How To Safety Clean Up Broken Glass From A Window

Posted on: 29 October 2015

Broken glass is a tedious thing to try to clean up. When a window gets broken, you have to get past the anger and on to the cleanup without cutting yourself in the process. Below, you will find out the best method of cleaning up the broken window glass with as little risk as possible without leaving any shards of glass behind.

You will need

  • Cardboard box
  • Newspapers
  • Dustpan and broom
  • Shop vacuum
  • Safety gloves and goggles
  • Heat gun
  • Rubber mallet
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Duct tape
  • 1" paint brush

Cleaning Up Inside

Put on your safety gloves and goggles. Pick up all of the larger pieces carefully and place it in the box. Large pieces that don't fit in the box should be wrapped in newspaper and tapped with the mallet to break them into smaller pieces so that they will fit into the box for safe disposal.

Use the broom to sweep up the broken glass to the best of your ability. Remember that the broken glass can travel quite a far distance, so sweep the areas beyond where the glass has broken.

Any glass that remains in the window frame must also be removed, but before you make an attempt to remove it, cover the sharp edges with a few layers of duct tape to reduce the chances of getting cut during the process. Now, get a good grip on the glass and try pulling it out of the frame. If it won't come out easily, use the heat gun to warm up the adhesive that is keeping it in the frame. If you don't have a heat gun, use a hair dryer on high heat.

Once the large pieces are removed from the frame, use the pliers and screwdriver to work the rest of the small pieces out. You may need to reheat the adhesive a few times before getting all of that broken glass out of the frame.

Vacuum the window and the floor with the shop vacuum to clean up any small shards that were missed with the broom. Take your time to ensure that you didn't miss anything.

Note: Do not use your upright vacuum with rotating brushes to sweep the floor. This will cause glass pieces to shoot across the floor.

Cleaning Up Outside

When windows break, glass not only comes inside, but it also goes outside. Take a cardboard box with you and while wearing your safety gloves and goggles, begin cleaning up the glass on the ground below the window.

The shop vacuum can also be used to suck up the broken pieces of glass outside if you can't get it picked up by hand.

This process is tedious, but it is possible to get through it without getting cut. Just take your time and be as thorough as possible and you will prevent injuries and possibly save yourself some money when it comes to replacing the broken glass as the glass repair technician will not have to remove the glass from the frame before the new glass can be installed.