Maintaining the cleanliness of a car’s interior is the inherent responsibility of every owner. Regular vacuuming of the floor, seats, and other surfaces is important in removing dirt, debris, dust, and other particles that can damage such car components in the long run. It is also crucial in maintaining a healthier driver and passenger environment especially for those with pulmonary and skin allergies. And while you can technically use a conventional vacuum cleaner for the home, this is not really purpose-built to clean every square inch of your car. As such, only the best car vacuum cleaners will do. Not to worry though since we’ve prepared this automotive cleaners guide just for you.
The Best Car Vacuum
The ArmorAll AA255 Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum is an all-around cleaner that even comes with a leaf blower attachment you can easily use to clean your yard after giving your car a thorough vacuum cleaning. The AA255 comes with a very powerful 2-horsepower motor that should make it very easy to lift up anything off the various surfaces of your car’s interior. It’s designed specifically to suction both dry and wet materials so it can give you excellent deep cleaning. We find the on-board organization scheme of the AA255 to be especially useful since this frees you from having to get another bag or container to put the accessories in.
There are a few laments we have about the AA255 though. First, we find the power cord to be on the short side at 10 feet. While the extra-long 6-foot vacuum hose helps extend its reach we still would have preferred the power cord to have an additional 5 feet or so. It’s also limited by the fact that it is ever-reliant on an electrical outlet with no possibility of getting plugged into your car’s cigarette light adaptor. That being said, with a very friendly price for a very powerful motor in a compact design, we’d say the ArmorAll AA255 is a very worthy investment.
2HP motor with 2.5-gallon capacity storage tank
With reusable foam sleeve and cloth filter
Comes with 10-foot power cord and 6-foot hose
Lightweight and portable design
With 2-year warranty
- Weight7 pounds
One of the greatest assets of the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum is its battery technology that helps ensure it is powered up anytime you want to use it for a good 18 months. And if you’re going to trust the reviews of countless car owners who have used the CHV1410L, then you know that despite having a 15.2-watt motor it’s powerful enough to provide you with a really clean car. This is one of the obvious advantages of the BLACK+DECKER. It may run on a less-powerful motor yet provides exceptional suction.
It also has cyclonic vacuum action which literally separates the larger debris particles from the finer ones so its filtration system will not get so overwhelmed easily and also extending its life. Sadly, we did wish the filter included HEPA filtration, although the VF110 Dustbuster does a good job of filtering out dust particles. Nevertheless, for its always-ready feature, an easy-to-clean design, and excellent energy efficiency, the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L is always a great buy.
16V, 15.2-watt motor powered by lithium ion battery
Battery charge can last up to 18 months with auto-shutoff feature
With Smart Charge Technology
Removable and washable filters
Cyclonic vacuum action
Comes with 2-year limited warranty
- Weight2.6 pounds
The LIBERRWAY Car Vacuum makes its way in this list of the best car vacuum cleaners for a variety of reasons. First, it features a 100-watt motor that comes with an aluminum alloy-constructed fan instead of the typical plastic blades in conventional vacuum cleaners. This gives the LIBERRWAY an amazing suction power of up to 5000 Pa. It is completely pluggable into your car’s cigarette light port to provide your car with deep cleaning. It comes with a crevice tool, brush, and extension hose to further enhance your cleaning.
The only downside is that it doesn’t come with HEPA filters, although it does come with double filtration technology. The outer canister of the filtration system separates larger particles while the inner filter is what traps dust and finer particles. It’s completely bag-less, too, so disposal of the vacuumed materials is easy. The 14-foot power cord is just enough to cover your vehicle although another foot or so would’ve been great.
12V, 100-watt motor with aluminum fan delivering 5000 Pa of suction
With double filtration technology
With 14-foot power cable
- Weight2.6 pounds
The Vacplus Car Vacuum Cleaner is a lot similar to the LIBERRWAY system except for a few differences. It has a longer power cord at 16.4 feet and comes with a variety of attachments that you can actually connect with one another to increase its versatility. It also comes with a HEPA filter which is good news for allergy sufferers as well as a built-in LED cleaning light to help improve the way you vacuum poorly-lit areas.
If any, our only wish is for Vacplus to extend its 3-month warranty to at least 12 months. Nevertheless, for its friendly price that’s almost the same as the LIBERRWAY we honestly believe the Vacplus is a valuable car cleaning tool.
