The best car vacuum cleaner can make vehicle maintenance that bit quicker and easier. However, finding the right one for your car isn't always straightforward.
That said, a vacuum is, in our opinion, the best place to start when it comes to cleaning the interior of your car. While a dustpan and brush can be used to remove some of the loose, easily accessible dirt, it can only take you so far.
What's great about a vacuum is that it can provide a quick and easy solution to removing set-in grime, particularly in hard-to-reach areas, before getting down to tough stains and maintaining materials using some of the best upholstery and car leather cleaners around.
As a result, opting for something portable, powerful, and with the right attachments to reach those inaccessible areas is what we'd recommend looking out for when purchasing a vacuum cleaner for your car.
So, based on these features along with price and reviews, we've put together a list of our top picks to kick off your search in the best way possible.
Whether you're after something portable, like this BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster, or something with a large capacity, like this Armor All AA255, we've got everything you need right here. Let's get into it...
Best car vacuum cleaner
- BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster AdvancedClean CHV1410L
- ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner
- Armor All AA255
- Shark Vertex Pro
- VacLife VL189
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
If you're looking for something a little cheaper though, then the ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner could be your answer.
It weighs just 2.4lbs and comes with three attachments for detailing, these being a flathead for your basic cleaning needs, an extendable for hard-to-reach places, and a brush nozzle for carpets and upholstery.
Moreover, This Worx boasts cyclone force technology that should deliver strong suction thanks to its impressive 106w motor for such a compact, lightweight bit of kit.
Concerned it may run out of charge? Well, you also get a 12v aux outlet and a 16ft. cord to charge this device on the job. So, for both long and short cleaning tasks, this handheld vacuum should have you covered.
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3. Armor All AA255
Best corded car vacuum cleaner
Although handheld vacuums may seem better suited to cleaning your car's interior, a corded device, like this Armor All AA255, definitely has its place.
Its 10ft. power cable should provide enough slack to tackle every inch of your vehicle without you having to worry about it running out of charge.
You also get a 2.5-gallon polypropylene tank to ensure, no matter the amount of dirt or the size of your vehicle, there's enough space to fill this machine and completely clean your car's interior.
Furthermore, this vacuum comes with one of the most powerful motors on our list, delivering two peak HP for the ultimate cleaning experience. Therefore, this particular device is definitely worth checking if you're after something powerful for cleaning your vehicle.
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4. Shark Vertex Pro
Best upright car vacuum cleaner
Like corded devices, there's definitely a role for upright vacuums, like this Shark Vertex Pro, in car cleaning.
In upright mode, it uses its DuoClean PowerFins to deliver nonstop contact to pick up more dirt and debris during every pass. You also get a real-time readout that shares information on runtime and performance whilst you clean.
However, this machine can offer you the best of both worlds as it can be transformed into a handheld device with an extendable hose to tackle harder-to-reach areas.
Other notable features include its HEPA anti-allergy filter, XL dust-cap, plus its LED headlights that should make cleaning in low-light conditions an option to suit those with a busy lifestyle who may not have time to clean their car during the day.
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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 1.46lbs 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.
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.