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Can You Vacuum Water With A Regular Vacuum Cleaner: All You Need to Know  

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Written By Jonathan Adams

Vacuuming wet surfaces is much easier than manual cleaning, but most often, we make a common mistake- start vacuuming water with a regular vacuum. A regular vacuum is designed to serve specific cleaning purposes, like extracting pesky particles, pet hair, and other dusty residuals out of different surfaces. Having said that, this day-to-day cleaning tool has some limitations to follow. Regular vacuums might not be a good choice for cleaning water or wet surfaces. And here, the concern might arise if you should actually vacuum water. Or can you vacuum water with a shop vac? If you’re willing to learn, let’s explore the ins and outs of vacuuming water and find out which vacuum is best for wet surfaces. 

Can You Vacuum Water?  

Yes, you can vacuum water, but you must use a wet and dry vacuum cleaner for that. A regular household vacuum cleaner is typically not designed for vacuuming water. If you vacuum water with a regular vac, the motor of the vacuum can partially damage, and for instance, you may face electrocution.   

What Happens if You Vacuum Water?   

Vacuuming water is a convenient way to get rid of the puddle of water on the floor. However, most of the regular vacuums are designed to tackle fine dirt, not to soak water. Users often mistakenly try to clean water spills with their regular vacuum, which can make the cleaner unserviceable by causing-  

  • Unexpected water leak   
  • Scattered messes  
  • Potential clog and damage  
  • Damage to the vacuum motor/battery  
  • Poses the risk of electrocution  

How to use Shop Vac to vacuum water  

To vacuum water with a shop vac, you’ll need the following things:  

  • A shop/wet and dry vacuum  
  • Hose attachments for cleaning water  
  • Wet filter (optional)  
  • A dry cloth  
Shop vac
Shop Vac

Vacuuming Water With A Shop Vac  

#Step 1: Remove the dust bag  

Shop vacuums don’t need a dust bag to vacuum water. So, if your shop vac is a bagged model, you have to remove the bag from the vacuum.  

#Step 2: Replace or Remove Filter  

Having a filter for vacuuming water is optional. If your vacuum has a dry filter, you can either remove the filter or replace it with a wet one.  

#Step 3: Attach Wet Nozzle  

Shop vacuums have a variety of nozzles for different purposes. To vacuum wet surfaces, you’ll need a nozzle that has a flat head.  

#Step 4: Use GFCI outlet for plug-in  

A GFCI outlet- a ground fault circuit interrupter, reduces the risk of electrocution, which is a necessary precaution while vacuuming water with an electric shop vacuum. In most cases, shop vacuums are double-insulated, so you can use a non-GFIC outlet, too.  

#Step 5: Vacuum water  

Once everything is in place, you can turn on the power and operate the vacuum. Place the vacuum on top of the water and let the vacuum drain it.  

#Step 6: Wipe with a Dry Cloth or Use a Dry Mop  

After soaking all the water across the surface, turn off the vacuum. Then, wipe the place with a dry cloth/mop and air dry the cleaned surfaces.  

#Step 7: Dispose of the dirty water and clean the vacuum  

After finishing, carefully dispose of the collected water and clean the dirt tank, hose, and floor head. Make sure these parts are dried completely before replacing them inside the vacuum.  

Can You Vacuum Water out of the Carpet?  

Vacuuming water out of the carpet is a common method for carpet cleaning. If your vacuum is designed to clean wet and dry dirt, it can ease up your daily daunting vacuuming as well as instant water spill cleaning.  

Can You Vacuum Water with a Dyson?  

Dyson manufactures wet and dry vacuums, including the V15s Detect Submarine, that can tackle both water and dusty particles. This bagless wet and dry vacuum cleaner is battery-powered (run up to 1 hour) and has a 0.2-gallon capacity, which is best for residential apartments.   

Dyson 15s

Which Vacuum is Best for Vacuum Water?  

Wet and dry vacuums are best for vacuuming water. These vacuums boast smaller to larger capacity up to 20 gallons. For instant cleaning or small area vacuuming, a small capacity wet and dry vac is good. However, if you need to clean a big carpet or vacuum a larger floor, then a larger-capacity vacuum is a must.  

Final Words  

Cleaning water spills or damp gunk with a vacuum cleaner is a common practice. But most of the time, we mistakenly apply regular vacuums instead of using watertight wet and dry vacuum cleaners. Such inappropriate use leads your regular household vacuum to partial damage and poses the risk of electrocution. So, if you need to vacuum wet surfaces, make sure the vacuum cleaner is designated for the purpose! Thanks for reading! 

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