Picture this. You’ve just realized that your car’s interior needs some serious vacuuming. There are crumbs on the mats and pet hair on the seats. So you drag your household vacuum onto the driveway to clean up the mess. Unfortunately, the vacuum’s power cord turns out to be too short. It cannot cover the distance between your car and the power outlet. Left with no alternative, you begin to wonder why you haven’t bought a car vacuum. Many people have found themselves in this situation. You may have the option of going to a car wash for a free vacuuming, of course. But then, you can’t always head there anytime there’s a spill or whenever you carry a pet in your car. There are times when you just need to do it yourself, at the convenience of your home, or when on the go.
A car vacuum is an essential gadget if you want your automobile to be free of dirt always. Dust, pet hair, and crumbs can create a mess that’s not only unsightly but also unhygienic and a health risk. Left uncleaned, food remains can be a source of bacteria, while pet hair causes the presence of allergens. Using a vacuum designed for car cleaning, you can keep seats, mats, and other parts of your car’s interior looking great.
See Related Article: Best Garage Vacuum for 2020
6 vacuum cleaners perfect for cleaning cars
|Brand and model||Type||Battery||Runtime||Suction||Best price and discounts|
|Holife||Cordless||14.8V||30 min||40 AW||Read more|
|Dyson V10||Cordless||25.2V||60 min||150 AW||Read more|
|Dyson V7 Trigger||Cordless||21.6V||30 min||100 AW||Read more|
|Shark ION W1||Cordless||10.8V||15 min||80 AW||Read more|
|Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum 20-volt||Cordless||20V||15 min||35 AW||Read more|
|MetroVac 103-103066||Corded||–||–||500 AW||Read more|
Holife Handheld Vacuum
This vacuum can handle both wet and dry messes and has the freedom of being fully portable.
- 6kPa cyclonic pressure
- 100 mL dust cup capacity
- 3.27 lbs
- 30 minutes run time on a single four-hour charge
What We Like About Holife Handheld Vacuum
With this vacuum, you get three distinct functionalities in one, and the choice to pick up wet or dry alike.
What We Don’t Like About Holife Handheld Vacuum
The different modes can seem redundant and are hard to switch through.
- Fully portable
- Multiple usage modes
- Attachments included
- Liquid or solid cleanup
- Washable filters
- Relatively low pressure
- Hard to change modes
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
The Dyson stick vacuums pioneered the stick feature and return with one of their most powerful and versatile models to date.
- 14 cyclones with concentric placement
- 40 minutes fade-free on a single battery
- 3 1/2 hour charge time
- Weighs 5.88 lbs
What We Like About Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
This vacuum isn’t just for your car, with a few quick adjustments you can use it on floors, furniture, and drapes as well.
What We Don’t Like About Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
Like many Dyson vacuums, it is on the heavy side, a significant detriment when cleaning a car.
- Reliable brand
- Higher runtime
- Large dust bin
- Easy to adjust
- Wall charger for easy charging and storage
- Heavier than most
- Relatively costly
3. Dyson V7
Another offering from one of the leading brands in the vacuum cleaner industry, this model is designed specifically with cars in mind.
- .15 gallon dustbin
- 30 minutes runtime on a single charge
- Weighs 3.77 lbs
- Crevice tool, motorized beater bar, and brush heads included
What We Like About Dyson V7
This is a redesign of the larger and more powerful Dyson stick vacuums, designed specifically for smaller jobs like cleaning out cars and furniture.
What We Don’t Like About Dyson V7
As the budget variety of the larger and more powerful Dyson models, this suffers from quality issues and poor customer support.
- Lighter than most battery-powered sticks
- Charger and battery included
- Considerably cheaper than most Dyson vacuums
- Attachments sized for smaller, more detailed tasks
- Two-year manufacturer warranty
- Multiple reports of product failure
- Poor customer support
Shark WV201 WANDVAC
This miniature vacuum lets you nail messes when they happen by being compact and intuitive enough to keep in your car.
- .08 qt dustbin capacity
- Weighs 1.4 lbs
- 3.6” wide cleaning path
- Charging dock doubles as accessory storage
What We Like About Shark WV201 WANDVAC
This product has won the coveted Amazon’s Choice award for being the best miniature vacuum in its class.
What We Don’t Like About Shark WV201 WANDVAC
This vacuum is not only quite loud but also high pitched, to the point where some users may find it physically uncomfortable to operate.
- Convenient charging dock
- Amazon’s Choice winner
- Quick and convenient cleanup
- All-purpose dock for charging and storing all accessories
- Pet tool included for keeping furniture fur-free
- Loud and high-pitched
- Battery life could be longer
Although better known for their wide range of power tools, you can expect the same great performance from this vacuum cleaner as you get from their drills and saws.
- 15 oz dustbin
- 20v lithium-ion battery
- Weighs 3 pounds
- Washable filter
What We Like About [ProductName]
Another Amazon’s Choice winner, this vacuum is built around a pivoting nozzle that lets you reach all those places you thought would never get messy.
