Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners: All You Need To Know

Worried about cleaning messy liquids and sticky spills from the floors and carpets? Then why don’t you give a try to wet and dry vacuum cleaners? 

Yes! Vacuuming is one of the easiest ways to remove dirt, debris, and dust from surfaces more effectively over the years. As you see the continuous technological enhancement, the latest vacuum cleaners come with cutting-edge new tech features, keeping you more relaxed and comfortable while cleaning your home. One such smart variant is Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners that effortlessly pick up all kinds of dirt, whether dry, wet, or liquid. 

Now, if you think about why you choose a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, what features make it different from others, or something else, we are here to help you out. Let’s discuss in detail.

What are Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners?

The wet and dry vacuum cleaners, also known as shop-vacs, DIY vacs, or garbage vacs, are the 2-in-1 cleaning appliance that cleans up both dry and liquid messes with the same device. So, the first thing that makes it a wonderful addition to your home cleaning essentials is that you don’t need to purchase two different vacuums. Isn’t it a space saver for your small house or workshop? 

Before talking more about wet and dry vacuum cleaners, let us first understand about dry only and wet only vacuums.

Dry Vacuum Cleaners 

So, what are dry vacuum cleaners? Dry Vacuums are only intended to clean up dry materials. This type of vacuum cleaner comes with a bag to pick up debris and dry dirt from surfaces, including furniture, carpets, and floors. The most important point to note here is that this type of machine will not suck up liquids or moist areas. And this is where the wet-only vacuums come to play. So, let’s talk about wet only vacuums.

Wet Only Vacuum Cleaners

Wet vacuums are often used by professionals for industrial and commercial uses. These are used to suck up wet spills and water collection. This type of vacuum is very handy because it can be used on both dry and wet surfaces and easily cleans up liquids as well.

Dry/Wet Vacuums

The wet and dry vacuum cleaners are the best of both worlds and ideal for cleaning dry and wet surfaces both. It is useful for many people who live in big homes, as the wet and dry vacuum cleaner can be used for any surface.

Now next is its design. The wet and dry vacs feature a canister-type collection system (cylindrical or drum-shaped) along with flexible hoses and a couple of attachments. A handle is also included so that they can be carried along while vacuuming up dry and wet messes. 

Some wet and dry vacs also come with the blower function, a better option for cleaning up leaves, cold ashes from your fireplace, clearing snow off your doorstep, or other piled debris both indoors and outdoors.

Important Components of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner


Dr/Wet vacuums come with a bucket or canister that deposits the trash sucked up from the floors or any other surfaces like carpets, upholsteries, etc. It is splitted into two sections- one for collecting dry dust or solid items while the other for collecting wet spills and liquid mess.


The motor is the heart of any vacuum cleaner that is responsible for the overall functioning of the appliance. It determines the suction power and performance of the vacuum. It is attached to a fan that forces air through the exhaust port.

Most of the wet/dry vacuum cleaners consist of motors that operate at around 1400 to 1800 watts. This is the wattage that determines the suction power and how fast the fan blades rotate.

Internal Fan

Like the motor, the internal fan is again an important component of the wet and dry vacuum cleaner. It generates the pressure needed to create suction.

Inlet Port and Exhaust Port

The friction created by the constant stream of air is sucked through the inlet port and released from the exhaust port.

Blowing Port

It is again a very important part in most of the wet and dry vac models allowing the blower function. It comes in handy to remove debris stuck in cracks and edges, especially for removing garden leaves and snow on ways.


Filters in dry/wet vac are as much important to trap dust and smallest debris and avoid them from recirculating in the air. The most hi-tech filter used in this type of vacuum cleaner is the HEPA filter (a bit expensive). It can trap micro allergens (99.97 percent of airborne dust, pollen, mold, and bacterial particles, cigarette smoke, pet dander, etc.) as small as 0.3 microns. Some models also come with washable filters that have low running costs.


A cleaning wand is there in a vacuum cleaner that can accommodate different accessories and attachments for different cleaning needs. The best part is that you can extend it to expand your cleaning range; even some smart models can clean along your ceilings as well.


