How To Build A Wine Decanter Drying Stand With Clothes Hangers and a Wood Block
Given their odd shape, and difficulty accessing the bottom part below the skinny neck, I’ve tried many creative ways to effectively dry wine decanters but I end up either with water spots or stains I can’t clean and more often than not, a broken or chipped decanter as I get creative trying to position it on the kitchen counter at an angle that allows all the water to drip out and evaporate.
I’ve broken my last two wine decanters while trying to dry them out so I began looking for a simple and inexpensive way to get the job done. Here’s what I came up with.
This is a super simple 10 minute DIY project that offers an easy way to create a decanter drying stand using materials you may already have around the house. So cost is virtually free.
What you need:
- A wooden block. A small piece of wood at least an inch or so thick on one side. I used 2X4 scraps that work perfectly, but really any piece of wood will work. It should be at least 6-8 inches on each side for stability though (more or less depending on the size and weight of the decanter
- Wire clothes hangers. The cheap ones you get from the laundromat. I used three for my decanter, but four would add more support for a larger decanter.
- Glue. This is optional but a little glue will help hold your drying stand together better.
The tools you will need are pretty basic as well.
- Wire snips, or some other way to cut the wire hanger.
- Drill with a 3/32 bit
- Tape Measure
Measure the height of your decanter from the inside, noting the measurement at the highest point. From that measurement, add two inches. In my example here, the top of the decanter was 9.5 inches so I used 11.5 (rounded up to 12 actually just to be safe)
Using wire snips, cut each of the clothes hangers along the flat side to the length you determined in Step 1.
When you’re finished, line them up and check that they are approximately all the same length. It’s not crucial they’re exact (because you can fix that later), but they should be close.
Gauge the approximate diameter of the inside of the decanter at it’s tightest spot. In the case of my decanter that you see here, I was able to put two fingers in the hole, which I was able to translate to the wood block. Decanters will vary, but you want to draw a circle in the middle of the wood black that matches the approximate diameter of the smallest part of the decanter’s neck.
Then divide the circle into three even segments, essentially marking 12, 4 and 8 if the circle was the face of a clock as you see pictured here.
Using a 3/32 drill bit (which i found worked for my hangers but it’s possible your hangers might be slightly wider or thinner, you want a tight fit here), drill each marked hole at a slight angle. Try to be consistent in your angle, and drill down no more than 3/4″ or 1 inch to allow your decanter about 1″ at the bottom when it’s on the rack.
Put a tiny drop of glue inside each hole and place your hangers in the holes. It should look like what you see here.
Now at this point you can get super fancy, and put a sponge down on the wood to catch water that might drip off the decanter. You can also use a towel and push the hangers through the towel or sponge to secure it to the top of the wood block. But when I wash my decanter, I let most of the water drip out before I put on the stand, so very little actually falls on the wood, and what water does remain after drying I just tilt the stand to the side over the sink and wipe off the excess water.
To dry your decanter, simply pull the three wires together in the middle and slide the decanter right on top of them. The pressure from the angle of the wires should hold the decanter firmly upright and in place.
There is a little wiggle room here if you need to make some adjustments. First off, make sure that your wires are all the same length when you pull them together. If they are not, you can shorten the longer ones to unify them, although most of the strength for holding up the decanter will come from the pressure of the wines pushing out versus the three wire tips balancing it.
Next you can use a pair of pliers to bend the very tops of the wires to help “catch” the bottom of the decanter. To this extent the decanter is resting on the sides of the bent wires, versus the tips. I didn’t need to do this as my decanter held very sturdy, but I was ready to make the adjustments if I needed more strength.
Lastly, play with the wires themselves. They will bend very easily, and if you’re not getting a tight enough fit to support the decanter, try bending them back to create more force, or consider adding a fourth wire if you only used three as I did here.
And that’s it. You should be off and running. I literally built this in 10 minutes, and you can do. It’s a simple DIY project that will impress your wine friends next time they come over. Plus it allows you to save some money, on a wine decanter drying stand you would buy otherwise, or on broken or chipped decanters. So use that money to enjoy some nice bottles.
Do you have any tips for drying your wine decanter? Let us know in the comments below.