How to Clean Shop Vac Filter

Everyone wants their house to be neat and clean. Nobody enjoys having a place filled with dirt, debris, and other unwanted things. A vacuum cleaner can be your best friend to save you from dirt problems. It’s a very useful tool to fix a dirty and messy house in a zipper. But yes, you do need to keep in mind that like any other equipment vacuum cleaner also needs cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning the shop vac filter is a must if you want your vacuum cleaner to function properly. If you don’t do this the shop vac would be filled with germs and other unnecessary objects which will not only affect the performance of your machine but also increase the possibility of damaging it permanently.

But how do you keep your shop vac filter?  Well, this article is your answer to that question. Here I’ll talk about all the necessary information you need so that you don’t face any kind of trouble while cleaning your vacuum yourself. But before we begin let me know about some necessary tools you’ll require to complete this cleaning process.

How to Clean Shop Vac Filter

How to Clean Shop Vac Filter

Following is a list of tools you would need to clean your vacuum.

  • Trash container
  • Hose
  • Removable caps
  • Air compressor
  • Scrapper
  • Dust preventing mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Plastic shield

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to clean your vacuum filters. It just takes a few steps and can be completed within moments. So don’t freak out, just follow the instructions given below and you can get the job done in no time.

Steps to follow to complete the cleaning process

There are multiple kinds of shop vac filters available in the market. So, the cleaning process depends on what kind of filter you are using. Two kinds of filters are used by most users. Dry filter and wet filter. Let’s start with the dry filter first.

Follow the procedures given below to clean your dry shop vac filters.

  • Remove the power source of the shop vac first by unplugging the cord. Don’t forget to take necessary precautions so that you don’t get shocked.
  • Do all the cleaning chores outdoors. You need to choose an open space where airflow is available. Otherwise, dust may cause severe respiratory problems if you do this indoors. Do a mask if you have no other option than to complete the task indoors.
  • The first thing you need to do is open the shop vac. Don’t rush on it. Just follow the necessary instructions given in the manual and you open it quite easily.
  • Removing the filter is the next step of the process. You need to remove the top part of the vac tank completely. Check the user manual provided with your shop vac for instructions. After that keep the filter in a bag. Use disposable cups. Try to shake off the dust by tapping against the surface.
  • The next step is to clean the plates properly. You can use scrapper tools for cleaning the plates But be careful while handling the tools with sharp blades.
  • Use a blower to remove all the loose debris from the inside of your vacuum filter.
  • You can clean your shop vac filter with water to wash all the dirt away. Dry the filter properly before putting it back all together in your shop vac. It is advised to not use a brush to complete the process.

Now that we are done with dry filters let’s see what’s the process is if you are using a wet filter.

  • Remove the power source first. Safety precautions are necessary for all kinds of cleaning procedures.
  • The next thing you need to do is remove the filter. Again follow the instruction manual provided with your vacuum cleaner.
  • After that is done you need to wash your filter. Use something like a hosepipe to start washing. You need to be extremely careful so that your filter doesn’t get damaged by the heavy pressure and force generated by the water.
  • Your filter must be dried out thoroughly after the wash is complete. And only after it is completely dried put it back into the shop vac.

So now that you know how to clean the different kinds of filters it is important to know which filters you should use and which should suit you more. This depends completely on your preference. You can pick whichever filter you like the most.

And to help you more with the cleaning process of your filters here are some tips to follow.

Tips to follow while cleaning your shop vac filter

Following are a set of tips you can follow while cleaning your vacuum filter.

  • You need to clean your shop vac filter regularly. A regular clean will ensure the vacuum works properly.
  • Always use low-pressure compressed air as it helps to clean your filters more accurately without damaging them.
  • Don’t forget to clean your shop vac and hose.
  • Check out the bristles.
  • Proper and thorough cleaning will ensure your shop vac last longer
  • Complete all the procedures gently and smoothly.
  • Make the cleaning of your shop vac filter routine work. So that it gets the maintenance it needs accordingly.

It is essential to learn the functions and procedures of your vacuum machine. If you follow the tips given above you can very easily have your shop vac filter neat and clean. It’ll also ensure smooth performance without the help of an expert.

More on LivingProofMag
How to Use a Shop Vac on Wet Carpet
How to Use Shop Vac for Water Pump

When should you change your shop vac filter?

  • If the power force is still low after cleaning the shop vac filter.
  • If smoke appears while using your shop vac.
  • After cleaning, if there is still dust.

Can a shop vac be used without a filter?

  • It is not advised to do so. Without a filter, the motor and impeller will be clogged and damaged early.
  • In short, you can use a shop vac without having a filter inside but it won’t last long. You will damage your shop vac.

What to do to keep the shop vac filter away from being clogged?

  • You need to clean regularly
  • You have to clean with proper techniques
  • Clean according to your type of shop vac
  • You can use a pre-separator sometimes.


So, if you went through the article thoroughly you shouldn’t face much trouble cleaning your shop vac filters anymore. Just follow the instructions and procedures stated above and you can also clean your shop vac filters very easily without the help of any professionals whatsoever.

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