EasterJoy hit it right on. “Cups” are those sacred vessels use to contain and distribute the Precious Blood to the lay faithful, and we say “cups” to differentiate them from the chalice which the priest or deacon uses for his communion.
I don’t know how to do more than one quote, so a few comments follow…
Hot water alone won’t cut it. You can’t put your hand in water hot enough to kill germs or viruses, and that’s why we wash after purification.
We don’t put soap down the sacrarium. Our sink is a double sink; the right side is the sacrarium and has a cover on it. You have to raise the cover to pour anything down; you can’t just inadvertently splash soapy water into it.
Alchohol: I am leery.
Cleaning technique: I think we need to clean around the rim as well as inside the cup. It’s germs we’re after, after all. I do take the point about chalices being two-piece, and not wanting to get water (or soap) inside the stem or base. Also, I’m less worried about cleaning chalices. Those are used by one, or at most three, at the vast majority of our Masses. If the priests and deacons are worried about passing colds/flu around to one another, they can either wash their chalice or ask me to specifically.
Pitting: our gold-plated cups get pitted, over time, from the wine. It’s just acidic enough to react with the alloy.
Materials: thanks for the idea of a natural sponge and soft cloth. I use a special microfiber detailing cloth for cleaning my airplane (the fabric and plexiglas canopy/windshield are quite prone to scratching) so maybe I’ll try that on the cups and chalice.
Cruet: I assume that you mean the vessel that we put the wine in; the priest or deacon pours the wine out of the cruet into the chalice and cups prior to the consecration. IF so, we do wash this, especially the one we use for daily Mass. It gets real sticky otherwise.
Water/spotting: Our city water would probably pit the concrete steps into the church!
I saw a very interesting procedure throughout Italy on my recent pilgrimage. I saw this everywhere, among Franciscans, Benedictines, and diocesan priests. Concelebrants intincted the host in the chalice, rather than lifting the chalice and drinking directly. Now that’s how to avoid passing germs!