Once you have a home bar, you realize that it's the sheer ambience that makes your bar something more than a mere piece of furniture. And in order to make sure you can enjoy this cozy, inviting atmosphere for years to come, it's very important to keep your bar's working surface, glassware and accessories clean and well maintained.
A well-kept home bar is a great way to impress your guests and make sure they look forward to get-togethers at your home. You should decide on a cleaning and maintenance regimen for your home bar based on the material your bar is made of and the frequency of use.
Wood Home Bars
Outdoor wood bars are usually treated and UV-proofed to make sure they are durable and retain their good looks. If dust and grime have built up on an indoor or outdoor bar, try cleaning it with a soft cloth soaked in warm water, or a mild soap and water solution on a soft cloth. Once you're done, be sure to wipe the wooden surface down with a dry cloth to remove any extra moisture.
Here's an extremely useful, professional bartender tip: If there is ever a water or alcohol spill on your wooden bar, make sure you wipe it dry immediately. Water or alcohol left standing can damage your bar's finish by causing permanent white spots.
Never place wine or alcohol glasses directly on the wooden surface. Make a habit of using coasters while entertaining your guests. This will prevent damage to your bar's surface.
Metal Home Bars
If you have an outdoor home bar, chances are it might be crafted from durable, rust-proof metals like aluminum. Designed for outdoor use, metal home bars usually sport powder-coated finishes for long-lasting looks and require minimum care and maintenance.
For normal cleaning, periodically wash the surface of the home bar with warm water and a heavy duty liquid detergent. If your bar features elaborate patterns and designs, you might require a brush to get rid of the dirt lodged in the grooves and crevices. Once you're satisfied, rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove any detergent residue.
Wicker Home Bars
Wicker home bars are generally create a casual, fun atmosphere in your yard. To clean a wicker bar, periodically vacuum away loose dirt and clean with a solution of water and detergent on a soft sponge. Use a small brush to clean the crevices and wipe off soap suds with a clean damp sponge.
Bars with Glass Countertops
Many home bars have glass countertops which you can clean easily with paper towels and a mild alkaline solution, such as two tablespoons of ammonia to one quart of water, or commercial glass cleaners. Be extra careful that glass cleaning solutions do not come in contact with wood surrounding the glass as this can damage the wood finish.
Once you have a home bar, cleaning delicate wine or martini glasses and champagne flutes will naturally follow suit. Though cleaning delicate stemware is time-consuming, extra care needs to be taken to avoid damage and accidental breakage.
Before cleaning bar glassware, it's a good idea to make your sink safer by placing a rubber mat on the bottom of the sink and a rubber guard on the faucet. Then, carefully wash the glasses one at a time using a very mild dishwashing detergent and water. Rinse the glasses in warm water and immediately dry each glass by hand using a soft, dry dish towel.
If you are facing difficulty cleaning red wine glasses, here is a professional bartender's secret: Try adding a drop of bleach to hot water and swirl the solution around the glass. This should remove any red wine residue and leave your glass sparkling clean.