Flower vases with narrow necks and elegant designs brighten up the living room, bedroom or just any corner of the house. However, pretty things sometimes come with a price and in this case, it’s the effort to keep it clean. If you placed a flower bouquet in the vase and forgot to remove it for days, the beauty can turn gross when it starts giving off an unpleasant odor. 

Furthermore, dirt and other obstinate sediments stuck to the inner walls are enough to send you in a state of frenzy. Is it possible to clean your narrow neck vase without breaking it? Would it be easier to just throw it away?

I would say, sip your coffee and relax because this article presents some really easy ways to clean a vase with a narrow neck. Before I start explaining the different methods to clean your vase, I urge you to resist your temptations to stick your fingers or sharp objects inside the vase as this may do more damage than good.

15 Ways To Clean A Vase With A Narrow Neck

#1. Vinegar

uses of vinegar

Hard water stains inside the vase can be difficult to get rid off because the narrow neck makes it impossible to reach those areas. To get rid of such stains, prepare a solution of ½ cup vinegar and water. Mix it well and pour the solution into the vase. Let the solution sit for 1-2 hours and then pour it out, Rinse with plain water and let the vase dry completely before you start using it again.

#2. Citric acid

You may also use citric acid in the place of vinegar to clean the inner walls of a narrow-neck vase. Mix citric acid and water together to make an even solution. Pour into the vase and let the mixture sit for a minimum of 2 hours. This will not only cut the stains but also remove bad odor. Pour out the dirty water and rinse with clean tap water. Let the vase dry completely.

#3. Soda and newspaper bits

Wondering how newspaper bits can help in cleaning a vase? Well, they work as the medium to rub against the difficult to reach areas in the vase and get rid of dirt and stains. To do this, prepare a mixture of soda solution and small bits of newspaper. Put the entire content inside the vase and let it sit for a few hours. Shake well and pour out. Rinse with clean water and let dry.

#4.Toilet/ bathroom cleaner

Wet the vase by pouring some water into it and then drain it out. Now add a toilet/ bathroom cleaning product (choose the one that fights away dirt without any friction) into the vase up to one-third level. Swirl around the solution and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Shake one more time and rinse thoroughly with clean water. Let it dry.

#5. Baking soda and uncooked rice

Baking soda is known for its cleaning properties and rice acts as the medium to clean the difficult to access areas of a narrow-neck vase. To prepare the mixture, take a glass of uncooked rice and a half cup of baking soda. Pour it into the vase and fill it with warm water.

Close the opening with your palm and shake the vase vigorously. The rice will remove dirt, stains, and mold inside the vase. Soda will help in removing the odor. Empty the vase and rinse with lukewarm water. Let it dry completely.

#6. Washing detergent and sand

The sand particles can serve as the medium to clean the inside of a narrow neck vase. First, add a little sand to the vase and then pour warm water mixed with detergent into it. Swish the solution inside the vase gently to remove traces of dirt and stains.

You may also shake the vase to make sure the solution reaches all corners of the vase. As the liquid solution moves inside the vase, the sand particles will gently clean the inner walls. Tilt the vase slightly to ensure that the sand mix reaches all corners.

You may pour out the mixture into a garden patch or add it to your compost. Make sure you don’t empty the sand into the drain as this may clog the pipes. Rinse with warm water and pour out. Let the vase sit outside and dry completely.

#7. Baking soda and water

If you want to get rid of the bad odor, mix half quantities of baking soda and water. Pour this solution into the vase and let it stand for several hours. Cover the opening with your hand and shake vigorously and empty the vase. Rinse with clean water and all the bad odor will be gone.

#8. Soft drink

If you don’t have vinegar or baking soda at home, you may also use soft drinks like coke to clean a narrow-neck vase.  Pour the fizzy solution into the vase and let it sit for several hours. Place your hand on the mouth of the vase and shake well to get rid of the stubborn stains. Rinse with clean water and let dry.

#9. The Cloth Method

Take a soft washcloth and wet it with soapy water. Now, push it through the opening to stuff it inside. You may also pour some soapy water into the bottle and swish to move the soapy cloth inside the vase. After you are done with the cleaning, tip the bottle upside down and pull out the cloth with your fingers. If the opening of the vase is too narrow, use chopsticks to pull the cloth out.

#10. Using denture tablets

Fill the vase with water and then add a denture tablet (see Amazon) to it. If the opening of the vase is too small, you may break the tablet into small pieces. Let the tablet fizz as long as needed to remove the dirt inside and then rinse with soap and water. Repeat the process again if there is still some dirt inside.

