Important Considerations for Cleanroom Vacuums

There are advantages to both portable and central vacuum systems for a cleanroom. Weigh your options with these comparisons.

When looking at everything needed to clean a cleanroom, the initial removal of dust and particles comes before sanitation. In critical cleaning situations, vacuuming tends to be a more efficient method than swabs and cloths. Measurements taken in a cleanroom setting show that dusting systems using disposable cloths polluted the space twice as much as a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner.  Vacuums both retain particles inside the machine and eliminate fiber particles left behind by various wipers.

The first question you need to consider when choosing a cleanroom vacuum is: central system, portable, or both? While experts will argue for each option, the best choice for you depends on your application. Here are the pros and cons of the two systems:


  • PRO: Personnel can effectively and easily clean their areas at the end of each shift. These vacuums are best for areas where human contamination is prevalent.
  • PRO: These vacuums can be designed for both wet and dry applications, whereas the central systems can only pick up dry materials.
  • PRO: These systems can reach places the central ones can’t, like overhead or remote areas.
  • CON: These units do occupy precious cleanroom space. Compact models are a popular choice for this reason.


  • PRO: The greatest benefit of these systems is that personnel are able to dispose of collected dirt outside of the cleanroom. This then poses no threat to the manufacturing process.
  • PRO: They free up floor space as they’re located outside of the cleanroom.
  • CON: If you expand your operation, the central system may not have the capabilities to support your new area.
  • CON: If a contaminant enters it, the entire system may be contaminated. This requires a costly sanitation process to fix it.

Many cleanrooms do need a vacuum to have both wet and dry capabilities, so if you’re leaning towards a central system, you’re probably truly looking at having both systems. Once you know which system you want, you can focus on what to look for in a vacuum. We will cover that in our next article.

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