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7 Best Car Vacuums – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / February 7, 2022 / 1 Comments

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Are you looking for a portable car vacuum cleaner to keep your vehicle clean and tidy? In this article, we 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.

But there are so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which is best, especially when they range in price from the surprsingly affordable to something that will make your wallet cry. So it is a matter of balancing the features you need with how much you are willing to pay.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
  2. Best Mid-Range: Makita XLC02R1B Compact Cordless Vacuum
  3. Best Budget: Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner
  4. Most Versatile: Dewalt 18/20 V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum
  5. Best Compact: Black + Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
  6. Best Wall Mounted: Bissell Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum
  7. Best Lightweight: Dyson V7 Car + Boat Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Car Vacuum Buying Advice

Best Overall: Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded, AC Power
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2.5 gal.
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 10 ft.
  • The High Points: Price, versatility, large holding capacity
  • The Low Points: Short power cord, inconsistent suction
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum AA255

The Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry is our best overall pick. It’s powerful and priced right. This little miniature shop vac can handle a broad spectrum of messes, from sawdust and sand to liquid-based spills. The suction system uses washable filters, one designed for dry pickups and one for slippery situations.

The vacuum features a heavy-duty handle, a smartly designed onboard tool storage setup, and a cord wrap, allowing the vac to go mobile with minimal effort. This efficient design also maximizes the vac’s holding capacity while keeping the overall footprint small and easy to store.

When combined, the vacuum’s flexible hose and power cord provide a 16-foot reach, though it’s best to consider incorporating an extension cord to allow additional range while working through a vehicle.

What Reviewers Say

Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum owners report the vac to have adequate suction power, though a few note that it’s not as powerful as some larger systems on the market. Most users seem to be satisfied with the vac’s ability to tackle most, if not all, of their automotive-related jobs. The tools included with the vac can make a difference when tackling certain tasks or types of debris.

The filters function well according to a few owners. However, it’s recommended by a few users to have a couple of extra filters on hand so the vac can still be used while filters are being washed and dried. It’s also mentioned more than once that it’s imperative to swap the cloth filter for the foam when picking up wet messes; missing this step can result in some serious damage to the vac.

The Armor All 2.5 Gallon Vac doesn’t stand well on its own, per a handful of reviews. The lightweight, compact build prevents the vacuum from being dragged during the cleaning process; owners note it’s best to use an extension cord and carry the vacuum while operating.

Features & Considerations

A few handy tools are included with the Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum. The crevice tool and car nozzle are especially helpful in an automotive application, and the 2-in-1 utility nozzle and detail brush can be whipped out for targeted tasks.

Not only does the Armor All 2.5 Gallon Vac suck, but it has a blower setting and nozzle too. Air can be harnessed in various capacities with this little shop vac, allowing users to branch out a bit while handling dust dispersal, quick dries, and other forceful functions.

It’s easy to keep this compact wet/dry vac handy for any messy situation, both in and out of the car. The vac can be mounted on a wall or kept in a cabinet for quick access when duty calls. It may be simpler to grab the Armor All 2.5 Gallon Vac for minor household messes than to bust out the standard vac.

Best Mid-Range: Makita XLC02R1B Compact Cordless Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.
  • Power Source: Cordless, Battery
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.6 L
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 13 mins.
  • The High Points: Weight, price, suction
  • The Low Points: Minimal attachments, battery runtime, durability

The versatile, sleek Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam mop heats water in 30 seconds and features swivel steering. An easy release allows users to switch to a handheld format for other applications. Numerous accessories and tools are included with the mop, some of which can be stored on board.

The water tank is easy to access and fill. Steam levels can be controlled with the one-touch digital buttons on the handle, and users can switch between settings during operation. The mop utilizes a steam-on-demand function that’s activated by a trigger on the handle. This means steam isn’t released unless the trigger is pulled.

The Bissell PowerFresh Slim knows no bounds and can attack grease, grime, and heavy-duty grout dirt in almost any household application. The handheld function can be used to target tight spots along baseboards and behind toilets and kitchen appliances.

