Wednesday, July 8, 2009


When you arrange flowers in a glass vase, do not allow the water to evaporate. It will leave a white residue that may be impossible to remove. It might also leave a colored stain.



Andy said...

Well... "impossible" to remove seems a little of an overstatement, IMHO. The white residue is a mineral deposit typically left behind when hard water evaporates. Pour in some vinegar, cover the top with a cloth, give the vase a good shaking to splash the vinegar hard up against the deposited surfaces, rinse out and see how it looks. A couple of rounds of that will usually do the trick.

In extreme cases, I have also added grit such as plastic beads or clean cat litter to provide some physical contact inside the vase during the shaking process, helping to physically push deposits off the inside surfaces.

(This technique also worked surprisingly well in a car repair, when I was able to remove accumulated sludge from a plastic coolant reservoir bottle by filling it with some clean gravel and detergent, followed by a good shaking and a thorough rinse. Something softer than gravel should be used in a glass vase, of course.)

Anonymous said...

I have found that I can often remove that residue by filling the vase with water and dropping in several false teeth cleaning tablets such as Efferdent. Those scrubbing bubbles go a long way toward cleaning the vase.
Sometimes, that residue is lime and can be removed by filling the vase with vinegar, letting it sit and then cleaning.
A baby bottle brush is always helpful as well.

Anonymous said...

Real Simple magazine had this tip today on cleaning vase that's dirty inside.

Dirty Decanter
Fill the decanter halfway with hot water, a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap, two tablespoons of white vinegar, and a cup of uncooked rice. Swirl the rice around for a few minutes to remove the residue, rinse with hot water, and air-dry

Anonymous said...

Recently I found a small, clear glass vase with white rings inside where water had dried. Washing it didn't clean off any of the residue. After putting some baking soda in the vase, I filled it to just above the rings with white vinegar. It fizzed like Alka-Selzter and after a few hours, I rinsed it with water. Amazingly, it looked as clear as new - with no scrubbing!

Anonymous said...

to avoid stains put a smaller container inside the vase to hold the water. also works well if the vessel is a porous material.

Anonymous said...

If you get a white water stain on a glass vase, fill it past the white ring with vinegar and let sit for a couple of'll wipe right off.

Anonymous said...

In regards to cleaning glass vases with the white residue, I have found that using a denture tablet in water will clean them pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Try using a small amount of dishwasher powder and cold water to remove the rings from the inside of glassware. Let sit for an hour and the ring should disappear. This hint also works for glass dishes that have baked on residue.

Cats'Mom said...

To avoid the whole problem, rub a thin film of vaseline or hand cream around the top of the vase or wherever you want to fill it to. Keep the water level within the band of vaseline and no watermarks will appear!!


Anonymous said...

The white residue may be a hard water deposit. It may also be not a residue but an etching of the glass by the slight alkalinity in normal tap water. There is nothing you can do for that other than polishing it out but that is very hard to do inside a vase. I have heard of covering it with a product called Glass Wax. I am not sure they sill make Glass Wax.

Vivie said...

I have used baking soda to remove stains from glass, china, stoneware, etc. But the best thing I found with a vase for a recent water/mineral, small/moderate stain is Lysol Kitchen cleaner. Takes it out with little or no scrubbing, just soaking.

I emailed Kovel's once about a severe stain on a crystal vase a few years ago. They recommended asking a professional glass cleaning service. That PGC service recommended using a non-tartar control toothpaste (not gel) and a soft brush. I used a soft toothbrush & FOUND AN ETCHED VASE UNDERNEATH THE STAIN! (No hard feelings toward Kovels' or the PGC - keep reading.)

My husband & I thought the vase was etched before I started cleaning it & someone had sold me a ruined vase. And, YES I DID ASK MANY QUESTIONS BEFORE BUYING IT. Needless to say, I don't buy anything that needs that much cleaning anymore due to unscrupulous sellers like that one.

If you have tried everything else, which I had, & are desperate, you could try it, ONLY IF YOU ARE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON RUINING THE VASE, as I cannot vouch for this remedy from my experience.

Thanks for the vinegar tip. It works on so many things. I don't buy anything that needs cleaning anymore.

clear glass vases said...

I'm a big fan of the vinegar technique, however I had not heard of using rice with it to scrape the white residue away, that's pretty cool I'll have to try it.