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Ask Eli - Broken Glass In Landscaping?

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How do I clean up broken glass in landscaping? The sliding glass door broke and now we have millions of little pieces of glass in the flower bed and I don't know what to do.- Elizabeth

Broken Glass


Good question. The sliding glass door is tempered glass which makes it break into the little tiny pieces instead of larger pieces. The reason for this is because you can get a bigger cut from a bigger piece of glass. If someone falls and crashes through a sliding glass door, they could be injured far worse from a large piece of broken glass than from tiny pieces. It would take forever to pick up every little piece of glass, but you don't want to leave them there because you might cut yourself when you are weeding in the flower bed. Or you might have pets or children that could get cut. You want to make sure you get as much of it cleaned up as you can. Here is the best method I have found: Shopvac.

Shopvac Vacuum

You might loose a little dirt or mulch but you can get every little shard with a shopvac. You don't want to use the hose attachment on you house vacuum. You really need to use a shopvac. The one I used in the pictures is called a Bucket Head and I got it at The Home Depot for about $25.00. I think Lowe's has their own version too. It attaches to a bucket so when you are done vacuuming you can take the vacuum off the bucket and put a lid on it to trap the mess inside. I have access to paint buckets so I get them for free, but you can buy buckets at home improvement stores for a couple dollars.

Vacuuming up broken glass

So, just keep vacuuming until you can't see any more glass. You can use a shop light or a flash light to look for missed pieces. Move the light around and look for reflections in the little pieces of glass. If you suck up some mulch or dirt then you just need to replace it later. It would be better to replace a little mulch than risk getting cut. If the glass is around plants then just shake the glass off of them and vacuum around the stems. It seems like an impossible task when it first happens but it is actually pretty simple. It will take some time though.

Broken glass all cleaned up

Sorry to hear about your door. Good luck with the project.

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