12V motor delivering 5000 Pa of suction
With stainless steel HEPA filter
With built-in LED cleaning light
Interchangeable attachments with multiple configurations
With 16.4-foot power cable
With 3-month refund or replacement guarantee
- Weight2.43 pounds
Featuring a slightly-modified design to the LIBERRWAY and Vacplus is Holsea’s Car Vacuum Cleaner. It is still a car cigarette light adapter-pluggable cleaner but comes with an 80-watt motor. Despite its lower wattage the Holsea still delivers 5000 Pa of suction which, when combined with its patented Pro-Cyclone Technology, can help ensure deep car interior cleaning.
It also uses stainless steel HEPA filter allowing for ease of washing for reuse. There’s an additional high-density sponge mesh to help absorb liquids, although it’s not really designed for large-volume water suctioning. The Holsea also comes with a 0.5-liter storage bin which should be enough for light to moderate cleaning. The combination of technologies embedded into the Holsea plus its suction power at lower energy makes it a great cleaning device for any car.
12V, 80-watt motor with 5000 Pa powerful suction
Triple Filtering System with Pro-Cyclone Technology
With reusable stainless steel HEPA filter and high-density sponge mesh
With 16.4-foot power cord
Portable, lightweight, easy-to-clean design
- Weight3.1 pounds
The Metro Vacuum VM656500 Professional High Performance Hand Vacuum draws its inspiration from a high-performance vacuum cleaner and a portable hand vac although we do wished it came in a fully cordless form. Nevertheless, its 11-foot long power cord should be long enough to help you clean the interior of your car, although you will have to make sure your car is positioned in such a way that you can optimize the cord length.
One of the Metro’s greatest assets is its 500-watt motor plus an exceptional water-lifting capability up to 60 inches. The motor is housed in an all-steel body. Despite its metal body the Metro only weighs about 2.7 pounds.
120V, 500-watt motor with 11-foot power cord
Bag-less design in all-steel construction
60-inch water lift capability
Comes with 5-year motor warranty
- BrandMetro Vacuum
- Weight2.7 pounds
The ArmorAll Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum is loved by many. Unfortunately, it does not really afford portability as you’re tied down to an electrical outlet. That’s why ArmorAll has the AA12V1 Car Vac which is the company’s cigarette light adapter-pluggable version. Unfortunately, unlike its powerful cousin, the V1 is underpowered with a lot of irate customers saying technically the same thing: it has very little to no suction at all.
While it may have a very posh design and an affordable price when it comes to picking up dirt and debris from your car’s interior you’d do a lot better with the other handheld car vacs in this list.
12V DC auto plug
Built-in LED cleaning light
With 15-foot power cord
With 1 year warranty
- ModelAA12V1 0901
- Weight2.25 pounds
Hoover’s BH52160PC Air Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner is this list’s most expensive handheld car cleaning tool. It’s almost twice the price of the BLACK+DECKER, but is exceptionally lightweight at 2.1 pounds. The Hoover Air Vac boasts of a 20-volt lithium ion battery with its patented fade-free technology.
What we don’t understand, however, is that it only runs for a good 15 minutes after 9 hours of charging. Compare this to the 16-volt BLACK+DECKER battery that stores power up to 18 months. Plus, it doesn’t even come with a HEPA filter. Good thing though the Hoover Air Vac comes with an easy-rinse filter. But having to clean it after 4 to 6 uses is quite cumbersome.
Powered by 20V lithium-ion fade-free battery
Bag-less, cordless, compact, and lightweight design
Easy-rinse, reusable filter
2-year warranty on product and battery
- Weight2.1 pounds
With features that closely match other similarly-designed car vacuum cleaners there’s really not much to differentiate the Hikeren Handheld Wet and Dry Multifunctional Car Vacuum Cleaner from the rest of the pack. It comes with the same stainless steel HEPA filter, a LED cleaning light, and a 16.4-foot power cord pluggable to your cigarette adaptor.
What boggles the mind is that it comes with a slightly higher power output at 10 watts, yet only manages maximum suction of 4500 Pa. Other systems come with lower power output, but greater suction.
106-watt 12V motor with 4300-4500 Pa suction
Removable and washable stainless steel HEPA filter
With integrated LED light
16.4-foot long power cord with cigarette light adaptor
With 12 month refund or replacement guarantee
- Weight2.3 pounds
The LOLLDEAL Super Mini Portable Handheld Automotive Vacuum has got to be the most compact, most portable, and truly lightweight cleaning devices we’ve seen. Tipping the scales at only 11.8 ounces, the LOLLDEAL is so handy that you can actually put it in your glove box for instant cleaning wherever you may be. It may not be as powerful as the others in this list, but its 3200 Pa suction should be enough to lift light to moderately heavy particles.
