6 Best Packing Material For Glass To Reduce Breakages
March, 7, 2022
Moving can be a stressful time. Even more so when you have a lot of fragile glass to pack away!
Whether you’re moving home or putting items into storage, we’ve put together a list of the best packing materials for all your glassware needs.
Before you start
Before you start packing, it’s a good idea to do a quick stock take of your belongings. Items can add up over time, especially things like glasses and delicate ornaments, so doing a bit of a clear-out before you box everything up will save time, energy, and maybe even a little bit of money.
Once you’ve donated, re-sold, or recycled your unwanted glassware, it’s time to gather your materials and start packing! But what are the best packing materials for glass?
The best packing materials for glass
1. Bubble wrap
When most people think of packing up the house, a big roll of bubble wrap is likely top of their shopping list – and with good reason. Whether you’re using it to wrap single items or to add extra lining to a box of valuables, bubble wrap has you covered.
The bubbles create a layer of protection around your items, cushioning them against blows. Make sure you wrap with the bubbles touching the item you’re trying to protect – if they’re facing outwards, the bubbles can pop, and no longer offer the protection you need.
Bubble wrap is relatively cheap and is available in different sizes and thicknesses. You might find you need to use a combination to protect your glass effectively. Larger bubbles are great for filling gaps, and providing all round protection, while a smaller bubble offers a secure fit, but might need a few extra layers to keep the glass safe.
And, of course, there’s that added bonus of having a mountain of bubble wrap ready to pop when you need to de-stress!
2. Packing paper
Another material you might want to stock up on is packing paper.
While a single layer of packing paper might not offer much protection on its own, it’s useful as an extra barrier between an item and a piece of bubble wrap. It can also be used to fill gaps between items, to stop them shifting around when being transported.
3. Tissue paper
The humble tissue paper might not sound like it’s going to offer much protection, but if you’re boxing up wine glasses or vases – or anything else with an opening – you’re going to want to have some on hand.
If you’ve ever bought a box of glasses, you’ve probably had to fish some tissue paper out of each individual glass. Companies do this to protect the glass in transit, so why not try it yourself? This offers a little bit of extra protection and, if you’re mixing your belongings, will also stop anything falling inside and damaging one or both of your items. Given its gentle texture, it won’t scratch or mark any fragile surfaces, and, as with packing paper, it can also be used as an extra layer when wrapping items.
4. Packing peanuts
Packing peanuts are another great packing material – but we recommend having everything already wrapped before you add them to the box, just in case.
Packing peanuts do a similar job to large bubble wrap, providing protection by filling in the gaps between items, and preventing them from moving during transit. However, because the peanuts are singular pieces, they can fill all sorts of gaps, no matter the size or shape. Thanks to their bouncy texture, they’re also great shock absorbers, making them perfect for when you take your boxes on the road.
But all these advantages do come with a few downsides. Their small size means they’re a potential choking hazard for children and animals, so are perhaps best avoided if you’re trying to pack up a family home. Traditional Styrofoam packing peanuts are also conductors of static electricity, which isn’t ideal if you’re moving electrical items.
In addition, Styrofoam packing peanuts aren’t great for the environment as they cannot be recycled and take centuries to decompose. However, some companies now offer packing peanuts made from other materials, such as corn starch, which break down safely in water or be thrown into a compost bin. This also makes them safe for children and animals to ingest, and removes the issue of static electricity.
5. Moving boxes
Whatever method you choose to wrap your glassware, we recommend using a medium sized moving box to carry it all. Boxes specifically designed for moving are sturdy and reliable, and a medium size will fit plenty in without overcrowding and increasing the likelihood of damage. Plus, it’ll be less heavy to move around – the last thing you want is to drop a box of glasses!
6. Cell boxes
For transporting items such as wine glasses, cell boxes are fantastic.
They have dividers inside the box, meaning all those carefully wrapped glasses have individual cardboard walls to provide additional protection. Depending on the size of the cells, you might need to add extra packing protection to stop glassware rattling around inside – this is where all the extra bubble wrap, packing paper, or packing peanuts will come in handy.
Having the perfect materials is all well and good but putting it all together really is the key! Start by dividing things by room, to make unpacking easier. Then, once you get stuck into packing, ensure the heaviest items are on the bottom. That way, there’s less weight on your lighter, more delicate objects.
For more tips on boxing up those fragile items, we’ve put together a complete guide to packing glass, plates, and more.
Once everything is packed and ready to go, give the box a gentle shake. If you can hear things knocking against each other, add some more bubble wrap or peanuts to stop movement.
Then seal the box shut with a good packing tape. This will ensure the box won’t open in transit, or split open when being carried, and ruin all your hard work.
If your boxes are heading into storage rather than a new home, check out our advice on how to store glass long term – with no breakages!
Of course, not everyone has access to moving-specific materials. If you’re packing on a budget, you can use bedsheets and bath towels to line your boxes. You’ll be packing them either way, after all!
You can also swap out tissue and packing paper for paper towels and newspaper – though be wary of newspaper ink transferring onto items. It won’t stick to your glassware, but if you’re using it to protect a porcelain treasure, you might find an unexpected message left behind.
If you can’t track down cell boxes, head to your local bottleshop. Wine and spirits are sometimes transported in boxes with similar dividers, so see if you can pick up a few for free – and perhaps a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the move!
When considering the best material for packing glass, it’s important to think carefully about what you’re packing and where it’s headed. If you’re ever uncertain about how best to pack your glassware, reach out to a moving company for advice, or take a look online. And for general recommendations for some of our favourite packing materials for just about any job, take a look at our pick of the six very best packing materials.
- Diane Schmidt, 2021, “How to Pack Glasses When Moving”, The Spruce
- Marian White, 2021, “The 5 Most Protective Packing Materials to Use When Moving”, Moving.com
- 2020, “Are My Packing Peanuts Biodegradable?”, The Box Guy
- 2020, “Here’s How To Pack Glass and Other Fragile Materials”, All Reasons Moving and Storage
- 2018, “How to Pack Cups and Glasses for Moving”, Kent Removals and Storage