Vacuums are truly wonderful tools. When the first vacuum was invented, way back in 1901, it set in motion a series of small revolutions that changed the way we think about how we clean our homes and the ways in which we look at the individual spaces in our homes.
Today, there are all kinds of different vacuums on the market. Many of these vacuums are quite inexpensive, and as tools go, they are some of the most ubiquitous. You can find vacuum cleaners everywhere, and most people own a vacuum cleaner of one sort or another.
In this buying guide, we’re going to be looking at a unique type of vacuum. Wet/dry vacuums are nowhere near as popular as, say, upright vacuums or canister vacuums. But, they fill a very specific niche that no other vacuum – and very few other cleaning tools, for that matter – fills.
You’re going to learn all about the top nine best wet/dry vacuums for cleaning cars, hardwood flooring, and for cleaning your carpet, as well.
Along with that, you’re going to learn all about what to look for, and what features to take note of, when searching for a great wet/dry vacuum.
However, before we dive into those particular subjects, we need to define a few things. Specifically, what differentiates wet/dry vacuums from other vacuums, and the unique advantages that wet/dry vacuums offer, in comparison to other types of vacuums, such as those of the upright variety.
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So, What Exactly Is A Wet/Dry Vacuum?
Before we can answer this question, we need to talk about the most popular type of vacuum. This is, of course, the standard Upright Vacuum.
Upright vacuums are easily the most popular type of vacuum. You can find them everywhere, and there are more upright vacuum models then there are of stick vacuums, canister vacuums, robot vacuums, and, of course, wet/dry vacuums.
This popularity comes from a few things. One of which is the fact that upright vacuums have had a lot more time to grow and develop, in comparison to the other vacuums that we just mentioned. Because of this, they are some of the most powerful vacuums around, and they are also the cheapest, since the technology has had so much time to develop and to seep into the marketplace, allowing other manufacturers to produce their own upright vacuums, leading to the inevitable lowering of the costs of the individual components that comprise an upright vacuum.
So, upright vacuums are powerful, and they’re cheap. You can buy a really good upright vacuum for around $60 or so, and it will give you a significant amount of power and overall efficiency.
However, as popular as they are, upright vacuums are a bit limited. In many ways, they’re stuck in the past. The design is large and bulky, for one thing, and the motor produces a significant amount of noise. But, the real reason these vacuums are stuck in the past, is because they aren’t very flexible when it comes to the kinds of things that you can vacuum up with them. The suction may be strong, but the technology that goes into the suction, and the filtration, isn’t particularly versatile, which means you are limited when it comes to what you are able to vacuum up.
Unfortunately, this particular design philosophy remains dominant in most spheres of vacuum design and manufacturing. However, vacuums were designed to be all-purpose floor cleaning machines. Machines that were able to suck up and remove any type of material, in a clean and efficient manner.
This is where wet/dry vacuums come in. Wet/dry vacuums have a design that is similar to that of a Canister Vacuum. Specifically, the motor and the storage for everything that is being vacuumed up is located in a container that is in the shape of a canister. This canister is relatively short but wide, and it offers a certain degree of mobility and convenience that isn’t really found in an upright vacuum.
What separates them from a standard canister vacuum is the fact that they can vacuum up the dry matter, such as dirt and dust and other types of debris, as well as wet matter, such as water, pet mess, and many other types of liquids.
This feature, that of being able to vacuum up liquids, is incredibly special. No other vacuum offers this ability, and that makes wet/dry vacuums very unique.
The other aspect that separates wet/dry vacuums from the other vacuums on the market is the fact that wet/dry vacuums are much stronger than other vacuums. When it comes to the kinds of things they can vacuum up, to be more specific, it doesn’t matter if its wet matter, or really strong and heavy dry matter, these vacuums can handle it.
In the past, wet/dry vacuums were mostly only found in worksites, such as the kinds of worksites you see a lot in construction. One of the reasons for this is because, while working, you tend to leave behind a lot of debris.
That kind of thing.
Using a wet/dry vacuum, you can vacuum up those things. With another vacuum, those items would mess up the filtration system, leading to a broken vacuum.
But, wet/dry vacuums can handle those things. Wet/dry vacuums can handle things that other vacuums simply cannot.
