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Cars can become pretty dirty over time, and nobody likes a dirty car. Keep yours clean with the most effective car vacuums on the market today. Cars are a part of daily life, and with exposure to things and people, it’s normal for a car to become a little dirty. It can be hard to brush this dirt and dust off your car’s surfaces unless you get it professionally cleaned, and you might be looking for a way to keep your car looking spotless (or as close to it as possible).
Well, a vacuum might be a good idea. No, we’re not talking about the heavy-duty vacuums you use at home– a car vacuum is a compact yet powerful tool that can help you get rid of dirt and debris buildup in your vehicle. Car vacuums come in different styles, shapes, and power options, and we’ve reviewed the leading car vacuums to help make cleaning your vehicle just a bit easier.
Our picks of the best car vacuums of 2022
Valuta Car Vacuum: Our pick
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The Valuta car vacuum is a high-powered device that boasts 8,000Pa (Pascal Pressure Unit) for powerful suction and supports both wet and dry use This handheld car vacuum can effectively clean any dirt, debris, pet hair, sand, and liquid that’s accumulated in your car, and it’s equipped with a stainless steel HEPA filter to let you absorb particles without needing to frequently change it. This car vacuum cleaner weighs only 1.65 pounds, ensuring that it’s lightweight and easy to carry, and its ergonomic design helps eliminate fatigue from your cleaning routine. This vacuum also has a 16.4-foot power cord that can be used to reach every corner of the car without any inconvenience, and this car vacuum is our top choice because of its versatility and powerful functionality.
- Long cord for easy use
- Equipped with top-quality filters
- Ergonomic design for comfortable use
Bissell Car Vacuum: Great value
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The Bissell car vacuum is a cordless vacuum that doesn’t require an electrical supply to use. It’s a great value for its price, and it’s designed to remove any pet hair and dander from your car. This car vacuum lets you apply minimal pressure on the surface you’re cleaning, and it comes with a motorized brush tool and a lithium-ion battery as well. This car vacuum also has a large, easy-to-empty dirt cup that lets you remove large volumes of dust and dirt with little to no issue. The vacuum’s 14V battery ensures you’re able to clean your car without any interruptions.
- Large capacity for storing dirt and debris
- No cords, no hassle
- Triple-filtration system for better cleaning
- Primarily suited for removing pet hair
BLACK+DECKER Car Vacuum: Another great option
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This BLACK+DECKER car vacuum is designed to remove hair, dirt, and debris from carpets and car interiors, giving you a multi-surface cleaner and some bang for your buck. This car vacuum features an ergonomic onboard extension that eliminates the need to bend over to use it and it’s easy to carry and use, even in tight spaces. This car vacuum cleaner has a 180-degree nozzle rotation that lets you adjust to tight spaces without too much trouble. The vacuum spins dust and debris away from the filter, ensuring you’ll have powerful suction each time you use it, and it also comes with a translucent, bagless dirt bowl that’s easy to monitor and view. This car vacuum is powered by a lithium-ion battery that recharges quickly, and it comes with an instruction manual to help you assemble it with ease.
- Provides ergonomic grip
- Easy to monitor cleaning progress
- Short charging times
- Requires assembly before use
VARSK Car Vacuum: Versatile
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The VARSK car vacuum is a 4-in-1 device that can be used as a cleaner and tire inflator at the same time. It has a 35L/MIN inflation speed, and its high-efficiency direct-drive motor can inflate a tire from zero to 35 PSI in just six minutes. This multipurpose car vacuum also has a strong 5.5 kPa (kilopascal) cyclone suction that lets you pick up annoying dirt and debris without too much effort. This car vacuum goes through a strict 50-point inspection at the time of manufacturing to make sure that what’s arriving on your doorstep is a durable, long-lasting car vacuum that can serve you well for years to come. This vacuum also has a 15-foot cord that lets you move it around your car with little to no issues, making cleaning less of a hassle.
- Durable body and interior design
- Easy to use
- Multifunctional 4-in-1 use
- Only works with a 12V DC power supply
Starument Car Vacuum: Stylish pick
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The Starument car vacuum is kitted out with ultra-powerful suction and a strong motor that can effortlessly eliminate dirt, dust, and any other pesky particles. This car vacuum flaunts a chic, minimalist design that can be stored in a small, compact space and it’s available in black, white, and pink color choices to give you a perfect balance between style and performance. Enjoy wireless freedom with this car vacuum and effortlessly clean even the hardest-to-reach places in your vehicle. This compact car vacuum cleaner offers portability and can save space in your vehicle, and its lightweight design lets you clean longer without tiring out your arms.
- Lightweight body to minimize cleaning fatigue
- Compact wireless design
- Aesthetically pleasing look
- Only for cleaning basic debris
Buyer’s guide for finding a car vacuum
Just shortlisting car vacuums is not enough, and that’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive buying guide to help you pick the right car vacuum for your vehicle.
