To remove grit from the interior of your car, you could use a house vacuum, but that is not always practical. A good car vacuum is easy to maneuver in tight spaces and can remove mud, crumbs, and dog hair from your floor mats and upholstery.
In addition to the heavy-duty plug-in vacuums we recommend, we also recommend several handheld vacuums with 12.0-volt batteries. There are some useful features and some drawbacks to each car vacuum, but the right option for you really depends on your needs and budget.
|BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex|
|BISSELL AeroSlim Lithium Ion|
|Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum|
|BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean|
|Armor All, AA255|
1. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Flex Handheld Vacuum
This Black+Decker 20V Flex BDH2020FL hand vacuum easily cleans tight spots in your home or car that other vacuums have difficulty reaching. The Flex can be set down and the extendable hose can be used one-handed to vacuum in tight spaces.
It struggles to pick up large debris like chips and Cheerios in our tests. Several Amazon customers report that the Flex does not have as much suction as they expected. The Flex is a good choice if you plan on regularly using it because of its versatility and cleaning strength.
Compact and light, the motor weighs only 3 pounds. The hose reaches 4 feet in length and has an attachment for clipping onto it.
In the tight spaces around car seats or in the storage compartments built into car doors, we found this vacuum’s crevice tool particularly useful; it focused on this vacuum’s weaker airflow for better cleaning.
Despite their shortcomings, the brush and rubber-nubbed pet-hair attachments work well enough in cars that do not see a lot of traffic from pets or mud. As the tools are securely attached to the hose, you will never have to worry about losing them.
2. BISSELL AeroSlim Lithium Ion
If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner, Bissell’s AeroSlim handheld vacuum is a great choice. This vacuum uses a lithium-ion battery that operates for up to 12 minutes, depending on your car’s size and your mess level.
Battery life and performance will degrade if you use it frequently, but for routine maintenance, its compact size and affordable price make it an attractive choice.
A dual-level filtration system, washable and reusable filters, a dirt bin that is easy to empty, and USB charging are included in this handheld vacuum. This vacuum can be charged through your vehicle’s USB port if it is equipped with one.
The box does not include many accessories; the only tools inside are two-in-one crevice tools and dusting brushes. Small messes and quick cleanups are best suited for this vacuum’s sleek and compact design.
3. Shark CH951 Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Having a vacuum that specializes in getting rid of pet hair would be helpful if you often travel with your pet in your car. By utilizing two cyclonic air streams to deliver incredible suction, Shark’s UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus does just that.
This vacuum comes with a lightweight, portable design and an extra-large dust cap, as well as a washable filter for easy cleanup. After you’ve finished cleaning, simply dispose of the dirt ejector with the CleanTouch to make cleanup even easier.
Besides the vacuum, the vacuum comes with a scrubbing tool and crevice tool, both of which are useful when cleaning your home. When it comes to grime between your front seats and console, the crevice tool helps reach those hard-to-reach places, while the scrubbing brush gets rid of stubborn dirt quickly.
A unique feature of the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus is it is equipped with an innovative brush roll that removes hair wrap as it cleans, so you no longer have to deal with a mess on the brush roll.
4. BLACK+DECKER dustbuster AdvancedClean
Black+Decker’s Dustbuster Hand Vacuum is among the most popular handheld vacuums on the market. As well as being the ideal choice for cleaning cars, this hand vacuum can also be used to tidy up your home.
This handheld cordless vacuum weighs just 2.6 pounds and can only be used on dry materials, which isn’t true for all cordless vacuums. Keep this in mind if you’re shopping for a wet/dry vacuum. This suction cleaner has a power rating of 15.2 watts, a maximum voltage of 16 volts, and an air wattage of 15.2 air watts.
One of the easiest vacuums to use and clean is the washable dust bowl with a capacity of 20.6 ounces. An approximately four-hour charge is required to fully charge the Dustbuster’s lithium-ion battery.
The dustbuster includes a charging base, which makes charging easy. According to the company, the battery can hold a charge for up to 18 months, so you can conveniently keep it in your car.
Even though there are less expensive options available, the Dustbuster also includes a flip-up brush and a crevice tool, two attachments that will prove useful on floormats and in hard-to-reach areas inside the cabin.
Despite its medium-duty nature, the Black+Decker Dustbuster will help you keep your car clean with minimal effort. It is also backed by a limited two-year warranty.
5. Armor All, AA255
A 2.5 gallon Armor All shop vac is a great choice if you have easy access to a power outlet and need a wet/dry vacuum. The vacuum isn’t very powerful with a two-horsepower motor, and its 2.5-gallon storage tank isn’t the biggest available, but it is small enough to fit inside your car for cleaning, which would be impossible with a full-size vacuum.
Since the vacuum has only a 2.5-gallon tank and a 10-foot power cord, you can easily move it around as you vacuum. The kit also comes with a six-foot hose, which should reduce the need for an extension cord. Armor All’s vacuum has a built-in blower that can be quickly converted into a blower just as with other shop vacuums.
In addition to a 2-in-1 utility nozzle, a crevice tool, deluxe car nozzle, blower nozzle, detail brush, reusable cloth filter, and reusable foam anti-splash sleeve, the vacuum includes a Complete Vac Organization system. A two-year warranty is included with this small vacuum.
Car owners who frequently wash their cars at home and who have access to an electrical outlet will appreciate the Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry vacuum.
If you plan on cleaning with this vacuum, its tank should be adequate, even though it is smaller than other shop vacuums. This is one of the most portable shop vacs available, so emptying and cleaning it isn’t as difficult as with larger units.
How to Choose Vacuum for Your Car?
How you use your car every day is an important factor in choosing the right vacuum for it. If you use your vehicle a lot for work or take your pet along with you, your vehicle may get wet and muddy over time.
Having kids increases your chances of having food spilled inside your car. The car vacuum you plan to purchase will likely need to meet your needs if your vehicle sees heavy use. There are vacuums designed specifically for picking up pet hair, while others can be used wet or dry.
You might be able to get by with a lightweight, cordless vacuum if none of the above apply. Choosing the right car vacuum depends on how often you will need to clean your car’s interior.
A corded or cordless car vacuum depends on your budget as well. It is generally more expensive to purchase a cordless vacuum that does not require a power outlet or tethering. However, their downside is that they are often less powerful and must be recharged after use.
Additionally, corded car vacuums that run on 12-volt cigarette lighters can be used if you cannot vacuum your car within a garage. The downside is that these vacuums aren’t as convenient and can’t be as powerful as cordless vacuums.
There are several automakers that have recently installed AC power outlets inside their vehicles, which should be considered when choosing a car vacuum. If your car has an in-dash power outlet, you could use a corded option without bothering with the power outlet in your garage, but be careful not to drain your car’s battery.