How to Prevent Bad Odors From the Standing Water in a Flower Vase

Updated on March 2, 2017
It's so sad when flowers are dead, and even worse when they smell bad.
It's so sad when flowers are dead, and even worse when they smell bad. | Source

As with all odors, the easiest way to get rid of them, is to avoid them in the first place. When it comes to fresh flowers, this may be easier said, than done.

All living things decay, and flowers and branches are no exception. One day your flowers are beautiful, the next the smell is not so good, the day after, you have a bunch of dead flowers and some really smelly water. And it's not just the smell that is a problem. Many vases are made of delicate material, and even more are an awkward shape, making them difficult to clean at the best of times, but when filled with foul smelling water, the task can seem both unpleasant and nigh on impossible.

As a keen flower arranger, I face this problem regularly. Here are some of the solutions I've heard suggested.

Keep the flowers fresh.

Save yourself work by helping your flowers to last as long as possible.

  • Strip the stems below the waterline. Make sure there are no leaves (or even flowers) in the water, all they'll do is rot, so strip them off before you put the flowers in the vase.
  • Don't add any yellowed foliage to the vase, it's dying.
  • Make sure the vase is completely clean before you use it.
  • Remove dying flowers, they produce a gas which will speed up the decay of the other flowers.
  • Don't put your flowers next to fruit. Fruit produces ethylene gas which speeds up decay.

Cleaning A Vase

Some vases are a very awkward shape, you can't clean them by hand, and the dishwasher can't access all their nooks and crannies. One way to deal with a narrow necked vase is to use denture cleaning tablets. Pop two in and you'll see a big difference.

If the vase is already smelly, empty the grungy water and half fil with clean, then add a tablespoon of mustard and shake it up, wait for an hour and the smell will be gone.

If there is already a build up of grunge in the vase, fill with warm water and add some dishwasher detergent. Leave overnight and you'll be amazed at the result. If you use dishwasher tablets, half a tablet should do the trick.


How to Perk Up Dying Flowers

  • When roses droop, take them out of the vase and wrap tightly in wet newspaper and leave them in a deep bucket of water overnight. This also works for tulips.
  • If you have flowers with woody stems (like roses), plunge the stems in boiling water for 10 seconds and then into deep cold water.
  • To perk up a whole arrangement, some people suggest adding a soluble asprin to the water, or even some form of soda, such as Coca-Cola or seven-up, however a Mythbusters Christmas special tested both of these out and found them ineffective. The experiment was conducted on a Christmas tree, but should be valid for cut flowers.

What I Do

From experience, I'd say these are the most important points.

Keep the flowers healthy by removing vegetation below the water line and adding a teaspoon of bleach to the vase. Renew the water regularly by popping ice cubes into the vase each day, you'll avoid water splashes on your furniture.

Questions & Answers

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Amaryllis profile imageAUTHOR

      Lesley Charalambides 

      6 years ago from New Hampshire

      i agree. I love Chrysanthemums, but usually stick to the potted variety as a result. Thanks for commenting.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      6 years ago from USA

      good information..I find that Mums and Daisy type flowers are the worse...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)