in the cabinet. How do you set them down — upside down or right side up? While this is the subject of much debate, there’s a simple series of questions that will help you find the right answer. (And yes, you need to ask, because the only universal answer is it depends.)

Are these glasses fancy or delicate?

If you’ve got wine glasses, champagne flutes, heirloom stuff, or anything with delicate rims, store them right-side-up. Won’t they get dusty inside? Yes, they might, but that’s the least of your concerns. The danger in storing them upside down is that you might chip the rims. Store them right side up, and rinse them before use if they’ve been in the closet since your last fancy party.

(If this bothers you, you can always get one of those wine glass holders that lets you hang them upside-down. But they will still get dusty on the outside.)

The questions that follow are for glasses that are not fancy or delicate.

Do you sometimes put them away wet?

Look, my dishwasher is not perfect about actually drying the dishes (with or without the towel hack) and I can’t promise that my hand washing is much better. If there is a bit of dampness on the inside of the glass, I am not going to take the time to dry each one; I’m putting the dishes away now, moisture be damned.

In this case, it makes sense to store them upside down, so the water will have dripped out by the time you use the glasses.

Are they stored out in the open?

If your glasses are in an open area, like on open shelving or a bar cart, upside down is also the better option. There’s a lot more dust floating around out there, plus you never know when something is going to splash in the general direction of your dishes.

Are they stored in a cabinet?

Here’s the real shocker: if your glasses live in a cabinet, and their rims are sturdy enough for upside-down storage, it doesn’t freaking matter.

Arguably storing them upside down increases the chances of getting some dust or crumbs on the rim. Well, if that’s your problem, clean the dang cabinets sometimes, you animal! Or at least get one of those drawer liner mats (which can also help to cushion the edge).

In the other corner, we have the argument that storing them right side up allows dust to fall into the glass. Once again, this should not be an issue: they are in a cabinet, the entire purpose of which is to keep most dust and splashes out. Yes, eventually some dust might make its way in, especially if you open the cabinet often, but refer to the earlier advice that if you’re going to go a long time between uses of a particular glass, it’s worth taking a look inside and doing a quick rinse before using the glass. In ordinary everyday use, this won’t be an issue.

And if there’s a disagreement among members of the household, may I suggest the rule that my husband and I use? Whoever cares more gets to have it their way. Nobody is going to poison themselves with the five specks of dust that make their way onto the rim or into the hollow of the glass. You will survive. I promise.


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