How to Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum Properly

Updated on November 15, 2021 by Joseph D. Nielson

Table of Contents

A man using a vacuum to clean the carpets in his living room.
Credit: Gustavo Fring via Pexels

Maintaining a clean and tidy home is an essential part of being a homeowner; however, it can sometimes be challenging to keep on top of all your cleaning with work, friends, family, and other commitments keeping you busy. 

Additionally, there seems to be a never-ending list of products and devices out there that are needed in order to keep your home as clean as possible. You’ve probably read through various Swiffer wet jet reviews and browsed through different cleaning blogs to try to find the best ways to keep your house clean, leaving your house is bursting with various mops and vacuums.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one device that could combine a vacuum and mop in one and also save you time when cleaning? Good news, there is, and it’s called a wet dry vacuum! Here’s everything you need to know to convince you that you need this device in your life. 

A Wet/Dry Vacuum is a Game-Changer

The best wet dry vacuum cleaner acts like a mop and a regular vacuum all in one device, aka it’s a total game-changer. Not only will it save you space in your cleaning supply closet, but it will also cut your cleaning time in half as you will be completing two tasks at once. 

Also referred to as a shop vac, wet dry vacuums are very versatile and can clean various surfaces. Whether you need to vacuum the floor, carpet, furniture, or car, a wet dry vacuum can get the job done. They’re also really powerful machines so you can be confident that yours will be able to tackle even the biggest messes.

Another great thing about using a wet dry vacuum is that they only require water to use, which means you don’t have to spend extra money on any chemicals or cleaning supplies to put in the vacuum. 

We’re Here to Help You Make Sense of Your New Tool

If you’ve never used a wet dry vacuum before, you may be a bit confused when you first get your device home. Luckily, we’re here to help you figure out how to use your new tool to make cleaning a breeze. Follow these five easy steps and you’ll be on your way to a spotless house in no time. 

1. Make Sure It’s Empty

It’s important to make sure that the drum of your vacuum is completely empty before you start using it. Make sure even small pieces of debris are cleared out and that you wipe the drum out to dry any liquid inside. 

It’s best to do this outside as clearing out the drum will likely form a cloud of dust that could be harmful if you breathe it in. 

2. Check the Filter

Vacuum cleaners have filters to trap all the dirt inside so it doesn’t get pushed back out. These filters can get dirty very quickly and will need to be either replaced or washed quite frequently, especially if you are using your vacuum for carpet cleaning. Make sure you check which type of filter your vacuum has so you don’t accidentally throw out a reusable filter. 

Filters should only be used, however, when you’re using your wet dry vacuum on dry surfaces. Make sure you take the filter out before using your vacuum on a wet surface as liquids could damage the filter or your entire device. 

Someone using a vacuum to clean the seats in their car.
Credit: Khunkorn Laowisit Via: Pexels

3. Pick the Right Attachment

Several different attachments will either come with your vacuum or can be purchased separately. These attachments can be used for cleaning various surfaces. For example, a brush head will be better for vacuuming your carpet as it will be able to get through the fabric to pick up any dirt or hair tangled inside. Read through your device’s instruction manual to understand what each attachment is best used for. 

When washing your filters or canisters, you should also wash your attachments as they will also get dirty quite easily. Simply comb out any debris from any brush heads and soak the pieces in soap and warm water.

4. Vacuum!

Once your vacuum is set up and you have all your vacuum cleaner supplies, you can actually start doing the cleaning. Simply turn the machine on and get to work tackling any and every mess. 

Now that you’ve got the best wet dry vacuum for home use, you can say goodbye to getting your carpet professionally cleaned and instead learn some new at-home carpet cleaning methods

5. Empty the Bin

In order for your device to work properly, it needs to be emptied out regularly. If the canister is full, it will not be able to pick up any of your mess and may even create a bigger mess. Once you’ve emptied the dirt and dust from your vacuum, wash the containers and allow them to dry before using the vacuum. 

It’s best to empty the bin as soon as you’re done using your vacuum in order to ensure your device is clean and ready to go the next time you need it. This will also prevent any possible messes that could occur when storing the device. 

Tips for Using a Wet/Dry Vac

Although wet dry vacuums are quite easy to operate, there are still some things to consider when using one in order to get the best clean possible. First and foremost, you need to take into account the type of floor or surface that you want to clean. For example, the best vacuum for hardwood floors may not also be the best vacuum for tiles.

Another thing to consider is the size of the vacuum. Larger models will generally be more powerful; however, they can be quite cumbersome and difficult to pull throughout your house to clean up daily spills and messes. Depending on what you intend to use the device for, a smaller model may be a better option. 

If you clean your vacuum regularly and store it properly, it should be your best friend through every mess for many years. 

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!