How to Use Shop Vac for Water? CleanThese

Shop vac is the type of heavy-duty vacuum cleaner often used by many people to clean both dry and liquid messes around the workshop area. However, because of its various benefits and features, many people also use the shop vac to clean the messes around their house, since it might be difficult for regular vacuum cleaners to clean certain messes. So, the shop vac often becomes the primary alternative for many people to clean large messes around the house, including both dry and liquid messes.

One of the most common messes you need to handle around the house is the water messes, such as water leaks, floods, and other extensive water messes that can ruin your home environment. You can’t just use the regular vacuum cleaner to deal with these messes. You need the shop vac to solve this problem by setting it to the wet vacuum operation mode. This guide will give you the information you need to use the shop vac for water.

Various Benefits of Wet Vacuuming with Shop Vacs

Wet vacuuming with shop vacs can give you many additional benefits when compared to the regular vacuum cleaner tools because of the higher power that the shop vacs often have. The regular vacuum cleaner tools might just give you the capability to get rid of some liquid spills in small quantities, such as the liquid messes from foods, dog pees, hair shampoos, and others. However, shop vacs can do much more.

Here are various benefits of wet vacuuming with shop vacs:

  • It can handle various wet messes in large quantities around the house and workshop area.
  • It has a bigger vacuuming power, meaning faster work for you when you need to clean various water messes around the house and workshop area.
  • The big canister feature in the shop vac allows you to store a large quantity of water or liquid messes before you empty the tank.
  • There are various accessories that allow you to reach various places around the house, such as crevices and other nooks and crannies to get rid of the water messes.
  • It’s a suitable tool to deal with big water leaks or floods around the house, such as in the basement area.

By considering these benefits, you can start the wet vacuuming process using the shop vacs to clean water messes around your house and workshop

Related  How Often Should You Use a Carpet Cleaner Machine?

Steps to Use the Shop Vac for Water and Other Liquid Messes

You can use the shop vac to clean the water and other liquid messes around the house, workshop, basement, and other places. First, you need to use the wet method for the shop vac, and to do this, there will be some steps you need to follow. The wet method for the shop vac will allow you to focus on cleaning the liquid messes and store them inside the canister. It will also allow you to use the wet filter of your shop vac machine. Always refer to the instruction manual for your shop vac model to help you proceed with these steps.

Here are the steps to use the shop vac for water and other liquid messes:

  • Turn off the machine and change the dry mode to wet mode. Unless you change the operation to wet mode, you can’t use the shop vac to clean liquid messes.
  • Remove the dry vacuum bag and replace the filter with the wet filter. It is important to remove the dry vacuum bag from the machine after turning off the machine and changing the operation mode to wet mode, as you won’t need it during the wet operation. Also, you need to replace the dry filter with a wet filter to filter out the debris during the wet vacuuming process.
  • Use the wet nozzle attachment for your shop vac model. Shop vacs often come with various wet nozzle attachments. You need to use the wet nozzle attachment to enable the shop vac to start the wet vacuuming process. Various wet nozzles are available for various purposes depending on your cleaning needs.
  • Connect to the power outlet and turn on the machine. Once everything is ready, you can connect the machine to the power outlet and turn it on. Now, you are ready to use the machine for wet vacuuming.
  • Start the wet vacuuming process. Now, you can clean the water messes around your house, workshop, or basement, starting with the areas you can reach first. Then, you can expand to the areas that are difficult to reach, and often, you will need to use different wet vacuum attachments for this cleaning procedure.
  • Empty and clean the canister from time to time. Depending on the canister size of your shop vac, you need to empty and clean the canister from time to time. When it is almost full, you need to empty it to allow more water to get stored inside the canister. Don’t forget to clean the canister while you empty it.
  • Clean your machine. After finishing the wet vacuuming operation, you need to clean your machine, starting from the canister. Then, you need to clean the filter and the attachments. This is the best maintenance practice to keep your shop vac in its top shape whenever you need to use it.
  • Let the areas dry. After cleaning the areas from the water and liquid messes, you can let the areas to dry. You can also continue cleaning the areas in case you want to disinfect the areas and prevent any problems with unpleasant smells, molds, mildews, bugs, and so on.
Related  How to Remove Turmeric Stain from Carpet?

Shop Vac Wet Vacuum Maintenance Tips

To get the best performance out of your shop vacuum machine, you need to know how to maintain it. Using the shop vac for wet vacuuming means you will suck up dirty water messes to the canister and then it will get filtered by the machine. Without proper maintenance, your shop vac can get very dirty, and it will not work well in cleaning the water messes. So, how to keep your machine working well?

Here are some shop vac wet vacuum maintenance tips you should follow:

  • Use warm water and mild soap to clean the body of your shop vac, and it is also important to clean the water tank and canister with the same method.
  • Always empty the tank after using the shop vac. You need to avoid storing the machine while the water is still inside the tank.
  • Clean the accessories like wet nozzles, wet filter, and other related accessories after using the shop vac, and then you need to dry it before storing the machine.
  • Wipe the canister or dirty water storage inside the shop vac using the dry cloth every time you empty it, so you can avoid keeping the remains of any dirty particles on the surface of the tank.
  • Disinfect the water canister with a commercial disinfectant to keep the drum or the tank free from bacteria and viruses.

Follow these tips to keep your shop vac in the best condition every time you need to use it.


Do you use a filter in a shop vac for water?

Yes, there are two filters available for the shop vac, which are the dry and wet filter. You will need to remove the dry filter and replace it with the wet one if you want to use the shop vac for water vacuuming. You should get various filters with the purchase of your shop vac, and you will need those filters to perform various cleaning operations with the machine.

Related  Does Bed Bugs Lay Eggs in Your Skin? CleanThese

How do you use a wet and dry vacuum?

Shop vacs have a dry and wet mode, so you can switch between different mode of operation with ease. You can follow the steps as already explained in this guide to use the wet vacuuming operation with your shop vac. Most shop vacs come with the dry vacuum operation as the default mode, so you need to change the operation to wet vacuuming mode if you want to use it for wet vacuuming.

Can you use a shop vac without a filter?

Yes, you can use it without a filter. However, the primary benefit of the filter is to filter out the dust and debris when you vacuum it using the shop vac so that the dust and debris won’t get into the canister or vacuum bag. So, using a filter is necessary to keep the canister or vacuum bag free from rough particles.

How does a wet vac work?

A wet vac works just the same as a regular vacuum cleaner. The only difference is that it vacuums water and other liquid messes instead of dust. It will use a different nozzle, and the water will go to the canister or dirty water tank capable of storing a sizable amount of water, which often ranges from 2 to 30 gallons.


By following this guide, you can use the shop vac for vacuuming water and other liquid messes around the house, workshop, and basement. Using the shop vac can make it much easier for you to clean the water messes around your home and work environment, as it has much bigger suction power than the regular vacuum cleaner. It’s also faster for you to complete the cleaning jobs.

You can handle big water messes caused by floods and water damage by using the shop vac. Use this tool today to clean your home environment from various types of liquid mess.