A water filtration vacuum is a cleaning device that uses water to cleanse both the desired surface and the air. Dirt and debris are pulled into the vacuum using intense water pressure and then deposited in either a separate canister or an attached water tank. This method of vacuum cleaning can be an effective way to remove bacteria and dust from carpets and upholstered furniture, beyond the ability of common upright or canister vacuums.
Three types of vacuum cleaners are available for most consumers — the upright, the bagless, and the water filtration vacuum. An upright vacuum is typically a one-piece unit that sucks dust and debris into a bag that is attached to its upright handle. The bag should be changed regularly, when it is full. Bags are typically sized to fit specific machines and can be difficult to find. This type may also leave behind a small amount of dust, depending on the strength of its vacuum mechanism.
Bagless models, often called cyclone vacuums, are similar in appearance and function to an upright design. The dirt is pulled into a canister, however, instead of a bag. This receptacle must then typically be emptied after each use, and can usually be cleaned with soap and water. A bagless vacuum also frequently includes a filter that also cleanses the air. It, like the upright vacuum, may be limited in its cleaning abilities, depending on the power of its suction.
A water filtration vacuum generally offers the highest level of cleaning power available. Certain models of this type of vacuum may also allow the user to add a small amount of detergent, safe for use on carpets and upholstery, to the cleaning water. Surfaces are then cleansed as well as dusted.
A commonly cited negative aspect of a water filtration vacuum is its physical design, which can make it hard to use. Most of these vacuums are designed with a small water tank that attaches to a suction nodule through a long, accordion-type hose. A user must bend over and physically pick up the water tank to move it, or, on some models, pull it on rollers or wheels. These tanks can be heavy and difficult to maneuver, and many people find them cumbersome.
A water filtration vacuum is generally priced between $200 US Dollars (USD) and $3,000 USD. These cleaning tools may offer general vacuuming features only, or can be equipped to perform steam-cleaning duties as well. Many water filtration vacuums can also double as a full carpet-shampooer.