Shop Vac Instructions

A shop vac, or wet/dry vacuum, is an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner that vacuums virtually anything and comes in many sizes. It even has capabilities to vacuum water. A shop vac is also durable enough that it will pick up sharp items, such as nails, without ruining the hose or its mechanisms. You will also find that a shop vac can be moved around with ease.


If your shop vac still needs to be assembled, follow the instructions in the user manual that came with it. There are many models and sizes of shop vacs, so assembly varies between each one. When running a shop vacuum, be sure you are using an outlet that is not near a source of water.


Your shop vac has a mechanism that allows for sucking, like a regular vacuum, or blowing. Blowing is helpful for when you have a lot of debris that you want to get to a central location for easier pickup. If you are going to use it as a vacuum, switch to the right setting before turning on your shop vac. This will prevent the debris from being blown around and making more work for yourself.

Your shop vac has a hose with an attachment that you use to vacuum. Start in a corner, place the hose on the floor, and walk backward to pick up debris. Once you have completed vacuuming the area, go back over it. If you have to pick up water with your vacuum, you may need to go over the area several times.


Unplug your shop vac, and remove the lid to dispose of its contents. Slowly take off the lid to avoid splashing any liquid in your eyes or inhaling dust. There should be release buttons on either side of the lid, but that depends on the model of your shop vac.

If you have water or other liquid in your shop vac, walk the bucket over to a sink and empty it. If you have just garbage, such as dust and nails, take it to an outside garbage can. If you have vacuumed up water and garbage together, consider using a strainer so you do not get garbage in your sink drain. Once you are finished with the shop vac, replace all parts and store it until its next use.