What is Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner and How does it work?

What is a Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner?

Wet and dry vacuum cleaner is not a new technology. Initially it was used to handle heavy cleaning jobs in commercial buildings. But, in today times small and wet and dry vacuum cleaners are being widely used for domestic purposes. Wet and dry vacuum cleaner has close resemblance with canister vacuum.

Wet and dry vacuum is a versatile type of cleaner. It is tailored to pick dirt, debris and wet spots and spills.  This type of vacuum cleaner is best suited for homes with kids, because you are going to face frequent liquid spills. Wet and dry vacuum comes with interchangeable brushes each for dust and liquid.  Both dust and liquid waste are collected in different chambers.

Being universal, this type of vacuum is equally good for indoor and outdoor applications. It finds its applications in dust collection, liquid waste handling, collecting ashes from fireplace and making piles of leaves in garden thereof easy disposing.

Vacuum cleaners in this class are available in variety of sizes, features and price. You may explore best options in following link.

                Best Wet Dry Vacuum for hardwood floors

In next section of this article, let’s discuss working principle of wet and dry vacuum cleaner.

How does Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner work?

Wet and dry vacuum has a simple design analogous to canister vacuum. Motor and collection chamber are two core components of this vacuum. Motor is located on top of collection chamber. This vacuum cleaner consists of two chambers, each for storing solid and liquid waste separately.

The fan draws air through the chamber and hose. As per basic principles of air flow, as air passes through small cross sectional area; speed increases creating suction. This high speed air collects dust particles through inlet port that travels with the liquids and dirt through a pipe. When air enters a larger cross sectional area, airflow over the chamber decreases. As a result, the air grip loosens; liquids and heavy dirt escapes from air flow and fells into the chamber.

The air then passes through a motorized fan and exits through the exhaust air opening. The air exhausted from the wet and dry vacuum cleaner contains less dirt as compared with other standard vacuum cleaners. This is because of vacuum cleaner collecting dirt and deposits in the water in the chamber.

Some wet and dry vacuum cleaners come equipped with blower feature allowing them to quickly release and draw-in air. This attribute makes them useful when you need to pile up dirt, before disposing them off. Vacuum cleaners with this function are ideal for anyone who regularly cleans and removes dirt, whether indoors or outdoors. Good example being piling up leaves in garden.

Vacuum cleaners come with several attachments making particular vacuum, a multi-surface vacuum cleaner. These surfaces include curtains, floors, car seats, carpets and others. These attachments makes single vacuum cleaner beneficial for multiple tasks, cutting down extra cost. Some accessories are designed in a way so they may reach hard-to-reach nooks and low profile furniture. While, some are equipped with brushes helping scrub off dust and dirt so they may easily be vacuumed up by the hose.

Having discussed about wet and dry vacuum cleaners and its basic working cycle. Now, let’s discuss some pros and cons of using this particular class of vacuum cleaners. 

Pros of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Below are advantages of owning a wet and dry vacuum cleaner at your home.


Wet and dry vacuum cleaner provides user a versatile kind of cleaning experience. Main use of this vacuum is cleaning of liquid spills besides regular dust and debris. It may be used to make pile of leaves in garden, unclogging a pipe, pick up fire ashes and to clean carpets. These attributes make wet and dry vacuum cleaner quite useful tool for any home.

Handling of Liquid Spills:

Wet and dry vacuum is named so because of its capability to clean liquid spills and wet spots. It is a recommended choice of vacuum cleaner for home with kids. As you will experience liquid spills every other day.

Powerful Cleaning:

Wet and dry vacuum cleaners provide powerful suction. Powerful lifting ability enables it to effectively remove dust and liquid spills.


Initially these vacuums were used in industries for heavy duty jobs. But over the period of time, these heavy duty vacuums have been improvised for domestic applications. Now, household wet and dry vacuums are widely available and they have been designed to be easily movable around home. These come equipped with large rubber wheels, making easy maneuverability and stain free movement over the floor.

Easy disposal of waste:

Wet and dry vacuum cleaners are bagless cleaners having close resemblance to that of canister vacuum. Collection container can be cleaned and drained from waste easily. It saves from changing bags as the case bagged vacuum cleaners.

Cons of Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Below are some disadvantages of wet and dry vacuum cleaner.

Heavy Weight:

As wet and dry vacuum cleaners are designed to handle liquid spills, it is comparatively heavier than contemporary dry vacuum cleaners. It is not a recommended vacuum for homes with tight spaces and heavy furniture.

Pungent Smell:

You have to take care of this vacuum cleaner to prevent pungent smell due to liquid waste. You should use disinfectant with this type of vacuum to prevent undesirable smells.


Wet and dry vacuum cleaners are versatile and powerful type of cleaners. They are quite effective for multiple applications at home by using several attachments. It may prove a vital tool for domestic cleaning requirements provided that you take good care of wet and dry vacuum cleaners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I know either my vacuum is wet and dry?

You can easily get to know either your vacuum cleaners is wet and dry or not.  You may read on the package box or user manual. Wet vacuum cleaners come with waterproof container preventing water from entering into electric components.

Do wet and dry vacuum cleaners wash carpets?

Yes, wet and dry vacuum cleaners can be used to clean liquid spills on carpet and to clean washing solutions. But, drying a wet carpet is not an easy job to perform. Before washing your carpet with cleaning solution, you should dry vacuum your carpet for dust. Then, spread cleaning solution evenly on carpet. Afterwards, use your wet and dry vacuum cleaner to remove moisture from carpet.

Do I need to remove filter before cleaning wet spots and liquid spills?

In order to clean liquid spills you will need to remove air filters entirely. Otherwise, it will damage the filter. Filters are used to prevent dust from blowing out while cleaning.

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