Where To Buy Car Vacuum
Most car vacuums are designed specifically for your car's interior, which means even the best car vacuum options are too small to do the bigger jobs outside of the auto, and not powerful enough to clean a house (the Dyson V11 excluded). But even if a handheld vacuum for your vehicle doesn't have the powerful suction needed to clean your living room carpet, car vacuums definitely come in handy. The only difficult part is finding which is the best car vacuum for you. Should you get a wet/dry vacuum cleaner for big messes and deep cleaning? A cordless battery model? A handheld auto detailing vacuum with a killer brush tool? A vacuum with a long, flexible hose for hard-to-reach spaces between the car seats?
where to buy car vacuum
We've compiled a list of the best car vacuum options that cut across categories, making it a virtual lock that you'll find something that works for you. Based on customer satisfaction ratings, here are eight of the best car vacuum models on the market.
1. Do you need a wet/dry car vacuum cleaner, or just a dry one? A wet/dry vacuum allows you to pick up both wet mess spills and dry messes, but most vacuums are only approved for the latter.
2. Does your parking setup allow you to use a vacuum cleaner with a power cord, or do you need a portable cordless vac? Cordless vacuums may be more convenient, but they also require charging.
4. Do you have a pet that rides in your car? If so, they likely leave dander and dog hair, making them a major source of car mess. The HoLife corded vacuum cleaner and the Black and Decker 2000 series cordless are regularly ranked among the best vacuums for picking up pet hair.
5. Suction -- the more suction power a vacuum has, the more effectively it cleans, especially on carpeted surfaces. The Dyson V11 has the best car vacuum suction of any cleaner on the list, which is especially impressive given that it's a cordless handheld vac.
Car messes are made of more than dust, dirt and crumbs -- sometimes there are also spills and "accidents," and for those moments, you'll need a wet vac. It's even better if you can find a portable wet/dry vacuum to clean all sorts of messes, and that's where the Armor All AA255 comes in.
The AA255 is a corded cleaner, but the six-foot hose adds some flex room to the reach afforded by the 10-foot cord. Its 2.5-gallon tank ensures that even large messes are little challenge. As for performance, the AA255 is consistently among the highest-rated car vacuums on retail sites such as Amazon, Walmart and AutoZone.
The Dustbuster-style Hotor car vacuum is a model of efficiency. At only 2.44 pounds, the Hotor is one of the lightest options available, which makes maneuvering in a car's interior or cleaning for extended periods easier. The long power cord (16.4 feet) also gives you less to worry about during a car wash.
One thing to note about the Hotor -- the description on the Sears website notes that the vacuum has trouble picking up debris such as pet hair. If you have a pet that regularly rides in your car, it may be a good idea to consider a different car vacuum.
If the Hotor car vacuum isn't quite your cup of tea and you have a bit more money to spend, the Shark Rocket Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum is another great option. It comes with an ultralong 25-foot power cord, and like the Dyson model later on this list, it has enough suction power to be used as a vacuum cleaner for your house, as well.
The attachments offered by the Shark Rocket make cleaning nooks in cars easy. There's a precision duster, a pet multi-tool and a crevice tool that can reach just about anywhere in a vehicle -- even under the front seats.
With a unique design and an affordable price ($50), the Bissell Cleanview stands out from many competing car vacuums. It functions as a portable handheld Dustbuster, but also comes with a hose attachment for cleaning tighter areas. It boasts an 18-foot power cord, which really helps when doing a deep dive into the backseat.
At 5 pounds, the Cleanview is a bit heavier than the other hand vacuums on this list, but part of that weight comes from the large tank, which holds more dirt and debris and is an easy dust bin to empty.
You know what's annoying? Finally setting aside time to clean your car only to find that your vacuum's battery is drained. Fortunately, that disappointment can be all but eliminated with the Max Lithium Pivot, which boasts a lithium-ion battery capable of a four-hour power duration. That's enough time for one car vacuum to clean a fleet of limousines.
In addition to the robust battery life, the Pivot has an ergonomic design with an adjustable nozzle that makes this portable vacuum ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach places in your car or home. It also boasts a three-stage filtration system that improves both power and cleanliness.
Suction and cleaning ability: Almost any handheld vacuum can pick up visible crumbs and dirt. Especially strong handhelds can also suck up some fine dust, as well as larger, heavier pebbles or chunks of food. Though wattage and battery strength are not always an accurate gauge of cleaning ability, a vacuum offering 15 air watts and 16 volts should be enough for cleaning up small messes.
Using an anemometer (a tool that measures wind speed), we calculate the raw airflow of each vacuum. Suction is what allows a vacuum cleaner to lift debris off the ground, while airflow helps ferry the debris to the dustbin.