Bissell PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop

PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop owners rave about the versatility of the mop. Floor surfaces sparkle, and grout can be efficiently cleaned with the use of the grout brush attachment. Some users also note that even just using the floor mop head gets grout noticeably cleaner.

Some reviewers mention that the handle is bulky and can get heavy and hard to hold during operation. The mop’s sleek body style also means there’s nowhere to store the power cord during use, so users find themselves constantly managing the cord location while cleaning.

The PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop can handle lots of different clean-up jobs, including grease and sticky messes, according to a few mop owners. Users report that the low setting is great for moisture-sensitive surfaces, though some note that higher levels of steam aren’t always adequate for their cleaning needs.

Features & Considerations

wall mount bracket comes with the PowerFresh Slim. Users can easily stow the mop and cord up and out of the way between uses. You can store some attachments on board. However, you may need additional storage space to contain everything that comes with this mop with full features.

The length of the extension cord is 25 feet, which will make it easy for you to move the mop around and get all the spots in your house.

When you convert it to the handheld steamer, you can use the PowerFresh Slim to target dirty grout, greasy ovens and grills, and other hard-to-clean grime. You can also clean and sanitize bathroom applications.

Attachments that come with the PowerFresh Slim assist users in attacking a range of cleaning jobs around the house. The flat scraper tool and the grout brush can grab and release microscopic dirt and debris from tight corners, and the clothing steamer attachment converts the mop into an entirely different machine.

The floor mop attachment can be used with or without the extension handle, so you can also easily clean countertops and other flat, above-the-floor spots.

The PowerFresh Slim Steam Mop comes with a washable mop pad, and additional pads are available for purchase. Scented, demineralized water is also offered.

We love this mop because it’s lightweight and easy to use. It’s perfect for tile floors because it targets the heaviest stains and can successfully clean the grout.

Best Budget: Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner

Floor Critics Rating (4.0):

  • Weight: 3.0 lbs.
  • Power Source: Cordless, Battery
  • Dustbin Capacity: NA
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 9.8 ft.
  • The High Points: Price
  • The Low Points: No additional power source options, weak suction at times
Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner
Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner 6000PA

The Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner is functional and portable, at a value price. This little lightweight system can go along for the ride.

The manufacturer specifically designed it for people to operate and store it within the confines of the car. The vac comes with some useful accessories and a carrying bag capable of containing the full spread.

It’s rare to find wet/dry cleaning capabilities within a compact hand vac at a low price. However, the Foxnovo vac can handle it.

The debris bin is sizable and semi-translucent so users can see just how much yuck it has sucked. When it comes times to dump the dirt, the process is simple and reasonably clean; a lid opens with the flip of a switch, releasing the contents from the vac.

The Foxnovo also comes with a washable stainless steel filter, which is durable and easy to clean.

What Reviewers Say

Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner owners like the compact vac’s ability to handle nearly every cleaning crisis in a car they’ve encountered. They have extracted pools of coffee, squirts of juice, and gritty, wet sand with minimal effort by Foxnovo operators.

The super-small size and carrying bag make it ideal for keeping on board, making it quick and easy to handle messes on the spot.

The compact accessories and a small flexible hose included with the Foxnovo can be extra helpful when cleaning tight applications, like between doors and seats, center consoles, and seat belt locks. Many users also note that keeping a couple of extra filters on hand is worth considering.

Features & Considerations

Filter maintenance is key when it comes to efficient performance. It’s best to rinse and air-dry the Foxnovo’s filter often, especially after encountering wet or dusty situations. The vacuum comes with a small brush-and-broom cleaning kit designed to aid in keeping the filter and dirt bin clear of debris.

The Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner is pretty quiet. The vac measures in at under 70db, meaning conversations don’t have to stop when the suction starts.

When operating the Foxnovo vac, it’s best to run the vehicle powering it. There can be noticeably less suction produced if the car is just in “accessory” mode without the motor running.

The debris bin may need to be emptied before it’s reached its max capacity when tufts of pet hair or moisture are involved, though.

