cleaning a crystal vase

san_March 20, 2005

i've read (and i think tried) just about every tip i can think of but am still hoping someone has "the" answer for me. the interior of a favored crystal vase is cloudy or milky. i have been able to clean the first inch or so of the neck of the vase using a toothbrush--that looks perfectly fine! i have also been able to clean the bottom because i could get a different brush all the way to it but the sides slope away and i can't apply enough pressure to manually clean the glass.

the vase was a present from my husband at least 20 years ago and i don't understand why this has "suddenly" become a problem. within the last month, i have tried soaking it in vinegar, letting oxiclean sit overnight in it, swirling around coarse-grained salt until my wrists hurt from shaking the vase, tang dissolved in water (works great on cleaning the inside of the dishwasher but didn't do a thing in this case), and probably another thing or two i don't immediately recall. i haven't tried a polident tablet yet but if you don't know of other possible ideas, i'll buy a box of those. i'd appreciate hearing whatever ideas you might know about. thanx in advance!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know you don't want to hear this....but glass can get 'sick"....just become cloudy....and there is no cure.
But the fact that you could clean the part you could reach is encouraging.
I have a "vase cleaner" like a giant pipe cleaner...fuzzy stuff on a wire that you can bend. I got it at a Mikasa store. aware it may be "sick" and have to be relegated to use only as a flower holder.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 12:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One thing to try is to crush egg shells and pour in some water and swirl it all about. The egg shells are slightly abrasive and may do the trick.
I also use a weak bleach solution for vases sometimes.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 11:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just read these tips at:
I think I'd try the denture tables first. Good luck.

By: Mary - Date: 2004-07-15

You know how that awful green residue remains on the bottom of your pretty glass vase and the neck isn't wide enough to get a brush down there?

Fill the vase with a solution of water and biological washing powder or liquid, and let it soak. Rinse well. If you can add a few drops of ammonia to the rinsing water the glass will really shine.

Tina Carter


Pour half a handful of rice grains down the vase, with some white vinegar and shake lots! It should get rid of all that gunk - even if it's dried up..


Denture tablets for cleaning vases and carafe's Pop in a tablet you can break it in half for narrow bottle necks, add hot water and leave it to soak a few hours, better still over night. Works wonders.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 2:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you try putting it in the dishwasher but TAKE IT OUT BEFORE the dry cycle? otherwise, I'd try effervescent tablets, alkaseltzer or a denture cleaner.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 2:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

also just read to fill vase up with water and add toliet bowl cleaner, let it sit for a while then empty and rinse.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you have a fine lead glass vase...or one made of antique glass.....don't use toilet bowl cleaner! If it wasn't sick glass will be after you clean it with toilet bowl cleaner!
If your glass is cloudy because of mineral deposits, Poli-dent or vinegar will remove the film. If it's cloudy because of etching....notthing short of repolishing the glass will remove the cloudiness.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 6:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oopsie, don't do what I posted then. I read it on a household hints page online somewhere...Oh well. Carry on.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanx, guys--i DO appreciate the thoughts! as i said, since i could clean the top inch or so of the vase, i doubt the glass is etched. and i have soaked it in vinegar before...

the next time i run the dishwasher when i'm here to monitor it, i will try that! and the denture tablets if that doesn't work. now i'm wondering why the toilet bowl cleaner would hurt crystal? you put it onto a vitreous china surface and let that sit...not that i know exactly what vitreous china is but both that and crystal are pretty hard surfaces formed in a heat process. i got tired of looking at it and a little bit ago i put in a combo of water, vinegar, ammonia and baking soda. i'll check on it in an hour if see if anything has changed. thanx again--i'll keep checking and if something does "the" trick, i'll let you know!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And if you can't get it cleaned out, just use colored water with your flowers and you won't see the discoloration of the vase! haha!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lead crystal is very different from vitrious china...and it's the lead crystal that gets "sick".....if you know it's not a fine crystal....go ahead with the toilet bowl cleaner.
I have a very lovely brilliant period cut glass vase that is decidedly sick....It looks fine with flowers....but I hide it in the closet otherwise. believe me I have tried everything but a wheel with jewelers rough and toilet bowl cleaner.
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 8:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

no luck yet. i laid it down on it's side (so that the spray would go in the vase) and ran the dishwasher. i turned the vase 4 times during the wash cycle and took it out before the dry cycle came on. either the cloudiness got a little lighter or that was hope on my part. and after the glass cooled (dishwashers, even on a low energy cycle get REALLY hot!), i refilled it with hot water into which i had dissolved more dishwasher detergent and let that sit for an hour or so. srubbed with a brush and washed and rinsed. yeah--so what?

as i said in my original posting, i don't understand why this has suddenly become or problem but even more odd to me, if why i've been able to mechanically clean the top part of the neck of the vase. i know that i can't apply as much pressure further down the vase as i can at the top but still, it should look a whole lot better than it does!

in any case, tablet denture cleaners are next. and if that doesn't work, i really just may haul it off to a local jeweler who repairs old jewelry and see if he can do a little maguc with a jeweler's rouge or something... the vase isn't a museum piece but it is beautiful, an early gift from my husband when we didn't have 2 nickels to rub together, and i've never seen another vase that is anything like it. of course i can use it as is, but...

    Bookmark   March 27, 2005 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

it's getting there. i'm on my 3rd denture cleaner tablet with alot of scrubbing in between. because of the pattern of the milkiness that is still visible, i really think the mechanical action of the scrubbing is more the reason for the success than the tablets, but the tablet HAS to be helping as i hadn't had much progress until then. so i don't think i'll need the services of the jeweler afterall! and i do appreciate the suggestions you've all made.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 10:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm glad it's coming clean for you. Without going back and re-reading the posts, have you already tried a baby bottle brush on it?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2005 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a vase like that. I can clean it and rid it of the film but after awhile it comes back. Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Straight ammonia, let it set awhile (overnight, whatever) and then use a baby bottle brush.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After trying the suggested remedies to no avail, i decided to try the jewelry cleaning solution that comes in those little red containers thinking if it cleaned tarnish why not stains. i poured about a half inch in and swirled it around, then went over the surface with a toothbrush. my vase which had been very discolored, became crystal clear. i hope it wasn't a fluke, but try it.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2012 at 11:47AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Castile Soap Dilemma
This has probably been gone over, but I would like...
easiest way to clean silk plants?
I have a bunch of silk plants, mostly in my kitchen...
cleaning a black granite sink
I am new to this forum and after enjoying scrolling...
How to rid house of dog smell
I'm doing a temporary rental (sold my house finally...
Best hardwood floor cleaner?
Our floors just got finished 2 months ago and I hate...
Sponsored Products
Bellhaven Rust Swing Arm Floor Lamp
Lamps Plus
Aniston Milk White Glass Table Lamp
$99.00 | Bellacor
Metro Bath Bar by Tech Lighting
$296.00 | Lumens
Ginetta Suspension
NOVA Lamps Cubes 27 in. Standing Table Lamp 12587
Home Depot
Pallucco | Fortuny Floor Lamp
Grohe | Allure Brilliant Soap Dispenser
$349.30 | YBath
Wash & Dry Dish Rack
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™