The Best Wet/Dry Vacuums for Your Home
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Regular vacuums can handle a limited amount of dry materials like dust, crumbs, dirt and debris. But when things get messy involving liquids and sticky spills, that’s where a wet/dry vacuum really comes in the clutch for deep cleaning. These are not only a step up from some robot vacuums in terms of what they can handle, but also include cutting-edge new tech features too, keeping your home connected while cleaning. Here, we’ve picked some of the best wet/dry vacuums for cleaning any space.
What Are the Best Wet/Dry Vacuums?
For the really excessively stubborn stuff, like bubblegum or dried glue, that’ll still require old-school elbow grease. But for the majority of messes, these wet/dry vacuum options really clean up.
Storage: Especially in a small apartment or garage, space is everything. A vac that can quickly fold up and hide away in a corner or under a bed not only saves space, but is also easy to grab at a moment’s notice when a mess appears. Most include some type of dock, where it can clean itself with just a tank of fresh water, and have the brush ready for your next job.
Noise: Vacuums require a powerful engine to generate the suction needed, and the result is usually pretty loud. While this might not be bad with noise-cancelling earbuds in, other people in the house (as well as adjacent neighbors) may not appreciate the 3 a.m. cleaning spree. Luckily reduced noise options have gotten better in recent years thanks to improved tech and a more efficient internal cleaning process.
Assembly: Setting up your vacuum the first time, even if it’s confusing, isn’t so bad as long as it’s a one-time thing. But if you’ll need to take it apart regularly to empty out the tank or change the filter, that’s when putting it back together can be a pain if things don’t line up or click in properly.
Weight: Some of the super-powerful shop vacs aren’t really made with weight in mind, since they’ll mostly be staying in one spot. But if you’ll be using this all around the house, you’ll need something that can be easily carried from room to room.
Surfaces: Take a quick look at the surfaces in your home and make sure the vac you’re eyeing can handle them. Generally common surfaces like tile floors, marble and wood won’t leave marks behind, but it’s always best to check before purchasing.
Damage: These inevitably will be slammed into tight corners and baseboards to catch crumbs and other messes, so durability is non-negotiable. A vac that gets damaged or misaligned with regular usage isn’t going to cut it for the long run, and this is a purchase that should last you years at the very least.
Emptying: With traditional vacs, dumping out the dust is a messy job, creating a cough-inducing cloud and re-circulating the vacuumed particles right back into the air. These vacs can offer perks like self-cleaning, and separating the dirty water into its own tank for easy emptying down the drain (toilet is best, since it’s the widest), keeping the nastiness factor to a minimum.
Attachments: Most vacs will include at least a few of these, and while they may seem like unnecessary extras, they can absolutely come in handy depending on the job. For awkward places and hard-to-reach heights, it’s a huge help, and a powerful suction brush tool is particularly perfect for pet hair.
Cord vs. Cordless: A cordless vacuum is a great machine for cleaning, never worrying about untangling or running out of slack ever again. But the advantage of a plugged-in cord is unlimited run time, which is often better for bigger houses that cover more ground than a cordless might offer.
Liquid Cleaning Solution: Generally, brands have their own cleaning solutions designed for use with their vacuums. And while it may sound like one more thing to worry about adding to your shopping list, most connected vacs can automatically order more when it gets low. Some can work with just water, using steam to power through stains and avoiding the chemicals altogether.
1. Ultenic AC1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
This excellent vac rushes head-on into gross spills and messes, with the strength of 15KPa suction and a 180-degree rotating head to make sure you get every last bit.
The built-in strainer inside separates debris like food for easy disposal, and thanks to the 4000mAh battery this can run for enough time to cover sizable living spaces, or about 45 minutes of continuous power before needing a recharge.
The self-cleaning cycle is ultra-hygienic, with the base acting as a three-in-one cleaning station, removing dirt, hair, and general nastiness from the roller brush. All with the push of one button. The Ultenic app is also more than just an add-on for the sake of being an app, and has some useful perks, like setting the amount of water dispensed, checking on the cleaning status, and getting help from the company when you need it most.
2. Tineco Floor ONE S5 PRO 2
This cordless vac is the ultimate cleaning machine for small homes and apartments, providing the option to vacuum and mop all at once. With up to 35 minutes of continuous runtime, cables and cords are a thing of the past. Simply return it to the charging base once you’re done and watch it fuel back up.
The Tineco glides on pretty much every hard surface, almost as if it’s pulling itself, fearing no mess as it goes. The iLoop Smart Sensor inside actually detects wet or dry messes automatically, and adjusts accordingly, dishing out the best method of cleaning up, monitoring the mess until it’s done.
A digital LED control panel tells you stats in real time, including battery and power levels, while dual tanks keep clean water and solution separate from the nasty dirt soup it sucks up. It’s also lightweight and holds a decent amount of dirt before it needs to be emptied. The device alerts you when full, and has a self-cleaning feature with the touch of one button.
3. Proscenic F20 Cordless Vacuum
We’re continuously impressed at the products Proscenic has been cranking out in the past year, and this one may have the most muscle of the bunch. The F20 can clean and wash an average sized home in one go, and works on hardwood floors and around tight edges, pulling powerful suction at 15KPa (kilopascals, a worldwide unit of pressure measurement) .
This also self-cleans, which is a huge help in preventing lingering odors in the tank and brush. Pair it with the app for even greater control.
4. Bissell CrossWave X7 Cordless Pet Pro
This all-in-one mop and vac comes with up to 30 minutes of power, and the 10.5-inch wide front is especially great at catching loose pet hair that hides in hard-to-reach places. Controls are simple, and allow for different speeds of spinning the brush, depending on how tough the mess you’re tackling is. Spray the solution of water and cleaner to soak the brush, and you’re ready to roll.
Pet owners will especially love the Turbo Pet Mode, which removes tough, stuck-on pet messes with a boost of suction and cleaning. It also has WiFi for alerts and ordering replacement filters and formula too.
5. Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum
This rugged, 4-horsepower, 4-gallon wet/dry vacuum from Stanley is ready for serious cleaning jobs, whether that’s in the house or outside. At 8 pounds, it’s a great option to store in your garage or basement, and it’s easy to start cleaning by hooking up the included attachments for any mess you might encounter.
Stanley made it easy to clean from far away, too, with a 10-foot range, thanks to an included hose and its attachments, including a crevice nozzle for hard-to-reach areas of your home. It conveniently has four wheels so you can move it around wherever you’re cleaning, too.
6. Shark Vacmop Pro Cordless Vacuum Mop
Shark is known for its well-built array of appliances, and chances are there’s probably one in your home right now. This heavy-duty vacuum is easy to maintain while still being tough enough to really attack stubborn spills.
It’s perfect for multi-surface cleaning, with hydro-mopping pulling in dirt, debris, and wet messes on everything from hardwood to tile while still utilizing Shark’s strong suction capability. You won’t have to worry about smells as you clean, either, since the antimicrobial brushroll helps prevent odors and bacteria on the brushroll, and a multi-surface concentrate neutralizes and prevents odors coming from whatever it slurps up.
It’s also cordless, making it super simple to carry and maneuver around the house. When you’re done, just place the HydroVac on the dock activate self-clean mode — easy as that.