What We Don’t Like About [ProductName]
The plastic used in this product is low quality and can stick and snap when pivoting the spout.
- Trusted manufacturer
- Amazon’s Choice winner
- Highly versatile nozzle
- Folds up for easy and discreet storage
- Two tools in one with a crevice tool and brush combination
- Weaker grade of plastic used
- Not the best value for money
Metropolitan Vac MB-3CDSWB Air Force Master Blaster Revolution
This vacuum is for when others just don’t have the suction needed to get your car clean, bringing nearly double the motor speed and a much larger dustbin to finish the job.
- 21.8 lbs
- 8 hp motor
- 10ft hose
- Blow function available
What We Like About Metropolitan Vac MB-3CDSWB Air Force Master Blaster Revolution
This machine will put smaller hand vacuums out of work with its incredible suction and a lengthy hose for car-wash level cleaning.
What We Don’t Like About Metropolitan Vac MB-3CDSWB Air Force Master Blaster Revolution
This vacuum is far from convenient, weighing considerably more than even the heaviest sticks and requiring corded power to use.
- Blow-drying function available
- Extremely high power
- Long hose reaches everywhere in the car
- Large dustbin
- Multiple nozzles and adapters make this compatible with accessories from other vacuums
- Exceptionally heavy
- Lacks the freedom offered by battery-powered models
Why you need a car vacuum
Car vacuums offer an easy way to keep your car clean, even when on the go. They’re lightweight and compact which makes them easy to carry around. They will fit almost anywhere and allow you to bring them along for quick cleanups. Being light and small-sized, they’re also easy to use. They will go into every part of your car including under the seats.
Should you choose the cordless handheld car vac, you will be amazed at the versatility it offers. You will only need to select a model with adequate runtime and vacuuming accessories, and cleaning your car will be a breeze. What’s more, the handheld will not require you to be near a power outlet every time you want to use it. This can be a significant advantage, especially if you are out with your family and there’s a mess that requires instant cleaning. Or, if you’re involved in carrying passengers, and there’s a sudden need to clean the seats.
Most car vacs will have decent suction power, so you need not worry about stuck dirt on the seats or car mats. They also come with various attachments and accessories such as brushes and crevice tools for extra cleaning capabilities. If children use your car often and you require a higher suction power, you may opt for a corded car vac that offers higher suction strengths.
How to choose your car vacuum cleaner
There are many different models of the car vacuum available today which can make selecting the best one difficult. That’s why I created this guide; to help you make a wise decision. You don’t want to end up with a gadget that doesn’t meet your car vacuuming needs. So, how do you ensure the model you purchase is the most suitable for your situation?
To answer the question, let’s look at the things to look for, including a selection of car vacuums I consider worth buying.
Cordless Vs. Corded vacuums
Car vacuums come as two main types; cordless handhelds and professional wall-mounts. The corded types feature a cable, meaning they require a power outlet to work. They have a higher suction power and are better at cleaning stuck dirt, especially the one on the mats in your car. They’re larger than the cordless vacuums, which limits their portability. Cordless handhelds, on the other hand, come with rechargeable batteries. They do not need to be plugged into a power source during use which improves their mobility. However, they have a lower suction power and shorter runtime compared to the corded type.
Cordless car vacuums are better in many ways. You can use them anywhere, regardless of whether there’s a power outlet or not. If you’re on the go for the better part of the day, they are the type to go for. Their mobility is unrivaled, plus they reach the far corners of your car’s interior better. Despite their low suction power and limited runtime, they offer the portability you need for car vacuuming. Besides, your car seats may not require the high suction power of corded vacuums. The areas to be cleaned in a car are also small and don’t usually take long vacuum.
Cordless vacuums offer more portability compared to the corded types. If you plan to use yours on the go, I would advise that you choose the battery-operated type. You want a vacuum that fits in the back of your car or trunk, and one that is lightweight enough to carry around. A good situation requires a cordless vacuum is if your vehicle is for commercial use and you need to clean the seats in between the dropping and picking of passengers.
If you will be using the vacuum less frequently, you might want to consider the corded type. Because the car will likely have accumulated much dirt by the time you clean it, you will benefit from the higher suction power and the unlimited operation time of the corded type. However, may not pick up much dirt even after going for days without being vacuumed. In such a case, a cordless handheld would be a prefect choice.
The suction power of a vacuum mainly depends on the strength of its motor, the source of its power, and the vacuum’s overall design. A model with a powerful motor will suck up dirt more strongly, while a battery-powered model will have a low suction power.
When buying your car vac, determine if you will need to use it on other surfaces other than the car’s interior. You may want a vacuum that you can also use to clean the garage floor, for example. In such a case, I would advise that you choose a model or vacuum type with a higher suction. Corded vacuums clean more powerfully, and may want to consider them. However, this would come at the expense of portability, so don’t expect the vacuum to be of much use when on the go.
