How to Clean a Shop Vac. Shop Vacs can suck up and shoot out a lot of stuff. Good stuff, bad stuff ad in-between stuff. Some of the stuff in the Shop Vac you don't want to touch, but it needs to be cleaned out. Shop Vacs can breed germs and airborne illnesses if left too long in the wrong location. Cleaning a Shop Vac isn't hard, but it can get dirty.

Step 1

Empty the machine of any debris. Remove the lid on the tank. Place a trash bag over the tank base and dump the tank contents into the trash bag. Seal the bag and throw it away. Don't let the dust particles escape.

Step 2

Place the tank outside and fill it with warm water and dish soap. Add a cup of bleach and let the tank sit for 1 hour.

Step 3

Clean the top of the Shop Vac. Use another vacuum and vacuum out the top. Replace the filter or wash it in warm soapy water. Use cleaning wipes and wipe down the top of the machine. Use wipes like Clorox Wipes or the Franklin Brand found at Costco. These wipes kill 98 percent of the germs. Leave the lid to dry out.

Step 4

Remove and clean the hose and attachments. Spray water through the hose in the bathtub or outside with a garden hose. Spray a cleaning product that kills germs into the hose. Then spray the hose down and through and leave outside to dry in the wind.

Step 5

Clean the tank that is soaking outside. Put plastic cleaning gloves on your hands to protect them from the bleach. Scrub down the inside and outside of the Shop Vac with a disposable sponge. Spray the tank down with a hose several times to remove left over soap residue. Use a garden hose sprayer to spray off hard-to-clean stuff left in the tank.

Step 6

Replace old and worn parts, filters and cartridges before using your clean machine.