Where to Empty Your Shop-Vac? (5 Ways!)

Emptying Your Shop Vac

Your shop vac should not be left dirty after use. While you may have good intentions, you might become lazy and ignore clearing your shop-vac. You need to take care of it by removing the dirt after use.

But where do you pour away the dirt?

In this article, we will be reviewing where you can get rid of the content of your shop vac, and also when to do so.

Where to Empty Your Shop Vac?

A shop vac can be emptied at different places in the house including; the lawn, drain, landfill, trash, and so on. It depends on the content you are getting rid of.

The process of getting rid of the contents of a shop-vac after use may differ. This is due to the different models. You should remove the tank lid if it is dry content, and use the drain cap for liquids.

The following are ways you can empty your shop vac after use.

1- Bathtub Drain

The bathtub drain can be a good place to get rid of the water in your shop vac. If you used your shop vac to suck up the water on the floor, you can easily pour it down the drain.

You should use a filter while sucking up the water so that debris won’t follow.

2- Lawn

Plain water can be safely poured on the lawn. It will dry off soon after.

However, if it’s a mixture of water and oil or the water is not plain, please find an alternative way of disposing of it. Pouring it on your lawn will litter it.

3- Drop It at an Auto Repair Shop

Some auto-repair shops let you bring in all sorts of things related to vehicles after cleanup.

For instance, if you clean up your vehicle and suck all the specks of dirt; water, grime, grease, and wheel cleaner.

They have a tank for old coolant. A company comes in from time to time to pump out the coolant and take it for recycling.

4- Dump It at a Landfill

The landfill in your area can be a good place to get rid of the contents of your shop vac. Maybe you do not know but you can collect all the junk from cleaning and take it to the landfill in your county.

This is best where you used your vac for chemicals and other hazardous liquids.

Most landfills have a space they collect such. Some counties do not charge anything to collect them.

5- Throw the Dry Dirt into the Trash

In the case that the contents of the shop vac are debris and other specks of dirt, you can trash it.

To empty the shop vac, remove the lid on the tank. Then place a trash bag over the tank base of the machine. Then collect the content of the tank into the trash. Feel free to seal and throw it away after.

To easily get rid of things, it is advised to use a bag. While you can use it without a bag though, it is highly recommended.

You would make a mess of the canister if you don’t use one, especially where the dirt is dry. The filter might also clog and debris will leak out of the vacuum.

Where Can I Dump My Shop-Vac Water?

Shop-Vac amongst other things can suck up water including larger quantities of water in the tub, pond, aquarium, or pool. The ability of a shop vac to suck water saves you the stress of drying water with towels around the home.

However, figuring out where to dump the water after it has been sucked up is the problem. You need to safely dispose of the water as the wrong disposal can cause issues around the home. To figure this out, the content of the water should be considered.

For instance, the way you get rid of dirty water would not be the same for water mixed with debris.

We will be looking at different instances and how you can dispose of the water.

A- When it is plain water, you can throw it on the lawn or garden beds. The drain can also be a good place to turn to.

B- When the water is mixed with debris, please do not pour it into the garden. You should use the bathtub drain.

C- When the liquid is a chemical mixture, engine oil, or a hazardous substance, you can take it to the landfill.

When should I empty my Shop-Vac?

It can be stressful to empty the shop vac every time you use it. But the good news is, you may not need to empty it as soon as you are done.

When then should you empty the shop vac? Twice or thrice after use?

You should get rid of the file in your shop vac once you notice that debris is sticking to the walls of the hose and canister. In the case of liquids, you should dispose of them as soon as you suck them up.

It would not be nice to store dirty water in your shop vac as it will end up smelling.

To Empty Your Shop Vac Debris

STEP 1: Remove the lid covering the tank.

STEP 2: Get a trash bag and cover the base tank.

STEP 3: Dump the contents of the tank into the bag.

STEP 4: Seal the bag and dump it in the dustbin

To Empty a Shop Vac Containing Liquid

STEP 1: Find the drain on the shop vac

STEP 2: Place the equipment you will drain the liquid into directly below the Shop-Vac drain spout

STEP 3: Remove the plug

STEP 4: Connect the drain hose to the spout of the shop vac drain

STEP 5: Let the water flow


The shop vac as a piece of important equipment needed in the shop or home needs to be properly handled. Ensure you wash it and store it the right way after emptying it. Maintaining your shop vac by keeping it in the right shape helps save you the cost of repairs or getting a new one.

3 thoughts on “Where to Empty Your Shop-Vac? (5 Ways!)”

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