How often and how should you care for your wine cellar?
Now that you have purchased an ideal and aesthetically pleasing wine cellar from Bodega living for your cherished wine bottles, how do you take good care of it as you would have of your wines?
Our wine cellars may or may not be an equipment that is frequently used, depending on our usage. Unlike refrigerators, we do not store items that has strong odors and with a high tendency to rot easily. Regardless of that, any appliance or furniture in our homes still require basic maintenance.
We know that wine cellars have to be kept at 70% humidity to prevent the cork from drying out, and having this coupled with darkness and warmth, it is almost the perfect conditions for mold to multiply.
Therefore we suggest monthly checks on the condition of the wine cellar and cleaning to be done quarterly. If the wine cellar is used for storing everyday wines and the door is opened frequently, it is recommended to check the level of humidity biweekly, so that it does not steer out of the recommended range. Having too high a humidity will encourage the growth of mold, besides having it damping the cork too much.
Before we move into the cleaning steps, we will have to remove the wine bottles from the cellar. It is thus best to have the wine cellar cleaned as fast as possible, and having it maintained regularly will reduce the time spent each time on cleaning and will avoid having the wines out of the cellar for too long a time.
Wine bottles that are removed from the wine cellars should be place in somewhere cool and dark. Areas that are near heat such as the stove and laundry machines, in direct sunlight and with temperatures that fluctuate should be avoided at all costs. These conditions are the total opposite of that in the wine cellars and might deteriorate the quality of your wines. It is also ideal to have these bottles lay horizontally like in the wine cellar.
The wine cellar should be switched off before cleaning so that the opened door will not send the compressor working doubly hard to keep it cool. This will also save your electricity and reduce the wear and tear on the compressor.
This is a simple cleaning activity and would not require you to purchase any special cleaning agents or equipment. A brush for dusting, vacuum cleaner, a damp rack and a mild cleaning detergent are sufficient. We do not want to use strong cleaning agents as it will corrode the metal parts and the strong smell would penetrate the wooden racks of the wine cellar. This might linger and enter your corks when you return the wines into the cellar. For safer options, go for vinegar and baking soda. You may also like to include a soft-bristled toothbrush for the smaller and more intricate corners of the wine cellar.
Simple dusting of the exterior would suffice to keep it in its pristine condition. Should there be any stains, using a damp rag and a little household cleaning soap to wipe it down should do the job.
The sealing strip around the door should not be overlooked. Use clean water and a cloth to wipe it down regularly. Always ensure that the seal is not compromised lest the allows the condition inside the wine cellar to drop of its optimal.
At the back of the wine cellar where the mechanical parts and wires are, a vacuum cleaner can be used for the efficient cleaning. Just take caution that the suction is not so strong that it damages the wires and turn any parts loose.
Dust and brush off any particles there are inside the wine cellar. Afterwhich, use a damp cloth and your preferred detergent or vinegar and baking soda to clean the walls of the insides.
As the racks of most wine cellars are wooden, heavy cleaning liquids such as bleach and ammonia, and even vinegar, should not be used at all costs. The wood will absorb the smell. Opt for baking soda and warm water to clean the racks instead.
Look for mold as they may grow on the wooden racks and even your glass bottles. While mold on the glass bottles will not damage the wine, it is necessary to inhibit the growth to extend the lifespan of your wine cellar. After all, who would like to open a wine cellar with patches of mold? Use a brush or a damp rag to gently wipe down the bottles so that the labels are not ruined in the process.
For an extra effort, you could polish the wooden shelves to give it that little more sparkle. Apply a small amount of wood polisher to a clean cloth or rag and rub it into the wood surface in a circular motion. Let the wood air dry before replacing the bottles.
Now that you are completely satisfied with the cleanliness of your wine cellar, always ensure that it is completely dry inside before putting back your wine bottles and turning the wine cellar back on.
Maintaining your wine cellar is not the worst chore, and performing it will increase the effectiveness and lifespan of it. This would even preserve your wine in tip top quality!
Your wines deserve a proper storage and care, so does the wine cellar stores your wine. Doesn’t this sound like treating people how you want to be treated?
Have a glass of wine now, Cheers!