For heavy-duty cleaning jobs, a lot of people use wet/dry vacuum cleaners, models that can pick up liquids as well as solids. Liquid material would soak paper or cloth filters, so these cleaners need a different sort of collection system. But why use your vacuum just for liquid spills? Try these 6 alternative uses for wet-dry vacuums to get the most out of your unit.
1. Unclog Drains
Use a wet/dry vac to unclog a sink with it. To do this, you’ll need to switch the hose to the port that blows out air. Then, place the end of the hose into the drain as far as possible, and turn the machine on. The force of the air can break up hair, grease and other gunk that has your drain plugged up, just like a plunger does. Except, the wet/dry vacuum is more powerful and can be more effective than simply a traditional plunger ““ and less expensive than calling a plumber.
2. Reclaim Items and Jewelry Lost Down the Drain
At some point we all make the mistake of dropping or knocking a ring down the drain. Again, rather than call a costly plumber, use your wet-dry vac to retrieve the lost object. To do this, place the hose in the vacuum port that sucks in. Then, hold the end of the hose over the drain opening and hold it in place as tightly as possible. Turn your vacuum on and allow the machine to work for a few minutes. Then, turn it off and look inside for your lost item.
3. Clean out the Fireplace
Cleaning out the ashes in a woodstove or fireplace can be a messy hassle if you use the traditional sweep-and-scoop method. Rather than fussing with all that, use your wet/dry vacuum to easily clean up the ashes instead. Just make sure the ashes are completely cool before you use your machine. Since not all wet/dry vacuums are the same, make sure yours has a filtering system that keeps the dust inside the holding tank, instead of letting it blow out the exhaust.
4. Fight Floods
If you own a wet/dry vacuum with a drain on the bottom of the holding tank, then you can use your vac to get rid of floods due to basement leaks or overflowing toilets. Start by removing the plug on the drain, then screw a garden hose onto the drain and run it outside the door. Place the hose of your wet/dry vacuum in the water you want to remove, and turn the machine on. The water will be sucked up into the holding tank, then run back out through the hose outside your house.
5. Remove Snow from Floors, Steps, and Sidewalks
Rather than hassling with mops, shovels and towels to deal with slushy outdoor snow on your front door or dragged in puddles, try using your wet-dry vacuum. Snow is essentially water, especially when melted down! You can even remove the snow that’s on your steps and sidewalks with a wet-dry too.
6. Inflate Pool Toys
Instead of huffing and puffing away, use your wet/dry vac to blow up inflatables. Make sure the hose is inserted in the port that blows air out. Then, place the end of the hose over the open valve of the toy, and turn it on! If need be, squeeze the valve open with your finger and thumb while you blow the air inside.
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