Main types of car vacuums
Despite the many similarities, there are three main types of car vacuums. What you choose should depend on the surface you want to clean.
As their name suggests, these car vacuums are easy to hold. They can be used on many surfaces, not just your car, and they’re lightweight and easy to move from one area to the other. Most modern versions of handheld car vacuums come with HEPA filters that last much longer than standard ones.
These HEPA filters can easily trap dust and allergens, and even particles that are visible to the naked eye can be trapped with no problem. A handheld car vacuum can be corded or cordless, and if there are problems or distortion in the electric supply you can always go with a battery-operated version. Handheld car vacuums are the most commonly used and available options out there.
Wet and dry
Wet and dry vacuums are large and powerful, but they can be bulky. You can use them in a car where liquid spills have taken place, and they’re more durable than other vacuums and come with various functions. These car vacuums are also powerful enough to catch the smallest particles, but with all these great features comes the price– a wet and dry vacuum is significantly more expensive than its handheld counterparts.
Shop vacuums, or shop vacs, come with various features. Shop vacs are fairly large, making them suitable only for larger vehicles and SUVs– they might not fit inside smaller vehicles. A shop vac is fairly powerful and does not require extra effort on your part to use.
What to look for when buying a car vacuum
Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when buying a car vacuum cleaner:
The weight of your car vacuum is the main thing to consider. Most people prefer going for a smaller model that doesn’t strain their hands, but smaller models, unfortunately, have less powerful motors. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty motor (in the case of pet hair and dander), then go for a larger and more powerful vacuum. If there’s not a lot of activity in your car and you just need a light cleaning, a reasonably powered motor should work perfectly fine.
The motor’s power determines the efficiency of the car vacuum and, to a considerable degree, the suction power. The maximum power consumption ranges from 1200W to 2400W. Always go for a product that functions normally without putting strain on your car’s battery. Heavy motors also use more battery if you’re operating a cordless vacuum.
Your car vacuum’s ability to collect more dirt and dust in less time is called suction power. The stronger the suction power, the better the vacuum’s cleaning efficiency. It can range from 250W to 600W, and we recommend going for a minimum of 350W. Suction power is usually proportional to motor power, but this isn’t always the case– there are car vacuum models available with a low motor power that use less electricity while still providing excellent suction.
Car vacuum container types
The dust and dirt container is the main part of any vacuum and is available in different sizes and materials. The type of container you choose determines effectiveness and cleaning frequency.
Textile bags can store dirt and dust quite easily and retain particles as small as 100 to 200 microns. You might need to clean and wash these bags regularly, but these bags’ pore structure might reduce efficiency and suction power. Textile bags are not available in modern car vacuums.
Paper bags collect dust with particle sizes ranging from one to three microns. They’re thicker than cloth bags and, as a result, don’t have much effect on suction power. When changing the bag, its opening shuts on its own, providing comfort and sanitation. Unlike textile bags, paper bags require frequent replacement, depending on the quantity of dirt and number of uses.
Modern car vacuums feature cyclone air filtration, with a plastic container that can be cleaned and washed easily. The biggest benefit of these filters is that they don’t require constant changes. Another advantage is that centrifugal cleaning provides stable suction pressure that doesn’t come into contact with dirt and remains consistent throughout. These car vacuums can trap all kinds of dust and debris without leaks, and you should clean these products with extreme caution to avoid any build-up.
Car vacuum add-ons
Different car vacuum models may come with various add-ons that can supplement your existing interior detailing tools. A useful feature is an extended brush for reaching tight spaces, and another benefit is the inclusion of extra lights to assist you in seeing and cleaning beneath the seats. Some car vacuums include servicing equipment for focusing suction in confined locations.
Some models may have multiple add-ons. When purchasing a car vacuum, be sure it has at least one crevice tool.
Car vacuums come with liquid-absorption features that help make your life easier if kids and pets have access to your car. You might also find an inflation device included with your car vacuum purchase, and this lets you quickly inflate your tires, great for long journeys and trips.
Before choosing a car vacuum with add-ons, it’s important to consider whether these features are worth your money or not. Think about how frequently you’ll be using these accessories– you don’t want to shell out extra cash for something you’ll never use.
Car Vaccum FAQs
Q: Can I connect a car vacuum to a car lighter?
A: Vacuums with smaller batteries can be connected to a car lighter for power. If you’re using a larger vacuum, you may need an electrical source or power outlet for connection. This is why most people opt for large battery-operated vacuums.
Q: How can I clean a car vacuum?
A: You’ll need to clean a car vacuum regularly depending on how you use it. Dispose of visible dust particles and use a lint cleaner and degreaser to wipe the surface of the vacuum filter. Wipe with a dry and clean cloth and you should be good to go for future use.
Q: How long does a car vacuum cleaner last?
A: A car vacuum cleaner is a long-term investment designed to last for five to ten years. You can get an upgrade if needed, but a car vacuum should last you a while.