The fan blades are made with aluminum to improve its suction capabilities. It also comes with washable HEPA filter and a 14.8-foot power cord. For just under $20 the LOLLDEAL is a great deal especially considering the various technologies included.
75-watt 12V pure copper motor with aluminum blades delivering 3200 Pa suction
Integrated, removable, and washable HEPA filter
Pluggable into car cigarette light adaptor with 14.8-foot long cord
With 12-month replacement or refund guarantee
- Weight11.8 ounces
Car Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide & FAQ
Picking the right vacuum cleaner for your vehicle actually has a lot to do with how often you clean your car, how ‘dirty’ it can get with each trip, and how obsessive you are keeping it in pristine condition. You will have to consider the gadget’s vacuum power, its tank capacity, its weight, and the various attachments that come with it. To help you better arrive at a product that’s perfect for you and your vehicle, we’ve prepared this buying guide.
Why Use a Car Vacuum Cleaner?
One of the things that car owners typically ask when it comes to vacuum cleaning their vehicle’s interior is the type of vacuum that they are going to use. A great number of vehicle owners consider using conventional vacuum cleaners, those that are typically used in homes. While these may work in most instances, they may not have the correct attachments necessary to clean every surface inside your vehicle.
Additionally, depending on the type of household vacuum cleaner that you have, you may not be able to really reach in under the seats and under the dashboard as well as other hard-to-reach areas of your vehicle. Plus, do take note that majority of household vacuum cleaners are bulky and may not really fit inside the car. Take for example a canister-type vacuum cleaner. These drum-like gadgets will have to have an extra-long vacuum hose to clean the vehicle interior; otherwise, it would simply not fit inside.
For the most part a car vacuum cleaner is designed specifically to be used on vehicles. These are powerful enough to draw every type of debris or particle that can be found inside a modern vehicle. Many also come with HEPA filters to help rid the air of allergens and other harmful particles.
Corded vs. Cordless Car Vacuum Cleaner
Choosing between corded and cordless car vacuum cleaners is all a matter of preference as well as your car interior cleaning habits. Here we’ll try to examine the pros and cons of each type to help you make a better-informed decision.
Corded systems have power cords that can be connected to either DC or AC power source. Some models allow for the interchangeability of the power source given that the appropriate AC-DC adapter-converter is readily available.
One of the most significant advantages of corded car vacuum cleaners is their power which translates to better cleaning efficiency. Since the device is plugged directly into an electrical outlet or even into your car’s 12-volt battery system, you can draw as much power into the device to ensure greater vacuuming efficiency. This helps save time in cleaning and ensures deeper, more thorough cleaning.
However powerful, corded devices will have to sacrifice convenience since you will be limited to the availability of a power source. This is where 12-volt corded systems have the advantage over their AC counterparts since you can easily plug such systems into your car’s cigarette light adaptor. But then this will also draw power from your vehicle’s battery. On the other hand, an AC-only corded vacuum cleaner can still be used efficiently provided you have an electrical extension cord or if you choose a system with an exceptionally long power cord.
For those who clearly don’t like getting tangled with wires or cords or those who simply don’t wish to use their car’s battery or home’s electricity to power up their cleaning devices, then the cordless car vacuum cleaner is a must-have. Such systems allow for greater coverage, flexibility, and versatility since you’re not literally tied down by power cords.
Sadly, there are quite a few drawbacks to such systems. Cordless car vacuum cleaners in general provide less suction power than their corded counterparts. And even if the device happens to churn impressive numbers in the suctioning department this often comes at a price in terms of battery drain. Most cordless systems can only manage a meager 15-minute runtime which is, unfortunately, not really sufficient if you’re considering on really performing a deep and thorough clean of your vehicle’s interior. Additionally, while the runtime is dismal at best, their charging times are also mediocre since you will need a considerable amount of time to charge its batteries.
Nevertheless, if your car doesn’t really have that much dirt or debris to pick up, then cordless car vacuum cleaners provide a great solution. Just make sure to pick one that charges really fast and has a longer-lasting battery life with each operation.
