Back when I used a Shop-Vac wet/dry vacuum for dust collection and general shop cleanup tasks, I used two kinds of filters – a high efficiency bag for projects that produced fine particles, and a Cleanstream HEPA filter for everything else.
Cleanstream HEPA filters are great, and there are several reasons why I loved using one in my ShopVac.
First, they’re washable and easy to clean, so you can use and reuse them over and over again. Just knock off loose dust and debris and rinse the rest right off the outside.
Second, they provide HEPA-level filtering, meaning they should filter out 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns big (about 0.00012 inches). I am a bit more focused on safety these days and work more comfortably when able to cut down on the amount of finer particles being released into the air.
Thirdly, the filters’ slick non-stick surfaces don’t seem to clog as quickly or easily as regular pleated paper filters, which means less loss of suction.
Cleanstream makes HEPA filters that fit Craftsman, Ridgid, Shop-Vac, and Genie wet/dry vacuums.
Yes, these filters are a bit pricey (I paid $28.54 and change a few years ago for my Shop-Vac 903-40-00 filter), but Cleanstream HEPA filters last a while and can be refreshed with a quick rinsing.
Unless something has changed in recent years, these filters are still made in the USA.
Some Cleanstream filters are “high efficiency” models. I only used and can only recommend the HEPA-rated ones, which are suitable for both wet and dry pickup use.
Sometimes you’ll find Cleanstream filters under vacuum-brand labels, such as the Shop Vac 903-40-00 Cleanstream filter I bought and used.