The best ways to clean up every piece of broken glass

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When you hear glass breaking, grab the nearest potato (or try one of these other tricks).

Cleaning broken glass requires you to be thorough. And being thorough enough sometimes requires ingenuity. Even if you have a broom handy, you may want to try another method: either the broom will fail to pick them up, or tiny shards will get stuck in the broom’s bristles, posing a danger to your next sweeping session.

If you want to make sure you don’t leave any glass behind, all the best methods involve a little trickery. Here are our broom-less tips for cleaning up glass debris.

First things first: Clear the area
When the glass hits the floor, it’s time to get children, pets and unwilling family members out of the room. Before you start picking up the glass, make sure you are wearing shoes with closed toes.

Start by picking up the main shards of glass. If you do not have gloves, use tongs. Never kneel on the areas of broken glass as sharp pieces can easily go through your trousers and cut your knee.

After cleaning up what you can by hand, try the following techniques to tackle any stubborn, sneaky bits of glass that remain.

Vacuuming
Vacuuming glass debris can wreak havoc on the inside of your appliance. If you use a hoover, cover the hose with a sock or thin towel. This barrier will catch any small pieces of glass that are sucked up – but be careful when disposing of the glass-covered cloth.

Use a damp paper towel
A disposable wet wipe or a folded, damp paper towel is a classic technique for picking up pieces of glass that a broom cannot usually pick up. For this approach, it is important to wear gloves to protect yourself from glass shards that get through the paper towel. Fold a damp paper towel in half.

Be smart with your carbs
Two pantry items are very useful for cleaning glass. These are

The forbidden toast
A slice of bread is an effective tool for mopping up broken glass. It’s a great way to pick up small shards, as well as being a staple of any killer breakfast.

The mighty potato
The second best food option for wiping up broken glass: the inside of a potato. Cut a potato in half and use the flesh to scoop up the glass shards.

Use something sticky
Even after cleaning up most of the glass, there are still small pieces of glass left. It is wise to check the area using duct tape, a lint roller or similar adhesive.

The best way to get rid of broken glass
Now that you’ve cleared your floor of glass debris, make sure you dispose of it properly. Rather than throwing it straight into the bin (where it will inevitably tear the bag), wrap the glass shards in an old rag, then place this spiky bundle in a paper bag and then in a cardboard box. For safety, label this outer container so that anyone who comes into contact with it knows what to expect.