how to clean up broken glass on carpet

How Do I Clean up Broken Glass on Carpet?

How Do I Clean up Broken Glass on Carpet? 1024 576 Marvin Wallace

Broken glass on the carpet or upholstery? It’s a common problem that can happen to anyone.

Whether you’re cooking and accidentally knock over a jar of sauce onto the floor, or someone drops their wine glass at your dinner party, there are many ways for broken glass to end up on the carpet. It can be dangerous for children and pets to play on, and it’s also not safe for adults to walk on.

Cleaning this mess is not always easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either! There are many ways that you can go about it, but in this guide, we will cover the  easiest and most effective way to clean up your mess .

We will discuss what you need to do when dealing with small pieces of broken glass like from broken fluorescent light bulbs, as well as how to remove larger chunks of shattered window from your carpeted flooring.

Removing Small Pieces of Broken Glass

sharded glass

1. Be sure to put on the safety kit before cleaning your glass, in order not to cut yourself. Protect your eyes from flying glass with safety glasses or a protective mask, and when near the broken glass, wear close-toed shoes and rubber gloves.

2. With a sturdy bag in hand, pick up all of the visible shattered glass pieces and place them inside to avoid any further risk or injury.

3. It’s possible that there still is glass on the carpet. It doesn’t matter whether you can see more glass in the flooring, there could still be some. So, get duct tape next. You’ll need to stick it to the carpet, remove it, and use it again until no more smaller pieces of glass shards are visible.

4. Place the bag of broken glass and the adhesive tape away where no one might get hurt by it.

5. Vacuum the carpet to make sure all of its glass pieces are extracted. You’ll know when it has sucked up every last piece because you will no longer be hearing any glass bits sound coming from your vacuum cleaner. This means that there’s nothing left for it.

Removing Large Pieces of Broken Glass

1. Again, safety first. Therefore, it would be wise to put on safety glasses and wear gloves that you wear for gardening or washing dishes. You should also wear close-toed shoes or boots to guard your feet while walking on the carpet. 

2. Now that you’ve completed the first step, it’s time to grab your set of tongs and carefully pick up any big pieces of broken glass. Put all pieces in an appropriate container or trash bin.

3. At this point, your carpet should be left with tiny pieces of glass. To “suck” up the mess, use heavy-duty tape.

4. The best way to get rid of the remaining glass is by vacuuming. Vacuum multiple times using the hose attachment while moving in different directions. While vacuuming the carpeted area, you’ll likely hear clicks as the vacuum picks up the glass. 

5. When you are done with your vacuuming, empty the vacuum bag or container into the bin. To make sure you did not miss anything, run the vacuum cleaner one more time in the same area.

Removing Shattered Fluorescent Light Bulbs

can you vacuum glass

1. Because fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury inside the glass tubing, broken bulbs are more hazardous than broken wine glasses. When this occurs, some may be released as vapor and lead to serious health issues like neurological damage or potentially death if inhaled.

2. People and pets should leave the room immediately. Open all windows or doors to the outside for 10 minutes to allow the space to ventilate.

3. To keep your hands safe, put on disposable rubber gloves.

4. DO NOT start vacuuming now because it could spread mercury powder or vapor.

5. Use stiff paper or cardboard to collect glass fragments and powder. Pick all of the remaining small glass fragments or powder with sticky tape, damped paper towels, or wet wipes. Throw all the cleanup materials in a glass jar or thick plastic bag.

6. Consider laying a flashlight on the floor to reflect the light off the glass and see if you missed anything.

7. Now is a good time to check with your local authority for disposal requirements in your region, as some localities may demand broken fluorescent bulbs be delivered to a recycling facility. If no such regulations exist, you can put the materials in your regular trash.

8. Finally, let the room continue to be ventilated for at least several hours.

Best Way to Get Glass Shards out of Carpet Without a Vacuum Cleaner

Damp Paper Towels

One of the quickest and easiest ways to clean up a disaster area is with an old towel.

Simply place it over your hand, grab hold tight on both sides so that you have control while still being able to wipe away any broken glass from surfaces without catching yourself or anyone else in danger (a cut can cause lots more damage than just wounds), then simply flip upside down when done wiping each spot for easy disposal.

This will also assist in the removal of any food or drink residues that may have squirted out as the glass shattered on the flooring.

Duct Tape

A sticky part of the tape will collect many small pieces. Paste it on your glove and watch as they stick! When you’re finished gathering all those tiny shards, simply peel off what’s left over from this process for disposal in a proper manner.


Dabbing the area with bread is an effective and simple solution to removing small shards of glass from your carpet.

However, make sure you don’t eat it because that will only cause more problems!

Shaggier carpets are harder than smoother ones since there are lots of little pieces that can be stuck in deep fibers. This makes cleaning them not just time-consuming but also tedious work as well.

Brush and Dustpan

Bring out your trusty carpet brush and dustpan to evict large pieces of glass, then shine a flashlight to spot smaller ones that are still left. Utilize one of the methods listed above after identifying them.

Old Newspaper

What if you need to remove large pieces of glass but don’t have a rubber glove or broomstick? Old newspaper will do the trick. Turn it into a DIY brush by folding it multiple times to make it thicker and more rigid. Carefully wrap and remove all shards of glass.

Bottom Line

If you want to avoid the hassle of cleaning up broken glass, start by substituting your drinking glasses with plastic cups. Then invest in a vacuum cleaner that has powerful suction and follow these steps above.

Before long, you should have a nice clean carpet without any trace of little accidents like this one!

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    Marvin Wallace

    Marvin Wallace is widely published and recognized as an expert in emerging technologies as well as a frequent speaker at industry conferences. You can visit him at

    All stories by: Marvin Wallace
    • Betsy Cline

      Is it just me whos heart starts to race just at the thought of broken glass let alone in carpet!!! Thanks for this guide. I have luckily not experienced this yet but will be keeping this post in the back of my head for when it does! (Since I am sure I have jinxed myself now haha)

    • Hastings

      Handling broken glass on carpets can be a pain, but this is a great guide. The duct tape trick is a good idea! One thing i also find helpful is to sprinkle a bit of flour over the area before vacuuming – it helps to catch smaller glass particles that may be missed. Thanks

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