Tips on Using a Car Vacuum Cleaner
Now that you have an idea of the type of vacuum cleaner to get for your vehicle, it is equally important to know how to use it properly. Here are some tips you might want to consider.
- Open your car’s doors and windows
Whenever you have to use any cleaning tool or gadget in your car, don’t ever forget to open the doors and roll down the windows to allow for dirt and debris to naturally be carried by the circulating air. This is especially true if you’re working with certain chemicals. While vacuuming doesn’t really involve the use of chemicals, opening your windows and doors can help dissipate musty, stale odors. Additionally, it allows for greater use of the space you have.
- Physically remove trash and other large objects
Your car vacuum cleaner is designed to pick up smaller objects. As such it is important to physically remove or pick up your trash and other larger objects before giving your vehicle interior a good vacuum cleaning.
- Remove car accessories to allow for more expedient cleaning
Check your car’s interior accessories and remove those that can be removed such as floor mats, seat covers, dashboard covers, cup holders, and the like. The point is that you would want to access every inch of your vehicle’s interior. Having these can only impede in the cleaning process. Moreover, you can give these accessories a separate yet more thorough cleaning.
- Use the various attachments of your vacuum cleaner
For your car’s floor as well as other surfaces with fibers, it is best to use the brush attachment. This physically loosens up dirt and debris that may be trapped within the fibers themselves. This allows for easier vacuuming. If you don’t have a brush attachment, then an ordinary brush will do. Also, use the long-nose hose attachment of the vacuum cleaner to access hard-to-reach areas. If it comes with a crevice tool, make sure to vacuum every inch of space in your car. Vacuum your floorboard, the seat track rails, the air vents, the area underneath the pedals, the dashboard, the upholstery, and everything else inside the car.
- Vacuum every inch of your car’s interior
It is often ideal to vacuum with a system in mind such as vacuuming the driver section first before heading to the front passenger side then finally moving to the back. Or, it could also be the other way around. It’s actually up to you to devise your own system. The whole point in vacuum-cleaning your car is to make sure that it is free from dirt and debris. As such, making sure that there is no surface that is not covered by your vacuum cleaner is an absolute must.
Our Top Pick for Best Car Vacuum
In this list of the best car vacuum cleaners, we’ve seen a variety of units from corded to cordless and from bin units to handheld. It is quite difficult to zero-in on a single absolute best.
ArmorAll’s Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum is a formidable gadget for the mere fact that it has the most powerful suction capabilities on this list. It’s very affordable, too, considering the various attachments that it comes with, enabling you to clean not only your car but your house and backyard, too. The only downside is that it is reliant on electrical power and not from batteries or from your car’s 12V system.
At first glance, the 15.2-watt power of the BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L seems underpowered to even suck up anything at all. But a lot of car owners sing praises for its powerful suction plus an exceptionally remarkable battery technology that allows it to remain charged for up to 18 months. What we only wished is for a HEPA filter to be made an integral part of the system.
The ArmorAll needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet for it to operate. The BLACK+DECKER requires its battery to be charged before use. For a really automotive vacuum cleaner that you can plug into your car’s cigarette light adaptor, we’ve got several candidates. But ultimately, it’s the Holsea that got our attention for its unique combination of triple filtration system, lower power output but powerful suction, lengthy power cord, and a simple design. LIBERRWAY could have made it, but we found the lack of HEPA filter as unacceptable. Hikeren is a good candidate, too, but it only maxes out at 4500 Pa.
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So which among these three should you get? If it’s power and home- and car-versatility that you’re after, then ArmorAll’s Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum is a good choice. However, if you prefer powerful suction with superior battery technology, the BLACK+DECKER is the one to get. But if you’re looking for a cleaning tool that you can use anywhere your car is while also giving you exceptional suction power, then the Holsea is tops.
For strict car enthusiasts we recommend the Holsea Portable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner for its exceptional combination of affordability, powerful suction, high-density sponge mesh, stainless steel HEPA filter, extra-long vacuum hose, useful cleaning attachments, and a 16.4-foot cord. As we have already said, the ArmorAll is great but you will have to make sure you have an electrical outlet nearby. The BLACK+DECKER is also great but it doesn’t come with HEPA filter and it’s costlier, too. Overall, we’d say the Holsea provides the best solution for today’s car owners.
Cleaning your car’s interior doesn’t really have to be a chore. As long as you have the right device to help you remove dirt and other unwanted particles in every imaginable surface in your car’s interior you, should do just fine.