wet and dry car vacuum cleaner

Wet and dry vacuum cleaners are also known as DIY vacs, dirty vacs or garage vacs. They are designed to make light work of the messes that would destroy your ordinary vacuum cleaner. In our best mini vacuum cleaner options review today, we will be looking at the price of vacuum cleaner for car.

wet and dry car vacuum cleaner

1. Cleva Vacmaster Power 30 PTO VQ1530SFDC wet and dry vacuum cleaner – best for easy emptying

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Big isn’t always beautiful, but you do seem to get a lot for your money with this Vacmaster, which retails for around £80. It has a large 30-litre capacity and comes with good accessories. These include a sturdy floor head with brush and squeegee (that you lower for cleaning hard floors) plus a small brush and a crevice tool. Extremely impressive for the price, there’s a power take-off socket on the side and three-way power switch.

It can be turned off, on, or to automatically clean whenever the socket is in use. This is perfect for DIY tools. For example, you can set up the Vacmaster to capture dust from a drill or sander whenever it’s on. It doubles as a blower too. The cord measures just over 5m and then hose and tube combined a further 4m, giving it a reach of around 9m.  There’s a sliding control on the tube’s curved handle to adjust air flow.✕Skip in 5

You need a screwdriver to attach the carry handle the first time you use it. There’s a clever design, with space to store up to eight tools and stow the cable. Annoyingly, there’s no way to park the tube and floor head if you want to pause in the middle of cleaning. Dry vacuuming is effective but it’s disturb-the-neighbours loud. The Vacmaster follows you surprisingly well but feels tall and tinny: less like a vacuum cleaner and more like having R2-D2 in tow.

To go from dry to wet vacuuming, you remove the cartridge filter (and the paper dust bag, if you’re using it), then put a foam filter in its place. We found wet, dirty vacuuming to be slow but it got the job done. And when it came to emptying, we appreciated an unusual feature: a drainage plug low-down that you can unscrew to pour out liquids. Emptying this way into a drain means less lifting and less mess.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Cleva Vacmaster Power 30 PTO VQ1530SFDC wet and dry vacuum cleaner, £88, Amazon

Also available from eBay (£89.99)Cleva Vacmaster Power 30 PTO VQ1530SFDC deals

2. Kärcher WD4 Premium 13481530 wet and dry vacuum cleaner – best for cleaning power

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This Kärcher wet and dry vacuum is the priciest of the bunch (apart from George which doubles as a carpet cleaner). However, there are good deals to be had online. This 20-litre vacuum is solidly built in plastic with a stainless steel drum. It has a two-part plastic tube and a 5m cord, giving it an overall reach of 8m. The floorhead has squeegees front and back or you can swap them for crenelated brushes.

There’s a neat parking place on the back of the cylinder for the tube and floor head, plus space to stow four tools and a flat top to store more stuff. But it only comes with a crevice tool. This means fewer tools to stow, but still it feels like you should get more toys at this price. Kärcher offers plenty of optional accessories, including kits for DIY and car cleaning.

Dry vacuuming is very powerful but note that you can’t dial it back because there’s no air flow control. There’s an optional dust bag for picking up fine dust. Changing to wet cleaning is extremely easy: just remove the dust bag if you’re using it. The flat fold filter is tucked away high up, so you don’t need to change it or cover it. It doesn’t even get wet when cleaning, so there’s no drips.

We love the Kärcher for sheer simplicity and cleaning power. It’s not too big or heavy for such a workhorse and it makes light work of dry and wet vacuuming alike. It follows you around smoothly on casters and its double squeegee floor head is outstanding for getting wet floors completely dry. There’s no mains take-off for DIY enthusiasts, but that aside it’s superb. One switch, simple swapping from dry to wet and back again, nothing fancy, just lots and lots of suction.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Kärcher WD4 Premium 13481530 wet and dry vacuum cleaner, £129, Amazon

Also available from Argos (£169.99) and eBay (£1289.99)

3. Nilfisk Multi II 22T wet and dry vacuum cleaner – best professional vac

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This was the most affordable wet and dry vacuum cleaner we tested that felt professional. You could use it repeatedly every single day and it would survive the knocks. It’s big, plastic (22 litre capacity, 30 also available) and very solid. Nice touches include the fact that the lid clamps on in any position rather than needing to be lined up. It has a wheeled floor head with crenelated brush front and squeegee at back.

