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How to Clean Up Glitter: Quick Tips for a Sparkly Mess

Child's hands with purple color glitter

Glitter is one of the funnest craft items for kids to use, but cleaning up glitter is the bane of every parent! Use these quick tips to keep the glitter bomb from taking over your house.

How to Clean Up Glitter From Hard Surfaces

Art projects done on a table, countertop, or over a hard floor make it simple to clean up. Start with the highest surface and work your way down. That way, anything that gets brushed onto lower levels, like chairs and floors, is picked up as you clean your way down to the floor.

Wipe With Dusting Cloths

Start your glitter clean-up by wiping the table or counter with a dusting cloth. These pre-treated cloths have some moisture that easily picks up glitter. Alternatively, a dry microfiber dusting cloth can also pick up quite a bit of glitter. Hold up a small garbage bag at the edge of the surface using one hand and push glitter into the bag with the other once the whole surface has been wiped.

Use a Dust Broom or Mop

Once you've gotten the main surface cleaned, you'll want to move to the floor. Use a dust broom or mop to grab glitter on your hard floors. Once you have a pile, then switch to your hand-held broom to get it into the dustpan.

Woman sweeping up glitter and confetti

Break Out the Hand-Held Vacuum

Hand-held vacuums and attachment tools for regular vacuums allow you to easily zap up glitter you missed in small crevices on your counter and on the floor. Just be careful when you empty the tank so glitter doesn't fly everywhere! Going outside is best.

Try Silly Putty

Silly Putty is a sticky dough-like substance that picks up everything from dust to newsprint. If you still see glitter once you've gone over the counter and floor with your regular cleaning tools, give Silly Putty a try. Flatten it into a thick circle and press or roll over remaining glitter. Most should get picked up. Just make sure you dispose of the putty once you're done -- or keep it in your cleaning supply cabinet for the next glitter mess!

How to Clean Glitter From Carpets and Rugs

Getting glitter out of fibers is a more difficult task than removing it from hard surfaces. However, that doesn't mean you're destined to shine for the next six months. Give these methods a try:

Start By Vacuuming

Once the counter or table is clean, you should run your vacuum over the entire workspace. Tips for success include:

  • Adjust your vacuum's roller for the carpet or rug pile for best results.
  • Go over the floor from several angles to pick up the most glitter.
  • Don't just vacuum where you can see glitter; expand to a couple feet beyond the visible areas so you catch all the little pieces.
  • Use attachments or the hand-held option as needed for smaller areas.
  • Empty the vacuum outside to avoid glitter fallout.
Girl vacuuming the carpet

Try a Carpet Pile Broom

Sometimes running a vacuum over the carpet and walking behind it will push the glitter down into the fibers. Try using a carpet pile broom to fluff up the carpet to make it easier to vacuum/dustbust.

Run a Lint Roller Over the Area

If there's just a little glitter left, or it's concentrated in a small area, consider running your lint roller over that spot. It will pick up dust, lint, sparkles, and glitter as you go over the rug or carpet but not harm the materials.

Use Masking Tape or Duct Tape

Heavy-duty fibers can withstand a bit more abrasive option. Wrap masking tape or duct tape around the palm of your hand and four fingers so that the sticky side of the tape is on the outside and the smooth on the inside. Then run your fingers and hand over the area where the glitter was spilled. Try to use your fingers to work a little further into the carpet pile to catch any glitter that is trapped.

Make Static Electricity With a Balloon to Attract Glitter

The Today Show experts recommend rubbing a balloon on carpeting and fibers to create static electricity. This should help attract glitter pieces to the balloon and lift them up and off the fibers.

Ways to Stop Glitter From Getting Everywhere

Prevention is the best treatment when it comes to keeping glitter bombs at bay. Follow these tips to stop glitter from getting all over your house:

  • Cover your surface with a large piece of newspaper, cardboard, or disposable plastic tablecloth. When craft time is over, simply fold and roll inward to keep glitter contained and toss.
  • If you're doing a lot of crafting or have delicate flooring materials, consider laying a paint drop cloth below the table before getting started.
  • Wear craft aprons that can be taken off, rolled up, shook outside, and washed.
  • Clean glitter off skin by first rubbing hands together over your protected surface and gently shaking them. Then wash hands in a sink with a little table salt. The salt will be abrasive to help pick off the glitter bits from hands without harming them.

Get Rid of Glitter Quickly and Easily

Despite your best efforts, there are usually a few stray pieces of glitter found a few days or even weeks after the craft project is complete. Try vacuuming or sweeping again after a day or two to get those stray pieces picked up.

How to Clean Up Glitter: Quick Tips for a Sparkly Mess