Finding the best car vacuum cleaner to streamline your vehicle maintenance isn't always a breeze. Yet, it's undeniably a game-changer when it comes to sprucing up your car's interior. While a dustpan and brush can handle surface dirt, a vacuum is your ticket to tackling ingrained grime, especially in those tricky nooks and crannies.
What makes a car vacuum shine is its ability to swiftly eliminate set-in dirt, reaching areas that brushes can't touch. This tool lays the groundwork for handling stubborn stains and preserving your car's materials alongside top-notch upholstery and leather cleaners. When you're in the market for one, focus on portability, power, and the right attachments to access those stubborn spots.
To make your hunt easier, we've put together a list of top picks that hit these marks and tick lots of boxes. Whether you're eyeing a compact powerhouse like the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster or something with ample capacity, such as the Armor All AA255, our selections cover all the bases to kickstart your search.
Best car vacuum cleaners
- BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean CHV1410L - best overall vacuum
- ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner - top budget-friendly alternative
- Armor All AA255- a great corded option
- Shark Vertex Pro - an excellent upright vacuum
- VacLife VL189 - best for tackling tight spaces
1. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean CHV1410L
Best handheld car vacuum cleaner
This BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster is what typically comes to mind when you envision a car vacuum cleaner. It's designed to be lightweight, portable, and loaded with useful features that make it perfect for cleaning the inside of your vehicle.
For example, the nozzle has a 180° rotation capability, allowing it to access tight spaces from various angles. It also has a flip-up brush that adds an extra layer of versatility, making it suitable for both dusting and vacuuming upholstery.
What's more, it includes an onboard extension that assists you in reaching areas like the underside of your car seats, which would otherwise be challenging to clean without this handy attachment.
In terms of suction power, BLACK+DECKER incorporates cyclone action technology, which effectively separates dust and debris from the filter. This ensures consistent and reliable power throughout the entire cleaning process, making it a vacuum cleaner that we strongly recommend considering.
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2. ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner
Best budget car vacuum cleaner
The ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner is an excellent budget-friendly option, weighing only 2.4 lbs and equipped with three versatile attachments. These attachments include a flathead for basics, an extendable piece for tricky spots, and a brush nozzle for carpets and upholstery.
However, where this vacuum really shines is the inclusion of its unique cyclone force technology, delivering robust suction power from a 106W motor in a compact, lightweight design.
Powered by a 12V auxiliary outlet and featuring a 16-foot cord, this vacuum ensures uninterrupted cleaning too, making it ideal for quick touch-ups or extensive cleaning sessions. Its portability and powerful motor make it a reliable companion for various cleaning requirements, providing convenience and efficiency in one handheld package.
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3. Armor All AA255
Best corded car vacuum cleaner
The Armor All AA255 corded vacuum cleaner stands out as an excellent option for car interior cleaning, offering unique advantages over handheld vacuums. Its extensive 10-foot power cable provides the freedom to access every corner of your vehicle without concerns about battery life, making it a great choice for a deep cleaning session.
Boasting a spacious 2.5-gallon polypropylene tank too, this vacuum ensures ample capacity to tackle any amount of dirt, regardless of your vehicle's size. The impressive motor performance delivers a formidable two-peak HP as well, promising an unmatched cleaning experience.
So, for those seeking a powerful solution to maintain a spotless car interior, the Armor All AA255 emerges as a top-tier choice.
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4. Shark Vertex Pro
Best upright car vacuum cleaner
Corded devices have their place, and the Shark Vertex Pro upright vacuum is the ideal companion for car cleaning. In upright mode, this powerhouse deploys its DuoClean PowerFins, ensuring uninterrupted contact with surfaces to capture more dirt and debris with each pass. What sets it apart though is the real-time readout, providing valuable insights into runtime and performance while you work your cleaning magic.
But here's where the Shark Vertex Pro truly shines. It seamlessly transitions into a handheld wonder, thanks to its extendable hose. Now, those tricky, hard-to-reach areas in your car are no match for this versatile machine.
It doesn't stop there. Equipped with a HEPA anti-allergy filter, an XL dust cap, and equipped with LED headlights, this vacuum is tailored for your convenience. Even in low-light conditions, you'll be able to clean without a hitch, catering to those with bustling lifestyles who might only find time to pamper their car after hours.
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5. VacLife VL189
Best compact car vacuum cleaner
Rounding off our list is this compact VacLife VL189, designed to be light and hassle-free with its cordless power system which, in our opinion, puts it in the mix with some of the best car cleaning products around.
Despite its small stature, weighing just 1.46 lbs in total, you should find it powerful enough to deliver a comprehensive cleaning of your car's interior, especially with its brush and extension nozzle.
