So, you’re looking for the best portable car vacuum to keep the insides of your automobile clean and tidy. There are tons of brands out there and choosing one from several options may be overwhelming.
If that’s the case you’ve come to the right place! (Hey! That rhymes!). Even though there are a lot of choices and variants to consider, you must begin with the basics. The first thing you need to decide is if you’d like to go for an all-round corded vacuum cleaner (shop vac). Or would a nifty, ultracompact, handheld vacuum suit your needs? We favor the latter.
It is a fact that keeping a vehicle’s interior clean is a constant struggle. No matter how hard you try, food particles, dirt, and debris build up over time.
Here are our picks of the best portable vacuum cleaner for cars that will make your car’s interior clean and inviting. We’ve included a variety of options on this list but first, let’s reveal our top category recommendations for the best handheld car vacuums
The DEWALT DCV517B 20V MAX* Cordless 1/2 gal Wet/Dry Portable Vac is a great vacuum cleaner. Fitted with a high-efficiency-particulate-air (HEPA) air filter, it mechanically cleans the exhaust air. This filter removes fine dust particles at 0.3 microns.
This means it is also able to remove fungus spores. DEWALT’s HEPA filter is easy to wash with a simple tap water rinse.
It has two clean-up modes. One allows for debris removal with the front utility nozzle. The other uses an extendable heavy duty rubber hose.
This latch makes it easy to empty and clean. The DEWALT DCV517B is fitted with a large on/off switch. The switch is easy to access with one hand.
The device runs on 20V DEWALT battery packs. The battery packs provide power for a long run-time. The vacuum is perfect for trucks and RVs but it is also suitable for cars.
Dyson’s most intelligent and powerful cordless vacuum comes in three colors – Silver, Red, and Black. Its motor spins at up to 125,000 RPM together with a 14-cyclone mechanism that creates powerful suction.
This makes it good for any purpose but the best for automobiles as it provides twice the suction of any other cordless car vacuum cleaners. It can remove and trap all dust and allergens including fungus particles and bacteria.
It can intelligently optimize suction and run time depending on surfaces. Its profiled cleaning heads and slim design make it easy to clean low and awkward spaces.
It comes with 5 Dyson engineered cleaning heads, including one to remove pet hair from upholstery and tight spaces. It is easy to convert into a smart handheld vacuum for cleaning cars.
The cleaning attachments include a mini-motorized tool, crevice tool, stubborn dirt brush, soft dusting brush, as well as a combination tool.
Black+Decker has been a leading innovative brand, which sets the standard for power tools, cleaning products, kitchen accessories, automotive care, lighting products, as well as other home improvement products.
Also called “12V Flexi” the BLACK+DECKER Flex Car Vacuum efficiently cleans vehicle dust, dirt, and debris. Its unique, integrated 4ft hose can reach and vacuum hard to reach areas.
It’s simple to reach underneath and in between the crevices of car seats. The only corded vacuum on our list is powered by a 12V adapter.
The adapter fits into a cigarette lighter socket available in all vehicles. The BLACK+DECKER Flex Car Vacuum comes with a patented ‘motor in the filter’ technology.
This allows the 12V Flexi handheld vacuum to be ultra-compact. It also produces a cyclonic action that spins dirt away from the filter. By doing so it maintains a steady high suction power.
Manufactured by Shenzhen Great Dragon Technology Co., Ltd., the VacLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum offers a lifetime warranty.
It comes with 1 Lithium-ion battery. This portable hand vacuum has a 75W strong DC motor for powerful suction. Its performance is backed by amazing customer service from the manufacturer.
The VacLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum is good for picking up any kind of debris including hair or heavy dust. This affordable cordless handheld vacuum cleaner is equipped with 3 different nozzles to meet all your car cleaning needs.
This portable device can vacuum clean hard-to-reach areas such as crevices and stitch lines on seats inside of your car. A super bright LED light ensures that you clean in bright light. Lithium batteries take 3 to 4 hours to charge and provide a 30-minute runtime.
Real value-for-money comes from HEPA filters, which are washable and more durable than other models in this price range. A 19-oz dust cup is detachable and good for simple trash dumping
This hand vac will provide you with everything you want to find in a portable cordless vacuum. Packed with a superb lithium-ion battery, it gives an outstanding performance. Long battery life holds its charge for 18 months.
It is sleek and lightweight but does not compromise on suction power. Its dust-bowl capacity is 20.6 oz. The 15.2W vacuum only works on only 16V DC.
It offers Black+Decker’s great cyclonic action to keep the filter clean, providing consistent fade-free suction without clogging.
You will be able to see dust collecting because it has a transparent dust collector. This way you will be able to clean it, in time, every time. Its rotating slim nozzle allows for a variety of applications.
