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Instead of having to vacuum and then mop your floors, wouldn’t it be nice if you could do it all in one step? Wet-dry vacuums allow you to complete both chores at once, making them an excellent option for those with limited storage space and hard floors. “Wet-dry vacuums are extremely versatile and help to safely clean liquids and dirt in and outside your home,” says Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority. We tested and researched the top wet-dry vacuums, evaluating their effectiveness, ease of maintenance, and maneuverability.
The BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Area Rug Cleaner is our top choice because it can clean both hard floors and area rugs, and features an easy-to-use and maneuverable design.
Here, the best wet-dry vacuums for picking up every kind of mess in your space.
If you’re looking for a wet-dry vacuum that’s effective and can handle multiple surfaces around your home, the BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Area Rug Cleaner is a top choice. It’s able to clean sealed hard floors and carpets, and it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver. For a cheaper option that can handle wet and dry messes, check out the Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac. It can also function as a blower, and features a compact design that’s easy to store and a large, 2.5-gallon dust bin.
There are several types of wet-dry vacuums that you may want to consider for your home. The best option for you depends on what cleaning tasks you’re trying to tackle and where.
Upright models, whether corded or cordless, are popular for indoor use—they typically have a water tank or on-board cleaning solution that’s dispensed then sucked up as you operate the vacuum. On the outside, they look and feel very similar to a classic upright vacuum.
Stick models, also whether corded or cordless, are also popular for indoor use and small spaces, as they’re easy to store. They’re typically more lightweight and may use disposable mop pads to wipe debris off your floor, opposed to large, separate clean and dirty water tanks.
On the other hand, shop vacs are best-suited for more heavy-duty tasks, like cleaning workshops, garages, or even cars. Their durable design is able to handle debris such as sawdust and nails, and they generally have a much larger capacity. However, shop vacs don’t have any mopping abilities—they simply suck up the water and dirt.
Robotic wet-dry vacuums are also increasingly common. These units are able to mop and vacuum at the same time without you lifting a finger, providing a deeper clean than a robot vacuum could alone. However, these units tend to have a very small water tank and are often expensive.
Lastly, handheld vacuums are great for cleaning up small messes around your home, car, garage, and even office. Their capacity and battery life (if they’re cordless) may be limited, but they’re the perfect fit for anyone looking to treat specific spills or who doesn’t want to store a larger appliance.
As with any vacuum, you’ll want to consider a wet-dry vacuum’s capacity as you compare different models. Most options have a dirt bin that collects any liquid and debris you suck up, but upright models typically have a separate clean water tank, as well. This allows the vacuum to dispense fresh water and cleaning solution onto your floors. Keep in mind that small water tanks may need to be refilled frequently if you’re cleaning a large area, but large water tanks will likely make your model heavier to carry from one room to another.
Ease of Cleaning
One of the common complaints about wet-dry vacuums is that they can be tricky (and often gross) to clean after use. After all, the dust, dirt, and water you suck up all gets mixed together in the collection bin, resulting in a muddy mess. To make the cleaning process easier, some upright wet-dry vacuums have a self-cleaning feature, which uses clean water to rinse off the brush roll. Others use disposable pads that can simply be thrown away after use. Similarly, some shop vacs have a drainage plug at the bottom of the canister that lets you easily pour out any liquid contents.
“If you have long-haired pets, you should consider in advance how you’ll dispose of the dirty water containing clumps of wet pet hair,” says Katie Berry, The Spruce’s Cleaning Review Board member. “Ordinarily, you can dump the dirty water down the toilet, but with pet hair involved that’s not a good practice.”
Some wet-dry vacuums have a cordless design that runs on battery power, meaning you won’t be tethered to a power outlet as you clean. This makes it much more convenient to navigate around furniture and move from room-to-room without stopping. However, you’ll want to check how long the vacuum can run on a single charge. Models with a short runtime will only be useful for cleaning small areas before they need to be recharged.
It might sound a bit strange for a vacuum to have headlights, but when the lights shine across the floor, they light up pieces of dirt and dust that you may have otherwise missed. Many people like this feature, as it helps get their floor as clean as possible and give them visibility in tight nooks and crannies—say, under a couch.
Wet-dry vacuums aren’t always the easiest tool to store when not in use, despite combining two cleaning tools into one. However, some models come with handy storage solutions. Upright models sometimes have a dock that will capture any rouge drips of water once you’ve finished cleaning, and for cordless models, this area might also serve as a charging base. For shop vacs with a lot of accessories, on-board storage and a hose wrap feature help to keep everything neatly in one place. For handheld models, a wall mount offers a convenient, out-of-the-way location to store your go-to cleaning tool.
Different styles of wet-dry vacuums serve different roles around the house. Upright and robotic models are designed for everyday floor cleaning and mess pick-up, as they do double-duty as both a mop and a vacuum cleaner. However, shop vacs are best for cleaning up debris in workshops, garages, and even cars, as they’re made from durable materials, have strong suction, and can hold a lot of debris. “Some common reasons for use are removing water from a flooded basement, drying a wet carpet, cleaning up pet hair, vacuuming up crumbs, clearing a fireplace, and removing stains from car seats,” says Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority.
Certain wet-dry vacuums can be used on carpeting or area rugs, serving a similar function as a carpet cleaner. However, it’s important to check whether your wet-dry vacuum is specifically designed to be used on carpeting or fabric. If it’s not, it may cause damage to your floor coverings.
Just like regular vacuums, most wet-dry vacuums have some type of filter that helps to capture dirt, dust and hair particles and keep them from being recirculated back into your home. You’ll want to check your product’s instruction manual to find out how often the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced to ensure your vacuum stays in peak condition.
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She has firsthand experience testing a wide range of cleaning products, including two of the wet-dry vacuums included on this list. In addition to researching the best wet-dry vacuums thoroughly, she also used insights from The Spruce’s team of product testers, who tested several wet-dry vacuums at The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn.
For further insights on the benefits and applications of wet-dry vacuums, Camryn spoke with Leanne Stapf of The Cleaning Authority. Using these expert insights, she looked for products that are versatile, easy to use, and effective on multiple flooring types. She also prioritized wet-dry vacuums that are easy to clean and maintain, as this is a common pain point among buyers.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.