4 Things You Can Use to Easily (and Safely!) Clean Up Broken Glass

updated Apr 10, 2020
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Hand picking up broken glass from floor
Credit: Joe Lingeman

We’ve all broken some glass before. Probably many times. Maybe just last month: You were talking with lots of animation and you knocked over a wine glass. Another time, you dropped a bottle of salad dressing. And recently, that empty bottle totally missed the recycling bin. Our point? Broken glass happens.

Clearly (pun sort of intended!), cleaning up the big pieces is the easy part. The hard part is all those tiny pieces and the little shards that you might not notice until your bare foot comes in contact with them. Ouch!

The first thing you want to do is to carefully pick up the larger pieces of broken glass that you can actually see. Then, you can reach for a broom and dust pan, or try one of these four suggestions.

Here are four things you can use to pick up all those remaining pieces of glass.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. Potato

Grab a raw spud or really any other larger root vegetable, cut it in half, then press the cut halves into the glass.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Slice of bread

Glass pieces will stick right into a soft slice of bread, plus it has a nice, wide surface area to cover a lot of ground.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Tape

This one is no surprise, but tape will pick those little glass pieces right up. Use the thickest, widest tape you can find to avoid cutting yourself — packing and duct tape work really well.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. A damp (folded) paper towel

Fold a paper towel a few times, then dampen it before pressing into the glass shards. Make sure it’s folded thick enough that the pieces won’t go through the paper.

Do you have any smart tips for picking up broken glass? Leave them in the comments below.