The smart-charger with this vacuum protects batteries against over-charging which increases their service life. The 2-year limited warranty is the icing on the cake.
This is our third black+decker cordless vacuum cleaner on this list. And why not? Black+Decker is the inventor of the first portable electric drill with a pistol grip and trigger switch. Since then, Black+Decker has evolved.
Starting from a small machine shop in Maryland to a global manufacturing and marketing powerhouse. It has a broad line of tools and accessories used in and around the house as well as in commercial settings. When you need to get work done, you can trust Black+Decker products to deliver great results in an economical package.
The HHVK320J10 model eliminates dirt that’s out of reach for normal handheld vacuums. Nothing is therefore out of sight for the HHVK320J10. You can extend your reach with the longest crevice tool ever built by the company.
All with the touch of a single button. The HHVK320J10 vacuum cleaner features an extra-large 750 ml dust-bin and its battery offers up to 90 percent more runtime. The battery indicator lets you monitor the charge to keep you moving.
The winner of the iF Product Design Award 2019, the Shark WV201 is an elegant and effective handheld vacuum. It is a maneuverable, lightweight, portable vacuum cleaner for cars weighing in at about less than 1.5 pounds. But don’t take its weight as an indicator of its power. It is fitted with a high power 115W suction mechanism. Great suction is delivered by a high-efficiency brushless motor. The Shark WV201 WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum’s dust cup capacity is 0.08 quarts, which is adequate for its size and battery capacity.
Its thin tapered nozzle can suck up pet hair, large debris as well as fine dust in the tightest crevices of your car’s upholstery. You can clean all surfaces in your car using the duster crevice tool or the multi-surface tool for upholstery and carpets. The Shark WV201 WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum’s cleaning path width is 3.6 inches, which makes it ideal for cleaning car consoles. Its lithium-ion battery is powered by an intelligent charging dock. Between cleanings, you may place your vacuum in the charging dock for fast recharging.
Roomie TEC has over 19 years of experience in the vacuum cleaner industry. It has sold over 32 million units and is at the moment supplying over 2 million units per year. The cordless vacuum cleaner we have selected for you comes with a high-power 2200mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery and an upright charging base. The 2200mAh lithium battery gives up to 23 minutes of power from a single charge.
Rated at 100W this 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum can convert from a compact handheld vacuum to an upright stick vacuum. All at the touch of a button. It is built to tackle stubborn debris and dust on soft furnishings and car interiors. The handheld vacuum provides powerful suction with 2 high power motors. ROOMIE TEC “Vincent” Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is fitted with 6 bright LED lights to help in spotting dirt under your car seats.
This cordless vacuum comes with a multi-function crevice nozzle and a 4-Stage Cyclone Filtration System to clean out the hardest-to-reach surfaces. It runs in ECO Mode which is good for cleaning hard surfaces. While in Turbo Mode, the same handheld vacuum removes dirt, pet hair, and litter from carpets. The charging base provides overcharge protection to save the battery from damage.
The Dyson V7 Trigger Cord-Free Handheld Vacuum Cleaner comes with a 550ml dust capture capacity.
It has the strongest suction of any other cordless handheld vacuum. It comes with extra tools for varied cleaning tasks.
These tools include a mini motorized tool, a combination tool, as well as a crevice tool. The mini motorized tool removes pet hair and stubborn dirt.
The combination tool is used to suck up fine dust from the car. The crevice tool, as the name suggests, is used to clean debris from tight spaces and upholstery seams.
The small but mighty Worx WX030L 20V Power-Share Portable Vacuum Cleaner provides lots of suction power for its weight-class. Due to its compact design, it is easy to maneuver and store. It will fit just fine in your car’s trunk.
The retractable, expandable hose provides additional versatility and cleaning radius. The vacuum comes with an attachable crevice nozzle and a brush to remove hard dirt, debris, and lint from rough surfaces (carpets) and car seats. The Worx WX030L portable vacuum cleaner is fitted with triple HEPA filters. This disallows any dirt from getting cycling back into the air from its exhaust. These filters are washable for repeated usage without replacement.
20V Cordless Portable Vacuum is provided with a 2.0Ah 20V Battery and a 2A Charger which can be used with any WORX tool in the PowerShare family. On maximum power (MAX) mode it will run for about 10 minutes. At the same time, its motors can run for up to 20 minutes or more in normal mode. Its motors generate 10 kPa of suction pressure, which is phenomenal for a portable vacuum cleaner. To give you a comparison, a full-scale shop vacuum generates up to 20 kPa.
Following are some important tips on using a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner in your car:
Remove trash and other large or sharp objects by hand: A vacuum cleaner can get clogged or suffer from physical damage by large or sharp objects. A blockage in the connecting hose can also damage the suction motor. You should remove whatever you can reach for by hand. This includes any coins, pen caps, pins, bottle caps, toothpicks and also keys, etc.
