How to Safely Break and Remove Window Glass

Learn how to safely break and remove old glass window panes.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Removing Glass Safely

Broken glass can cause serious injuries. Always wear protective gloves, work boots, and goggles when you are removing glass from a window. Apply strips of masking tape over the surface of the window pane to prevent shards from falling when you remove the remaining glass.

Loosen Glass

Protect surfaces below the window with drop cloths to catch broken glass. Tap the glass with the butt of a hammer to loosen it.

Remove Glass

Carefully remove the loose, large sections of glass first, then pick out the smaller shards. Dispose of broken glass safely.

Remove Putty

Use a hacking knife or old chisel to remove the old putty and stubborn pieces of glass from around the glazing rabbet.

Finish Removing Excess

Remove any old pins or glazing sprigs using pincers or pliers.

Clean and Prep Surfaces

Dust off surfaces. Use an exterior wood primer on any bare wood before installing a new pane of glass.