How to Discard a Broken Mirror Safely
Listen, we know things happen in life. Heck, life happens. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan - and that’s ok!
Breaking a mirror is serious business and not just because of the age of old superstition. Broken mirrors are dangerous objects in themselves and can lead to a lot of severe injuries, even when you’re prepared. For example, an aggregate of different studies recently revealed that as much as 13% of all emergency room traumas come from glass!
On top of that, knowing just what to do with all of your shards of broken glass can be tricky, given there are few materials that discuss just how to recycle mirrors effectively.
With all of that in mind, we’ve set up a guide on how to best approach disposing of a broken mirror and how you can minimize the risk of serious injury from jagged glass.
The simplest way to manage your own safety is to ensure you have as much personal protection you can gather. Tools for grabbing, collecting, and transporting sharp objects are going to be crucial.
Even better, make sure you have the proper clothing is vital as well. Make sure you have some good shoes or boots on to keep your feet safe. Wearing long-sleeved clothing and long pants is similarly helpful and will give you at least a little protection from any stray pieces of glass.
Gloves are the most essential piece of clothing you can wear for this job as well—strong gloves made from leather, such as gardening gloves, are ideal.
As a guide, here’s a simple list of handy items you may have around the house that can help when handling a broken mirror:
- Trash Bags
- Bubble Wrap
Each of these items is extremely useful and can help massively with transportation. As well as that, using these items when handling glass also protects others from potential harm as well.
The next thing you’ll want to do is actually start packing your mirror away, preferably by using the supplies listed above.
As a recommendation, we’d start by wrapping your mirror in bubble wrap or an old blanket. This will help contain any loose shards in the frame and stop contact with any sharp edges. Then, completely wrap up your mirror and seal your bubble wrap or blanket with liberal amounts of tape to ensure nothing comes loose.
When it comes to tape, we wholly recommend using the toughest tape you have. Duck Tape is ideal, but packing tape can also work as well. Painting tape or masking tape should be avoided as options as these are simply not strong enough to seal your wrapping nor contain the sharp edges of broken glass.
While it’s tempting to try and gather loose glass to place in your wrapping as well, we’d recommend avoiding that. Loose glass eventually finds a way out, and this will definitely increase your handling time and risk of injury.
Now, it’s time to get your mirror safely tucked away in something where the sharp edges of your broken pieces won’t cause issues when they inevitably poke through your wrappings.
Start by lining your box of choice with a layer of bubble wrap on the inside. This will accomplish two things - it’s going to help seal your box and prevent stray pieces from escaping and provide an additional layer of protection from sharp glass that may try to poke through your container.
Once you have your box sufficiently insulated with bubble wrap, place your wrapped-up mirror in the box.
With the main piece safely tucked away in your sealed box, you can now begin to collect any stray pieces that may have fallen off the mirror.
Very carefully collect pieces while wearing your gloves, starting from the broadest point and moving gradually towards the center. We recommend grabbing the most significant pieces first before moving on to the next size down; this will make it easier to track what you’ve collected.
Before placing your large and medium-sized pieces into your box, be sure to put these in a puncture-resistant trash bag, taking care to not reach into the bag or drop the pieces on top of one another.
Once you have all of your pieces safely collected in trash bags and placed in your sealed box, it’s now time to start thoroughly cleaning the area to remove the tiniest shards that will inevitably be missed.
Start by vacuuming the area, taking care to cover as much of the area as possible, as well as adjacent regions where shards may have flown further outward. We recommend avoiding using any sort of brush attachment on your vacuum as these will often trap smaller fragments rather than allowing them to be safely sucked up.
Finally, once you’re finished vacuuming, finish the clean-up by blotting the area with an absorbent material. This will work to pick up the tiniest shards that the vacuum may have missed. If you don’t think you have a sufficient amount of material, use some rolled-up tape as an alternative.
That’s it for our guide on disposing of a broken mirror safely! Be sure to take a moment after you’re done to scan the area for anything you may have missed quickly. As well as that, make sure you vacuum your shoes and gloves to remove any harmful residue. Overall, you should dedicate roughly an hour to the entire process to make sure you’re thorough.