How To Make Crushed Glass

Did you know that modern glass bottles take around 4000 years or longer to decompose in landfills? Did you also know they can be recycled 100% and reused endlessly?

Yes, glass recycling companies are becoming increasingly prevalent these days. You can recycle glass not only into recycled glass sand but also to produce new bottles from recycled material.

What types of waste glass products can be recycled? While we all recognize the various forms of glass products such as bottles, window glass, tempered glass and glass jars can all be grouped for recycling together, they cannot all be put together due to incompatibilities between most common glass-melting furnaces and window/tempered glass materials which cannot be successfully processed into new glass products due to quality issues.

How To Make Crushed Glass
How To Make Crushed Glass

Waste glass bottles can be recycled without any degradation to purity or quality, making the recycling of these waste items the ultimate eco-friendly solution. Common types of glass bottles used for recycling include wine bottles, beverage bottles, glass jars, broken glasses, perfume bottles and many others.

However, if you want to create recycled glass sand without recycling bottles altogether, there’s no colour restriction and mixing bottles together is perfectly acceptable.

How To Make Crushed Glass

Creating crushed glass can be a fun and rewarding DIY project, perfect for crafts, home décor, and various art projects. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make crushed glass safely and effectively:

Materials Needed

  • Glass bottles or jars: Recycle old bottles or jars.
  • Protective gear: Safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask.
  • Thick cloth or towel: To wrap the glass.
  • Hammer or mallet: To crush the glass.
  • Bucket or large container: To catch the crushed glass.
  • Sieve or mesh strainer: To separate fine glass particles.
  • Plastic sheeting or newspaper: To protect your work surface.


Step 1: Preparation

  1. Choose your glass: Select the glass bottles or jars you want to crush. Clean them thoroughly to remove any labels, dirt, or residue.
  2. Safety first: Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask to protect yourself from sharp glass fragments and dust. Ensure you work in a well-ventilated area.

Step 2: Wrapping the Glass

  1. Wrap the glass: Place the glass bottles or jars inside a thick cloth or towel. This helps to contain the shards and reduce the risk of injury.
  2. Secure the cloth: Fold the cloth over the glass securely. You can use tape or tie it to keep the glass in place.

Step 3: Crushing the Glass

  1. Set up your work area: Lay plastic sheeting or newspaper on your work surface to catch any stray glass pieces.
  2. Crush the glass: Using a hammer or mallet, carefully hit the wrapped glass to break it into smaller pieces. Start gently and gradually increase the force until the glass is crushed to your desired consistency.
  3. Check progress: Periodically unwrap the cloth to check the size of the glass pieces. Continue crushing until you achieve the desired size.
Broken glass with sharp Pieces
Broken glass with sharp Pieces

Step 4: Separating Fine Particles

  1. Sieve the glass: Pour the crushed glass into a sieve or mesh strainer over a bucket or large container. Shake the sieve gently to allow smaller particles and dust to fall through.
  2. Collect the crushed glass: The larger pieces will remain in the sieve, while the fine particles will collect in the container below. Dispose of the fine glass dust safely.

Step 5: Cleaning the Crushed Glass

  1. Rinse the glass: To remove any remaining dust or small particles, rinse the crushed glass thoroughly with water.
  2. Dry the glass: Spread the crushed glass on a flat surface or a tray lined with paper towels to dry completely.

Tips for Safe and Effective Glass Crushing

  • Use a sturdy cloth: Ensure the cloth or towel used to wrap the glass is thick and sturdy enough to contain the shards.
  • Work slowly: Take your time to avoid breaking the glass into excessively small pieces or creating too much dust.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Handle and dispose of fine glass dust and unwanted particles carefully to avoid injury or environmental harm.

Optional: Coloring Crushed Glass

If you want to add colour to your crushed glass, you can use glass paint or alcohol ink. Apply the paint or ink to the dried glass pieces, let them dry completely, and then use them in your projects.

By following these steps and taking the necessary safety precautions, you can create beautiful crushed glass for various DIY projects. Whether you’re using it for art, décor, or landscaping, crushed glass adds a unique and striking element to any project. Enjoy your crafting!

Broken Glass
Broken Glass

What Can Recycled Glass Sand Be Used For?

  • Glass bottles are crushed and separated for use in various projects, with recycled glass sand being one of the top aggregates available.
  • Recycled Glass Sand (3-5 mm coarse sand): Recycled glass sand can be used to replace traditional construction materials like sand and gravel in construction projects, saving both money and resources in the process.
  • Glass Aggregate (2 mm): Used to produce concrete and asphalt pavement as well as being a bedding material for utilities.
  • Glass decoration: Used for landscaping paths, driveways and gardens to add an aesthetic element.
  • Sandblasting media: Utilized as an abrasive for blasting applications like surface preparation for painting or coating purposes.
  • Glass manufacturing: Used in the creation of new glass products such as bottles, jars and other containers.
  • Coastal restoration: The crushed glass may provide part of a solution to Florida’s rapidly eroding beaches by acting as a partial replacement for their sand deposits.
  • Filtration: Electrocoagulant filter media may serve as an ideal replacement for traditional filter materials used in water and wastewater treatment processes.


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