You also get a set of bright LED lights to help when cleaning at night or to help make sure you're leaving even the darkest of corners spotless as you vacuum your car's interior.
Ultimately, there's a lot to like about this compact vacuum, and should, therefore, be one to keep in mind during your next vacuum purchase.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Finding the right vacuum cleaner for your vehicle can be tricky at times. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries to help you work out what you need for your car.
What should you look for from a car vacuum cleaner?
One of the main features to look out for when searching for a car vacuum cleaner is its weight. We'd recommend something fairly light, especially if you're after a handheld device, so you can easily move it around to clean every inch of your car's interior.
It's also worth considering the power source of the vacuum. A battery-powered, rechargeable device can be handy for getting into all the small nooks of your interior; however, it may run out of charge if you're going for a more intense, detailed clean.
By contrast, a corded vacuum will last, but you're limited in where you can use it. Choosing which of the two you need will come down to your own personal preference.
Finally, you'll want to look for a vacuum with the necessary attachments and accessories for cleaning your car. For instance, an extension hose can be handy for reaching under your seats, or an upholstery brush can be used for cleaning set-in dirt from your seats and floor mats. Therefore, for a comprehensive clean, finding a vacuum with a set of attachments may be beneficial.
How powerful should a car vacuum cleaner be?
The power of a vacuum is important as it's key to how well it will perform.
Something around 350W minimum should deliver enough suction power to thoroughly clean your car's interior, although going for something more powerful may help you tackle tough ground-in stains.
Under 350W isn't out of the question though as it can be handy for when you want to simply deliver a quick clean of your car to maintain its interior rather than leave it looking like new.
How much should you spend on a car vacuum cleaner?
There's no set answer to this question as it will depend on your available budget and how seriously you're looking to invest to keep the inside of your vehicle clean.
However, as shown in our list, there are some great budget options available that should do a good job of maintaining your car's interior.
If you choose to spend a little extra though then you might be able to pick up something more powerful and perhaps something with more storage for when you want to deliver a deeper interior clean.
In the case of battery-powered devices, spending more expensive may give you longer battery life as well, although this will vary from vacuum to vacuum.
Ultimately, how much you spend comes down to you. Our only suggestion will be to make sure you purchase something within your budget that suits your particular car cleaning needs.
Are car vacuum cleaners effective at removing pet hair?
Yes, car vacuum cleaners can be effective at removing pet hair from your car's upholstery, carpets, and other surfaces. Many car vacuum cleaners come with specialised attachments such as crevice tools, upholstery brushes, and pet hair brushes that are designed to tackle pet hair effectively.
A pet hair attachment, specifically, is designed to lift the hair from surfaces, while the powerful suction of the vacuum cleaner helps to pull the hair into the collection container.
However, it's important to note that the effectiveness of a car vacuum cleaner in removing pet hair can vary depending on factors such as the suction power of the vacuum, the type of upholstery or carpeting in your car, and the amount of pet hair present. Some car vacuum cleaners may be more effective than others in dealing with stubborn pet hair, so it's worth considering models that specifically highlight their pet hair cleaning capabilities.
Additionally, for heavily matted or embedded pet hair, you may need to use additional tools like a rubber pet hair removal brush or a lint roller before using the car vacuum cleaner to ensure better results. Regular maintenance and frequent vacuuming can also help in keeping pet hair under control in your car.
Can a car vacuum cleaner be used on surfaces like leather?
Yes, car vacuum cleaners can typically be used on surfaces like leather. However, it's essential to exercise caution and use the appropriate attachments or accessories to avoid any potential damage when doing so.
For instance, many car vacuum cleaners come with various attachments, including a soft brush. This particular device is usually designed to gently clean delicate surfaces like leather without causing scratches or abrasions.
What's more, you may need to adjust the suction power of the vacuum cleaner and set it to a lower setting if possible. High suction power can potentially damage leather or cause it to stretch or warp during the cleaning process.
As a result, using a wipe or cloth is the more risk-free approach to cleaning leather in a car compared to using a vacuum. However, a car vacuum can be used if set up correctly. If you're unsure, you can always test it out in a small, inconspicuous area before using your vacuum on a more obvious section of your interior.
Can car vacuum cleaners be used for household cleaning tasks as well?
Yes, car vacuum cleaners can often be used for household cleaning tasks as well.
Many models come with various attachments that allow them to clean different surfaces effectively. While they may not always have the same capacity or power as larger household vacuum cleaners, car vacuum cleaners can still be useful for cleaning small areas, upholstery, stairs, or even tight spaces where a larger vacuum might not reach easily.
All that being said, make sure you check the specifications and capabilities of the specific model to ensure it meets your household cleaning needs.