Most Versatile: Dewalt 18/20V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Weight: Approx. 9.5 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded, AC / Cordless with Dewalt battery
  • Dustbin Capacity: 2.0 gal.
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 5 ft. / 15 mins.
  • The High Points: Large holding capacity, compact, power source options
  • The Low Points: Price, exhaust blower placement

The Dewalt 18/20V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum looks and carries like a toolbox, packing a powerful cleaning punch wherever it goes. The vac compact and versatile and can be powered by a battery or a standard electrical cord.

The vac’s tools are contained within the vac, making it simple to store and easy to carry (similar to a backpack vac). A flexible hose is also housed with the Dewalt 18/20V MAX vac’s boxed housing, eliminating the typical bulk that comes with standard shop vacs.

An XR Lithium Ion battery is included with the vacuum, though an external charger is not part of the vac package and would need to be purchased separately. This vac’s battery can be used with other Dewalt tools and are compatible with most of the manufacturer’s chargers so those who already dabble in Dewalt products can consider this compact vac an addition to their branded arsenal.

What Reviewers Say

Various Dewalt 18/20V MAX Cordless/Corded Wet/Dry vac owners report satisfactory suction capabilities, especially impressive when operating with a battery. The extraction power may not be as commercial-grade as some standard corded wet/dry vacs, but quite a few users note that the benefits of the portable vac outweigh its occasional hiccups with tough messes.

The vac’s exhaust port might not be in the best place, according to multiple user reviews. The blower placement causes some awkward positions at times, requiring operators to cross over the vac with the hose to avoid blowing targeted particles all over the room.

A couple of reviewers claim the Dewalt 18/20V Wet/Dry Vac to be quieter than other similarly functioning vacuums and prefer to use it for messes whenever possible due to its low impact and convenient design.

Features & Considerations

The Dewalt 18/20V Wet/Dry Vacuum comes with a few tools and attachments, including a crevice tool and a wide nozzle tool, which is stowed within the vac’s handle. The flexible hose, housed within the vac, is five feet long and 1-¼ inches in diameter. A variety of aftermarket attachments can be used with the hose.

A HEPA filter comes with the Dewalt 18/20V Wet/Dry Vac, keeping fine dust, allergens and dirt under wraps. Filters are washable and reusable, too. The debris bin holds up to two gallons of extracted grime and can easily be dumped and cleaned. Some jobs may require users to empty the bin prior to it reaching its maximum capacity.

Best Compact: Black + Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.7):

  • Weight: 3.8 lbs.
  • Power Source: Battery, AC charged
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.44 L
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 15 mins.
  • The High Points: Versatile, lightweight, three-stage filtration
  • The Low Points: Quality, durability, battery issues
Black + Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
Black + Decker BDH2000PL

The Black and Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum has the move to attack just about any application, regardless of its angle. The main nozzle rotates up to 200° and an onboard brush built into it adds some extra cleaning power in crevices, on upholstery, and for dusting dilemmas.

The vacuum’s bagless, three-stage filtration system handles fine particles and captures and contains dust. The size of the dust bin is average and can be popped open when it comes time to dispose of the collected debris.

Compact in size and weighing in at under four pounds, the MAX Lithium Pivot vac can go just about anywhere. This handsome vac can be stored and charged in a sleek docking station, so it looks good during the rejuicing process.

What Reviewers Say

MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum owners like the docking station’s small footprint and some users have mounted it to further benefit from the station’s sleek, low-profile design. The charging process seems simple, and it’s easy to move the whole system if needed.

There are multiple references to issues related to the dust bin and the process required to dump it. Some owners report difficulty with eliminating larger debris; a few have adapted and developed their own methods, one of which involves a chopstick. A couple of reviewers urge others to use caution when releasing the bin door, noting its fragility and potential to break.

You should clean the filter regularly. A few reviews mention a noticeable differences in suction after a good filter rinsing. One user noted that the vac’s motor seems to cycle at higher speeds when the filter requires attention.

The Black and Decker Pivot Vac may not be cut out for heavy-duty sand and dirt situations. There are a handful of reports about sand getting caught in the pivot mechanism, jamming it and rendering the full pivot function useless.

Features & Considerations

There aren’t accessories or tool attachments that come with the MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum; only the brush that is within the vac’s nozzle. The vac is designed to handle quick pick-up jobs, though its wide suction head may cause some struggles in certain tight applications such as between car seats and consoles.

