We asked a cleaning expert to settle the debate.
Advertisement

Where you choose to store your glassware depends on how often you use it—your favorite pieces are typically kept at the front of your cupboard while others are relegated to the back. But one of the biggest questions regarding glassware organization is this: Should you store your cups and mugs with the rim up or down?

Even our readers are relatively split on the right way to store drinkware. In a recent Instagram poll, we asked which way you prefer to organize your mugs and cups. Of the total 10,020 people who responded, 5,315 said they place their glasswares rim-side up, while 4,705 said they put them rim-side down. Despite this being a divisive topic, there is a right way to store these items.

Close-up of cups and glasses neatly arranged facing down in kitchen cabinet
Credit: Grace Cary / GETTY IMAGES

Why You Should Store Glassware Rim-Side Down

Drinking Glasses and Mugs

Dust can collect in your glassware—even in cabinets—which is not something you want to have to worry about every time you pull out a cup. With this in mind, you should store most types of glasses with their rims down, if they're sturdy enough, says Clare Langan, a culinary producer and home cooking expert.

Definitely store glasses and mugs upside-down if they fall into the back-of-the-cabinet category. "Consider storing lesser-used mugs rim-side down to prevent dust from collecting," Langan affirms.

Specialty Glassware

The most vulnerable part of a piece of glassware is usually the rim, which is why people tend to store Champagne flutes and delicate wine glasses rim-side up.

Although this method is safe, you are less likely to pull out these pieces every day, which means they may be more likely to accumulate debris in between uses. "If you're worried about the dust issue for longer storage or open shelving (think bar carts), carefully store them rim-side down," Langan says.

Stacking Your Glassware

If you are short on room in your cabinet, stacking can be an option for certain styles of glassware. While Champagne flutes cannot be stacked (those should be kept on a high shelf if they will not fit into a more accessible space), other glasses, especially thicker, heavier types, can be. "It's usually safe to stack thicker tumblers, like Duralex glasses," Langan says.

Where to Store Your Glassware

As a general rule, keep frequently-used glassware in a cabinet or on a shelf that is located next to the sink or dishwasher. "I've cooked in a lot of people's kitchens, and searching for a glass when I wanted some water always puzzled me," she says. "It also makes putting away dishes so much easier!"

Comments (3)

Martha Stewart Member
March 24, 2021
I've always heard that you should store classes and cups so air can enter them, either upright or on a mesh, so you don't get mold or build-up of fumes from dishwashing products.
Martha Stewart Member
March 24, 2021
I've always heard that you should store classes and cups so air can enter them, either upright or on a mesh, so you don't get mold or build-up of fumes from dishwashing products.
Martha Stewart Member
August 5, 2020
For sanitary reasons, the hotels I worked in instructed us to store glasses/cups upright unless being set on mesh or another liner that allows air to circulate. If the item is damp and you store it upside down, it could stick to the surface and bacteria can grow. If the storage shelf is not regularly cleaned, you can pick up dust, bug droppings or a musty smell when storing upside down, as well.