How Does a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Work: A Complete Guide

A wet and dry vacuum cleaner offers convenience and versatility that few vacuums can match. It is very useful because it makes cleaning easier. It differs from other vacuums in that it can handle both wet and dry messes, both indoors and outdoors.

The vacuum is ideal for cleaning carpets, hard floors, the interior of cars, and couches, among other surfaces. When it comes to cleaning up messes, the machine is a powerful and versatile unit.

If you are unfamiliar with these types of vacuums, this article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, including what it is, how it works, and how to use it. Continue perusing for more information.

In this post we will cover:

  1. What Is A Wet And Dry Vacuum Cleaner?
  2. How Does a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Work
  3. What are the different uses of a Wet and Dry Vacuum?
  4. What are the different types of wet and dry vacuum cleaners?
  5. How do I maintain the wet and dry vacuum cleaner?
  6. What are the Pros & Cons of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner?

What Is A Wet And Dry Vacuum Cleaner?

A wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a vacuum that has been designed specifically to clean both dry and fluid dirt. Even though it is very much like a canister vacuum, its cleaning operation is unique.

The machine is also known as a dirty vac, garage vac, or DIY vac and it has been designed in such a way that it can clean any mess that can damage your regular vacuum cleaner, such as plumbing disasters, broken glass, and wet mess.

The unit comes with insulated and housed electrical components to make sure that the vacuum cleaner works smoothly and properly. The components also eliminate any worries of electrocution or damage to the vacuum.

The wet and dry vacuum was initially manufactured for commercial buildings that required intense cleaning. However, they can now be found in different sizes that are suited for use in the household.

How Does a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Work: A Complete Guide

Instead of a dirtbag, the wet and dry vacuum cleaner uses a two-bucket technique. The technique allows the unit to store solid and liquid debris separately rather than combining them in a standard vacuum bag.

The vacuum uses an intake port to collect dirt which has a tube where solid and fluid waste travel. The airflow present over the two buckets drop and this loosens the grip of air which enables large waste and fluid to further bypass the bucket airflow and fall in the buckets.

The vaporized air will be transferred to the motorized ventilator and expelled via the exhaust system. When compared to regular vacuum cleaners, the air eliminated by the wet and dry vacuum contains less dirt because the machine melts all of the waste in the bucket’s water.

The vacuum has two types of filters because it can pick up both dry and liquid dirt. For wet materials and fluids, a foam filter is used, while a paper filter is used for dust and solid substances.

Some models of the vacuums are manufactured with an additional blow feature that enables them to discharge and pull air quickly. The feature is also critical where debris is piled up before it is cleaned.

The wet and dry vacuums have unique attachments that come with different models that diversify the cleaning capabilities of the vacuums, such as cleaning car seats, scrapping off dust, and cleaning mats.

How to use a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

1. Upholstery cleaning
When you are cleaning upholstery in the living room or your car, stains are a sight that you really want to get rid of completely. A wet and dry vacuum cleaner has a wet function that easily enables you to eliminate the stains effortlessly.

Place the accessory nozzle on the vacuum and fill it with water up to the mark. Add the appropriate cleaning detergent to the water. Adjust the vacuum to allow the detergent to be applied to the upholstery through the attachment.

In this way, the mixture of water and detergent will be able to deeply penetrate into the fibers of the upholstery, cleaning it efficiently and thoroughly.

Use the suction of the vacuum to pull water out of the upholstery being cleaned after exposure to the cleaning solution for the time required.

2. Removing wet dirt
The wet and dry vacuum cleaner is effective in getting rid of wet dirt whenever wet dirt and liquids require to be removed thoroughly and quickly.

To clean the wet dirt Remove the paper bag from the collection container and turn on the suction function on the vacuum cleaner.

The suction nozzles and the motor will create strong suction power instantly to remove moisture, water, and dirt. The vacuum will also remove any standing water within minutes. When you are done cleaning, empty the water in the container and wipe it dry.

How to Vacuum Water with a Wet and Dry Vacuum

Before you begin to vacuum water with a wet and dry vacuum, keep small children and pets away from the area that you are working on for safety reasons. Then follow these instructions:

Step 1: Remove the vacuum’s top and take the air filter of the machine out of the unit. You will see a knob at the bottom of the pipe. Twist it in such a way that it will begin to loosen. Put the filter in a clean place and leave it to dry.

Removing the filter is essential because it can mildew if it is wet. However, you do not have to remove the filter while cleaning minor spills. Within the pipe, there is a moving component that ensures that the tank is not filled beyond its limit.

When you begin to vacuum with the vacuum cleaner, water will pool within the tank and as it fills to its maximum capacity, the moving part will clog the vacuum, restraining it from sucking up more liquid.

Step 2: clear the vacuum’s tank to create enough room for the water as you vacuum it up. The vacuums have two tanks that keep wet and dry waste separately. If you have a bagged vacuum, take the dirtbag out before vacuuming any water.

