Disclaimer: Tools First supports our readers with thousands of hours of research to help you find the right products for your needs and make your life easier. You support us through our carefully chosen links that may earn us a commission.
If you’ve already purchased a shop vacuum that you use for your workshop – you might be surprised at what else you can use it for.
This handy appliance isn’t just for industrial applications or construction sites – it’s the perfect tool for a number of common household messes that your regular vacuum can’t touch.
In this brief guide, we’ll cover ten ways to use your shop vacuum as well as some commonly asked questions.
What’s a shop vac typically used for?
Unlike your standard home vacuum, a shop vac is specifically designed for heavy-duty cleaning jobs. It’s created specifically to use in your workshop or when you need to vacuum large items or debris.
While you can technically use it to clean your house, your regular vacuum is better designed to regularly clean large surface areas.
However, there are plenty of places around the house where a shop vac will come in handy. Here are a few ways you can use your shop vacuum.
1. Clean Out Your Grill
When was the last time you gave your grill a good cleaning? It’s probably been a while. Your shop vacuum is a great way to get all up in your grill and remove burnt food particles, bits of charcoal or wood, dust and dirt – anything that’s been collecting there for years. In just a few minutes, you’ll have your grill looking as good as new.
2. Remove Air from Storage Bags
Looking to clear up more space in your home? You can use your shop vacuum to suck out the air of those storage bags you’ve been collecting to help tidy your closet.
3. Clean Your Dryer Vent
Dryers aren’t just known to mysteriously make your socks disappear; they are also notorious for collecting lint and dust from drying dozens of loads of your clothes. This isn’t just about cleanliness; it’s about safety. Using your shop vacuum to clean out the dryer vent will help prevent lint and fuzz buildup from catching fire.
4. Get That Emergency Flood under Control
One of the most powerful uses of some of the best shop vacuums is to suck up water in times of emergency, like a broken pipe or washing machine launching water all across the basement.
Though you should always read the instructions before sucking up water, the shop vacuum can really come in handy. This is one job that definitely can’t be done by a regular household vacuum cleaner.
5. Digging Holes Made Easy
Digging holes in your backyard when trying to plant a tree or put up a fence? Your shop vac makes an excellent companion. After you finish digging, you can use the vac to suck up the loose dirt left in the hole so you have an empty space to work with,
6. Clean Up Your Animal Fur
Your furry companions no doubt bring joy and happiness to your home, but they also tend to leave handfuls of unwanted animal fur. While you can try removing stray fur with a traditional vacuum, it doesn’t always get the job done. A shop vac is the perfect way to get vacuum all your animal hair all in one fell swoop.
7. Recover Items Lost in the Sink
Wedding ring fall off into the sink? You can use the hose of your powerful shop vacuum to suck up any items that may have fallen down the drain. Simply put the shop vacuum hose over the drain, and you’ll collect what you’re looking for.
8. Clean Out Your Freezer
Perhaps one of the most popular household chores to avoid, cleaning out your freezer can be a real pain but at the end of the day has to be done! Your shop vac makes it easier than ever.
First, remove all the items from your freezer. Next, unplug your freezer and pour hot water and let it sit. Once the ice has melted use your shop vac to give your freezer a good clean then wipe down with a towel!
9. Clean Your Gutter
Need to clean your gutters quickly? You can use your shop vacuum to get all the gunk and debris that has been collecting in the gutters for months.
10.Say Goodbye to Unwanted House Guests
Shop vacuums are fantastic for getting rid of those insects you’re too afraid to touch. Use your vacuum to get rid of spiders, insects and more.
While it’s designed to clean up your home workshop, a shop vacuum can be used for a wide variety of clean-up procedures and is an important investment for any home.
Can you use a shop vac for water?
While you should always read the instructions for your specific type of shop vacuum, the answer is almost always yes. Shop vacs are a great way to suck up water from spills or leaks.
Can you use a shop vac on leaves?
Again, while you should always read your vacuum’s instructions, most shop vacs can be used to suck up leaves with no issues.
Can a shop vac be used as a water pump?
In most cases, you can use your shop vacuum as a water pump. While it’s great for an emergency, the amount of water it can hold at one time is necessarily limited, so you should consider looking into long-term solutions for any continuous leaks.
Is it OK to vacuum broken glass?
Yes. The majority of shop vacuums can handle broken glass. That being said, you should always pick up the large pieces of glass by hand prior to using your shop vacuum. Additionally, be sure to use a tear-resistant bag.
Even if you’re not a garage tinkerer or a do-it-yourselfer, a shop vac is a useful appliance to have around the house. It can make quick work of jobs that might damage your regular vacuum.