How to Use a Shop Vac? Get the Best Use Out of Your Shop Vac

We research in-depth and provide unbiased reviews and recommendations on the best products. We strive to give you the most accurate information. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

How to Use a Shop Vac? You have undoubtedly used a shop vac before, have one currently, or have heard a lot of suggestions to acquire one; however, only a few individuals know exactly how to operate one to its maximum capacity.

A shop vacuum (also known as a wet-dry vacuum) is usually called a “shop vac,” but there is only a single type of shop vacuum. It can clean a wide range of surfaces, unlike a normal vacuum cleaner. Here is all you should know about how this handy cleaning tool works and how to keep it in good working order.

What Are the Various Shop-Vac Uses? 

How to Use a Shop Vac

Aside from cleaning, a shop vacuum has a variety of applications. As a result, they’re incredibly flexible around your home. The below-mentioned factors are several commonplace uses as well as ones that you may not have considered:

  1. Dust collection
  2. Water pickup
  3. As blowers
  4. Object removal
  5. Having some fun

Dust Collection

This is, without a doubt, where shop vacs shine. Dusting, removing ashes from your fireplace, bug or rodent droppings in your garage, gathering dust when you sand drywall or concrete, sucking up dog hair from the couch and carpet, and cleaning your car are all things you can do with it.

It can also be used to tidy up food messes in your kitchen, as well as sucking up cobwebs and dead (or alive) insects. There is nothing a shop vac cannot do that a standard push broom can.

Special Tip

Gather sawdust with the shop vac in your workshop, ensuring the tank is clean first. After that, empty the items into a container. Some varieties of sawdust can be used for smoking meat at home and a variety of hobby activities.

Water Pickup

Shop vacs are referred to as wet/dry vacs for a reason, and that enormous canister is not only for dirt. A shop vac can also gather up water due to its construction. Utilize it to dry up inflatable items, toys, and pools or to assist clean up your flooded basement. You may also tidy up spilled liquids elsewhere in the house.

Some wet-dry vacuums allow you to remove the basic paper filter; however, retain the foam sleeve in position to adapt for water pickup. Simply empty the water when you’re through. A shop vacuum’s capacity to suck up both liquid and trash makes it ideal for gutter cleaning also.

As Blowers

The option to connect the hose to the vacuum’s exhaust port is one of the most unappreciated advantages. This converts the vac into a blower that could handle a variety of tasks that would ordinarily necessitate the use of additional equipment.

When it comes to snow or leaves, for example, a shop vac can help. You may also acquire an attachment to inflate toys, air beds, and a variety of other goods. A shop vac would swiftly fill a large inflatable pool where a tiny air compressor might struggle.

As a result, by eliminating the requirement for extra air pumps or bigger air compressors, your vac can save money and space.

Object Removal

Shop vacs have a wide variety of attachments as well as hose sizes, making them ideal for picking up objects. When you operate your vacuum, retrieving LEGOs and stray change from your couch cushions is simply a breeze.

Read More:   How to Cut Straight with a Circular Saw? Get It Right Every Time

Simply ensure that your tank is cleaned up first, and then you may quickly recover or get rid of the collected objects.

When you have to run wires through a conduit, this method also works effectively. Once the wire is started on an end, use the shop vacuum’s suction on the opposite side to effortlessly draw the wires through.

Having Some Fun

You can have a good time with your shop vacuum. You may also utilize the blower functions to play fetch in conjunction with inflating toys. Simply attach a ball to the end and eject the ball by tapping the power button. Fortunately, for the first time in his life, your dog is going to tire out before you do.

Steps for Using Your Shop Vac

Make sure to apply the following steps when using your shop vac:

  1. Ensure it is empty
  2. Examine the filter
  3. Choose the correct attachment
  4. Vacuum
  5. Empty the bin

Ensure It Is Empty

You cannot cross the streams just because your shop vac can handle both wet and dry messes.

Before you begin filling the drum, ensure it is totally empty—if it is still full of water, wipe it out with a rag, and if there are any dry bits left, toss them in the garbage.

Examine the Filter

If you are cleaning a dry surface with a wet-dry vac, double-check that the filter is in the right spot. The filter comes in handy because it keeps dust from flying out of the top while cleaning.

When it comes to moist surfaces, however, the filter must be completely removed. Liquids can harm filters, and sucking up water before discarding the filter might potentially ruin the vacuum.

Choose the Correct Attachment

Each shop vac accessory serves a specific purpose. Wet surfaces can be cleaned with attachments that lay flat on the floor, and large heaps of debris should be cleaned with the largest attachment to save time. Utilize the brush attachment to clean surfaces covered in pet hair or to get into nooks and crevices.


Turn the device on and start cleaning when the drum is empty, your attachment is connected, and you have discovered a fresh enthusiasm for cleaning.

Empty the Bin

Don’t leave a mess in your shop vac and tell yourself, “I am going to clean it out next time.” To keep this item in good working order, clean it after each use.

Before putting your shop vac away, empty any dry debris into a garbage bag. Disconnect the top of the vacuum, carry the base outdoors, and pour the water onto your lawn if the drum is full of water. Bring the vacuum inside and reattach the filter before putting it away.


A shop vac can be a game-changer if you have a home that is prone to flooding. Wet/dry vacuums, unlike normal household vacuums, can clear a wide range of problems, including sawdust, huge scraps from home repair projects, and also standing water.

Wet-dry vacs are tough, so don’t be afraid to use them. Did you know that before the start of the cold season, you may use a shop vac to clean out your fireplace, for example?

Is there a multifunctional appliance in your household that you can think of? We can’t, which is why a high-quality shop vac is so useful!

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Itamar Ben Dor
Itamar Ben Dor

My father is a practical engineer, and as a hobby he was also involved in construction, renovations, carpentry and woodwork at home; So there was always tools, saws, drills and more at home. Already I was a little kid Dad and I would renovate the house. Once we built a shed for garden tools, once we did flooring for the garden, once we renovated the bathroom and that’s the way it is. Long before there was an internet, directories and plans. We would build things, kitchen cabinets, install electrical appliances, do flooring, pour concrete and more ... I in this blog want to pass on to you the experience I have gained over the last 20 plus-minus years since I was a child to this day and give you information about the best tools, project plans, guides and more.