Clean your home, garage, and car without busting your budget by picking up the best wet/dry vac under $100. You may think a vacuum that sucks up debris and liquids is a pricey buy, but it doesn't need to be. There are plenty of affordable options on the market that handle most jobs with ease.
Using and Maintaining Wet/Dry Vacuums
While you may already own a pool vacuum or a home vacuum cleaner to suck up pet hair, a wet/dry vacuum fills a specific void. Versatility is one of the primary appeals of a wet/dry vacuum. Changing the function of a vacuum at the touch of a button is an unmatched feature for house maintenance. However, it is important to remember that filters need to be changed when switching modes. So, if you switch from picking up liquids to dirt or vice versa, change the filter.
When picking up trash, dust and other debris, use a paper filter. Use a foam filter when sucking up water and other liquids. After you vacuum up a liquid, empty the bucket immediately to prevent stagnant water buildup. Always empty the inner bucket and hose to ensure that it's clean and ready for the next time.
How to Choose the Best Wet/Dry Vac for You
First, some basics. When you see features that mention peak horsepower (PHP), this is a term used in the wet/dry vacuum industry that denotes the horsepower output of the motor. This doesn't refer to the horsepower of the vacuum when it's in use. Also, tank capacity does not refer to the space available while using the vacuum. Instead, it reflects actual tank volume. These terms and explanations were coined for consumer comparison purposes.
Now that we have the basics covered, here are a few factors you should consider when selecting the best wet/dry vacuum for your home:
Vacuum size and build: Wet/dry vacs come in a range of sizes and power, from handheld one-gallon models to industrial-grade 20-gallon ones. Bigger may seem better, but you don’t need anything larger than 12 gallons for household cleanups. Keep in mind, if you go bigger, it will be heavy to lift and dump when it's full of water. On that same note, stainless steel is very durable, but it is much heavier than plastic models. Though taller wet/dry vacs offer you greater capacity, they tip more easily because they are top heavy.
Hose size: Hose size is important. A longer hose offers you the convenience of moving greater distances without moving the machine. However, a longer hose reduces suction.
Cord length: When it comes to cord length, a model that includes a built-in cord reel is better. A short cord will force you to use an extension cord, which is inconvenient and potentially a safety hazard, depending on where you use it.
Tool storage: On-board tool storage is another convenience worth having. Keeping your tools, such as a crevice tool or floor sweep, stored with the vacuum ensures you have everything you need at all times. It also prevents you from searching for accessories and attachments when you're in the middle of cleaning up a big mess.
Before you buy a machine, think about what you want to use it for, how far and often you will move it, and where you plan to store it. Whether you have a leaky basement that gathers puddles of water after every rainstorm, a messy pet that tracks dirt, leaves, and grass into your home, or children who leave trails of spills and trash in their wake, cleaning up gets much easier when you have the best wet/dry vacuum cleaner. Scroll down to see our list of the best wet/dry vacs under $100 on the market in 2018!