Can You Vacuum Glass? How to Do It Properly [2023 Guide]

Published by Ahmad Jamal on March 1, 2022 | Last updated on May 14, 2023

You’re making dinner, hands are a bit more wet than usual, you’re holding the plate but it just slips away from your hand to the ground it goes.

The plate shattered, glass everywhere on the kitchen floor, this is pretty dangerous and hands and legs are in a huge hazardous situation.

Unfortunately, the shattered glass isn’t as shiny and harmless as the pieces of diamond in Rihanna’s 2012 Diamonds song.

The first quick question that comes to mind is: Can You Vacuum Glass? As vacuums are responsible for a widespread list of debris that they take good care of.

However, it’s not that simple, and you’ll need multiple steps of attempting to neutralize the threat of broken glass.

In this Cleaners Advisor guide, I’ll answer the aforementioned question of “can you vacuum glass?”, alongside providing additional proper ways to get rid of broken glass for good.

Safety First!

When it comes to dealing with glass or debating can you vacuum glass or not, you’ll have to think of safety as your first priority.

Once you’ve got that figured out, you can discuss can you vacuum glass, what else you need to do, what are the protective measure you’ll have to keep in mind while cleaning glass particles, and so on.

To achieve the aforementioned level of safety, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Make sure no one enters the area at all.
  • Isolate children, pets, and elderly away from the glass radius.
  • Make sure you’re wearing thick shoes when in the glass scene.
  • Try to make sure you’ve identified the radius of the shattered glass
  • Add an additional +2 feet area to the radius that may have tiny hard-to-see glass pieces
  • Prepare the right equipment I’ll disclose later, and get ready for business

Elephant in the Room: Can You Vacuum Glass?

No, please don’t do it. You may have heard some contradicting opinions on the possibility of vacuuming glass without any other side effects to that, but I can assure you, it’s not worth it at all.

Some would argue that vacuums have been developing swiftly in recent years, and with that increases the possibility of being able to vacuum glass. But, that’s not as accurate as it seems.

Others would say that using a hose made from plastic would protect the vacuum from shattered glass. It won’t, as the glass can still damage filters, internal components, and more.

Can you Vacuum Glass

How Can Vacuuming Glass Damage Your Vacuum Cleaner?

  • It Can Penetrate Your Vacuum Hose
  • It Can Rupture The Air Filters
  • It Can Puncture The Vacuum’s Bag
  •  It Can Break The Brushes
  • It Can Damage The Motor
  • It Can Destroy The Vacuum’s Fans
  • Glass Can Get Stuck Inside Nozzles And Brushes
  • Some Vacuums Would Spread The Glass Instead of Vacuuming It

What Do You Need to Clean Glass?

The glass shattering scene may be horrific at first, but it’s not hard to deal with, as long as you’ve obtained the correct equipment and tools to do the job, and you’ll need:

Strong Thick Shoes

You’re the one responsible for stepping over the tiny particles of broken glass, then your legs should be fully protected from those particles.

Obtaining a strong & thick pair of shoes is the first piece of equipment you’ll need to navigate freely around the room.

Tool Grabber

No one wants to get handy with the dangerous glass pieces, so a long tool grabber will be effective in cleaning the larger pieces of glass.

However, it won’t be effective on the tiny pieces, so this tool grabber is an essential part of limiting the amount of glass that needs cleaning.

Brush and Dustpan

A brush can be the perfect tool to deal with the smaller pieces of glass, collecting them into one space is the dustpan’s job here.

However, cleaning every single piece of glass won’t be an easy job with a brush only, that’s why I’ve left additional techniques to do to make sure there isn’t any small particle of glass left on the floor.

Tips to Remove Smaller Glass Particles

Don’t Use a Vacuum

We’ve discussed this, no vacuuming at all is needed to get the small glass particles, just use any of the following tips and tricks after sweeping with a brush.


Being unable to find the small-yet-dangerous glass particles on the ground is pretty much worrying, therefore, you can use a flashlight to identify the reflection coming back from those particles, and eliminate the danger afterward.

Slice of Bread

Take a Soft Sandwich Bread, press it onto the floor, and then take it back up. You’ll notice the small particles stuck on the slice of bread, it’s effective to a certain extent.

Duct Tape

A Duct Tape would work more efficiently than a slice of bread since it provides a certain level of “suction” to the tape. Apply it to the floor where you found the glass particles, then remove it instantly so as not to leave marks on the floor, you’ll notice the glass on the other side stuck forever.

Grandma’s Trick

This is the only trick that involves using a vacuum. I once saw my grandma putting a sock at the entrance of the vacuum hose of an old vacuum, then she installed the vacuum’s head. She vacuumed the glass pieces of a broken cup, and once she was done, she just removed the sock and emptied it into the trash can. I can still think this only works back in the 1900s, not anymore.

Protect Others Too

When taking care of the broken glass, whether can you vacuum glass or not, you’ll have to consider not dangering the lives of those who handle the trash.

To make that happen properly, you should always put the broken pieces of glass (large & small) into strong bags, or inside a closed box, or as my grandma used to do: wrap them in multiple layers of newspaper.

Once you’ve done that, put them in strong garbage bags too, and seal the package correctly.

Additionally, you can mark the garbage bag with “glass” signs to inform those who take care of our trash that they should take care of themselves too when handling this specific bag.

Can You Vacuum Glass FAQ

To Wrap Up

Can you Vacuum Glass? This article has identified the methods, the ways, the techniques, and the best way to clean glass, as vacuuming glass isn’t one of them.

Always take care of every piece of glass that’s caused by any glass shattering incident, as every piece can be as dangerous as the largest ones.

If you’ve encountered a situation where extra hurdles appeared in your way of cleaning glass, leave it in the comments section below, and I’ll get back with quick solutions for that matter.