I was on the hunt for a teeny tiny vase and recently thrifted one (that’s made in England)! Hubby hates thrift stores but he was with me when I found it, reinforcing my belief that he is my lucky charm and must accompany me on all thrifting adventures. Hear that? That’s Hubby sobbing quietly in the background.
The vase was a little bit dirty inside and when I brought it home I realized my bottle brush didn’t fit. I really need a set of these Lee Valley brushes. I tried soaking the vase in soapy water but no dice. No worries, I had a plan.
I poured in a few drops of undiluted dish soap and let it sit overnight. Then I taped a Q-tip to a wood skewer and scrubbed gently. (You can also buy extra long cotton swabs). All the gunk and dirt came off with just a little coaxing. I rinsed out the vase and, voila, a new home for my . . . drumroll please . . . first ever real billy button.
You know how much I loved my felted wool version, but now I have the real deal. In Budapest we got into the habit of buying fresh flowers from older women selling them at subway stations. This was the only billy button of all the bunches, so I saved it and smuggled it home.
Here are eleven other tricks for cleaning narrow, uncooperative vases:
Most tricks I read about depend on either using some kind of acidic solution or something abrasive, sometimes a combination of both.
- Pour in baking soda, salt and vinegar, swish gently and then rinse thoroughly
- Use crushed eggshells and dish soap and shake gently
- Pour in fine sand and shake gently, rinsing with vinegar or hot water
- Add uncooked rice and fill with soapy water, shake gently
- Use a combination of popcorn kernels and vinegar, swirl around and rinse
- Chop up ice cubes and add, along with salt, shake mixture and rinse (you can also add some lemon juice)
- Toss in broken up pieces of a denture cleaning tablet, allow to sit overnight and rinse
- Use toilet cleaning solution (it’s tough on grime I hear)
- Squeeze in some salt, cotton balls and rubbing alcohol and shake vigorously – the cotton balls will help wipe up what the salt loosens and will slide out easily when wet
- Use the end of a chop stick, with piece of paper towel or a cloth secured with a rubber band, to gently scrub the the stains
- Make a bottle brush with a few pipe cleaners twisted together
Here’s a tip to keep a vase from building sediment: pour in some vegetable oil, swish it around and then pour it out. That residue, I’m told, will keep your next bunch of flowers from staining the vase.
Do you do any of these tricks or have one of your own?