6 Ways to Clean Up Broken Glass Safety and Effectively
It doesn’t matter if the sound came from a dropped dinner plate, a knocked over wine glass, or a tree branch coming through a window – hearing glass smash is always a cause for concern. Because even a small bit of broken glass can become a safety hazard for people in the proximity. Another reason for concern? If you hear broken glass before you see broken glass, you don’t know exactly what has broken – or how. And if you see it break, you still don’t quite know where all the pieces have landed until you’re able to get down for a closer inspection.
Fortunately, there’s more than one way to clean up broken glass, without contaminating your regular household broom!
But first, safety! When approaching a pile of broken glass, you can never be too careful to avoid the sharp, dangerous mess. No sudden movement – don’t go straight for the mess. First, make sure everyone near the smashed glass carefully backs away from the area. If there are people without shoes on, everyone should play it safe and stand still until the designated cleanup person acts. If that person happens to be you, for safety’s sake, reach for a pair of rubber gloves if you have them, then get to work!
Here are 6 clever hacks for cleaning up broken glass around your house. Simply reach for whatever is closest to get the job done. The following tips work well once the largest pieces have been picked up and discarded.
1. Damp Paper Towel
Fold a few pieces of paper towel, dampen, and then gently press down on the pile of broken glass. The broken glass should all stick to the damp paper towel that’s protecting your hand. Simply dispose of the paper towel, and the job is done! The damp paper tower trick is also great at safely packaging up the shards for the garbage can.
If you don’t have a roll of paper towel, but you have a couple slices of bread, use them much like you’d use the paper towel, by gently pressing the slices of bread into the glass. Bread is soft and moist, which are both elements that attract and hold the broken glass. White, brown, or multigrain – it’s all good to go!
Use a large raw potato cut in half lengthwise to pick up glass shards from the floor. The potato’s moist flesh acts just like the bread or damp paper towel would have. Potatoes go after even the tiniest pieces, and of the 3 methods mentioned on this list so far – protect your hands the best. Toss the potato when finished, then check the floor for any starchy residue left behind.
As you’d imagine, tape – either masking tape or duct tape – works just as well as the above mentioned methods. To use tape to clean up broken glass, simply wrap your gloved hand with tape several times, sticky side out. Then brush up the glass with your taped, gloved hand. Duct tape is strongest but any kind of tape will do.
A vacuum can be used to help clean up any lingering shards of glass near and on the carpet. In fact, if you suspect there could be broken glass hiding in the piles of your carpet, a vacuum is essential here, used only after you’ve carefully picked up the pieces big enough for you to see. Go forwards and backwards to ensure all pieces are collected!
After vacuuming, clean out the dust compartment or replace the bag right away, instead of waiting until it’s full. You want that broken glass to become a distant memory!
6. Dedicated Broom & Dustpan
If you work, live, or play where there is a higher chance of broken glass, consider having a dedicated dustpan and broom on hand to use for cleaning up broken dinnerware and windows. This is instead of risking getting glass caught in your normal household broom and inadvertently spreading it throughout the house the next time you do a regular sweep.
Additional Tips for Cleaning Up Broken Glass
- If the only thing around you is your regular household broom, be sure to thoroughly rinse it after each time you use it to clean up broken glass.
- Broken glass can travel much farther than you might realize. Always look beyond the area where the glass has broken, by about 15 feet. Move furniture if need be to ensure you’ve gotten every last piece.
- Broken glass should always be disposed of mindfully. Either wrap it in newspaper or other padding, and take out the trash immediately after cleaning up the glass. This is to avoid other members of the household or your coworkers from using their hands or feet to create more space in the trash.
- Consider keeping broken glass separate from the regular trash altogether if your municipality has a facility for glass recycling.
- Remember to clean off the soles of your shoes or slippers!
Finally, once you’ve finished cleaning up the broken glass and otherwise securing the area, you’ll need to eventually get the glass replaced if it was a window or door, or otherwise essential to your home or business’s sense of safety, security, and comfort. Call Budget Glass Nanaimo for help repairing and replacing your broken glass.
For emergency glass repair in the Central Vancouver Island, called Budget Glass Nanaimo at (250) 755-6901.