What Is a Wet Dry Vac?

To any shop or house owner, the importance of a wet and dry vacuum cannot be overemphasized. Not many vacuums can offer the kind of convenience and versatility that this cleaner provides.

Besides, because of the way it is designed, it has excellent potential environment wise.

Perhaps you’re wondering, What is a wet dry vac? How does a wet dry vac work?

Look no further. Every detail has been explained in this article. Read on.

What Is a Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner?

Though the wet and dry vac has many similarities with the essential canister vacuum, it is uniquely built to clean both liquid spills and dry dirt. This kind of cleaner was first being made to tackle heavy cleaning, usually in commercial buildings. Nowadays, they come in sizes that are more suitable for domestic use.

One thing that stands the wet-dry vacuum out is its added advantage of being able to sweep wet spots. This is because the electrical components of the vacuum’s interior are not only well-insulated but also differently housed to make the device work like it should. As a result, the machines pose no threat of electrocution to their users.

While the wet-dry vacuum does not require much maintenance, it is crucial that you carry out the little maintenance that it needs appropriately. Note that you’ll need to clean filters regularly, or have them replaced after using them extensively.

How is a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Designed?

Basically, a wet-dry vacuum has a simple design. The vacuum uses a two bucket system in place of a vacuum bag to store solid and liquid waste separately.

wet and dry vacuum cleaner

This cleaner picks up dirt using an intake port which journeys through a tube with the liquids and debris. Then, there’s a decrease in airflow over the buckets. The result of this is that the air’s grip loosens, allowing liquids and heavy dirt to escape the air current and drop into the buckets.

Afterwards, the air steam is taken through a motorized fan and then goes out through the exhaust port. Compared to other standard cleaners, the air expelled in the wet-dry vacuum contains less dirt because the vacuum melts dirt and debris in the water contained in the bucket.

Interestingly, you’ll find that some wet-dry vacuum models are built with a blower function which makes them able to release out and draw in air swiftly. This function comes in handy when there’s a need to pile up debris like leaves before cleaning them up. Vacuums with this feature are great for those who clean and clear dirt regularly, whether indoors or outdoors.

Generally, all vacuums come with several attachments. These attachments can be suitable for different surface areas like mats, floors, car seat and others. Some accessories have narrow endings so that they can reach spots and corners that aren’t easily accessible. Others are brushes that help scrub off dust and debris so they can easily be sucked up by the hose.

Types of Wet and Dry Cleaners

Large: Though the largest wet and dry cleaners are quite bulky and heavy, they get the job done quickly and thoroughly. Naturally, this cleaner has the most significant capacity as well.

Medium: While the medium-sized wet and dry vac does not have as much capacity as the large ones, they are a good compromise when you consider their size. Performance-wise, they do get the job done no matter the situation.

Small: With a small handheld vacuum, you won’t have to worry about bulkiness or shortage of storage space. Even so, you should understand that you’ll be giving up the performance and capacity that larger vacuums offer for portability.

Mini: Again, you’ll be sacrificing capacity if you choose this vacuum. The upside, however, is that they’re lightweight and easy to store and drag around.

How to Use a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

It takes only the click of a button to get the vacuum started or adjust the cleaner’s functional ability. Notwithstanding, the machine uses two different kinds of filters because it sucks up both liquid spillages and dry dirt. For liquids and watery substances, a foam filter is used while a paper filter is dedicated to dust particles and debris.

When changing tasks, the filters will need to be changed as well. The dirt bucket should be emptied immediately after cleaning liquid wastes to prevent stagnant water buildup in the hose and bucket. By merely placing the tube in a bucket of water and turning the cleaner on, you can successfully empty the inner bucket once it is full.

Uses of a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

  • Can be used to unblock sinks and baths. Simply set the machine to the blower, and it’ll provide enough pressure to remove obstructions.
  • Can clean floors as well as curtains and upholstery like ordinary vacuums because they come with attachments for cleaning different surfaces.
  • They quickly suck up ashes and can, therefore, be used to clean fireplaces
  • They can effectively tackle household water disasters and flooding from burst pipes.
  • They can clean up leaves in the garden using the blower function
  • They’re useful for cleaning carpets and sucking up wood shavings after a DIY project.

Wet and Dry Vacuum Buying Tip

You should always watch out for a vacuum with a 2½-inch hose while hunting for your wet-dry vac. Compared to 1¼-inch hoses, tubes of this size tend to function more rapidly and with less clogging. When choosing a vacuum, you must also consider what you intend using it for, how often you’ll need to move it and the available storage space. All these will guide you as you make your pick.


When you think about it, wet and dry vacuums are quite necessary. This is, of course, aside from the fact that the versatility and efficiency of those designed for heavy-duty cleaning are far greater than anything a standard cleaning device can offer.

Nevertheless, they’re easy to manage and will meet most, if not all, of your cleaning needs. The trick is to buy one that best fits your situation and keep it well maintained.

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