Can You Vacuum Sand? Here’s The Truth

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After a fun day at the beach, your clothing might become covered in sand. This can quickly make its way into your car’s upholstery and follow you into your home. Consequently, you may wonder if you can vacuum sand.

You can vacuum sand with a powerful vacuum cleaner using a surface-direct attachment like a crevice or upholstery tool. However, fine-grain sand can be challenging to vacuum and collect inside your vacuum cleaner, eventually reducing the device’s effectiveness.

Read on to discover whether you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove sand from flooring and upholstery. I will also go into detail about other things that may or may not be difficult to vacuum, such as salt and water.

Can You Vacuum Sand?

You can use a vacuum cleaner to suction sand from carpets, hardwood floors, and upholstery. But you will need to wait for the sand to dry, use a powerful vacuum cleaner (like a Dyson), and use handy attachment tools to create a temporary seal to maximize suction.

Vacuum cleaners are generally the best for removing sand from household spaces. Mops can fail to grab onto sand particles, while broom bristles are often too large to push tiny sand grains into your dustpan.

Attachment tools, specifically those for crevices and upholstery, are fantastic ways to remove sand from smaller areas. These can “grip” onto fabrics and slide into tight spaces, creating a temporary seal that generates plenty of suction.

Of course, if you’re attempting to remove sand from large areas such as your home’s floor, you’ll need a powerful vacuum to get the job done. Dyson vacuum cleaners are some of the best choices for this task.

Can You Vacuum Sand With a Dyson? 

Dyson vacuum cleaners can be expensive, but there are several reasons they’re worth the investment. Their ability to vacuum sand is one of those reasons.

You can quickly and efficiently vacuum sand with a Dyson vacuum cleaner, though some are better at capturing and removing sand than others. The Dyson V11 is one of the best options for those attempting to rid their homes and vehicles of fine-grain sand.

The Dyson V11 (available on is a battery-powered vacuum cleaner. It can collapse into a handheld vacuum cleaner for tight spaces like car interiors, has three power modes (including a boost mode for maximum suction), and comes with an array of helpful attachment tools.

Sand particles aren’t the easiest things for standard vacuum cleaners to pick up, but the Dyson V11 makes short work of sandy settings, minimizing the time and effort needed to remove sand from your home or car interior. 

Is Sand Easy To Vacuum?

Sand is not easy to vacuum. Sand particles are tiny and can quickly accumulate inside your vacuum’s filter, motor, and brushes, reducing the device’s suction power. Because sand particles are so tiny, they can also be difficult for your vacuum to pick up.

The best ways to maximize your vacuum’s ability to suction away sand is to either:

  • Crank the suction up to its highest level, or
  • Use an attachment tool to create a temporary seal between the surface you’re cleaning and the vacuum.

If you regularly use your vacuum cleaner to suck up sand, make sure you clean its vital parts now and then. 

Can You Vacuum Salt?

Grains of sand are about the same size as salt crystals (about 0.2 mm to 0.3 mm or 0.01 inches), so vacuuming salt can be just as challenging as vacuuming sand unless you have a powerful vacuum cleaner.

You can vacuum salt using a high-powered vacuum and attachment tools. Crevice attachment tools can help remove salt from hard-to-reach places, including the grout between kitchen tiles. However, if working with hard surfaces, a damp paper towel might be the better option.

If you’ve spilled a large amount of salt onto a tile or hardwood floor, use a vacuum cleaner to remove most of the spill. 

Unless you have spilled salt over a wide area, you can use a crevice attachment tool instead of the main floor brush. After vacuuming most of the salt, use a damp paper towel or flat mop to grab any remaining salt particles.

When removing salt from carpeted flooring, the floor brush of the vacuum is the best option. 

Can a Dyson Vacuum Water?

A Dyson vacuum cleaner might be able to vacuum water, but only wet/dry Dyson vacuums are suitable for liquid spills. Most Dyson vacuums are not designed to handle liquids, and attempting to vacuum water with a standard Dyson can damage the filter and motor.

If you’d like to vacuum water or other liquid spills, your best bet is to invest in a shop vac. Although shop vacuums are far larger, louder, and more cumbersome than sleek household vacuum cleaners, they’re designed to handle dry and wet messes.

Before you use your shop vacuum to suction away water, you’ll want to prepare the machine by following a few steps:

  1. Remove the paper or cloth filter.
  2. Attach a foam sleeve where the filter once was.
  3. Clean any dirt or debris from the bucket if you’re not using a dust bag.
  4. Remove the dust bag from the bucket if one is present.
  5. Attach a wet nozzle to the intake port, the exposed part of the vacuum hose.

It’s also an excellent idea to check your shop vac’s owner manual to ensure your device can safely vacuum liquids.

Final Thoughts

You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove sand from your car interior or your home’s floors and furniture. But you’ll likely need a powerful vacuum like a Dyson with direct-to-surface attachment tools to suck away fine sand particles.

The trick to vacuuming sand is to form a complete seal on the material you’re trying to vacuum. This is easier when spot cleaning, as you can use an attachment tool to pull at fabrics. Removing sand from carpeting can be more challenging and time-consuming.

When vacuuming liquids, it’s crucial to use a shop vacuum designed to handle liquid messes.

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