To use a wet/dry vacuum, first make sure that there is no leftover water in the internal collection chamber from previous cleanings. Next, check the type of filter that is installed in the vacuum. Wet/dry vacuums use different filters to suck up dry debris and liquids.
The dry debris filters are designed out of paper while the filters for liquid are made out of foam. If a wet/dry vacuum is used to suck up a liquid with a paper filter installed, then the vacuum may malfunction.
If water is found in the internal collection chamber of the vacuum, then it is a good idea to clean the vacuum before using it. Fill a bucket with water, and place the hose of the vacuum into the bucket. Turn the vacuum on, and allow it to run until the internal collection chamber is full. Turn off the vacuum, and dispose of the water in the chamber.
Choose an attachment for the vacuum that is specifically designed for the area or material that is being vacuumed. For example, a carpet attachment may differ from a hardwood floor attachment, and attachments for liquid are different from attachments for dry debris.
Turn the vacuum on, and suck up the dry or liquid debris in the same manner as any other vacuum. Dispose of the water in the internal collection chamber immediately after completing the cleaning.