Surprising ways to use a vacuum cleaner

Surprising ways to use a vacuum cleaner

Many people own wet/dry vacuums, sometimes called shop vacs. They are convenient in the workshop or garage and can be used to suction dirt, debris, and liquids and also have a range of wet/dry vacuum accessories in Ottawa. Here are some uses you may not have considered that you can clean with a wet/dry vacuum.

Barbecue Pit or Fireplace

Grilling out is a real treat any time of the year. However, cleaning the bottom of the grill or pit is less pleasant. Here is the best way to do it:

  • Scrape the grill thoroughly
  • Remove the top rack
  • Be sure the shop vac is equipped with and using a fine dust filter or HEPA and a strong dust bag.
  • Only work with cold ashes. Do not deal with hot or even warm ashes.
  • Collect the debris and dispose of it responsibly.

Flooded Basement

Pipes can break, or during heavy rains, lower levels can flood. Here is how the shop vac helps.

  • Remove the drain cap, install the pump, and attach a garden hose to the pump valve.
  • With the valve on OFF, collect water.
  • When the unit is full, turn off the vac, open the valve, turn on the pump
  • Turn on the vac and suction into the collection drum
  • The water will be pumped through the hose to another source like a drain or outdoor runoff.
  • Repeat as necessary.

Always be sure to use the proper filter and follow all manufacturer's instructions.

Run Wire through a Pipe

There are times you need to run electrical, speaker wire, or other types of wire through a pipe or conduit. Pushing it through is frustrating and tedious. Try this:

  • Unwind enough string to go through the length of the pipe.
  • Feed the string through the end.
  • Attach the shop vac hose at the other end of the pipe or conduit and create a strong seal
  • Turn on the vac, and the string will be pulled toward the hose.
  • Tie the wire to the first end of the string and pull it through to the end.


It may be easier to use a shop vac for those messy cereal and milk spills or similar issues. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the vac and hose if the substance will leave a residue or cause an odour.

Unclog Drains

Your clothes washer died mid-cycle, or you have a sink full of water from a clog. First, remove any items like clothing, clothes, dishes, toys, etc.

  • Insert the hose into the exhaust port
  • If necessary, seal the drain of any adjoining sinks.
  • Suction the water and dispose of it appropriately.


Aquariums can be a mess to clean. Use your shop vac to remove the water instead of using a cup, pitcher, or small bucket. First, be sure that all hard items are removed and then use the suction on the hose.


If you are filling a lot of floating toys or even a small bed for a surprise overnight guest, use the shop vac to pump the air in instead of blowing it manually. Just be sure to avoid overfilling and causing the item to burst.

Small Items

If you have accidentally dropped a small item down a drain, use your shop vac instead of taking apart all of the pipes. Seal the end of the hose with mesh or old pantyhose held in place with a strong rubber band and see if the item can be retrieved this way.

Check out our online store for wet/dry vacuum accessories in Ottawa.

If you consider getting a new vacuum for your home, check out our online store. We offer a range of options that are powerful, convenient, and easy to use, whether you need a central vacuum in Ottawa or a standard wet/dry vacuum. We have all the equipment and accessories you need to keep your home looking and feeling fresh and clean.

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