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Easiest Way to Clean up Shattered Shower Door

A glass shower door shattering is definitely not something that occurs every day, but it is something that can happen. The tempered glass shatters into lots of little, round-edged pieces instead of shards. While we appreciate the safety implications of this, an exploded shower door makes a big mess.

So, if the worst has happened and you are dealing with heaps of glass pebbles, then this guide is going to help you clean it up with ease and in a way that minimizes the risk of broken glass being left hidden in the bathroom.

Sweep up the bulk of the glass. Knock out any remaining glass in the frame and sweep the whole bathroom. Go over all the surfaces and the floor with a vacuum cleaner. Finish by wiping the floor and surfaces with a damp cloth.

Sweep up the Bulk of the Glass

The first thing you should do is grab your broom, preferably a rubber one, and sweep up as much glass as you can.

Using a rubber broom (amazon link) lowers the chances of pieces of glass getting stuck in between the bristles.

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Getting rid of the bulk of the glass will allow you to work better in the area for the more complicated or more detailed parts of the clean-up process.

Once you have swept the bulk of the glass together, you should scoop it all up and throw it away.

However, don’t just discard it straight into the bin. Even though it is safety glass, it can still tear through the thin bin liner, and you don’t want to have to sweep it all up again when you go to take the trash bag out.

Rather discard the glass into a cardboard box or a thicker plastic bag and then throw it into your larger bin. This will ensure that there is a protective barrier between the glass and the bin liner.

Even though you will be using a broom, it is important that you wear gloves throughout the entire cleaning process. You may accidentally handle a piece of the glass while scooping it up or shaking out the bristles into the bin.

Get All the Glass out of the Frame

The next step is applicable only if you have a framed glass door. If you do, then some pieces of glass may still be suspended from the frame.

You need to make sure that you carefully extract all of this glass as you don’t want these falling out while you clean up and move the frame.

  • This would increase the risk of injury as glass can fall unbeknownst to you and you can lean or kneel on this piece.
  • Leaving the glass in the frame will also increase the work you have to do. As pieces fall from the frame, you will keep having to go over these areas again.
  • It also increases the possibility of you missing pieces of glass, which can cause harm later on.

While getting the glass out of the frame, it is vital that you wear protective goggles that fit securely to your face to avoid any glass from entering and possibly damaging your eyes.

You must also make sure that you have good, thick gloves.

Illustration of a man wearing yellow gloves with goggles  on a bathroom with shattered glass doors of a shower stall

Avoid wearing baggy clothes that can catch pieces of glass as you will run the risk of dropping these around the bathroom and rest of the house.

Assess the remaining glass. If you can pull bigger pieces out by hand and throw them away, then do so.

If the glass pieces are quite unstable, then set up a tarp around the broken door (you are cordoning off the shower cubicle).

Tape the tarp to the ceiling and stand behind it. It should hang all the way to the floor and have a little more tail to fold forward (away from you), to prevent anything from shooting around the bathroom.

Then, find a tool that will help you gently tap the pieces out of the frame (you will be tapping against the glass through the tarp).

Roll the tarp from the top down so that any shards sitting in the folds of the material are pushed or shaken out onto the floor, where they can be seen and cleared.

Sweep Again

Once you have discarded the bulk of the glass and removed the frame from the bathroom, you must sweep the entire room again.

This time, you are sweeping the whole bathroom, not just trying to sweep up the glass pieces. Some smaller pieces of glass will be scattered around the bathroom, under cabinets, behind the toilet, etc., so you need to make sure you cover the whole floor.

Vacuum the Bathroom

While your vacuum may generally be used for carpeted surfaces, it will definitely come in handy in this instance.

You need to vacuum the entire floor of your bathroom, but also the bathtub, shower, counters and any other visible surfaces, such as shelves or cabinets. Glass shattering may have caused small pieces to fly across the room and land in these places.

Cleaning the bathroom floor using a vacuum cleaner

The suction action will assist in getting out all the pieces of glass without you needing to physically look for and extract the pieces with your hands.

When you are done, you must carefully empty out the vacuum into the same plastic/cardboard container that you used for the initial sweep of glass.

Wipe the Surfaces

The last step to take is really a safety precaution to ensure that you have gotten every possible piece of glass out of the bathroom.

Still wearing your protective gloves, take a damp cloth and wipe over all of the surfaces in the bathroom, including the floor. The damp cloth will allow any small pieces of glass to adhere to it and come off of the surfaces in the bathroom.

You will need to shake out the cloth carefully into the same disposal container after wiping down each area to ensure that you aren’t accidentally dropping shards of glass from one spot to another.

Once this is done, you should feel pretty confident that you have eradicated all glass out of the bathroom.

If you are wondering how on earth this happened, then check out my article on Why Shower Doors Suddenly Break (Explode).

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