How to Properly Clean Your Shop Vac 

How to Properly Clean Your Shop Vac

Incredibly versatile, a shop vac may be used for anything from heavy-duty DIY work to cleaning up after a houseful of kids. The trouble is that after all this hard work, your shop vac is bound to get filthy, and if you don’t clean it, it won’t last as long or perform in the same way it should.

How to Properly Clean Your Shop Vac

While cleaning a shop vac may look like a daunting task to those without the proper knowledge, it’s actually rather similar to cleaning any other household appliance. In order to ensure the long life of your Hoover cleaner, you need to think about the whole thing, not just the interior or the filter. In this article, you’ll find out what you need to do to keep your shop vac in excellent condition.

Treat the Filter with Care

Since cleaning the filter is the most important step in shop hoover maintenance, we’ll start there. As the shop vacuum’s paper filter is easily damaged, this is also the task that calls for the greatest dexterity.

If the suction power of your shop vac starts to decline, it’s time to clean the filter. This is something that can occur frequently if you use your shop vacuum for really filthy tasks. It is quicker to buy a new store hoover filter, so many people won’t bother trying to clean their existing one, but you should still give it a shot.

You’ll require:

  • Garbage bags
  • Plastic shaver
  • Kitchen soap
  • Warm water bucket
  • Hose for the garden
  • An air chuck and an air compressor

Your shop vacuum’s filter may contain a wide range of materials and particles, many of which will be discharged into the atmosphere during cleaning. Therefore, in order to prevent the aforementioned particles from entering your home, it is important to clean the filter outdoors. And make sure you wear the safety gear!

1. De-dust

This step requires you to put your hand holding the filter into a garbage bag if you can’t clean the filter outside. Certain individuals choose this approach, regardless of whether they are working outside or wearing a respirator. To release the loose dust and debris trapped between the pleats, tap the filter against a wall or other hard surface. You’ll get rid of all the leftover dirt in the next stages, so there shouldn’t be any need to pound the filter too hard.

2. Cleaning dry dirt

You may need to reach a little closer to the filter to make sure you have removed all of the hardened dry dirt since some will still be caught between the folds after you tap it out.

Remember that the filter needs to be handled carefully because it is rather delicate. For this phase, avoid using a brush since it will cause harm to the pleats in the paper. Scoop out all trapped dirt from between the pleats with your plastic scraper (a putty knife can also do the job). Additionally, be mindful of the region surrounding the rubber seal, as dirt can frequently become lodged there as well.

3. Clear away the dust

This is when having a compressor will be useful. Put on your safety glasses and adjust your air compressor to around 40 PSI since, even with your diligent work with the scraper, there will still be some loose dust and tiny particles in the filter after the final two stages. Any last bits of dirt and dust should be carefully and gently blown away using your air chuck. Don’t be too harsh with the paper filter; too much pressure might cause it to rip or distort.

4. Wash

Despite your best efforts in the past few stages, the filter may still have stains and unclean streaks. follow this step to clean the new filters.

Soak the filter for 10 minutes in water. After soaking, splash the filter in the water. You may twist or plunge it.

Once all the dirt and stains are gone, remove the filter from the soapy water and rinse it well with garden hose water.

5. Dry it

It may seem insignificant, but this step is crucial. Wet filters in shop vacs can mold, and dirt will attach to the filter and become rock hard, making it impossible to remove.

Lay the filter out in the sun to dry. If you can’t lay it in the sun, leave it overnight in a well-ventilated room to dry. Use your air chuck to gently blow water droplets out of the filter to speed up the process. After drying, return the filter to your shop vac and use it. however, we suggest the remaining tips.


Your shop vac should be as good as new and ready for any messy task. Your shop vac’s longevity will depend on how often you clean it, but starting with a monthly clean should increase its quality of life.

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Iain Ball
He is always learning from the people he meets, and that journey informs how he writes. Authentic, people-focused stories are at the heart of what he is doing. He has 10 years of experience in this field.


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