If you plan to use your car vacuum for the car’s interior only, suction power may not be that important. It would, therefore, be better if you choose the cordless type. This vacuum will do a good job, plus the portability it offers will be useful in many situations. Choose a model with a longer runtime for the battery. The mobility of a cordless vacuum is desirable, but you don’t want the battery that dies while you’re cleaning your car. The interruptions to allow for the vacuum to charge would be frustrating as well as time-consuming.
Cars come in different sizes, which means varied vacuuming requirements. If you have a big family car, you will need a vacuum that’s more heavy-duty. The car is likely to have more seats, or you may have children who leave spills or crumps all over. In such a situation, you may need a handheld and bagless vacuum that can hold all that debris before emptying. Better still, you may opt for the corded type of vacuum. It would suit your big family car since it picks up dirt better and its runtime is unlimited.
If your car is the small type, a cordless handheld vacuum would be suitable. That’s because you will not need heavy vacuuming, plus the vac offers you immense portability and ease of use. Only be sure to pick a model that comes with a large enough capacity for the battery.
The interior of the car
Your car’s interior will determine the type of vacuum you buy. Some situations will call for a particular kind of vac, while others will need specific vacuum cleaner tools and attachments. A leather interior, for example, is more delicate and requires a soft brush attachment. You also don’t need a high suction power for this kind of interior. Dirt will be on the surface, and almost any type of vacuum would clean it easily.
Fabric seats, on the other hand, require a vac with strong suction to dislodge the dust that’s likely to be deep into the fibers. For better results, go for high-end vacuums. They come with a broader range of attachments, allowing them to vacuum any car interior with ease. The vacuums will suck up dirt from carpets, mats, and fabric better than entry-level models.
Cordless car vacuums come with batteries of different capacities and different runtimes. How long a cordless vacuum runs on a single charge is mostly determined by its suction power. A higher suction power means a motor with a higher power rating, which in turn means the battery will drain at a faster rate.
Depending on your vacuuming needs, choose a model with a decent battery runtime. It will allow for uninterrupted cleaning. You will also need a battery that runs for longer if you have a big car or children who are likely to leave debris on the seats. Such a battery assures you of a reliable vacuum when on the go. Choose a model that features an alert system for a battery that’s about to die. If it’s an LED indicator, ensure it’s adequately visible. Take e.g. the newest cordless Dyson, the V10. You can use this baby continuously for 60 min. There’s no way you have a car which needs to be detailed longer than this.
The power rating of a car vacuum is a measure of how more or less powerful its motor is. It can, therefore, be used as a measure of the vacuum’s cleaning ability. Power rating starts at 12V, which indicates a suction power that compares to a house vacuum. A 12V car vacuum will also run from a fully charged battery for as long as 30 minutes, enough to finish most car cleaning tasks. Choose a model with a decent amperage so you don’t end up with a machine that struggles to suck up dirt, especially from the mats in your car.
During your car vacuuming tasks, the dirt taken up by your vacuum is held in its tank. It’s advisable that you choose a vacuum with a tank that’s big enough to allow for uninterrupted cleaning. Tank capacities vary, which can also affect the size of a vacuum. If you’re more concerned about the vac’s portability, don’t go for a model that’s too bulky because it comes with a large capacity for dirt tank. Everything over 20 oz should be ok. Balance the two aspects.
Reach and tools
You will need a car vacuum that can clean tight places such as the dashboard, under the seats, between seats and other hard-to-reach spots. This will depend on the tools or attachments the vacuum comes with. Because you want your car vac to clean efficiently, you cannot ignore tools such as:
- Long and flexible hose ( not less than 25 feet)
- Crevice tools
- Replaceable filters ( if you or a family member is allergic to pet dander)
- Pet hair remover
Other factors to consider when buying your car vac include how comfortable and easy it is to use. Choose a model that was designed with ergonomics in mind. Such a machine will not tire out you during use. It’s an essential feature, especially when have to use the vacuum for extended periods of time.
Also, choose a design that allows for maneuverability. You don’t want to struggle to move the vacuum around the car’s interior and cause you frustration. You may also want to choose a vacuum that offers a decent warranty. Most of the time, the length of the warranty says a lot about how quality the vacuum is.
To sum it up
When shopping for a car vacuum, you will come across different designs and types. Choosing the one that suits your needs and budget can be tricky. However, you can always narrow things down by outlining what you want in the car vacuum you plan to purchase. That way, your selection is bound to be more effective. The models I have given here provide for a good start. Go over them and take your pick. They present vacuums you will find suitable for your car cleaning needs.
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I’m Jason Moe Roberts, an appliances expert and blogger. I’ve worked at Walmart for more than 15 years, in the house appliance department. I love to use home equipment and I spend a lot of time testing the best products and reviewing them. My family and friends also recommend me as a caring person, a great dad and a loving husband.