In our latest tests, most models did well with medium-size particles, such as the birdseed, but weaker models struggled with dusty, clingy debris like baking soda. Some vacuums appeared to suck up debris only to let it drop back out of the intake after we turned off the power. Others had crevice tools that were too narrow to take in Cheerios.
To test pet-hair pickup, we spread a handful of fur (from a local groomer) into a rug and then try to pick it up with each vacuum. If a model comes with an attachment that may improve pet-hair pickup, such as rubber nubs, or better yet, a motorized brush, we use it.
What the Ryobi 18V One+ Performance Hand Vacuum Kit lacks in appearance it makes up for in suction power, bin size, and versatility. In suction and airflow, this model is on a par with or better than its most powerful competitors. Its dustbin holds 2.8 cups of debris, double that of most other handheld vacuums we tested. We tried it on rugs, bare floors, car seats, and upholstery, and it did an excellent job of picking up all kinds of debris, including Cheerios, glitter, birdseed, and baking soda.
If you regularly clean up after fur-shedding pets, the Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean+ HHVK515JP07 is uniquely designed to help you fight that battle. In our tests, it picked up fur better than any model we tried, especially on upholstery, thanks in part to its motorized brush, which is equipped with fur-grabbing bristles. The AdvancedClean+ HHVK515JP07 has an intuitive emptying mechanism and the largest dustbin of any handheld vacuum we evaluated in our most recent round (models with smaller bins got quickly clogged with fur). At 75 dB, it is also quieter than the majority of the vacuums we assessed.
We tested the AdvancedClean+ HHVK515JP07 on different surfaces and with various types of debris, and it proved to be a great all-purpose cleaner. Its built-in, extendable crevice tool sucked up baking soda, glitter, birdseed, Cheerios, and cat litter from both carpets and bare floors with ease. Fur clung to its flexible, rubbery bristles, while its rotating brush and suction ferreted dog, cat, and rabbit hair from rugs and couches into its bin. The only time we ran into trouble was when we tried to vacuum dog fur from the clingy upholstery of a car trunk, yet even then the AdvancedClean+ HHVK515JP07 still got more fur off than any of the other models we tested. (More on that below.)
The only area where this model struggles is in removing fur clinging to car floor and trunk upholstery. But all the vacuums we tested performed poorly in this regard. Instead, we recommend the Uproot Cleaner Pro Reusable Cat Hair Remover for car trunks and floors.
Of the mini vacuums we tested, we liked the Eufy HomeVac H30 Venture the best. It looks appealing, and it has good suction power and a comparably large bin for a lightweight vac. In our tests, it did well in picking up both light and heavier debris. At more than $100, however, it is pricey for what it is: Its construction seemed flimsy to us, and we had to be especially careful when reattaching the bin after cleaning it. At some point during our testing, a dust deposit had created a tiny gap between the main body and bin, and one of our testers was sprayed with an explosion of baking soda.
Like any other handheld vacuum or dustbuster, your car vacuum likely has a dust bin or bag that you should be able to access, remove, and empty with relative ease. Beyond that, check your car vacuum's manual to determine whether its filter is washable or needs to be replaced. The manual should also note whether it's safe to clean out the interior with soap and water, or if you should only use a dust rag. If you wash it with water, let all of its components dry before reassembling."}},"@type": "Question","name": "How do I use a car vacuum to clean between the car seats?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "If messes tend to accumulate in the spaces between your car's seats, a car vacuum with the right set of attachments will come in handy. Make sure your model of choice comes with a crevice tool and an extension hose, both of which will allow you to reach tight spaces that the vacuum's main body can't. In addition to these useful attachments, you can blow debris out of even the smallest spaces. Some picks come with a blower feature that lets you target certain areas this way.","@type": "Question","name": "Will using a car vacuum wear down my car's battery?","acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer","text": "If your car vacuum of choice relies on your car's 12-volt socket for power, you might be concerned that running it will drain the car's battery. This is, indeed, a risk, but it will depend on how powerful your battery is, how long you vacuum for, and how weak or old your car's battery is. It's unlikely that a quick clean will completely deplete your battery, but if you're worried or vacuuming the whole interior, you might be better off opting for a cordless model."]}]}] .icon-garden-review-1fill:#b1dede.icon-garden-review-2fill:none;stroke:#01727a;stroke-linecap:round;stroke-linejoin:round > buttonbuttonThe Spruce The Spruce's Instagram The Spruce's TikTok The Spruce's Pinterest The Spruce's Facebook NewslettersClose search formOpen search formSearch DecorRoom Design
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