There is little you cannot do with a vacuum cleaner when it comes to sucking dirt. Unless you intend to vacuum wet surfaces. You will certainly need a special type of a vacuum. But what happens if glass finds it way onto the floor and shatters into pieces? Can you vacuum glass? Well! It depends on several factors as you will find out in this article.
When glass breaks, its fragments lay on the floor in big shards and small pieces. The big bits are easier to collect. They can be picked by hand and disposed appropriately.
However, tiny pieces are not only difficult to clean, but also dangerous. If a piece lodges itself into your foot, you will be left feeling pain for days. It is also possible to develop an infection depending on the type of glass.
This begs the question of how safely to collect them. For some, a vacuum cleaner is the first thing that comes into the mind. By the virtue of its ability to sanction even the tiniest bits of dirt, there is a high probability it would come in handy for this kind of a task.
Also read: Can you vacuum water?
Can you Vacuum Glass?
Most cleaning experts discourage using a vacuum cleaner to suck glass pieces. Firstly, if the glass had contents before falling and breaking, the pieces are most likely wet.
Moisture is completely bad for a regular vacuum. It can destroy the internal components. Further, it has the potential to trigger mold growth in the inside. Bad smell is another challenge that has links to the presence of water or moisture inside a vacuum cleaner.
But even if the glass pieces are dry, there are other dangers.
Both tiny and big fragments of glass are sharp and can tear or make holes on the dirt collecting bag in a bagged vacuum.
Dust collecting bags are replaceable but you do not want to damage one before it is completely filled up. And in any case it is punctured without your knowledge, your machine will not clean as effectively as it should.
It will begin to release dirt out and before you know it, there is a likelihood your machine will have developed more problems.
Filter is another vacuum component that can be damaged by pieces of glass. Ideally, most vacuums feature filters that are made of pleated paper, foam, woven and non woven materials. All these materials can be damaged by small and big shards of glass.
Glass pieces are also dangerous when they get into a blocked vacuum hose. There is a very low chance of damaging it, but they make the process of unblocking it quite difficult.
Lastly, glass pieces can get trapped around your vacuum’s brush. However, this is unlikely if it has no other kinds of dirt such as pet hair around out.
You might also be wondering if broken glass puts components such as motor in danger. It is unlikely but with all the other possible issues, your vacuum cleaner should not the first cleaning option to consider for broken glass.
All the same, vacuums differ significantly. Therefore, there are vacuums that clean glass without developing any problems.
How to Clean Broken Glass Safely
There several methods that you can use to clean glass safely and effectively. The good thing about all of them is that you do not put an expensive machine such as a vacuum cleaner at risk.
Dustpan and Brush Method
This is the most obvious and easiest method for cleaning glass. However, it can also expose you to the risks of broken glass pieces. You need to be very careful and keen.
Step 1: Wear Protective Gear
Glass pieces can cut through your skin easily. This creates the need for protecting your hands and feet. You need thick rubber gloves for the hands and a pair of safety boots for your feet.
If you do not have professional safety boots, a pair of shoes with thick soles is good enough. Ensure that you put on the safety gear before embarking on the task.
Step 2: Collect Big Shards of Glass
Since you do not need to sweep the big pieces of glass, collect them by hand. Carefully walk over the surface where the fragments lay, and collect each piece at a time.
Handle them with extra care and place them on a dustpan. Dispose them once you are sure that you have not left a piece behind.
Step 3: Sweep the Small Pieces
Use the brush to sweep the small pieces. Sweep them towards a central point to make the process of collecting them with a dustpan easier.
A flashlight might come in handy if you a cleaning transparent pieces of glass. Hold it directly above the surface and turn it on. Ensure that the room’s light is turned off.
Move your hand slowly to shine the light on different places on the surface. This will help you locate glass pieces that you might be missing with the naked eye.
Sweep the pieces towards the rest of the bits and collect everything with a dustpan.
Shake the brush thoroughly on the dustpan to ensure that no pieces of glass are left stuck inside the bristles.
Step 4: Vacuum the Surface
Complete the process by vacuuming the surface. This will help clear tiny invisible bits that can put you but not your machine at risk.
Cleaning Broken Glass with Bread
Using bread slices is one of the most effective techniques for cleaning shattered glass. The bread should be slightly damp so that it can do the job thoroughly.
Begin by wearing protective gloves and shoes. You might need to protect your knees. This depends on whether you will kneel or not.
Collect big shards of glass and dispose them properly.
Follow up by taking a slice of bread at a time and pressing it gently on to small pieces of glass lying on the floor. Use a different slice one the old one collects enough pieces.
Use a Damp Paper Towel
A slightly wet paper towel works in almost the same way as bread slices. However, you to be extra careful because paper towel is much thinner. It makes your hands more vulnerable to developing injuries from glass pieces.
Use a tape
Almost all types of tape are ideal for collecting glass. However, smaller options involve a lot of labor and they are time ineffective.
I was reading through one of my favorite forums and a member recommended packing tape as you can read here.