10 Clever Tips for Getting Rid of Glitter That Cleaning Experts Swear By

published Dec 14, 2023
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Angled view of a hand holding a lint roller and using it to clean up glitter on a chair cushion.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

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All the glitter of holiday decor makes the season sparkly. Of course, it often also makes the rest of the year accidentally sparkly because glitter is just so freaking hard to get rid of. “Glitter has a magical way of finding its way into every nook and cranny, and without the right precautions, you might be discovering those glittery specks for years to come,” says Karina Toner, cleaning expert and operations manager of Spekless Cleaning

But glitter explosions aren’t a reason to leave your seasonal decorations in storage or cancel your holiday get-together. Keep your on the calendar, and then banish glitter from your couches, carpets, and floors for good with these trusty methods the cleaning experts I spoke with swear by.

How to Get Glitter Out of Carpet

“Removing glitter from carpeting can be tricky, as glitter particles can embed themselves into the carpet,” says Angela Brown, founder and CEO of Savvy Cleaner Training for house cleaners and maids. Here are some methods that will lead to success.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

Vacuum with a brush attachment.

To rid the elusive specks from your rug, Brown suggests using a vacuum hose with a brush attachment. “Gently vacuum the glitter from the carpet, being careful not to press the particles further into the fibers,” she says. 

She recommends a portable upholstery vacuum, such as the Hoover CleanSlate Plus Carpet & Upholstery Spot Cleaner, for removing unwanted glitter. “This unit comes with all the brushes and suction attachments, and [is a] handheld carry device.” In her 32 years of pre- and post-party cleanup, Brown says this Hoover is by far her favorite vacuum. She touts its ability to “clean up impossible-to-clean-up things like glitter, tinsel strands, and Christmas tree needles that often elude a regular vacuum cleaner.” 

Apply a lint roller or tape.

Brown and Toner like lint rollers for their glitter-busting qualities. “The sticky adhesive will pick up glitter specks without damaging the carpet fibers,” Toner says. Use it as you would to lift lint, gently pressing as you roll.

Jennifer Rodriguez, chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers, similarly recommends using tape to clean your carpet. Take a strip of masking, duct, or packing tape and press it onto the spots with glitter, then “gently lift to catch remaining particles,” Rodriguez says.

Brown also uses packing tape like a glove. “Wrap packing tape around your hand with the sticky side facing outward,” she says. Once secured, pat the glitter with the tape and lift it from the carpeting. You can repeat this process until the glitter is gone. If you’re worried tape might damage your carpet, try a test spot first in an unnoticeable area.

Grab a wet paper towel.

These are not just for liquid spills! Marla Mock, president of Neighborly-owned Molly Maid, prescribes a damp paper towel for glitter-filled rugs. “Dab the affected area with a wet paper towel,” she says. “The moisture helps lift the glitter particles from the carpet fibers.” Like other methods, this one might take a few tries until the glitter is completely gone.

Make sure you allow your carpet to dry before stepping on it, so you don’t stain it with dirt while it’s wet.

How to Remove Glitter on Floors

First, Rodriguez says you can quickly sweep up some glitter messes with a soft-bristle broom. There will likely still be some sparkles you can’t sweep, which is when you can turn to more involved methods.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

Try a damp microfiber mop or cloth.

If a quick pass with a broom doesn’t do the trick, then mop. “Dampen a microfiber mop or cloth with water and mop up the glitter,” Rodriguez says. You might need to do a couple of passes to get your floor squeaky clean.

Use a vacuum’s hose with a brush attachment.

Brown and Toner agree that vacuuming with a brush or similar attachment is a game-changer for removing glitter from hard flooring. Before you start, check if your attachment or your vacuum will scratch your floors. Toner suggests seeing if your vacuum has “adjustable settings that can be turned off to prevent the brush roll from spinning on hard surfaces.” Also, inspect your vacuum’s wheels and brush rolls for “debris or abrasive particles that could potentially scratch hard floors,” she says. If you see any junk, clean it out. 

Vacuums with soft or rubberized wheels are less likely to damage hard floors than those with plastic wheels. Toner says you can also use a hose attachment with a felt strip or soft brush to “ensure a gentle yet effective cleaning process without causing damage.”

“For larger glitter spills, you can sweep the glitter into a dustpan with a soft-bristle broom before vacuuming,” she adds. “This will help prevent clogs in your vacuum.” 

Get a sponge and water.

Mock points to a simple technique for removing glitter: applying a damp sponge. “For hard flooring like wood or tile, you can use a damp sponge and a bowl of water,” Mock says. Wipe the glitter with the sponge, rinse the sponge in the water bowl, and repeat until the glitter is gone. 

Consider kids’ modeling dough.

According to Mock, the squishy children’s craft can be “surprisingly effective” for holiday glitter cleanup on hard surfaces. She likes Play-Doh but adds that brand-name and generic versions of modeling dough work well. “Their squishy, sticky texture makes them cling to glitter when pressed onto surfaces, simplifying cleanup,” Mock says. Just press it onto the glitter, lift it, and repeat as needed.

How to Remove Glitter from a Fabric Sofa

“Cleaning glitter off a fabric sofa may seem daunting, but it’s definitely doable,” Toner says.

Vacuum with an upholstery brush attachment.

Brown is all for upholstery attachments with . “[They] will pick up glitter from most upholstery types, including wicker, leather, suede, cloth, and tapestry fabric,” says Brown.

Rodriguez advises a gentle cleaning to keep the glitter from spreading.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe

Test a lint roller or masking tape.

Similar to the carpet cleaning method, a “lint roller or masking tape [will] lift glitter from the fabric,” says Rodriguez.

Work with wet and dry washcloths.

If glitter’s still sticking around, you can mix warm water and dish soap and use it to dampen a clean cloth, according to Toner. Before you break out the soap, be aware it can potentially ruin some fabrics. “Silk or satin are delicate fabrics that can be damaged by harsh chemicals, including certain dish soaps,” says Toner. Other fabrics or materials to avoid using dish soap on are wood, velvet, and vintage or antique fabrics. 

If your sofa’s fabric can handle soap, first try a test spot, and if it works, take the washcloth and “dab” the glittery areas. “Blot with a dry cloth to remove excess moisture,” says Toner. Like any glitter-cleaning method, curb your expectations of immediate success. “Be patient and persistent, and keep using the gentle blotting technique until the glitter [is] gone.”

How to Prevent Glitter Messes

Toner advises “containment strategies,” such as using protective covers and keeping wet wipes handy to pick up loose glitter as you notice it. “If glitter cleanup is a big concern, you can opt for decorations that don’t contain glitter or choose ones with other shiny materials,” says Brown. But when that isn’t an option, try to keep glittery items in one designated area. 

Remember to have fun! “Glitter and messes are often the byproduct of joyful celebrations and gatherings,” says Toner. “Embrace the memories created during these moments, and don’t let a little sparkle stress you out.”