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Old 12-16-2011, 01:10 PM
Whatcha gonna do?
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Somewhere fictional
Posts: 10,789
Can you pick up glass with a vacuum? How much?

So, last night I'm on my computer in the middle of my WoW raid when suddenly I hear an ominous "crash!" from the kitchen. Fortunately the kitchen is right behind me, so I turn around and...

Oh, shit...

One of my cats has knocked a teflon skillet off the stove...complete with its glass lid. Which is now shattered all over the floor.

Quickly telling my raidmates that I had a small emergency and I'd be gone for a bit, I hurried out there, carefully shooed the cat out (along with the two other cats who'd come to investigate the sound), grabbed a brush and a dustpan and started scooping up the glass.

Glass gets everywhere. This stuff shattered like safety glass so there were no scary shards, but the pieces didn't stay together so I had to move everything and track them down (occasionally chasing down a cat who decided a single piece of glass made a great toy and had batted it out of the kitchen).

Took me about 20 minutes to be pretty sure I'd gotten it all. Threw it away outside and went back to the raid.

10 minutes or so later the spouse gets home. I ask him to please check that all the glass is gone. He pulls out the vacuum cleaner and proceeds to vacuum the entire kitchen. When I have a break I tell him what I did with the brush and dustpan, and he says, "You should have just gotten out the vacuum cleaner and sucked it all up."

"You can't do that!" I protested. "It would ruin the vacuum!" (Note that I wasn't talking about the little bit he did--he said he didn't actually see any glass and that I'd most likely gotten it all).

"It will not," he tells me.

So...what say you guys? Am I right, or is he? Is it safe to suck up large quantities of glass with a vac, or will it mess up the innards? If it matters, our vac is one of those Dyson Pet things. I personally hate it--it sucks well, but it's a pain in the neck to hustle around. But it has no bag, just a hopper thing.
Old 12-16-2011, 01:39 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Scottsdale, more-or-less
Posts: 14,963
Generally, the debris doesn't pass through any moving parts, so it's perfectly fine to suck up glass.
ETA: I just noticed that it's a Dyson, so I know it's OK to vacuum glass.

Last edited by beowulff; 12-16-2011 at 01:40 PM.
Old 12-16-2011, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 14,569
I've done it countless times. No broken vacuums yet.

Hell, I'm too lazy to pick up loose change from the floor and my vacuum still works fine.
Old 12-16-2011, 02:57 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,542
I've vacuumed up plenty of broken glass over the years with my regular Kenmore vacuum cleaner. I've also cleaned up three broken car windows (tempered safety glass, breaks into a billion pea-sized fragments) using my ShopVac with no problems.

The only thing that might be an issue is sharp fragments lacerating a vacuum bag but with a bagless cleaner that's obviously not a problem.
Old 12-16-2011, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,284
We had a biiig Easter earthquake a couple of years ago and it was like my kitchen cabinets threw up everywhere. Once I'd gotten the big stuff, I went to town with the vacuum.

The advice I heard for bagless machines was to put a panty hose, with a little slack over the hose attachment to prevent anything being sucked into the machine. It's a little vague now, but I remember that you have to be careful with some bagless machines because stuff can be pulled into...? That's where my memory gives out.

A quick call to a repair shop can give you the details I can't.

My machine uses a bag, basically the same thing as the panty hose trick, and came through like a champ. You've never seen something so alarming as a vacuum picking glass and china out of a dishwasher!

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