How to Clean Up Broken Glass in Quick & Easy Ways

Published March 30, 2021
Broken glass on floor

Whether you slipped or your child broke a dish, broken glass happens. The key to how to clean up broken glass is being quick and thorough. Follow these simple steps for ways to remove broken glass and shards with ease.

How to Clean Up Broken Glass

It happens to the best of us, you a dish in the dishwasher, and it slips. Crash! Your favorite plate is now in a million pieces on the floor. First and foremost, stop anyone in your family from running through ground zero. Then follow these simple steps to remove even the tiniest shards of glass.

Step 1: Protect Yourself

Before you start picking up the glass, it's essential to arm yourself with the right tools. So, you want to make sure to grab your thick rubber gloves and a pair of shoes. This is pivotal to ensuring you don't get those tiny shards in your feet while trying to get this glass disaster cleaned up.

Person walking bare feet with broken glass on the floor

Step 2: Pick Up the Large Pieces

Whether you drop a champagne flute or your favorite collector plate onto the floor, grab a broom. Even for carpet, use the broom to get all the bigger pieces into a pile, so they are easier for you to pick up. You'll want to rinse this broom off before using it again. Once you have everything in a pile:

  1. Grab a trash can and paper bag.
  2. Pick up the large pieces and put them in a paper bag. (This can help stop the glass from puncturing the plastic bag.)
  3. Do another sweep of the area (go as far as 15 feet away) and look for large pieces.

Again, wash the broom off after sweeping the glass with it.

Step 3: Vacuum the Glass

Can you vacuum up glass? Yes, you can. However, you want to use the hose without any attachments. The glass can get stuck in the bristles of an attachment. Also, you don't want to try to vacuum up large shards.

  1. Run the hose along the floor or carpet to suck up any small pieces you missed.
  2. Keep vacuuming over the area until you can't see any glass shards.

Step 4: Get the Shards off the Floor

However, just because you can't see those minuscule pieces of glass doesn't mean they aren't there. Chances are, your feet will find them in the days to come. To save yourself or your children a lot of heartaches and digging glass out later, use one of these techniques to get any remaining shards of glass.

  • Wet paper towel - Wet a paper towel and pat it along the area where the glass broke. Use enough pressure to get the glass to stick to the paper towel, then throw it in the paper bag.
  • Bread - Follow the same technique with a piece of bread as you use with a paper towel-the pores of the bread work to capture those little glass bits.
  • Lint roller - While a lint roller is just handy, you can also use loose tape and tap around the area where the glass broke to get any remaining shards.
  • Potato - Cut a potato in half. Pat the flat end along the ground to pick up any glass.

Make sure to dispose of these items in the paper bag with the broken glass.

Sweeping up shards of a shattered Christmas bauble on the floor

Step 5: Give the Floor a Final Sweep

Once you think you've found all the glass, give the floor a final vacuum or wet mop. This can ensure that every last piece of glass is completely gone.

Step 6: Clean Glass off Your Materials

Before throwing your paper bag into the trash can, consider wiping down anything that touched the glass, like the broom, vacuum, and soles of your shoes with a wet paper towel. Throw this in the paper bag.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Up Broken Glass

Cleaning up broken glass can be tricky. Not only can it travel a long way, but getting every shard can be nearly impossible. When cleaning up broken glass, keep these tips in mind.

  • Don't clean large shards of glass with a vacuum cleaner or use the beater bar to clean up glass. This can just make more of a mess.
  • Glass can travel a long way when it shatters. Make sure to look around every nook and cranny, especially under couches.
  • When cleaning broken glass, you want to take the trash bag with paper bag full of glass pieces and shards out right away.
  • If a window breaks, it's essential to quarantine the area and remove the shards as soon as possible. You might even need to put in a temporary patch until a window repair person can fix it.

Make Broken Glass Clean Up Easy

Broken glass is dangerous. But who in their life hasn't dropped a plate or bowl. To ensure you or your family doesn't get hurt by broken glass, it's essential to clean it up immediately and take precautions. Since you have the know-how, it's time to get cleaning up that glass.

How to Clean Up Broken Glass in Quick & Easy Ways