If you have run out of fizzy tablets, you can make some right at home. It is handy to have them in the house. To make your own cleaning tablets, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 tsp Dawn dish soap
  • 1/2 tsp hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • Baking sheet
  • Melon baller or spoon
  • Parchment paper

Take a small bowl and mix together citric acid, baking soda, and salt. Add the dish soap dry mixture and then start adding hydrogen peroxide slowly to the mix, while stirring gently. This will create some bubbles which is fine.

When all the items are thoroughly mixed, make the baking sheet ready by lining it with parchment paper. Now, grab a small scoop to pack the damp mixture into it and set aside. This way you can form a lot of tablets from the mixture.

Leave the baking sheet in a dry and warm spot overnight to allow the tablets to dry completely. Whenever you need to clean your narrow-neck vase or bottle, you can just drop one tablet into it and the job is done.

#11. Baby brushes

There are bottle brushes specially designed for vases with a narrow and tall neck. You can find them in stores (see Amazon) that sell baby bottle brush and other products. These brushes are flexible and the bristles are soft, hence they can be easily twisted and bent to clean the hard to reach areas.

#12. Bleach solution

Besides the dirt and hard water stains, the moisture trapped inside the narrow-neck vases may also turn into a breeding ground for bacteria that can harm the stems of the flowers. To protect your flowers from getting infected, you may clean using a bleach solution. Be careful when using bleach because it can stain your clothes and cause eye and skin irritation.

To prepare the cleaning solution, mix one part of bleach with ten parts of water. Now, add this solution to the vase and let it stand for 3 to 4 hours. Now, use a soft bottle brush to scrub the inner walls of the vase. Empty the soapy water and then rinse again with clean water. Let air dry completely.

#13. Alka-Seltzer tablets

The Alka-Seltzer tablets work in a similar way like the denture tablets. You just need to fill the vase with hot water and then drop one or two Alka-Seltzer tablets depending on the area to be cleaned.  Let the fizzy solution sit for 2 to 4 hours and then rinse with warm water.

#14. Lemon Slices

Lemon is known to work great at cutting hard water stains. Cut the lemon into small pieces and drop inside the vase. Add some hot water and swirl the content around to clean the vase. Let it sit for some while and then swirl again and empty the vase. Rinse with clean water and dry.

#15. Using glass cleaner

If you have a glass vase with a narrow neck, you may use glass cleaner like this to remove the dirt and stains at the bottom and hard to reach areas. Spray the cleaning solution into the vase and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse well with water and let the vase air-dry completely before use.

3 Methods To Clean The Outer Wall Of A Narrow Neck Vase

Cleaning the outer walls of a narrow neck vase also requires some time and effort. If there are dirt and stains over your vase, here are a few ways to get back the shine on your vase again.

#1. Vinegar and salt

Make a paste using 3 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Now, use a toothbrush to apply the paste on the dirty areas of the vase. Let the paste sit for 20 minutes and then rinse with hot water. Leave the vase to dry completely.

#2. Colgate Toothpaste

40 Amazing Uses of Toothpaste Around Your Home

Apply a little Colgate toothpaste (see other uses of toothpaste) on an old toothbrush and rub the outer wall of the vase gently to get rid of dirt and stains. Wash with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

#3. Tartar and water paste

Make an even paste of cream of tartar and water. Apply this mixture over the vase and let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub with a soft sponge and rinse with clean water to remove the stains.

Drying Your Narrow-Neck Vase 

Even after you have successfully got rid of the dirt and stains inside the vase using one of the methods mentioned above, drying out the inner walls completely may remain a challenge. Some vases have such a small mouth that it’s difficult to simply air-dry them.

Even worse, the water only condenses and gets trapped inside to discolor the glass (in case of a glass vase). Here are two methods to help you dry the inside of the vase:

Shake the vase over the sink, with the neck facing down to remove as much as water as you can. Take a wooden kitchen spoon and wrap the paper towel around its handle part. Now, insert the handle through the narrow opening of the vase and slowly turn it inside to help it absorb as much water as possible. Repeat again with a new dry paper towel if needed.

The second method is to roll a paper towel tightly to make a cylindrical shape and insert 3/4th of it inside the bottle. Hold the tail part in your hand and move the paper towel slowly inside the vase to get rid of excess water. The paper towel will absorb the moisture and the inner walls of the vase will be dry.

Related Questions

What can I do to dry the vase if the opening is too small?

You may take a chopstick and attach a cotton ball to its head. Put it inside and let the cotton absorb the moisture to turn the vase dry.

Can I use broken egg shells to clean a narrow vase?

Some people have tried this and found useful, so give it a try. Place broken egg shells and water into the vase. I would suggest you to also add a few drops of the liquid dishwasher. Place your hand over the opening and shake vigorously. Rinse with clean water and let it dry.

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