If I spill something dry on the floor I'll use a dust pan and brush to clean it up. Like this:

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But say I don't have one at hand. What standard office supplies can I use the improvise these? I also don't have a vacuum cleaner.


3 Answers 3


Really would depend for me.

  • If it is small particles (like dust or glitter), I would use Scotch or box tape to pick.
  • If it was not sharp, I would use my hand and sweep onto a manila envelope or a folder.
  • If it is sharp, I would go get a dustpan and broom. Safety first. If that is simply not possible, a book or a magazine with the spine side in your hand; the pages can act like a brush for you to sweep onto a folder.

I don't know about the brush, but a piece of paper with one edge wetted with water can do a superior job when brushing up fine powders, because a dust pan will leave a stripe of dust.


A piece of paper or card stock works well as the pan, and a magazine held by the spine, or a bunch of loose papers held together at one end, should work for the brush.

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