The vacuum’s suction is powerful, but the clock is ticking from the moment you turn it on. A battery with a full charge should last about 15 minutes, and it’ll take 3-4 hours to recharge from an empty state.

Determining the proper time to dump the debris bin is easy; the container is translucent so users can see every last speck of extracted dirt. The bowl-shaped bin and filter can quickly be rinsed between dirt dumps, making it simple to promote proper suction.

Best Wall Mounted: Bissell Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.8):

  • Weight: 33.2 lbs.
  • Power Source: Corded, AC
  • Dustbin Capacity: 4 gal.
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 5 ft.
  • The High Points: Lots of attachments, easy to store, large dirt capacity
  • The Low Points: Price, can be bulky
Bissell Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum
Bissell Garage Pro 18P03

Lightweight vac operation merges with heavy-duty function with the Bissell Garage Pro Wall Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum. It’s not a typical handheld car vac; it’s like the vacuum at the car wash, but in your garage.

The Garage Pro Wall Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum comes with a lengthy 32-foot flexible hose and seven attachments and tools. This versatile vac is capable of extracting wet and dry debris, and when it comes time to push particles instead of pulling them, the vac’s blower function does the job.

A two-stage filtration system keeps fine debris contained in the bagless canister, and the filters are washable, reusable, and easily replaceable.

What Reviewers Say

Owners like the vacuum’s wall mounting system, reporting that it’s easy to mount and makes removing the canister simple. One gripe pertains to the power switch location, which is on the main unit that you mount. Users who are at maximum hose length away need to make a bit of a trek to power down the vac.

The extra-extensive vacuum hose allows some owners to cross over from the garage domain to household applications. Users can easily conquer nearby mudrooms, basement stairs, and other garage-adjacent spaces with the Garage Pro vac system, especially when incorporating the wand and floor attachment.

The car cleaning process is quick according to various Garage Pro Wall Mount operators. The vac can handle almost all messes, though some users report having issues with a few heavy-duty jobs. The overall consensus seems to be that the Garage Pro Wall Mount Vacuum is a good fit for residential car-cleaning applications and other garage jobs.

Features & Considerations

Some handy tools come with the Bissell Garage Pro vac system. The crevice tool, upholstery tool, and dusting brush are useful during a car detailing day, and you can combine the extension hoses with the multi-surface floor tool or the large area cleaning tool to broaden cleaning capabilities.

The vacuum’s holding capacity is four gallons, allowing the average user to complete multiple suction sessions before needing to dump the tank. An indicator light illuminates when the tank is full; the tank easily releases from the body of the vac when the time comes to ditch the dirt.

The amount of space needed to mount the vacuum, hose, and accessories is quite a bit larger than the vac itself. A storage bag comes with it and can holster the tools quite efficiently; however, the extension wands and 32 feet of flexible hose will require some extra wall space.

Best Basic: Dyson V7 Car + Boat Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Floor Critics Rating (4.4):

  • Weight: 3.77 lbs.
  • Power Source: Battery, AC or DC charged
  • Dustbin Capacity: 0.5 L
  • Cord Length/Battery Life: 30 mins.
  • The High Points: Lightweight, useful tools
  • The Low Points: Price, battery issues

Designed specifically for vehicle applications, the Dyson V7 Car and Boat Handheld Vacuum is portable, lightweight, and capable of handling an array of messy situations. The vac is compact, measuring just under 12-½” in length, and comes with a few tools that can assist in accessing tight spots or upholstery applications.

Power options are limitless with the Dyson V7; DC and AC chargers come with the vacuum, so a quick charge in the car or an overnight refueling at the wall outlet will get the vac up and running.

The Dyson V7 Car and Boat Cordless Handheld Vac features the manufacturer’s cyclonic suction technology, with a bagless design, washable filters, and an easy-dump dust bin.

What Reviewers Say

Owners report success when utilizing the V7 vacuum to remove pet hair from car upholstery. Other mention that the flexible mini-hose is useful in various car-related cleaning jobs. A couple of owners report noticing far less suction power when using the wide-nozzled tools.