Step 3: in this step take the vacuum hose and attach it to your machine. Ensure that you insert water removal equipment with it. The hose has a squeegee that vacuums water on flat surfaces such as carpets.

Step 4: you can choose to use a pump which is optional to help you take water out of the unit’s tank. You can buy any pump or go for one specifically designed for your vacuum model. Fix the pump to your unit’s bottom and connect the hose with it.

You can keep the other side of the hose near your flower pots so that water will flow into them. If you want to get rid of the water you can keep that side in a basin.

Turn off the bottom when you are done with your cleaning. The liquid inside the tank will be automatically drained through the hose.

Step 5: switch your vacuum cleaner on and begin the cleaning process. A crooked sound implies the interruption of airflow.

As soon as you hear the sound of the machine’s moving part that clogs the airflow when the vacuum tank fills to its limit, stop vacuuming and switch off the machine.

Step 6: clear up the tank of the vacuum and make sure that you unplug it from the power source before doing the clearing. The tank will be a bit heavy because of the liquid in it, and therefore, you should avoid harming yourself when clearing it.

Step 7: clean the tank of the vacuum using a mixture of lukewarm water and soap. Rinse the interior thoroughly and eliminate any stains and dirt you find there. After washing the tank, use a cotton cloth to dry it.

Repeat the process if you still see some water in the tank. Remember to re-insert your vacuum cleaner’s filter.

What are the different uses of a Wet and Dry Vacuum?

The wet and dry vacuum cleaner has been specifically engineered to deal with both wet and dry dirt. However, it can also be used in the following ways:

1. Clearing blockages in bathrooms and sinks because the force in the machine is strong enough to clear up the clogs. You only have to select the blower option on the machine and discard impediments using it.

The blower feature allows you to quickly clean leaves lying in your garden and snow that has covered up things around you. The blower is helpful when cleaning carpets and rugs, instantly removing marks and stains.

2. You can use the vacuum to clean your floors, couches, curtains, blinds, upholstered furniture, and the rest of your house just as a regular vacuum does. That is because the machine has unique accessories for tackling various cleaning tasks.

3. The vacuum cleaner can easily handle any kind of domestic water accident and overflow from burst pipes. It can also deal with flooding and other water disasters that you may face.

4. You can use the machine to instantly pull fire ashes, making it suitable for cleaning fireplaces with it. That is cold ashes which can be sucked up quickly and easily, not hot ashes.

5. The vacuum can be used to vacuum and buff hardwood floors using a buffer brush attachment. The wet and dry vacuum can clear nails, screws, and wood shavings.


A wet and dry vacuum cleaner is great when it comes to cleaning stubborn dirt, whether in the home or cleaning the car. The added advantage of the machine is that it can deal with both wet and dry messes effectively without any damage to the unit.

Due to this, the vacuum functions differently in clearing wet masses alongside other uses as illustrated above. Just exploit the full potential of the vacuum cleaner, and you will reap its benefit.


What are the different types of wet and dry vacuum cleaners?

The different models of wet and dry vacuums can be identified by their varying sizes. The first size is the large one, which is heavy and huge, but it makes a cleaning task quicker and easier. It has the most considerable capacity.

The second is the medium size, which has good accommodation due to its size, even though it is not as efficient as the larger size. The vacuums get the job done irrespective of the circumstances.

The third is the small size, which does not have the functionality and capacity of the larger wet and dry vacuums due to its size. However, you will not have to worry about storage space for the machine or the weight of the unit.

The fourth is the mini size, which if you choose to purchase, you will be giving up on capacity. The best thing about this size of dry and wet vacuum is that it is compact and simple to carry and keep.

How do I maintain the wet and dry vacuum cleaner?

Even though the wet and dry vacuum cleaner does not require a lot of maintenance, basic maintenance is essential for it to perform well.

The filters of the vacuum should be replaced whenever you change chores to prevent water from stagnating in the bucket and hose of the vacuum. The waste bucket should be cleaned immediately after clearing the fluid waste.

Clean the inner bucket regularly as this will ensure that the machines work efficiently for a longer duration. When using the vacuum cleaner, keep emptying the buckets to prevent dirt and water build-up.

Take advantage of the vacuum’s disinfectant accessory to eliminate any odors that might be caused by vacuuming wet waste such as pet urine. Use the attachment regularly to prevent bad smells from coming from your unit.

What are the Pros & Cons of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner?

The pros: First, effective suction: the vacuum cleaner is more effective, durable, and stronger than regular vacuums. Secondly, the drainage can be disposed of easily because it has a simple waste configuration for cleaning both solid and liquid waste.

The waste gets compiled in the collection part and gets cleaned there. It can be easily discarded with a specific drainage tube. Thirdly, the vacuum provides you with a flexible cleaning experience because it can clean dry and wet waste, decreasing your cleaning time.

The cons: the vacuum may stink if used for wet waste such as pet urine, which makes the collection part stinky. In such a case, use a disinfectant attachment for the vacuum. Secondly, the unit is heavy compared to other vacuum cleaners and is not ideal for smaller homes.

How Does a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Work