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Should You Vacuum Broken Glass?

A broken glass is on a floor.
showcake/Shutterstock.com

Whether a wine glass got knocked over or a sauce bottle slipped out of your hand, broken glass happens. When it does, it’s of the utmost importance that you get it all up. After all, no one wants a bleeding big toe. But should you reach for your vacuum to do it?

When it comes to how to dispose of broken glass, your vacuum might or might not be the answer. It’s all about the type of appliance you have.

When it comes to household vacuums, most feature flexible hoses, and unfortunately, those can’t be used on broken glass. When you start to clean up broken glass using the hose, those jagged shards can damage the hose itself as well as the interior of the machine. Even the smallest cut in a vacuum’s hoses can cause it to lose suction.

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A handheld vacuum is your best bet for glass.

If you’ve got a vacuum with a beater brush built into the base, you’re also out of luck. Those brushes are designed to loosen dirt caught in carpet strands. When your broken glass is on the carpet, those same brushes can actually push the glass into the material.

What vacuums can you use to pick up broken glass? Handheld vacuums are great options. There are no brushes or hoses, and the containers are often made of durable plastic that isn’t at risk of damage. Simply vacuum up the smaller pieces and immediately dump the canister.

If you happen to have a wet/dry shop vacuum, you can also get up the glass. You should check your manufacturer’s manual before attempting to use it this way, but it is possible.

Don’t have a handheld or wet/dry vacuum? Don’t worry. There’s a handy trick that’ll ensure you get up every piece of glass, and all you need is a lint roller.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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