Cleaning up broken glass is a tedious chore that requires close attention to avoid injury. Certain types of glass create bigger messes than others when shattered, but ultimately, thoroughly cleaning up all broken pieces is necessary. Regardless of where you’ve broken the glass or what type of glass it is, you’ll want to have a few basic household tools handy and remember a few safety points.
Safety is the first issue to address. Clear the room of all children and pets, and keep them out until clean up is complete. If glass is broken in the presence of children or pets, remove them carefully from the scene and inspect them for cuts and embedded glass. Administer any necessary first aid before you begin cleaning up.
When you’re ready to begin cleaning, a broom and vacuum cleaner will provide the quickest and best results. On hard floor surfaces, sweep as much of the broken glass as you can find into a pile and carefully remove the largest pieces into a trash can. It may help to dust the area lightly with baking soda or baby powder to keep the smallest fragments from sticking to your floor or your broom’s bristles.
Because of the chemical composition of water and glass, you may find that a wet paper towel is an excellent way to collect small pieces that might otherwise get away from a broom. Wipe the surface, starting with glass bits farthest away, working in toward the center of the impact, being very careful not to handle the side of the paper towel that has been on the floor.
When the largest pieces have been removed, sweep as much as possible of the remnants into a dustpan and dispose of it in the trash can. If your vacuum cleaner has a hose cleaning attachment, use it on all surfaces where you may have previously seen any glass pieces. Remember that some types of glass can shatter and scatter. A broken light bulb, for example, can scatter pieces of glass several feet from impact, so be thorough. Using an upright vacuum cleaner on hard surfaces may cause the debris to scatter even more, so repeat cleaning with your broom or disengage the brush roller on your upright.
To clean broken glass from carpet, simply eliminate the broom and begin vacuuming after the largest pieces have been removed. After you have removed all visible traces, thoroughly vacuum the entire room and any adjoining areas. When clean up is complete, remove the trash bag or empty the bagless waste receptacle containing the broken pieces to an outdoor trash can as soon as possible.