There are a few reviews that cite issues with customer service and acquiring repair parts, and numerous users report having recurring trouble with the Dyson vac’s dust bin coming loose during operation.

The V7 Car and Boat Cordless Vac has two suction modes; Eco-mode and MAX. Owners note that the standard eco-mode seems to be best for automotive applications and find that they rarely harness the power of MAX mode unless encountered a seriously seedy situation.

Features & Considerations

Users can expect to enjoy up to 30 minutes of cleaning time on a fully charged battery. Modes of operation will determine exactly how much juice is consumed, and once tapped out, a battery’s complete recharge requires about four hours to be completed.

For the duration of the V7 Car and Boat vac operation, the “on” button needs to be manually held in position. This action can cause fatigue and at times, skin abrasions, so it might be helpful to allocate some special suction gloves for these special occasions.

The mini-motorized tool seems to be effective at capturing large debris and stubborn pet hair. The tool is easy to attach and operate, though it will drain the battery rapidly while in use.

Side by Side Comparison

ProductOur RatingWeightPower
Source
Dustbin
Capacity
Cord Length /
Battery Life
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum
View on Amazon –>
View on Houzz –>
Best Overall

Overall: 4.8
7 lbs.Corded, AC2.5 gal.10 ft.
Makita XLC02R1B Compact Cordless Vacuum
Makita XLC02R1B Compact
View on Amazon –>
View on Home Depot –>
Best Mid-Range

Overall: 4.7
2.7 lbs.Cordless, Battery0.6 L 13 mins.
Foxnovo Car Vacuum Cleaner
Shark Steam Pocket Mop
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Budget

Overall: 4.0
3.0 lbs.Cordless, BatteryNA9.8 ft.
Dewalt 18/20 V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum
Dewalt 18/20V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum
View on Amazon –>
View on Acme Tools –>
Most Versatile

Overall: 4.7
9.5 lbs.Corded, AC or
Cordless, Battery
2.0 gal.5 ft. / 15 mins.
Black + Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
Black + Decker MAX Lithium
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Compact

Overall: 4.7
3.8 lbs.Cordless, Battery0.44 L.15 mins.
Bissell Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum
Bissell Garage Pro
View on Bissell –>
View on Amazon –>
Best Wall Mounted

Overall: 4.8
33.2 lbs.Corded, AC4 gal.5 ft.
Dyson V7 Car + Boat Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Dyson V7 Car + Boat
View on Amazon –>
View on Walmart –>
Best Lightweight

Overall: 4.4
3.77 lbs.Cordless, Battery,
12-volt plugin or
AC charger
0.5 L30 mins.

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The Complete Car Vacuum Buyer’s Guide

What To Look For In A Car Vacuum

When it comes to zoning in on the best car vacuums, ease of use is key. Cleaning in close quarters requires compact efficiency and flexibility. A vac’s ability to conquer a case of ground french fries with a side of beach sand is important, as car messes are often unexpected, unrelenting, and many times, aided in their spreads by gravitational forces.

Equally important variables stem from cord lengths, hose reaches, attachments, and battery life, and maintenance is also a factor when it comes to determining the best vacuum for car suctioning sessions.

Weight and Portability

Flitting in and out of car crevices and behind headrests requires some flexibility. Beefy, bulky shop vacs can tackle some of the biggest messes, but can they delicately dust between a center console? A car vacuum’s overall dimensions, weight, and mobility are really the most important factors to consider when seeking a simple, effective suction solution.

Details matter when it comes to a vac’s ability to handle tight spaces; a handheld vac’s dust bin capacity should be adequate but not much larger than necessary in order to keep weight and mass down. Body style, cord locations, attachment holstering, and hose management can greatly impact a vac’s portability and weight displacement.

Dirt Containment and Capacity

Each of the vacs within the rankings has a specific design to operate as a bagless system, utilizing multiple filters to capture particles of all shapes and sizes and holding the rest in a bin.

Dustbin capacity will vary wildly depending on a vac’s body style, with canister and shop vac styles capable of containing sometimes quadruple the dirt of a handheld system. While added holding space allows users to extend the time between dump sessions, the extra bulk added to the vac’s design dramatically changes the form.

