The best car vacuum to buy for 2021

The Best Car Vacuum Cleaner to Buy for 2021 🇺🇸
  • Latest Update: Jan 29th, 2021

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Are you looking for a portable car vacuum cleaner to keep your vehicle clean and tidy? In this article, I have reviewed the seven best vacuum cleaners for your car. I have also put together a complete buying guide that includes everything you need to know, and more, about choosing the best car vacuums.

This is an essential piece of equipment for any driver who wants to avoid dirty dashboards, sticky surfaces, and sneeze-enduring upholstery. These cleaners are designed to be powerful and portable, so you get into every nook and cranny of your vehicle.

The Best Car Vacuum Cleaner to Buy for 2021

5 things to know before you buy a car vacuum

1. Do you need a wet/dry car vacuum cleaner, or just a dry one? A wet/dry vacuum allows you to pick up both wet mess spills and dry messes, but most vacuums are only approved for the latter.

2. Does your parking setup allow you to use a vacuum cleaner with a power cord, or do you need a portable cordless vac? Cordless vacuums may be more convenient, but they also require charging.

3. Weight — even small differences in weight add up after long cleaning sessions battling dirt and debris.

4. Do you have a pet that rides in your car? If so, they likely leave dander and dog hair, making them a major source of car mess. The HoLife corded vacuum cleaner and the Black and Decker 2000 series cordless are regularly ranked among the best vacuums for picking up pet hair.

5. Suction — the more suction power a vacuum has, the more effectively it cleans, especially on carpeted surfaces. The Dyson V11 has the highest suction of any cleaner on the list, which is especially impressive given that it’s a cordless handheld vac.

Make sure to answer all these questions before you buy anything, so you can then select which car vacuum cleaner is the best for your specific needs.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Car Vacuum

Regardless of whether you’re shopping for a corded or cordless car vacuum, you will want to pay attention to a vacuum’s power rating. But don’t be fooled into thinking the bigger the number, the better. Along with wattage, you will want to research its suction pressure, which is often measured in pascals.

You will also want to check whether the car vacuum you’re looking at comes with a variety of accessories. You may not need any of those accessories if you’re using the vacuum for general cleaning but having additional nozzles and brushes could prove handy if your car sees heavy use.

If you’re shopping for a cordless vacuum, pay close attention to its advertised battery life and weight. You might be surprised how uncomfortable it is to use a heavy handheld vacuum for an extended period of time. If you have a larger vehicle, smaller batteries may not allow you to completely clean your car on a single charge.

One aspect that’s often overlooked when shopping for a car vacuum is its tank capacity. For smaller, compact cars, you may not need a large canister. But if you own an SUV or a minivan, you’ll want to make sure you don’t have to constantly empty out the canister while vacuuming your car. Along the same lines, you may want to do some research to see how easy or difficult it is to clean a particular vacuum. You likely don’t want to purchase a vacuum that’s complicated to disassemble and maintain.

Prepare to be overwhelmed by the number of manufacturers who offer car vacuums. You’ll likely recognize familiar brands such as Black+Decker, Bissell, and Dyson, but they may not necessarily be the best for your needs. If you’re shopping for a shop vac, Armor All is a brand you likely recognize since the company specializes in car detailing products.

Once you’ve decided whether you want a corded, cordless, or shop vac, narrow down your product choices by budget and power. You will also want to pay close attention to the warranty that is offered when comparing vacuums. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a bit more for a product, knowing the company will support you if something breaks.

The last thing you should consider is how easy it is to find replacement parts for the vacuum you’re interested in. Can you purchase replacement filters easily? If you’re looking at a cordless vacuum, are replacement batteries expensive? Lithium-ion batteries tend to degrade over time, so eventually, you’ll have to purchase a replacement. You may also want to check if accessories can be purchased separately, in case you only need one specific item.

The app should send you alerts to notify you of certain things, such as when you go out of range. You should be able to set the types of alerts that you want to meet your needs. However, it should also be possible to mute or turn off the alerts when you need to.

How to Care for Your Car Vacuum

Making an investment into a car vacuum may not be cheap, so you’ll want to take a few steps to maintain and keep your vacuum clean. If your car vacuum has a filter, change it on a regular basis and more often if you’re using the vacuum frequently. Some filters can also be washed, so you’ll want to check your specific product to see if that’s an option.

Make sure to empty out your vacuum canister every time you’re done cleaning, even if it’s just a little amount of debris or dirt. This is especially important if you’re using a wet-dry vacuum, since leaving anything wet for a long period of time is generally a bad idea.

If you’re using an attachment that has a brush or roll, make sure you clean it on a regular basis. Over time, certain objects can get caught in the brush or roll, preventing it from spinning and performing as effectively as it should. If you’re using a vacuum with a hose attachment, make sure nothing is stuck inside the hose after each cleaning, so you don’t potentially cause a clog next time you use the vacuum.

How to Vacuum Your Car

Once you’ve chosen a car vacuum that suits your needs, it’s time to get cleaning. Vacuuming a car may sound like a straightforward task, but here are some tips to make sure you properly do the job.

  1. Before you start, open all the vehicle’s doors so it’s convenient to access every part of your interior. You’ll also be able pull the vacuum’s hose straight through the cabin instead of going around the car.
  2. Make sure to clear out trash and other large items prior to vacuuming. Not only will this make vacuuming easier, it ensures your vacuum won’t try to suction large debris. Keep an eye out for sharp objects or loose items such as strings or hair. While strings or hair shouldn’t clog or damage your vacuum, it could over time make a mess out of an attached brush or roll.
  3. Remove all your floor mats and trunk liners if you’re planning to also vacuum your trunk. Be careful as most modern vehicles have hooks or eyelets that are used to secure the floor mat in place.
  4. If your car vacuum came with a brush attachment, use that to vacuum. While suction alone does an adequate job, a brush attachment will help lift up dirt and debris stuck in your car’s carpet.
  5. Thoroughly vacuum the floorboards of your car and make multiple passes to ensure the carpet is free of debris. When vacuuming the front of the car, slide the driver and passenger’s seats as far back as possible so you can cover more surface area. Do the opposite when vacuuming the back of the car.
  6. If you have cloth seats, make sure to run the vacuum over the upholstery. Recline the front seats so you can get in between the seat and seat back.
  7. You can also run your vacuum along the dash to pick up any dust or debris, but be careful not to scratch it. If your dash is made of soft plastic, you may want to use a microfiber towel instead.
  8. For the floor mats that you removed earlier, shake them out first before vacuuming each mat one by one. Properly re-install each floor mat once they’ve been vacuumed.
  9. Lastly, don’t forget to vacuum the trunk. Since it is often the place where large objects are stored, you’ll want to maintain it from time to time.
  10. After you’re done cleaning your car, make sure to take a few minutes to clean your vacuum by emptying the canister and making sure nothing is stuck in the hose or brush attachments.

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