I'm glad you guys are happy with your shopvacs.
My shopvac has a new filter as of yesterday. I tried to clean the old filter; I thought that might be a problem. Theoretically, according to Sears, the filter can be cleaned. But it didn't help. So I bought a new one.
I use the hose that came with it. I don't use any attachments that weren't made by Sears.
Let me explain what brought this to my notice. Here in North Texas we've been getting a lot of snow and rain. I don't know why, but one of my dogs gets more countryside on her than the other. So I have to give her a bath a couple of times a week. That leaves a lot of dirt in the tub. I thought an easy way to clean it up would be to use the shopvac. It won't pick it up the dirt. Even though if I lean close I can blow on it and move it. I can blow on it and move it with a puff of air, but the shopvac can't pick it up.
I would think that if I can blow on the dirt and move it, the shopvac ought to pick it up. But like I said, the only mark it makes if I use an attachment is the physical displacement of the dirt where the tool touches the surface. I can take the attachment off and just use the hose and scrub it along the surface and it will clean, but like I said, a damp rag is faster and easier.
Basically, since I bought it a couple of years ago I think I've used the shopvac the way 90% of people who buy them use them. Cleaning car interiors and carpets. As I said, if you scrub hard enough it seems to work. It's just that when I tried to vacuum loose dirt off of a hard, white plastic surface I noticed, "Hey, this thing doesn't seem to be working very well."
And it isn't. Before I never really thought about it.