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How to Clean a Glass Vase

A brand new glass vase may look lovely housing a fresh bouquet of flowers, but when it's time to toss the dead flowers and empty the water, it's another story. Mineral deposits, murky buildup and mystery substances cling to the inside of the vase, even after you rinse it. A few simple tricks using household materials help you remove even the most stubborn spots -- even from vases too narrow to reach into with a sponge.

Soapy Water Soak

Sometimes a good soaking in soapy water loosens dirt or debris clinging to the inside of the vase. Rinse the vase out first -- several times if that's what it takes to get the water to run clear as it comes out of the vase. Soak the vase in a sink full of soapy water using your usual liquid dish soap. Do not put the vase in with dishes or drinking glasses because chemicals from the displayed flowers or their flower food may be inside it. Lift the vase out of the water; dump the water out, and then swirl more soapy water from the sink in the vase. If possible, wipe the insides of the vase with a damp sponge. If the vase is too narrow, use a bottle brush to help loosen stubborn debris. Rinse the vase out, and allow it to dry naturally or pat it dry with an absorbent cloth to prevent water spots.

Mineral-Deposit Remover

When tap water evaporates, it may leave behind mineral deposits that make the inside of the glass look a bit cloudy in some areas. Regular soap and water may not remove the minerals, so sprinkle baking soda inside the vase to cover the mineral deposits. Wet the inside first if the deposits are on the sides of the vase, rotating the vase as you sprinkle the baking soda inside. Fill the vase with white vinegar using enough to cover the mineral deposits. The baking soda and vinegar react with one another and foam up, much like an elementary-school volcano project. After the fizzing subsides, add a squirt of dish soap, followed by hot water until the vase is almost full. Wipe the inside of the vase with a nylon scrub pad or a soft bottle brush to loosen any remaining residue. Then rinse the vase out.

Rice Remedy

In some cases, neither scrub pad nor bottle brush can reach those stubborn deposits inside the vase. If you've washed the vase already with no luck, fill the vase with vinegar deep enough to cover the spots. Lemon juice also removes some types of mineral deposits if you do not have vinegar handy. Pour some uncooked rice into the vinegar, and then swirl the vase around a few times. Allow it to sit overnight or for at least several hours, swirling the vase once in a while. The rice acts as a gentle abrasive to remove those stubborn spots.

General Goop Removers

Sometimes a gooey, slimy residue remains after you empty the vase of flowers past their prime. Rinse the vase several times, and then sprinkle coarse salt inside it. The moisture helps the salt cling to the sides of the vase. Fill the vase 1/4 full with ice cubes, and swirl the vase vigorously. The texture of the salt, combined with the force of swirling ice, removes some of the debris. If rusty spots mar your otherwise clean vase, fill the vase past the rust spots with water. Drop a denture-cleaning tablet in the vase and leave it overnight. Rinse the liquid out afterward.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.