What Are The Advantages Of Owning A Wet/Dry Vacuum?
Ultimately, the advantages of owning a wet/dry vacuum come down to the sheer strength and efficiency that wet/dry vacuum offers.
As mentioned earlier, these are easily the strongest vacuums around. You’d be hard pressed to find a stronger, more efficient, vacuum than a good wet/dry vacuum. This, in of itself, is a pretty strong advantage.
Versatility is one of the main advantages of owning a wet/dry vacuum. Using a wet/dry vacuum, you can vacuum up any type of material. This means you aren’t confined to using one vacuum, or one cleaning tool, for a certain material, and then being forced to use another vacuum for another type of material.
Instead, you can just use your wet/dry vacuum for all of it. This gives you a lot of versatility and makes it easy to tackle unexpected messes, spills, and related problems.
For example, if you need to clean up a small construction project gone wrong, you can do that. And, if your basement floods, you can also use your wet/dry vacuum to vacuum up the water, which is something that no other vacuum can do.
Durability is another advantage. As you might expect, wet/dry vacuums are made of strong, durable material. They have to be, since they are designed to clean so many different materials, many of which can be very strong, and even a bit hazardous.
When you buy a wet/dry vacuum, you don’t need to worry about it breaking down or getting broken because you vacuumed up something that you thought was harmless. Instead, wet/dry vacuums last an exceptionally long time, and they can withstand a tremendous amount of damage, due to the strength of their materials.
Convenience is the last major advantage. And by “convenience”, we’re referring to the fact that wet/dry vacuums are as close as you’ll get to an “all-purpose cleaning machine”. With a wet/dry vacuum, you don’t need much else, when it comes to cleaning your floors.
What Are The Top 9 Best Wet/Dry Vacuums For Cleaning Cars, Hardwood Flooring, And Carpets?
Top 3 Best Wet/Dry Vacuums For Cleaning Cars
DEWALT DCV581 Wet/Dry Vacuum Review
For the first wet/dry vacuum on our list, we have the DEWALT DCV581. Now, DEWALT is one of the best power tool manufacturers on the market. They have manufactured so many fantastic power tools, as well as a wide variety of other, equally fantastic, products.
One of the first things that you’re going to notice about the DEWALT DCV581 is the fact that you can use it corded, with a power cord, or cordless, where it uses a battery instead of a power cord. This is fantastic since it enables you to use this vacuum in a wide variety of different spaces.
You’ll then notice that the debris tank can hold up to two gallons. For a wet/dry vacuum, this is quite a bit, and it ensures that you won’t have to constantly empty the debris tank, which is nice if you’re cleaning your car, which may be further away from a garbage can.
The hose is made of very strong material, and has been designed to be “crush-resistant”. It’s five feet long, as well, which is good for cleaning most things. Although, in some ways, the DEWALT DCV58, as a whole, isn’t as mobile or as flexible as it could be.
Transporting the DEWALT DCV581 is quite easy, however, since it has a nice handle built into it. And, it only weighs around ten-pounds, so carrying it around isn’t going to be a huge ordeal.
Shop-Vac Micro Wet/Dry Vac 2021000 Review
Next on the list is the Shop-Vac Micro Wet/Dry Vac 2021000. When it comes to wet/dry vacuums, no other manufacturer is as well-respected, or as well-known, as Shop-Vac. For many years, they were, seemingly, the only manufacturer or wet/dry vacuums. And because of this, they’ve had a significant amount of time to develop the technology and to turn it into something truly special.
With a weight of only 5 pounds, this vacuum is true to its name. It’s small, and it’s also very easy to pick up and to move around. When it comes to mobility, the Shop-Vac Micro Wet/Dry Vac is truly fantastic.
Storing it is easy, since it comes with a wall bracket that you can place just about anywhere. And since it’s such a small device, it won’t take up too much room on your wall. Moving the vacuum around is also easy, since there is a nice ergonomic handle built onto the top of the vacuum.
Using a 1 HP – Horsepower – motor, there is more than enough suction flowing through the four-foot hose to clean dry matter, as well as wet matter. Everything then flows into a one-gallon tank, which isn’t too large but can still hold a decent amount of material.
