A Trip To The Pet Store Will Make Cleaning Tight Vases A Breeze

With so many tricks and tips to care for your home goods, there shouldn't be a single item you can't find a hack for. Take your bottles and vases, for example. These decorative containers are just important as the flowers and plants you keep inside them, and you'll want to, of course, keep them clean and looking their best.

While these vessels are made for everyday use, it can be easy to forget they need a good clean to keep them sparkling. Larger, more open vases are a breeze to rinse or wash with soap and water, but what about those tight, narrow-neck selections that make cleaning trickier?

If you have an aquarium, the solution to your cleaning query might just be a basic addition to your aquatic pet's home. Aquarium gravel can make your vases shine like new, with minimal effort on your part. You don't even need a pet fish to try this trick, just head to a local pet store and grab a bag of gravel to give it a try.

Using aquarium gravel to clean vases

Once you have the gravel, pull out your narrow-necked vases and make sure they're free of larger debris. You can give them a quick rinse before refilling them a little under halfway full. Aim for 1/3 of the water to ensure there's enough for "swishing."

You don't need much aquarium gravel either, and you can either use your hand to scoop out one fistful or use a measuring device to dump into the vase about 1/4 cup. The point is to add enough that it'll scrub the inside of the vase without overfilling it. If there's too much gravel, the pieces won't be able to shift around enough to actually clean the interior of the vase.

After everything is added, gently shake the vase so the contents move and swish around. This will create friction with the gravel, which will act as a scrubber to the inside of the vase (or bottle). You can also use a long spoon or spatula end to stir the contents around. Doing this for 15-30 seconds should remove the majority of the dirt, grime, or buildup on the inside.

Paper towels are the ideal dryer

Once you've cleaned the inside of your vase with the aquarium rocks, grab a strainer (ideally with narrow openings) and dump the contents of the vase out. The strainer will catch the gravel, which you can either let dry and reuse or throw away. You can also use it in your garden to delineate sections, giving it a second use after cleaning your treasured vases.

To dry your now-cleaned narrow-necked vase without risking water spots, simply roll a strip of paper towel into a narrow cylinder and insert it into the narrow opening of your glassware. You can push it all the way to the bottom of the vase and allow it to sit there for a few hours while it absorbs the water inside. This clever hack works so well because as the towel pulls in moisture, it expands and touches the interior walls, pulling more water into the fibers and off of the glass.

And there you have it: sparkling clean vases with minimal effort or elbow grease (and no tricky or expensive tools). Once done, just add your flowers and enjoy.