Car vacuums able to handle both wet and dry cleanups may require some added attention, requiring you to swap filters from cloth to foam to prevent motor damage during wet extractions.

Power Source

In the world of car vacuums, power source options range from standard AC cords to cordless, battery-powered function, with a few variations in between. Corded power means no time constraints, no recharging sessions, and maximized suction power. Limits, however, include cord range and maneuverability issues.

Cordless vacs utilize a battery to source their sucking functions, freeing users from short cords and having to navigate tight corners. Cleaning times are restricted by the amount of juice used during the vacuuming expedition and are often measured in minutes rather than hours.

To strike a balance between the two primary power sources, some vacs provide alternative power solutions, including dual functionality utilizing battery and corded options. Others zero in on their intended purpose, with 12-volt power cords designed to tap into a vehicle’s charging ports.

Attachment and Functions

Kids’ car seats, unintentionally fur-accented upholstery, and remnants of a muddy Monday morning can plague the once-pristine interior of the primary mode of transportation. Tools and attachments can team up to target specific circumstances to ease the efforts and return the car to prime driving and riding condition.

Additional features can sweeten the deal, like blower functions, adjustable suction settings, and filter and battery indicator lights.

Warranty

Before you go ahead and purchase a car vacuum, you need to ask yourself, “What’s the warranty?” The warranty period, as well as the coverage offered, is incredibly important because nobody wants to purchase a product that stops working properly and be stuck with it. The warranties on car vacuums range from 1-year warranties to 5-year warranties, and there is no discernible industry standard.

  • The Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum has a 2-year workmanship and material warranty for residential use while a 90-day limited warranty is applied to commercial usage.
  • The tool, battery, and charger of the Makita XLC02R1B Compact Cordless Vacuum is covered by a 3-year limited warranty.
  • The Dewalt 18/20 V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum comes with a 3-year warranty, covering workmanship and materials of the tool.
  • Black + Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum has a 2-year limited warranty as does Bissell’s Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum.
  • The Dyson V7 Car + Boat Cordless Handheld Vacuum is covered by an impressive 5-year warranty.
  • Unfortunately, the manufacturer behind the Foxnovo Portable 12V Vacuum Cleaner doesn’t publicly disclose the warranty period of this handheld vacuum cleaner.

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How We Ranked The Best Car Vacuums

We factored a limited number of variables into determining the top car vacuum selections. A vac’s ability to efficiently navigate and eradicate debris from a vehicle is the prime concern.

From there, we factored price, functionality, ease of use, and reports from consumers into the ranking process.

Price

A product’s price is the top factor when determining its spot on the rankings list. A vacuum with a low price that can deliver all of the necessary functions without a lot of extra accessories rises the top. From there, any uptick in price should come with useful features and functions to justify the jump.

Vacs with heavy-duty body styles and cordless power sources tend to reach toward the higher end of the price spectrum, though some of the benefits that come with these upgrades are worth the higher price.

Versatility

A vacuum’s ability to dabble in a few different dirt extraction situations can add a little bit of value to it. Attachments, extension wands, blower functions, and power source flexibility are a few of the factors that contribute to a vac’s overall versatility.

We have also considered hose lengths and diameters. A vac’s size also falls into the category.

Being able to handle various tasks can occasionally lead to a product becoming inefficient. When a feature seems to actually inhibit a vac’s ability to handle its primary task, we also considered that in the ranking process.

Cleaning Range (Battery Life/Cord Length)

One of the most important aspects of a vacuum’s function is how it draws its juice. In cordless vacs, battery life and charge times can greatly impact productivity, limiting sessions to under 30 minutes and sometimes half of that.

Being able to remove a vacuum’s battery to recharge it means that additional batteries can be waiting in the wings when you need to do a longer cleaning session.

Power cord lengths are also important, though a product’s design and primary purpose are primary factors used to determine the best reach for each vac. A vac that mounts on the wall doesn’t require much cord length since it’ll spend its days semi-permanently on a wall.

Shop vacuums also typically have relatively short cords. The intent of that is that users can use extension cords to customize a vac’s reach and to minimize bulk on the vacuum’s canister.

