If your favorite crystal vase suffers from hard water stains and spots, you may feel more like hiding the vase in the cupboard than using it to display flowers. Render that vase flower-worthy once again by removing those water spots with a white vinegar or rubbing alcohol solution.
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On the Outside
Remove spots on the outside of the vase by wiping it down with equal parts white vinegar and water. For spots that do not dissolve immediately, soak a cloth in the vinegar solution and leave the cloth on the affected area of the vase for 10 minutes or so. If you must rest the vase on its side to leave the cloth in place, set the vase on a folded towel in a safe area such as the sink to ensure it does not roll or fall. Rub the vase with the wet cloth after 10 minutes to wipe away the mineral deposits. Equal parts rubbing alcohol and water may be used if you do not have vinegar, although vinegar excels at dissolving mineral deposits left behind by hard water.
On the Inside
Wipe the inside of a wide crystal vase with the same vinegar solution -- 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water -- using a clean, soft cloth or a sponge. Allow the vinegar solution to sit inside the vase for at least 10 minutes if the spots do not wipe away easily. If the vase is too narrow to put your hand inside, add a handful of uncooked rice and swirl it around in the vase. The rice helps scrub away the mineral deposits away. Strain the rice out of the vinegar and discard the rice in the trash to prevent it from going down the drain as you empty the vinegar.
Preventing Hard Water Deposits
When you have fresh flowers in the vase, change the water in it at least every two days to help prevent mineral deposits. This also helps prevent stagnant water, keeping the vase cleaner and cut flowers in healthier condition.