There’s a certain cringing moment that you probably know well, and the slow motion feeling that comes along with it.
Say you have a toddler with a bowl full of cereal and milk. Or in a completely different sense, say someone just brought you a frosty glass of ice water while you’re cutting wood in the garage.
Either way, you can probably guess what often happens next: the slow-motion, cringe-inducing spill. And you can probably guess exactly why it’s so cringe inducing – it’s annoyingly hard to clean up.
When solid debris like cereal or sawdust get mixed up with liquid, it can be quite a challenge.
You can’t just soak it up with towels or a mop, because of the hard and semi-dry bits. But you can’t just vacuum the mess up, either, unless you want a wet mess of a broken vacuum cleaner.
There Is A Solution
Unless, that is, you have a wet/dry vacuum cleaner!
A wet/dry vacuum is designed especially for that sort of mess. Instead of a dust container it uses a bucket that is able to hold liquid and that is easily poured out after.
If you tried to suck up anything wet with a regular vacuum cleaner, assuming it didn’t break outright, it would make a dusty, muddy mess of the filter and dust container. Obviously, either possibility is far from ideal.
Wet/dry vacuums, on the other hand…
– can easily clean up wet spills, both with solid parts like cereal and without
– are incredibly handy during plumbing catastrophes, like an overflowing toilet
– are often better at holding dust inside them than other vacuums
– are usually heavy-duty enough even for thick, dry messes, like fireplace ashes
– can even fix some clogged drains!
Just compare the thought of being on your knees swiping soaked towels back and forth across the floor or wringing out a dirty mop to the potential ease of sucking up the mess quickly with your vacuum, and conveniently pouring it right out.
Some Things To Keep In Mind
While wet/dry vacuums are better than regular vacuums in certain ways, there are some things to consider when choosing and using them:
- never try to clean something flammable
- don’t store the vacuum with liquid still in the tank
- run the vacuum for a few seconds after emptying it to clean out its hoses
- you’ll want as much power as possible, because water is far heavier than dust
Which Wet/Dry Vacuum Is Right For You?
That last tip calls to mind an essential point in choosing a wet/dry vacuum: while there are hugely powerful vacuums designed for warehouses, factories and mechanic’s shop, the most common user will be in their own house, garage, or workshop.
And so, while you don’t need the power and capacity to suck up a spill from a 55-gallon drum, you still naturally want enough to clean your home well.
A quality cordless handheld wet/dry vacuum will provide an optimum balance of versatility and power for your needs.
It will be agile enough for spills on kitchen counters, and also small enough to get into tight workshop spaces. The key, then, is choosing the quality that will provide the power needed to clean wet spills.
The Best Option For The Household
If you feel that the messes you tend to encounter are not that big, and you want quality without paying too much, the DirtTamer Ultima is the vacuum for you.
- you’ll be able to use it like you would a regular handheld all around your home and car
- and on top of that, it can clean wet spills and hold up to nine ounces of fluid
- it has 14.4 volts of power to really pick up wet messes, which rivals many cordless stick vacuums
- to make sure you get all of the spill, the DirtTamer has a convenient headlight
- with its battery gauge, you’ll also know exactly when it needs to be charged
- a 3-stage HEPA filter cleans all the dust and allergens from dry messes
The Best Option For Garages, Workshops, Or If You Have Kids
If you have kids (or even kids and pets!) you’ll know already how often bowls and pitchers and art projects get knocked over. And if you’re in the garage or workshop a lot, chances are you might have had trouble cleaning heavier debris and sawdust.
Luckily, the DeWalt DC515K cordless wet/dry vacuum can easily handle all of these messes.
- even larger wet spills aren’t an issue for a full half-gallon capacity
- an extendable rubber hose can reach tight spaces and make cleaning easier on your back
- you won’t have to worry about clogs on one hand or allergens on the other with a Gore HEPA wet/dry filter
- even the heavier metal debris in a garage or workshop are easily cleaned with 18 volts of power – the same as the best cordless stick vacuums
- with a startling twenty minute runtime, it will be a rare occasion that you’ll ever run down a charge….but even if you do, the DeWalt has a cord for the option of running on a wall outlet
The DeWalt DC515K is a little more expensive, but it would simply be silly to spend less and be continuously cleaning up only portions of messes, at best. If, on the other hand, you’ve discerned that your environment and messes don’t need that much capacity, save a little and still get quality with the DirtTamer Ultima.