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Tips for cleaning up broken glass

Accidents happen, but broken glass can be one of the trickiest things to clean up safely. Those shards tend to scatter over quite a wide area and are often so tiny they are hard to spot – we’ve probably all encountered such a problem many times in the past and are still finding missed shard that are almost invisible.
Fine glassware and lightbulbs are the most difficult to track, and tend to splinter into smaller shards, but even ceramic can produce glass-like slivers that are razor sharp.
Here’s a few tips to make sure you catch them all…

1. First clear the room of your family – especially children and pets so you can concentrate on the clean up without stress, and protect yourself with closed shoes, and thick gloves. Use a kneeling pad or seat cushion to avoid cuts to your knees.

2. Next, gather up the large pieces and place them in thick paper, and even place the wrapped glass inside a box for further protection to prevent any accidents in your rubbish bin.

3. Sweep up the smaller pieces carefully to avoid scattering them, then vacuum the residue. Be sure to empty your vacuum and brush out any tiny pieces from the brush attachment to avoid dispersing them inadvertently next time you clean.

4. Grab a torch – you know how you sometimes think you’ve caught it all, only to find more when you look from a fresh angle – that’s because of the way the light catches the glass particles. If you use a strong flashlight and sweep the light over the area, it will pick up shards and glass ‘dust’ you wouldn’t ordinarily see. A great way of catching these specks is by pressing a slice of soft, fresh bread onto the glass shards (using gloves of course). Be sure to dispose of the bread promptly, and grab fresh slices as you go. Wet paper towels can also work, or a lint roller – or even heavy duty tape wrapped around your fingers sticky side out.

5. Remember to take your sweeping brushes outside and rinse them will with a garden hose over a bucket to ensure you capture any rogue shards and dispose of the water down the drain. And don’t forget to check the bottom of your shoes, which you can also rinse with water, or use the tape to remove embedded slivers.

6. It’s a good idea, once back inside to do a final sweep with your torch over an area wider than you’d expect to find traces of glass – it can be pretty explosive when it hits the floor and can scatter a fair distance. To be on the safe side, have everyone wear slippers for a couple of days and be vigilant.

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