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Can a Shark Navigator Vacuum Water?

Can a Shark Navigator Vacuum Water?

Cleaning your Shark Navigator vacuum is not as straightforward as most people might think. Some people have suggested using water and sucking it up through a vacuum to clean it. So, what is the actual method to clean water. And if that’s not the right way to clean your Shark vacuum, what is?

It would be best to never use a Shark Navigator vacuum to clean up water or spills. The water can penetrate the motor and damage the machine from the inside. Instead, you will have to clean the vacuum manually. Use gentle cleaning mechanisms to avoid damaging the machinery. Start with the rotating brush, and go all the way to the filters. Once everything is dry, reassemble the vacuum. 

If you want detailed instructions on how to clean each part of the vacuum, you have to keep reading to get to that part of the article. We have combined information from all over to give you the best answer possible on how to clean your Shark Navigator vacuum. 

Can I Pull Water With My Shark Navigator Vacuum?

When it comes to pulling water with your Shark Navigator vacuum, the answer is: that you should never use the vacuum with any liquid spills. The Shark Navigator vacuum, like most Shark vacuums, is a dry vacuum. 

If the vacuum pulls any of the water, it can enter the inner machinery of the vacuum and cause damage. If you see any spills, you need to mop them out before you bring out your vacuum. Also, if you are looking to clean the Shark Navigator vacuum, the correct method is listed below. 

Related: What to Do When a Shark Vacuum Loses Suction

How To Clean A Shark Navigator Vacuum

When you notice your Shark Navigator vacuum is losing functionality because of collected grime, it may be time to clean it up. The process of this involves a few steps, which we have outlined for you. 

When To Clean Your Vacuum

One of the most obvious ways you can tell a vacuum needs cleaning is that it won’t be able to clean as well as it used to. You may notice that the suction power has significantly reduced. There may be a weird sound coming from the vacuum. 

Sometimes, a dirty vacuum can even leave behind a smell that can be really unpleasant. Whenever you notice one or more of these signs, and it’s been a while since the last cleaning, it’s time to do it again. This way, you can nip problems in the bud and have a functional vacuum again. 

Rotating Brush

One of the first places you should start with cleaning is the rotating brush. You can find the rotating brush at the bottom of the vacuum. To clean up the vacuum, unplug the machine and make sure you have switched it off. Next, put a sheet on the floor to catch the mess, and lay the vacuum down.

Remove anything that is lodged into the rotating brush. You are more likely to find culprits like hair or fur. You can also use a small brush to clean the rotating brush gently. Once you have removed all the visible debris, move on to the next step.

Related: How To Compare Shark Vacuums: A Simple Guide

Clean Dust Canisters

Next up, you will need to clean up the dust canisters in your Shark Navigator vacuum. The Shark vacuum series mostly use a canister instead of a dust bag. The canister is a plastic box, and it makes it easier for you to dispose of dirt and debris collected over time. 

Photo: The Spruce / Sage McHugh

You should remove dirt from the dust canister after every few vacuums to keep the filter system accessible. Here’s how you clean the dust canister:

  1. Switch off your Shark Navigator vacuum.
  2. Take out the dust canister, and empty it out into your garbage can.
  3. The top of the canister contains the filtration system.
  4. Dislodge any dirt stuck in the filters by lightly tapping it on the side of your garbage can.
  5. Remove all the dust that you can.
  6. Use water at room temperature to rinse the canister.
  7. Keep rinsing with water until the water that comes out is clean.
  8. Rinse and let the canister air-dry. 
  9. Never add the canister back until it has thoroughly dried – you cannot introduce any water into the vacuum system.

Now that you have washed your dust canister, you will have a clean space to work with the next time you vacuum. Once everything has completely dried (you can keep them in a room with good airflow), place the canister in the vacuum again.

HEPA Filters

In addition to the dust canister and rotator brush, you need to also clean out the filters every now and then. The Shark Navigator vacuum includes HEPA filters, which stands for ‘High-Efficiency Particulate Air.’ 

These are highly efficient when it comes to cleaning dust, and the best thing is, that HEPA filters are great for people with allergies. Here’s how you should clean out your HEPA filters:

  1. Switch off the vacuum and remove the HEPA filters from the machine.
  2. You can find the HEPA filters at the bottom of the dust canister.
  3. Rinse the filters out using some water and a little bit of detergent. Only wash with your hands and clean very gently. 
  4. Squeeze excess water from the filters and allow them time to dry. The drying time for these is longer than the drying time of plastic filters.
  5. Let the HEPA filters air-dry completely before you reinstall them into the vacuum. 

One of the ways that you can keep vacuuming while your filters dry is to get another set of filters for your vacuum from the Shark website. That way, when one set of filters is being used, you can give the other set time to dry properly.


Now that you have cleaned out your vacuum the proper way, you can assemble everything back again and start vacuuming. Immediately, you will be able to tell that the vacuum is functioning better, and there may be increased suction and lower sound. If any of these issues persist, please reach out to customer support at Shark.