There’s a loop for storing the power cord, space to store six tools plus you can stow the two-part metal tube and floor head to park it if you need to pause cleaning. There’s also a flat top to store more stuff. The cord measures nearly 5m, for a combined reach of 8m. The tube’s curved handle includes a slider to control air flow. It has a power take-off socket, cleverly hidden under a flap to keep it clean.

This lets the Nilfisk work with power tools, triggering only when they’re in use, to clean up dust. Instead of a small, paper dust bag it comes with a very large, fabric dust bag. And to convert it to wet cleaning, you simply remove the dust bag; there’s no need to change or cover filters. It also boasts a self-cleaning filter. A light illuminates when this is necessary and then you just cover the end of the tube and press a button to blow air the wrong way through the filter to clean it.

It only comes with two accessories: a crevice tool and a reducer. But there are optional convenience kits. One features smaller brushes and nozzles for car-cleaning; another does domestic jobs like unblocking sinks, pumping air beds and catching dust from a drill. Dry vacuuming is very powerful. In fact, we accidentally connected the hose to the blower outlet first time and dust flew everywhere. But connected to the right inlet, the Nilfisk makes quick work of cleaning.

It whips up dirt faster than smaller models. Conversion to wet cleaning was super-quick and again it made very fast work of gulping up water and various junk. It cleared a sinkful in 4 seconds and made smooth work of it. We loved the Nilfisk’s sturdiness and especially loved the ease of conversion. You’re simply more likely to use a wet and dry vac if it’s always good to go.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Nilfisk Multi II 22T, £115, Amazon

Also available from eBay (£149.74)Nilfisk Multi II 22T deals

4. Numatic George GVE370 wet and dry vacuum cleaner – best for cleaning carpets

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George the wet and dry vacuum is from the makers of the Henry hoover. Many professional cleaners swear by Henry, and these machines have reputations as workhorses. George promises to make light work of wet and dry cleaning. Plus, this model comes with the A26A Extraction Kit – more on that later. It’s pretty compact for a premium (over £200) model but comes with a lot of accessories. You’ll need to find room to store them.

A 9m cord means an overall reach of 11m when cleaning dry and 12m wet. That’s right, it has two different hoses: one for dry vacuuming and one for wet “extraction”. It also has separate floor heads and smaller tools for dry and wet cleaning plus extra tools for extraction. It’s made of sturdy plastic with a two-part, metal tube and air-flow control on the curved handle.

There’s a proper dry floorhead, hose, dust bag and several small tools for dry use. When used ‘dry’ it performs very much like a Henry, with an allergy-friendly HEPA dust bag and a fabric filter. The quality and tools are superb: you could use this as your main vacuum cleaner if you don’t need a powered brush bar. Capacity is 15 litres. Changing to wet use means removing the dust bag, switching the dry filter for the wet float valve and swapping hose and floor head.

It’s a bit of a faff but in return you get powerful performance that can tackle almost anything. And it’s not just a wet and dry vac. The hose and tools for wet cleaning incorporate an extra tube, used to pump a cleaning agent (supplied). The body of the cleaner has two power switches. One pumps out the cleaning agent and one sucks up dirt.

So whether you’re using the small or large extraction tool, you can clean stuff  efficiently. Tackle carpets by liberally squirting them with the cleaning agent, giving them a good scrub and then sucking up the results. Stains get magicked away very effectively. And its fine mesh filter is impressive. When emptying, you can see that it has filtered even small dirt out of wet cleaning.

