The difference between wet and dry vacuum cleaner

There are many different kinds of great home cleaning products and appliances that make it easier and quicker to get things clean. This especially is important when it comes to your home vacuum cleaners as they have evolved a great deal over the years in terms of the size, style, weight, and the type of materials that a vacuum can pick up. While they used to only be able to be used for cleaning up dry materials, the evolution of a wet vacuum has made it a real game changer.

What is a dry vacuum?

A dry vacuum as the name suggests is only meant for dry materials and should never be used to clean up a wet surface no matter how small. These dry vacuums are used to suck up dirt and dust from floor both carpeting and hard floors and also from furniture and upholstery. It sucks up this dirt and collects it usually in a bag or a collection chamber.

It also has filters that helps to keep the air inside your home cleaner to breathe. You may also have a vacuum that’s designed with a HEPA filter or with a UV light that helps to clean the air and eliminate many of the bacteria that flies around in your home.

What is a wet vacuum?

A water capable wet vacuum is typically called a ‘wet-vac’ and is designed in a way that allows for the collection of liquids in a waterproof container. These typically have the vacuum apparatus on the top and the collection container is below it in a plastic container. These have the electrical components designed and protected from the elements running through the vacuum so it does not short circuit.

The wet vacuum is great for both in your home and garage to clean up regular dirt or even large spills and messes like spilled cereal or a puddle from a leaky faucet.

The biggest difference between a wet and dry vacuum cleaner

Both the wet and dry vacuum uses the same process for sucking up materials, however, the design of the vacuum is totally different. The wet vacuum is made to be waterproof with a large leak-proof container so you can gather water inside. The dry vacuum is designed to just suck up dirt and other dry materials into a bag or container. A dry vacuum cannot have water inside of it as it will damage the vacuum.

You’ll also typically have moving bristles that help gather and pull dirt into the suction container to help ensure you gather the maximum amount of dirt whereas a wet vac is typically a hose with attachments. You’ll need to understand that a wet vacuum typically doesn’t have as good of an air filtration system so often times this isn’t ideal for indoor use in the house as it blows around a lot of dust into the air.

Benefits of a dry vacuum

Benefits of a dry vacuum

A dry vacuum is typically easier to push around on a carpet as it’s designed with a long upright handle and has a flat heavy base that’s designed to roll across carpet easily. They also typically have bristle brushes that spin while the vacuum is running which helps to pull dirt, hair and other debris up from the carpet and pull it into the suction tube.

They are also typically made with heavier filters that help to keep the air in your home clean and can also have UV lights to kill bacteria and germs that might make you sick.

Benefits of a wet vacuum

Benefits of a wet vacuum

A wet vacuum is really beneficial for when you have heavy-duty jobs often. You’ll want to invest in a wet vacuum both for when you want to suck up any quantity of water easily or when you want to suck up large amounts of dirt/debris as they typically have a large tank and are easy to empty out. A wet vac is extremely beneficial when you’re working in a garage, construction, plumbing, or any other industrial type locations. A wet vac typically comes with a longer hose with attachments which is extremely helpful when you have to get to hard to reach locations.

Another benefit of a wet vacuum is it can actually be used as a carpet cleaner so having one of these can also be a cost saving method so you don’t have to rent a carpet cleaner as well. Treat your carpet with the carpet cleaner liquid manually, scrub out the stains, and then suck the carpet cleaner out of the carpet using your wet vacuum. You’ll just repeat this process with water again to help rinse out the carpet and get the soap and dirt out but it works just as well. It is a more manual process to clean your carpet using a wet vacuum but if you have the time, you’ll save on costs!

The last benefit of a wet vac is that sometimes it has a reverse mode which can also be used for blowing. While it’s not designed with this specific purpose, it’s a great mode to have if you need to blow out your keyboard, dust off surfaces, or clean hard to reach areas with a burst of air. It can also be used to blow up mattresses and pools or unclog drains.


How to decide between a wet and dry vacuum cleaner?

Vacuum CleanerIdeally, if you’re just a standard home/apartment owner and you plan on just cleaning up the standard dirt and grime that accumulates in your home, then the standard dry vacuum is going to be your best bet. This is also better for the air in your home as the filtration system is much better. It also is easier to use on a large area and it’s designed to pull things out from the carpet.

Most households typically have one of each as the use the dry vacuum for the indoor use and the wet vacuum for the outdoor use so you can ensure the best of both worlds.

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