Consumer Reviews

To gain some insight into the real lives of car vacuum owners, it’s helpful to delve into product reviews. These best car vacuum consumer reports shine a light on a vac’s faults or valuable functions, and a few common points start to surface.

Users can offer first-hand information regarding a product’s strengths and weaknesses, maintenance needs, and parts and customer service satisfaction. These details are factored into the ranking process, especially when considering a product’s durability and effectiveness to handle the jobs for which it was designed.

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Where To Purchase The Best Car Vacuum Cleaner

Are you looking for the best hand vacuum for car cleaning? Or the most powerful car vacuum available? Do you want a corded vacuum cleaner or a cordless model? No matter what your needs are, you can find and purchase the best car vacuum cleaner for your needs right here on the world wide web.

All of the best car vacuums we introduced you to today can be purchased online via Amazon and also from stores listed below.

  • Amazon aside, the Black + Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum can be purchased from the Black+Decker website as well as at Walmart’s online and brick-and-mortar stores.
  • The Makita XLC02R1B Compact Cordless Vacuum can be bought on Makita Tools website and at Home Depot – both online and in store.
  • Dewalt 18/20 V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum can be purchased from various eCommerce platforms, the DeWalt website, or from Home Depot’s online store or retail outlets.
  • The Bissell Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Wet/Dry Vacuum can be bought from the Bissell website and from Costco, Walmart, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
  • You can purchase Dyson V7 Car + Boat Cordless Handheld Vacuum via the Dyson website, or from Walmart, Home Depot, or Target.
  • The Foxnovo Portable 12V Vacuum Cleaner is sold exclusively through Amazon.
  • The Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vacuum can be purchased at Walmart and a variety of auto shops such as Autozone.com.

Whether you prefer online shopping or heading to the store, you’ll find the perfect car vacuum for your needs in next to no time.

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How To Clean A Car Vacuum Cleaner

When shopping for a car carpet vacuum cleaner, you must also consider how easy it is to clean the tool once you’ve finished using it. Thankfully, car vacuum cleaners are incredibly easy to clean.

All you need to do is empty the bin of any dirt and debris after cleaning your car. You can either do this at the end of each use or after every couple of uses. Car vacuum cleaners are capable of getting into all nooks and crannies, so don’t be surprised if your bin is full mid-clean.

For corded car vacuums, it’s a good idea to wipe down the cord every now and again to prevent the build-up of dust or dirt particles.

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Pros and Cons Of Car Vacuum Cleaners

I’ve highlighted the pros and cons of the individual products but how do you know if this type of vacuum cleaner as a whole is right for your needs? As is the case with all products, car vacuum cleaners have their own unique pros and cons that set them apart from other types of vacuum cleaners. But do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Let’s find out.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Handheld design makes for easy carrying, cleaning, and storing
  • Incredibly portable and travel-friendly
  • Have a surprisingly powerful motor
  • Much more affordable than traditional vacuums
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Many can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter
  • Most can be used inside the home as well

Cons

  • Limited capacity means you’ll be emptying the bin more regularly
  • Suction strength is incomparable to that of a traditional vacuum cleaner

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Kinds Of Attachments Are Useful For A Car Vacuum?

Having multiple power source options is a pretty important mobile vac feature. The ability to switch between battery power or a 12-volt car cord over to the constant feed of a standard AC cord is pretty…empowering.

Crevice tools and dusting brushes can combine forces with a car vacuum’s suction power to remove all kinds of debris from nearly every interior application.

Extension wands can reach under seats and into the depths of trunks, and upholstery brushes can churn up stubborn pet hair from floor mats and other fluff covered surfaces.


What Kind Of Maintenance Is Required For A Car Vacuum?

Proper airflow and suction function connect to a bagless vac’s filtration system, so it’s imperative to clean and/or replace filters often. Most vacs feature reusable filters that can last for dozens of washes.

Once you rinse a filter, it should be left to air dry until you have eliminated all moisture. Additional filters are typically available for purchase.

You will need to empty dirt bins occasionally. At times, some debris may need a little help exiting the bin. You should also routinely check hoses and other air passages for compiling dust.


What Are Some Other Applications Where A Car Vacuum Can Be Used?

