How to Clean Broken Glass

Safety First

Broken glass is sharp and dangerous. Don’t take any chances. Ensure anyone in the room carefully retreats from the glass. If anyone is barefoot, it’s best to just have them stand still until you can remove the broken shards from around them. If you can, put on some thick rubber gloves, this will protect your hands.

Nobody wants to tidy up broken glass. It’s not only messy, it’s dangerous. Our glass experts are sharing some glass removal hacks that will help you clean it up faster, easier, and safer. So the next time you drop a glass, miss the wastebasket, or break a window, try some of these tips.

4 Household Options for Safe Glass Cleanup

The most effective ways to tidy up broken glass

Grab the large pieces first, being very slow and careful. Put those pieces in a wastebasket. The hardest pieces to tidy up are the smallest. Here are four great ways to get the small glass pieces completely:

The Potato Trick– Take a raw potato and cut it in half (lengthwise is best for more surface area) and press the potato against the floor. The shards will press into the flesh of the spud and the moisture will make the smallest pieces stick. Through the potato away when done. (You may need to wipe up the floor with a damp cloth to remove any starch left.).

Damp Paper Towel– Fold a paper towel a few times to provide some thickness. Dampen the paper towel( s) and press into the glass shards. Throw the paper towel away when finished collecting the glass pieces.

Vacuum– If glass breaks on or near carpet, it’s best to get every one of the pieces you can see and use any one of these methods also. Finally, run a vacuum over the area thoroughly in every direction to ensure you got every one of the pieces.

Bread– Yes, bread. Get a piece (or two if the broken glass piece was large) and gently press the bread against the glass shards. The softness and moistness of the bread will cause the pieces to adhere to it.

Tape– Masking tape or duct tape will do (duct tape is a little thicker and may offer more protection). Wrap the tape around your gloved hand so the sticky side is facing outward. Dab the area where the glass was broken to gather every one of the small pieces. They will adhere to the adhesive. Carefully remove the tape from your hand and discard when finished.

Other Glass Cleanup Tips

  • Beware that glass can get caught in a broom’s bristles, so if you must use a broom, thoroughly clean it afterward or throw it away.
  • Glass can shatter much farther than you think. Ensure to check areas as far away as 15 feet and remember to move furniture to search for hidden pieces.
  • If you vacuum, remove the vacuum bag and place it in the garbage, too, and remove it from your home.
  • If you put large glass pieces in the trash, bring it out to the big can to avoid injury by an unsuspecting family member who decides to press the trash down with a hand or foot.
  • Remember to also clean off the soles of your shoes!