The same way as a wand, the hose provides you extended cleaning range (typically ranges from 6-30 ft.). It can also accommodate different attachments providing you more versatile cleaning.

Transportation Wheels

The swivel wheels at the base allow easy movement of the appliance from one place to another for a hassle-free cleaning experience. 

How a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner Works?

The working mechanism of wet and dry vacuum cleaners is very simple. It works the same way as a canister vacuum cleaner. It usually involves a two bucket set up so that the liquids and solids are separated into two separate chambers. 

Now, for its working mechanism, we need to take into consideration its motor unit and collection chamber. An electric motor resides on top of the vacuum cleaner’s collection chamber. 

As soon as the vacuum cleaner is switched on, the fan draws air through the hose and collection chamber.

When air flows through a smaller area, it speeds up, creating suction. 

This high speed helps effectively in picking up the dirt particles and transfers them to the collection chamber. 

At the end, the debris is emptied off of the collection chamber. 

Different Categories Of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners?

The different variants of Vacuum Cleaners for dry and wet usage (based on capacity and performance) are as follows:


These are typically handheld models having the tank capacity of around 4-6 gallons. Don’t think that its small size will affect the efficiency; its performance is better than normal vacuum cleaners. 

The small wet-dry vacs with the power range from 1-4.5 HP best for minimal dry and damp jobs. You can use them for cleaning your car interiors, garages, kitchen drains, small workshops, and other small household cleaning tasks.


For heavy-duty jobs in your house or workshops, this is the perfect size you can opt for. Having the tank capacity of around 8- 14 gallons, and power ranges from 5-6 HP, it can easily tackle the entire house cleaning job without the need of emptying the collection bin frequently.


Well, these types are best to use for commercial/industrial uses due to their powerful motors (more than 6 HP), and their collection tanks can hold from 14-18 gallons. Frankly speaking, these models of dry/wet vacuums aren’t meant for household use as these are too powerful that can cause damage to your floors. These are suitably best for removing flooded water very quickly. 

Utility and Uses of Dry/Wet Vacs

No doubt, a Wet/dry vacuum is far more beneficial than the dry only or wet only vacuums. These smart vacuum cleaners have several useful utilities that will definitely convince you to own one if you don’t have or replace it with your ordinary vacuum cleaner. 

1. Clogged Sinks and Bathtubs

As discussed above, most of the wet and dry vacuum cleaners come with the blower feature in them that is smart enough in unblocking the clogged sinks and bathtubs. You just need to set the blower mode, and the vacuum cleaner will provide enough pressure to clear up the blockage on your sinks and bathtubs.

2. Floor, Upholstery, and Curtain Cleaning

No matter whether the dry dust, dirt or debris, or any liquid spills of tea, coffee, etc., is accumulated on your floor, curtain, or upholstery, the wet/dry vacs can do it in a matter of minutes. It comes with various attachments and accessories to clean the mess on different surfaces with ease.

3. Carpet Cleaning

Carpets on your floor require more frequent cleaning as it is the place where you, your kids, and pets spend a lot of time. Having a dry/wet vacuum will take care of the tedious job of cleaning carpets if you own one. Removing dust, dirt, mildew, pet hair, stains, and marks from the carpet is a piece of cake if you use wet and dry vacuum cleaners. 

4. Cleaning of the Fireplace

A fireplace, which offers you the most relaxing feel in winter, is notoriously difficult to clean. Now, no more with a dry and wet vacuum cleaner. The suction power of the best ash vacuum is pretty good enough to capture the cold ashes with ease, no need to lift your finger.

5. Tackle Water Disasters and Flooding

Have you ever faced the situation of burst water pipes or other water disasters in your house? Have you cleaned it with normal floor mops and wipers? Then, you surely know the hassle and inconvenience of cleaning it. For such situations, a wet and dry vacuum cleaner works like a miracle to dispose of that water.

6. Cleaning Outdoors

With outdoors, we mean here the garden leaves and snow pile on the way. Again, a decent blower function in your wet and dry vacuum cleaner blows them off into a manageable pile for easy disposal.

7. Emptying Water Mattresses

Water mattresses are now very popular in various households, but emptying the water from them is quite a hassle. Using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner eases your job. You just need to insert the nozzle into the access cover, and the rest is done by the appliance. 