For a good, mobile wet/dry vacuum that offers a lot of convenience and versatility, the Shop-Vac Micro Wet/Dry Vac 2021000 is great!
Armor All AA255 Wet/Dry Vacuum Review
Last on the list for the best wet/dry vacuums for cleaning your car is the Armor All AA255 Wet/Dry Vacuum.
With a 2.5-gallon debris tank, and a 6 amp motor, the Armor All AA255 Wet/Dry Vacuum is very powerful, and it can hold a significant amount of debris.
This is a fantastic wet/dry vacuum for cleaning your car, since it provides the power necessary to thoroughly and effectively clean all of the spaces and compartments within your car. The hose is six-feet long, so it can reach those smaller nooks and crannies. To aid in the vacuuming process, as well, there is something known as “Deluxe Car Nozzle”, which is specifically designed to make it easier for you to clean your car. There is also a “Crevice Tool”, “Blower Nozzle”, “Detail Brush”, and several other attachments that streamline the vacuuming process.
Top 3 Best Wet/Dry Vacuums For Cleaning Hardwood Flooring
Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum Review
For cleaning hardwood flooring, the first vacuum we have is the Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum. As wet/dry vacuums go, this one is quite powerful.
The Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum has a 4 HP engine, and it can hold four gallons of debris. These are good features to have because they make the cleaning process very simple and very easy. More specifically, with the powerful motor, you can more effectively clean off all the dirt, dust, and debris that is on your hardwood floors. Along with that, having a four-gallon debris tank means you can hold a lot of debris, at any given time.
One of the unique aspects of the Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum is the fact that it has a simple and concise design. Everything is clearly marked and delineated, and along with that, the design makes it easy for you to use and move the vacuum around.
Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum – 6 Gallons, 4 HP Review
Here, we have another wet/dry vacuum from Stanley. This one is very similar to the Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum – the one we covered above – but it includes a debris tank that can hold six gallons of debris.
Now, this may not seem like a huge difference – and to some extent, it really isn’t – but it’s very nice to have this particular feature because it makes cleaning up water much easier.
When flooding takes place, or some kind of large spill, there tends to be a significant amount of water that needs to be cleaned up. Water can quickly consume a space, especially that of the debris tank in a wet/dry vacuum, and so this larger debris tank makes it much easier for you to vacuum up water, regardless of the quantity thoroughly. And, since the design is simple and emptying the debris tank is easy, it’s easy to dispose of the excess water.
Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Vac Review
Out of all the wet/dry vacuums we’ve covered, the Vacmaster Professional Wet/Dry Vac has the greatest capacity and the most power.
Right off the bat, you’re going to notice that this is a rather large wet/dry vacuum. Much of this comes from the debris tank, which can store a total of twelve-gallons of wet and dry matter. That’s a lot of space, and it makes cleaning up larger messes and spills, among many other things, a really easy and simple process. It also lends itself to uninterrupted cleaning, which is great if you’re working in an environment where actually emptying out the contents of what is in the debris tank is difficult or inconvenient.
With the 5.5 HP motor, as well, cleaning up your hardwood flooring is truly a breeze as is cleaning up just about anything/everything else, too, since with this kind of motor, you have a tremendous amount of power. When you combine that power with capacity, you get an exceptionally useful wet/dry vacuum.
Top 3 Best Wet/Dry Vacuums For Cleaning Carpets
BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro Review
We’re starting off with the BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro. Now, before we dive into this vacuum, there is one distinction that must be made. In comparison to other wet/dry vacuums, the BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro is quite a bit different, since it is actually a stick vacuum, with the capabilities of a wet/dry vacuum.
Since this is a stick vacuum, that offers the capabilities and functionality of a wet/dry vacuum, you have a unique experience. BISSELL has spent a lot of time and energy making this wet/dry vacuum convenient and easy-to-use. This is a great advantage, and it has been executed wonderfully.
Using this vacuum, you can effortlessly clean your carpets. The brush roll is strong and absorbs dust and pet hair and other types of debris. To aid in the brush roll functionality, there is a strong suction, which makes the vacuuming process even more efficient.