George is hard to fault because its performance, both wet and dry, is very impressive. But it’s not for everyone. It’s total overkill if you don’t have carpets: you’ll find yourself storing accessories that you never use. And there’s no power take-off socket if DIY is your priority. Most domestic users don’t need this level of cleaning. If you run a B&B though, this is the model for you. If you want a powerful wet and dry vac that doubles as a carpet cleaner then look no further.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Now: Numatic George GVE370 wet and dry vacuum cleaner, £215, Amazon

Also available from Currys (£228.00) and eBay (£238.99)

 5. Draper 20ltr 1250W 230V Wet & Dry 20514 – best lightweight vac

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This is very affordable for a wet and dry vacuum, at around £60. It has a 15-litre capacity and a simple design, with a stainless steel cylinder and minimal faffing. To switch between wet and dry vacuuming, you pop the top off and swap filter: foam for wet, fabric for dry. There’s an optional paper dust bag for dry vacuuming. The cord is 5m, giving an overall reach of 8m. The three-part tube and tools are all plastic.

There’s a reversible, optional attachment for the floor head, with rubber squeegee on one side and stiff, crenelated brushes on the other. It also comes with a small brush and a crevice tool for cleaning small stuff. There’s spaces on board to store up to five tools, even though it only comes with three. If you pop the floorhead off, you can stow it and the tube on board in the remaining spaces. You can’t simply park it in the middle of cleaning though.

As a dry vac, it’s a bit loud and high-pitched, but it rolls around very lightly on its casters, you don’t have to pull too hard. Dirt and dust are picked up well, whether you use the paper dust bag or not. Controls are very basic: a chunky on/off switch on top of the cylinder. There’s no air flow control. But you can blow as well as suck.

With wet and dirty cleaning, it took just 7 seconds to suck up a sink full of water and all sorts of debris. It didn’t flinch, despite being a budget model. It wasn’t the quickest on test, but it got the job done. The carry handle on top is fine and there’s space for stowing the cable. But overall the build feels quite flimsy. It’s a basic home wet and dry vac that wouldn’t last long on a building site.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy now: Draper 20ltr 1250W 230V Wet & Dry 20514, £69, Amazon

6. Nilfisk Buddy II 12 wet and dry vacuum cleaner – best budget vac

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This budget wet and dry vacuum cleaner boasts impressive build quality for the price. It’s sturdy, in plastic that takes the knocks well. The floor head comes with two swappable attachments: a rubber squeegee and a crenelated stiff brush head. It comes with just one other accessory: a crevice tool. There’s space on board to store up to four tools.

There’s also space to stow the tube with the floor head still on, so you can park it really well any time you want to pause. It travels and turns well on two large wheels plus two casters. The cord measures just over 4m and then hose and tube combined a further 3m, giving it a reach of around 7m. Controls are a simple on/off switch but the tube’s curved handle also has a sliding cover that lets you control air flow.

Dry vacuuming is loud but effective and the brush head is great at picking up hairs. And it can blow as well as suck. To convert it to wet cleaning, add the washable filter (and remove the paper dust bag, if you’re using one). The filter is easy to add and it works either way up. It cleared water and dirt fast, considering it’s a budget model. It’s sturdier and offers more suction control than the other budget model on test (the Draper). But then it has a slightly smaller capacity (12 litres instead of 15).

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Now: Nilfisk Buddy II 12, £64, Amazon

Also available from eBay (£92.08)

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement.  One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.

We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.

What Flooring Types Do I Have?

Upright and Canister Vacuums on Multi-floorsProbably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.

If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.

Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.

Do I Need to Control Allergens?

This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.

An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.

How Often Do I Vacuum?

Robotic Vacuum Being ProgrammedSomething you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.

If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.

How Many Levels are in My Home?

Stick Vacuum Being Carried UpstairsIn other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.

An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.

What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?

Vacuum Cleaner Tool AssortmentIf you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.

How Much Noise Can I Stand?

Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCareMiele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.

How Much Maintenance is Required?

This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.

The Main Vacuum Types

There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.

1. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.

2. Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.

3. Upright

These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.

4. Stick

While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.

5. Autonomous / Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.


Vacuum Cleaners

Location, Location, Location

Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.

Bare Floors:

If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.

Carpeting:

On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.

Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.

To Bag or Not To Bag

The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.

Bagged:

If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.

Bagless:

If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.

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