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Cleaning Broken Glass Out of Carpet

It happens every once in a while: a table is accidentally bumped, and whatever was on it is knocked off onto the floor. Hopefully nothing has been broken, but in some unfortunate situations, something breakable is ruined during the ordeal, leaving shards of broken glass on your floor.

Although it seems less likely that broken glass would end up on a carpeted area than on tile or wood, it is important to carefully and thoroughly clean the area if it does happen. Because carpet can easily hide a small piece of glass, a quick spot cleaning is not enough to really take care of the mess. In order to avoid cuts or injuries, you should take great care when cleaning pieces of broken glass from a carpeted area. Any glass that is left behind could cause harm later on when it is accidentally stepped on.

If pieces of broken glass end up in your carpet:

  1. Be sure you are wearing proper protection for your hands and feet. Wear close-toed shoes around broken glass, and wear gloves if possible.
  2. Carefully remove large chunks of glass that are easily visible. Remember, just because you can't see more glass in the carpet, it doesn't mean it's all gone. Throw the glass away in a place where no one could be potentially injured by it.
  3. Vacuum the area thoroughly, going over it several times to ensure you pick up as much of the glass as possible.
  4. After vacuuming, use a brush to scrub at the area to bring any glass to the surface that might be embedded deeper in the carpet. You can use duct tape or a piece of bread to help pick up pieces as well.
  5. Vacuum again, this time getting the larger area surrounding the spot where the mess was. You want to be sure that any stray pieces are picked up so no one steps on them later. Even though the carpet might look completely clean, glass is easily hidden so a very detailed and thorough vacuuming is ideal.

It is a good idea to vacuum the area every day for a week after you clean up, just to make sure all of the glass has been sucked up. Wear socks or shoes around the area for a while to protect your feet, just in case. If you can't seem to get all of the glass up from the carpet or are worried that the vacuum can't get it all, contact a professional cleaner or rent a carpet shampooer to do a more thorough job.

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Comments for this tip:

JJ    26 May 2014, 10:54
Wise idea, Beth, using a flashlight to pick up the glint of any little shards. That very thing happened to me recently---a broken light bulb. Where I live, the apartments are carpeted. Glass all over the carpet by my dresser---what a mess! I usually go about in stocking feet inside, so that mirror idea was perfect! Thank you, ma'am!
Beth    26 May 2014, 06:56
One further trick-when you are sure you have gotten every possible piece of glass, use a flashlight. Shine it on the area from several different angles and watch for reflected glints. This really helps save your feet.

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