Remove car accessories: To completely clean your car you must also remove accessories. These could include floor mats, cushions, dashboard covers, and the like. You need to be able to access all areas of your vehicle for a thorough vacuum cleaning. Separately, clean any accessories you remove.
Open your vehicle’s doors: Opening your vehicle’s door would allow you much more room to move about and reach every spot. In particular, you will be able to pick up the dust and dirt collected on the trims and doorways. Your car will have better air circulation to get rid of any dust that flies off.
Follow a pattern while vacuum-cleaning: You need to establish a set pattern. This would help in ensuring that you don’t miss anything. Start from the front driver’s seat, then move on to the console and dashboard. The front passenger seat area can follow. Clean both the door pockets and under the front seats before finally moving to the back seats and rear dashboard. The sequence you choose to follow is up to you. But make a regime out of it.
One that you will remember through practice. Make sure you vacuum in both directions (North/South or East/West) making at least two passes. The rate at which you can pick up dirt will depend on the suction power of your cordless vacuum cleaner. You will have to adjust the speed of your passes to it.
Always use the right attachment: For fibrous surfaces like carpets, it’s best if you use a brush attachment to loosen and suck up dirt as you pass over it. For hard-to-reach areas and along seams and corners, use the thin crevice tool attachment. This attachment may also be used to vacuum underneath the pedals, air vents, floorboards, seat track rails, and upholstery seams. Check extensions and accessories for dust collection after prolonged use. You should clean them out regularly.
Regularly empty the dirt containment bin: This is necessary to avoid loss of suction power. Most cordless, handheld car vacuum cleaner for cars do not have a large containment bin. It’s best if you develop a habit of cleaning it out every time it is about half full. This will allow your device to operate at its peak performance and also extend its service life.
Regularly vacuum-clean your vehicle: You will be the best judge of how quickly your car’s interior gets dirty. If you have kids or pets or if you drive about in mud or dusty conditions there is a good chance it needs to be cleaned out often. Don’t wait too long to vacuum clean. Otherwise, dirt and debris would build-up. It will get lodged within the upholstery and carpet in your car. This may then require detailed professional help, which may be expensive.
Regularly clean or wash the filters: Although not necessary each time you use a vacuum cleaner, it is good that you clean or wash the dust filters. Wear a dust mask while you do this and strictly follow the instructions in the device user manual. You must let the filter dry out after washing and before reinstalling it. If it is not possible to clean the filters you may need to replace them after you notice a consistent decrease in suction power.
The suction power of a cordless vacuum depends on the wattage and design of the motor, as well as the battery specifications. It’s important to note that the best cordless vacuum for cars might not be the one with the largest motor.
Rather, it is one that balances suction power with battery capacity. After all, what would you do with a handheld vacuum that runs out of power halfway through cleaning your car?
Ability to vary suction power
The best handheld car vacuums have at least two suction pressure settings to conserve battery power.
A handheld vacuum should be built using sturdy materials. But at the same time, it should be lightweight and easy to maneuver
Handheld vacuums have a smaller tank capacity than shop vacs. It is cumbersome if not impossible to reach tight places in the car if the dust tank is large and bulky. If your car is extremely messy then you would need to clean out the tank more than once in one cleaning run. The best handheld car vacuums have at least a 500ml capacity
Proper accessories are a must-have for vacuum cleaners. You would need to reach into tight spaces, clean inside corners, and nooks.
When it comes to seats you will clean under them as well as their upholstery seats and along the seams. Make sure that the handheld vacuum you choose is provided with the necessary attachments.
Having multiple power source options is a neat feature to look for. A handheld car vacuum cleaner that can run off a battery, as well as a 12-volt car cigarette lighter or even a cord connecting it directly to AC power, is great.
HEPA filters are necessary to clean the exhaust air. They can trap fungus spores, allergens, and certain other particles.
There should be a service warranty by the manufacturer in case the cordless vacuum develops a critical issue.
Cleaning out the machine should be easy and prevent dust from spreading around again after cleaning. Filters should be washable also
We hope to have provided you with a detailed review and buying guide on the best portable handheld and cord-free vacuum cleaners for vehicles. These are available at the moment, on Amazon.
As always, we will keep coming back to our recommendations and update our list based on what’s available in the marketplace. In doing so, we will also keep you informed on the latest developments in car vacuum cleaners.
We hope to help you in saving your time and money. We can assure you that getting your handheld vacuum is a great deal better than using an expensive vacuum service from professionals. This is even more true for those with kids and pets. So go ahead! Make the call!
Please share if you have any comments on or experiences with car vacuums. We will post them here or on our social media.