BISSELL Little Green ProHeat Review
With a weight of only 11.6 pounds, this is a lightweight wet/dry vacuum that has been designed with mobility, and convenience, in mind. You have the power and features of a regular wet/dry vacuum, but BISSELL has focused on mobility, as well, and this means you can clean all kinds of different spaces, regardless of the size of those spaces.
The motor provides nine amps of power. With this amount of power, you can easily clean your carpet. This is enough power to suck up most things that are in your carpets, and the flexible hose and strong brush also aid in the efficiency of the BISSELL Little Green ProHeat.
Ultimately, though, it’s the mobility that is important. And this is truly a very mobile wet/dry vacuum that you can easily maneuver and handle.
BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush Review
Finally, last, but definitely not least, on our list is the BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush. This is a wet/dry vacuum that is in the shape of an upright vacuum. However, it weighs only twelve pounds, so it doesn’t have the heft or bulk that most upright vacuums have.
One of the defining features of the BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush is the fact that it has a floorhead with a width of 9.5 inches, a strong motor, and strong brushes that make it exceptionally useful for cleaning carpeting. In a brief amount of time, it can suck up the majority of the dirt, dust, and debris that it comes into contact with.
For that reason, the BISSELL Turboclean Powerbrush is one of the best wet/dry vacuums you can purchase.
What Do I Need To Look For When Buying A Good Wet/Dry Vacuum?
Whenever you buy a tool, there’s always going to be a few factors that will determine your overall experience with that tool. Naturally, wet/dry vacuums are no different, in that regard.
In this quick section, you’re going to learn about the main factors that you need to look for and take note of when searching for a wet/dry vacuum. These things will determine your experience, and the success it does, or does not, bring, with your new wet/dry vacuum.
The Size Of The Wet/Dry Vacuum
With the size of the wet/dry vacuum, comes the sheer amount of material that it can actually hold, while you are vacuuming. Mobility and convenience is also another aspect that is directly affected by how big, or how small, your wet/dry vacuum is.
So, if you intend to clean up large spills of things like liquid, you’re going to want a wet/dry vacuum with a larger debris capacity. That’s because water takes up a lot of space, and it’s going to be very inconvenient if you constantly need to empty out the debris container, due to the fact that it’s too small to store that much water.
However, when you purchase a wet/dry vacuum with a larger debris capacity, you’re also stuck with the inconvenience that it brings. More specifically, the fact that it’s going to be a bit heavier to carry and to move around, and it may be harder to use in smaller spaces.
So, if you intend to use your wet/dry vacuum in a smaller space, then you’re going to want something that is a bit smaller, with less capacity, but more overall mobility.
The Power Of The Wet/Dry Vacuum
When it comes to power, every wet/dry vacuum is a little different. Some wet/dry vacuums have very strong motors that offer around 4 HP, or more, and this means that they have a much easier time cleaning up a wide variety of different materials. Other wet/dry vacuums only have 1 or 2 HP, and this means that they have a slightly more difficult time cleaning up different types of materials.
Here’s the thing, though, regardless of those numbers, a wet/dry vacuum is still going to be powerful enough to clean up the wet matter, and dry matter, of all sorts.
However, a wet/dry vacuum with more HP will, in many ways, be much more efficient when cleaning up those materials. A wet/dry vacuum with less HP will have a more difficult time doing it, and won’t be as fast or as efficient.
Make sure to consider the level of convenience and efficiency that is important for you, when searching for a good wet/dry vacuum.
The Cost Of The Wet/Dry Vacuum
Ultimately, it comes down to costs. Some vacuums are really expensive, and some vacuums are really cheap. The same is true of wet/dry vacuums, but fortunately for you, most wet/dry vacuums are quite affordable, especially when you compare them to things like stick vacuums, or robot vacuums.
As a general rule, for $50 or $60, you can get a really nice wet/dry vacuum that will work very well, and do a good job vacuuming. Or, for $100 or so, you can get a fantastic wet/dry vacuum that will do an exceptional job cleaning, and give you incredible performance.
As vacuums go, wet/dry vacuums are some of the best out there. They are some of the most efficient and useful vacuums that you can find, and when you buy a good one, the results are truly second-to-none.
By reading this article, you now know what nine of the very best wet/dry vacuums are. You also know what to look for and consider, when searching for a good wet/dry vacuum!
This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.