How to Clean up Broken Glass in 7 Steps

How to Clean up Broken Glass in 7 Steps

Broken glass in your home or apartment is a dangerous situation that needs to be cleaned up quickly.

If you’ve ever cut yourself on broken glass, you know that it can be painful and frightening. If you’re cleaning up broken glass at home, the best way to do it is with care and caution.

1. Clear the space and wear proper gear

In order to prevent injury to yourself or others, make sure the room is clear of all people and animals before starting this procedure. This includes pets, children, guests, and roommates.

Remove the object that you have dropped in the first place (like a heavy picture frame or glass case) as well as any other obstacles from the area so you don’t trip on them.

Wear gloves, safety glasses, and long sleeves when cleaning up broken glass. You should also wear long pants for added protection.

Grab a broom (or something similar) before proceeding.

2. Use bright light

Start by making sure there’s plenty of light in the room. Turn on all of the lights, open any curtains or blinds, and if the weather is nice outside and it’s not too cold, you can even open some windows to let in some natural light.

Now it’s time to do some looking. Take your vacuum cleaner with you and use a flashlight or your phone as a spotlight, then get down on your hands and knees so you’re at eye level with the floor.

Look for anything that looks like glass, and pay special attention to places near where the object broke. But don’t forget to look elsewhere in case there are shards of glass somewhere else in the room that may have been carried there by someone walking through the area with their shoes on.

Look at every spot twice: once when you’re looking for large shards of glass, then again more closely for smaller pieces of glass that could be harder to see if they’re small enough or out-of-the-way enough (like underneath furniture).

3. Grab the large shards

To avoid getting cut, wear thick rubber gloves. Keep any exposed skin covered as much as possible.

Use a dustpan or broom to gather the big shards of glass together. This works best when you brush the pile toward the center, rather than scooping them up at once.

You risk breaking up another large piece and sending pieces flying underneath furniture or other hidden spaces like carpets. If you don’t have a broom or dustpan handy, consider using a pair of tongs to transfer the large shards into a sturdy trash bag for easy disposal later on.

4. Sweep or vacuum the shards

Now, you can sweep up or vacuum away the glass. If you’re using a broom and dustpan, be careful not to drop the glass into your trash can directly.

Rather, place them inside a plastic bag. If you opt for a vacuum, make sure to empty the canister outside to avoid spreading any remaining shards of glass around your home.

You might need to vacuum several times over the same area before all of the pieces are up (especially if there are lots of tiny slivers).

After vacuuming several times over the same area, use a damp cloth to pick up any stray pieces of glass that might be sticking around. Once you’ve cleaned up all of the broken glass from an area—and disposed of it properly—you’re finished!

5. Use either bread or a potato in picking up shards

If you have some fresh bread on hand, use it like a sponge. Mold the bread into a ball, then move it over the shards, and gently press it down to pick them up.

Another method is to cut a potato into small cubes about one inch thick. Hold each piece with tongs or chopsticks, and press down on the broken glass until the shards stick.

Once you grab all of the glass, throw away your potato pieces with the glass fragments.

6. Capture small glass shards using wet paper towels

Once you’ve collected the majority of the glass and made sure it’s out of the way for anyone who might be walking through, wet down some paper towels.

This will provide an immediate barrier to keep you from accidentally cutting yourself as you continue to pick up the smaller pieces.

If there is a lot of broken glass to deal with, use wet paper towels to wipe along the edges and corners where bits of broken glass are trapped.

You’ll be able to see them more easily than if they were lying flat on hardwood floors or carpeting because they’ll reflect light differently.

7. Do a final cleanup

Now that you’ve picked up the big pieces and vacuumed up the rest, inspect both your broom and dustpan to make sure no tiny little shards are caught in the bristles.

It’s easy to overlook these dangerous problems waiting to happen. If there’s glass clinging to the bristles of your broom or dustpan, bring them outside your home and wash them using a garden hose over a bucket.

Throw out the water down a utility drain when you’re finished.

Cleaning up broken glass shouldn’t be taken lightly, or you could end up hurting yourself in the process.

For a more thorough cleanup (and to avoid unseen shards left in your home), you may also call the assistance of a cleaning service.

They will ensure to remove every last piece of glass in your home for your and your loved ones’ safety. For more home maintenance tips, feel free to visit this page.

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