Have you ever had to clean up a broken glass and thought to yourself, “Can I just vacuum this up?”
It’s a natural thought to have, but the answer is generally no.
Vacuuming up broken glass may seem like a quick and easy solution, but it can actually be quite dangerous and potentially damaging to your vacuum.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover:
- The risks of vacuuming glass with a regular vacuum cleaner
- Alternative methods for cleaning up broken glass safely
- How to vacuum glass using a shop vac
- Tips for cleaning the shop vac after picking up glass
- And more!
Can You Vacuum Glass?
You should never use a conventional vacuum cleaner to clean up broken glass. Glass shards can easily become stuck in the vacuum’s bag or canister and may be released when emptying it, putting you or anyone else who could come into contact with the debris at risk of injury. Furthermore, the glass has the potential to damage the vacuum itself, resulting in costly repairs.
What Type Of Vacuum Can You Use To Clean Up Glass?
If you do decide to vacuum up small, intact pieces of glass, it’s important to use the right type of vacuum to minimize the risk of injury or damage.
Here are a few options to consider:
1. Vacuums with HEPA filters
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are designed to capture very small particles, making them a good choice for vacuuming up fine debris like glass.
Look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter that is certified to capture particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
This will help ensure that the glass is collected safely and without causing any damage to the vacuum.
Just remember to clean up your vacuum after use and safely dispose of the glass.
2. Wet/dry vacuums
If you’re dealing with larger pieces of glass or a larger spill, a wet/dry vacuum would be a better option.
These types of vacuums are designed to handle both wet and dry debris, making them a versatile choice for cleaning up glass. J
ust be sure to use the dry setting when vacuuming up glass to avoid any risk of damage to the vacuum’s internal components.
What Are Some Alternative Methods For Cleaning Up Glass?
If vacuuming up broken glass isn’t a safe or viable option without a shop vac, what are some alternative methods for cleaning it up?
Broom and dustpan
A broom and dustpan is a tried-and-true method for cleaning up small debris, including glass. Just be sure to use a dustpan with a fine mesh screen to help catch any small shards that may have been missed.
Using a Slice of Bread
One way to pick up small shards of glass is to use a slice of bread. Simply press the bread gently onto the broken glass and it will pick up the shards. Be sure to dispose of the bread and any remaining glass properly.
Using a Dump Paper Towel
Another method for cleaning up broken glass is to use a damp paper towel. Simply press the damp paper towel onto the broken glass and it will pick up the shards. Be sure to dispose of the paper towel and any remaining glass properly.
Using Duct Tape
Using tape is another option for cleaning up broken glass. Simply press the tape onto the broken glass and it will pick up the shards. Be sure to dispose of the tape and any remaining glass properly.
Using a Piece of Potato
You can also use a piece of potato to pick up small shards of glass. Simply press the potato gently onto the broken glass and it will pick up the shards. Be sure to dispose of the potato and any remaining glass properly.
Vacuum Hose and a Sock
If you do decide to use a vacuum to clean up broken glass, one method that can help reduce the risk of injury or damage is to use a sock over the end of the vacuum hose. Simply slide the sock over the end of the hose and use it to gently pick up the broken glass. Be sure to dispose of the sock and any remaining glass properly.
What Should You Do If You Accidentally Vacuum Up Glass With The Wrong Type Of Vacuum?
If you do accidentally vacuum up broken glass, the most important thing is to turn off the vacuum immediately.
From there, follow these steps to safely clean up the glass and minimize the risk of injury or damage:
- Inspect the bag or canister: Before emptying the bag or canister, carefully inspect it for any visible shards of glass. If you see any, use a pair of tweezers or a similar tool to remove them as carefully as possible.
- Empty the bag or canister: Once you’ve removed any visible shards, you can safely empty the bag or canister. Be sure to do this over a trash can or similar container to catch any stray shards.
- Check the attachments and nozzle: After emptying the bag or canister, be sure to check the vacuum’s attachments and nozzle for any remaining shards of glass. If you see any, use a pair of tweezers or a similar tool to remove them as carefully as possible.
- Dispose of the glass safely: Finally, be sure to dispose of the collected glass safely. If possible, place it in a sealed container or bag before throwing it away to minimize the risk of injury or further damage.
Vacuuming glass can be a safety hazard as well as a detrimental task for your regular vacuum!
If you don’t have a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a shop vac, you should opt for one of the alternative methods, such as:
- Using a broom and dustpan
- Trying the slice of bread method
- Carefully picking up glass with a damp paper towel
- Using duct tape
- Using a piece of potato
- Placing a sock at one end of your vacuum hose
If you do accidentally vacuum up glass with the wrong type of vacuum, make sure to shut the vacuum off immediately and get rid of any broken pieces of glass before proceeding.