Price of the Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners

The price of the wet and dry vacuum cleaner depends upon its size, vacuuming capacity, and specifications present in it. The decent quality vacuum cleaners for dry and damp usage ranges around Rs 5000 – Rs 30,000. 

The low-priced models come only with the basic features. For advanced functionalities, you may surely have to invest in high-end models. Though the price of them is high but for extra smart features, extended warranty duration, they are good to invest in. 

Still, we suggest you choose the one that suits your budget and most importantly that covers all those features fulfilling your needs. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners


  • Versatile appliance as it can clean both wet and dry mess with ease.
  • It comes with powerful suction than the normal vacuum cleaners that makes it more efficient.
  • These come equipped with easy-to-use disposal units making them very handy.
  • Different size options are available so that you can choose the preferred unit depending upon your needs
  • These are very durable appliances.
  • Requires easy caring and maintenance only.


  • These are a bit heavy units.
  • Sometimes a pungent smell comes if not cleaned properly.

Smart Maintenance Tips for Your Dry/Wet Vac

Following the below-mentioned maintenance tips, you can give your wet and dry vacuum cleaner a prolonged life for the years to come. 

  • The first most important thing is to follow all the warnings, notes, and operating instructions given in the instruction manual.
  • Clean the canister/drum/bucket after each use. Once washed, let it be completely dried. 
  • Never leave the liquid stored in the drum or canister.
  • It is also important to clean the filter properly after each use. The point to be noted here is that handle the filter very carefully while removing to clean or installing so that it does not rip or tear. Allow the filter to dry out completely before storing.
  • Cleaning the hose is also very important. Disconnect the hose when not in use and make sure it is free of anything obstructing the airflow.
  • In case you experience the caster or wheels are noisy, put a few drops of oil on the shaft or axle to make it quieter. 

Safety Checklist While Using a Dry/Wet Vac

  • Always use only wet and dry vacuum cleaners to clean wet surfaces.
  • Never clean something toxic or flammable material with the appliance.
  • Also avoid picking up sharp objects like nails, coins, or screws with your vacuum cleaner as it may affect the efficiency and performance of the appliance.
  • Unplug the vacuum cleaner when not in use.  
  • Store it in a cool and dry place when not in use. 

Which is best- Wet and Dry Vacuums or Wet Mops or Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo?

All these appliances have their own benefits and value. Let’s explain it clearly;

A wet mop is commonly found in every household for day-to-day cleaning. It comes with a long handle and a microfiber cloth or sponge beneath it to absorb spills, scrub stains, and stuck-on debris and dirt. On the positive side, these are best for regular cleaning ( not only wet mopping but some advanced models work as dust mop too) on floors and are budget-friendly too. But they are not able to clean the upholsteries, carpets, or car interiors. Plus, they require a lot of manual intervention, sometimes strain your arms if you work too hard with it. 

On the other hand, the wet and dry vacuums clear both the dry dust and wet spills with only a little manual effort. The best part is that these are far better in cleaning accumulated dirt and debris from those areas where the normal mops can’t reach, especially from the edges and corners of the floor. What’s more, you can also clean upholsteries, carpets, stairs, and car interiors with these vacuum cleaners. But these are a bit more expensive than the normal floor cleaning mops, though the benefits they offer are outstanding.

Finally, the latest and trendiest robotic vacuum cleaners with vacuum and mop combinations allow dual functionality too. It offers the flawless cleaning of both dry dust and wet stains from surfaces like floors and carpets. The best part is that operating them requires no manual intervention, just program it, and it will do the rest. You can even schedule it for cleaning if you are out of your home. These are typically expensive but offer excellent features. On the downside, you can’t use them to clean upholsteries, car interiors, and on the stairs. 

What are the Best Brands Of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners in India?

The best brands of wet and dry vacuum cleaners in India are:

  • Dyson
  • Bosch
  • Karcher
  • Eureka Forbes
  • Philips
  • Kent
  • Inalsa
  • Prestige

Read Next: The Best Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners to Clean Both Dry and Liquid Messes 2021

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