If you’re busy as a bee, or if you got hungry while on a long drive, you could just enter a drive thru, order some hamburger, fries, and softdrinks, then get back on the road. But sometimes when you step on the brakes a little too hard, your soda spills. You get ketchup on your fingers when you dip some fries. Crumbs and small bits of food fall on your car floor.
With kids riding your car, they will certainly eat candy, cookies, and other food. Giving them food is great–they’d be calm and relaxed even on a long trip, especially with videos to watch on a tablet or an overhead screen. But mind you, they will end up throwing lots of cookie crumbs and other bits and pieces of food on your car seats and floor.
If you go to the beach, sand will definitely get inside your car. If you have pets, then you will also need to clean up hair and other things that they may drop inside your car.
For those reasons and more, you need a good, trusty car vacuum to scoop out those dirt and keep your car clean and tidy. Read on to discover the best car vacuum reviews.
Car Vacuum Buying Tips
There are different types of car vacuum in the market. That’s probably the blessing (or curse, depending on how you look at it) of having a lot of options in the market–every company is just trying to differentiate their products. Most car vacuum can be considered handheld vacuums. This is in contrast to the big, bulky, noisy machine that you pay several quarters at some car wash. You can also prefer a cordless vacuum, but you will need to charge it from time to time to make sure it works every single time you use. Corded portable car vacuums are also an option since you can plug them into a socket inside your garage, or into the 12V outlet inside your car.
Here are several things you need to consider in buying a car vacuum:
Most handheld, portable vacuums have similar suction power. And this could be affected by the battery life of the unit. For basic suction of dirt, small pieces of food inside your car, a basic car vacuum should be alright. But if you want a more powerful vacuum, you will either get a corded one or rely on the vacuum provided by most car wash. Our suggestion is for you to check the reviews of the car vacuum units you intend to buy before actually buying it.
Check the battery life of the unit you want to buy. If the charge of your car vac gets depleted it will interrupt your cleaning work and you will end up waiting for about 3-6 hours just to get it charged to full power. Check the number of hours that a car vac holds as that will also be a good indication of how strong its suction capacity over time is going to be.
Your car’s size and interior
Smaller car vacs work great with smaller, compact cars. But if you have a full-size SUV or pick up that hauls the whole family, you might want to buy a bigger capacity vacuum, not the entry-level units of car vac brands. You should also consider the kind of carpet and mats inside your car. Some mats are more difficult to clean than others.
Design of the Car Vacuum
I’m talking about fancy designs or anything of that sort. Rather, you should consider the ergonomics of the unit. Can you have it suck the hard-to-reach areas in your car? Will you be able to get the small dirt or food items stuck in the seams of the seats? What about under the seats and the edges of your trunk? If you want to check the reach of the vacuum you’re considering to purchase, you might want to search for some videos on how people are using such a vacuum.
Does the car vacuum have detachable tools that will help you reach areas under the seat? Does it come with a brush for those softer fabrics? Do you need to use carpet bags? That will mean additional expense for you since you’ll need to buy those bags. Some car vacuums have detachable tanks that you could empty when it’s full.
How about the filter of the vacuum? You may need to replace from time to time to deal with potential allergens.
Best Car Vacuum Reviews
Here’s a list of 5 Car Vacuums that we recommend. This list is based on the reviews and ease of use generated by users of these products.
5. Shark Pet Perfect II Hand Vac
This car vac is also marketed toward pet owners. But it also works great in cleaning your car. You can choose three different models with varying levels of voltage capacity: 12V, 15.6 V and 18V. Among these, the 18-volt unit is the most powerful. And with a price difference of about $15, it is worth upgrading to this one.
Price: $45 – $65
- It has a motorized brush that can help clear away pet hair, dirt, dust, morsels of food, and other small items stuck on the floor of your car.
- It is light: it weighs about 4.2 pounds.
- It has a detachable and washable filter.
- Battery life is not that great and several customers have reported bad experience with the battery life of this unit. Before using this, make sure that you charge it fully, based on the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Average Customer Rating: 3.8 Out of 5 Stars (based on 1,800+ reviews)
4. Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum
Although this handheld vacuum is being marketed mainly to people with pets, it can be handy to keep in your trunk, especially if you have pets that travel with you in the car. This is a good entry-level vacuum that can handle most small items that get strewn inside your car.
Price: Around $45
- It has motorized foot that will suck pet hairs and other similar small items.
- The crevice tool that comes with the package will help you reach under the car sears.
- It also comes with an upholstery tool that can clean and protect your car seats.
- If you buy this unit, though, be aware that some users have commented that the battery life is a bit low.
Average Customer Rating: 4.6 out of 5 Stars (Based on 60+ Reviews)
3. Hoover Air 20 Volt Lithium Cordless Bagless Handheld Vacuum
This is a cool-looking handheld vacuum that enjoys a pretty good rating from its users, and it’s not very expensive. It is also VERY light at 2.1 pounds.
Price: Around $70
- It has a turbo mode for better suction of dirt and other items inside your car.
- The unit comes with a crevice tool and a reusable easy rinse filter.
- Please be aware that the battery needs to be charged for 9 hours! Some customers have complained that the extended life battery costs even more than this vacuum.
Average Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 Stars (based on 160+ reviews)
2. Car Vacuum Cleaner, Wietus(TM)12-Volt
The Wietus 12-volt car vacuum is inexpensive, gets a lot of good reviews on Amazon and this is the only corded vacuum cleaner in our list.
Price: Around $20
- It is easy to carry because of its compact and flexible design.
- It is safe to plug into your car, which provides 12V of power.
- It is very lightweight.
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (based on 290+ reviews)
1. Black & Decker CHV1410L 16V Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
Black & Decker is a trusted brand and their handheld vacuum is durable, reliable, and is reasonably priced.
Price: Around $60
- Great battery life, can hold a charge for as long as 18 months.
- It is also lightweight. Its dirt bowl is translucent, so you would know if it is dirty and in need of cleaning.
- Its rotating nozzle enables you to use it for different sucking situations.
- Very durable! Some users on Amazon have reported that they are still using this unit, 3 years after they bought it.
Average Customer Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (based on 7,600+ reviews)