Is It Safe to Vacuum Broken Glass?

(Last Updated On: September 22, 2022)

Oh no! You’ve dropped your new wine glass and it’s shattered everywhere. Large pieces, small pieces and fine glass dust is spread all across your living room. You’re stuck and wondering if it’s safe to use a vacuum for the clean up job, well in this guide I’ll explain everything about cleaning up those broken glass pieces.

Can you vacuum broken glass?

The answer is YES, it IS safe to vacuum broken glass IF you take the proper precautions.

The reason for this is that a vacuum cleaner will not distribute the fine particles throughout the air, or put them into suspension in that air. The larger pieces can be vacuumed up just as they would normally, but on top of a solid surface such as a piece of paper or cardboard box.

What precautions should I take?

Place a large, thick piece of material such as cardboard on the floor where your broken glass is.

Place all larger pieces of glass onto this sheet and lower it into the garbage can without touching any sharp edges! It is possible that small shards of glass remain on top of this sheet and can be vacuumed up.

It’s recommended to follow a broken glass safety guide.

Do not use your rotating brushes for the remaining glass pieces, instead use your hose, preferably directly into a vacuum bag.

Vacuum bags should be disposed of right away.

How to Clean Up Broken Glass with a Vacuum Cleaner

1. Remove Large Pieces First

Remove all larger pieces of broken glass before you switch your vacuum cleaner on. Place these pieces onto a sturdy piece of material, such as cardboard or plywood.

2. Clean Up the Glass Dust

Place this plywood sheet into the garbage can and clean up any tiny glass particles that may be left with your vacuum cleaner using a brush attachment.

3. Vacuum the Bigger Pieces of Glass

Now you can switch on your vacuum cleaner and use a brush or crevice tool attachment to pick up the remaining larger pieces of broken glass. Make sure that you do not use a beater bar type floor tool, as this will shatter the glass even further!

4. Use Caution for Sharp Edges

Once all of the larger pieces have been vacuumed up, carefully pick up the sheet with your hands and place it into the garbage can. Any that remains on this sheet can be swept or picked up with a cloth. Never use your bare hands!

Was it safe to vacuum glass? The answer is yes.

What about tiny glass shards?

Often times when a glass smashes you will have microscopic glass shards that are everywhere.

These often times are too small to be sucked up into a vacuum.

The best way to deal with these are to use a damp paper towel.

It’s important to collect glass shards these size, because they can have a similar effect as wood splinters.

These glass fragments are very difficult to remove from your skin and require tweezers.

Will vacuuming glass damage my vacuum?

It’s perfectly safe to vacuum glass.

You have to be careful that tiny shards don’t puncture your vacuum hose and create holes.

And when cleaning up broken glass, collect glass shards that are too large for your vacuum first.

Vacuuming broken glass should be very safe.

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