Vehicle vacs don’t have to stay in the car; there are tons of household chores that you can tackle with them too. You can efficiently clean boats, outdoor furniture and patio structures, furniture upholstery, and pet beds. Everyday spills are also no match for a lightweight, compact hand vac.

Most of the car vacuums on the market also make great stair vacuum assistants, capable of navigating their narrow nature with minimal bulk. Mini-motorized tools and upholstery attachments can be incorporated to carpeted surfaces or applications with lots of pet hair.


Why Should I Consider Adding A Car Vacuum If I Already Have A Shop Vacuum?

Shop vacs can do some serious damage to nasty spills and debris accumulations. With barrel-sized holding tanks and heavy-duty hoses, these high-powered vacs are capable of handling the worst of the worst — except when it comes to delicate dust particles, cookie crumbs packed into car door pockets, and that tight space where the windshield meets the dashboard.

Car vacuums can swoop in and secure the particles requiring extraction from even the creasiest of crevices. You can quickly stow them in a small car corner or shelf in the garage. With their mini dusting brushes, tiny flexible hoses, and total body weights often less than four pounds, these compact cleaning machines will have owners hoping for a mess.


What Is The Best Cordless Car Vacuum?

When looking for a car vacuum, cordless can be an important option, as you aren’t always close enough to a power outlet to make a corded option viable. But often with a cordless vacuum you sacrifice suction strength, and you can only use it for a minimal amount of time before needing to recharge the batteries.

So that is why I recommend the Makita XLC02R1B Compact Cordless Vacuum as the best cordless vacuum for cars.

It has a battery life of about 13 minutes, which may not sound like long, but is pretty good for full power suction from a small machine. It also only takes about 20 minutes to reach full charge, so you can vacuum, do some other car cleaning tasks, and then come back and finish vacuuming without much waiting.


What Is The Best Small Vacuum For A Car?

If you are looking for a small vacuum cleaner that you can carry with you in the car, I recommend the Foxnovo Portable 12V Vacuum Cleaner, which is specifically designed to be stored in your vehicle. It can even be plugged into your car to charge.

But, while this vacuum is compact and affordable, it still does an amazing job, with powerful suction and wet/dry options. So you aren’t sacrificing performance for portability.


Which vacuum cleaner is best for cleaning a car?

The Armor All 2.5 gallon wet/dry vacuum cleaner is the best overall vacuum for your car. It has powerful suction capacity, a large dirt tank, and nifty attachments to help you clean every nook and cranny of your car. The suction power is sufficient for cleaning up spills and tracked-in dirt in your car


What is the most powerful car vacuum?

The Dewalt 18/20 V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum is the most powerful car vacuum cleaner. Customer reviews rate it highly, and most users find the combination of powerful suction and lightweight portability appealing. As an added bonus, the Dewalt model has a battery and AC power unit capacity, ensuring that you can clean any time of the day or night.


Can I use a regular vacuum for my car?

Using a standard home vacuum cleaner may seem like a good idea, but it isn’t always the most flexible or functional option. Keep in mind that your home vacuum cleaner probably has a shorter cord and the attachments are designed to clean a home, not suck food, trash, and dirt from the seats and coarse carpet in your car. Getting into and underneath the seats will be difficult with the minimal reaching capacity of the home variety vacuum cleaner, so it is best to invest in a sturdy car vacuum cleaner.

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Final Thoughts

And there you have it: the lowdown on the best car vacuums the market has to offer you! These tools are incredibly handy – see what I did there? – to have lying around the car. They’re compact, convenient, and comfortable to use. You can now keep your car as clean as can be without paying hefty valet fees or having to lug your house vacuum cleaner out to the driveway, armed with extension power cables galore!

Car vacuum cleaners are also extremely versatile and can be used outside of your car anywhere from your patio to your home office – no spill, shatter, or splash is safe! Even the most powerful car vacuum will be inexpensive to purchase compared to traditional vacuums. Sealing the deal on car vacuum cleaners is that they’re easy to maintain and are even easier to clean.

I’ve filled you in on everything you need to keep in mind when purchasing a car vacuum. I’ve also presented you with 7 incredible options to pick from. All that’s left for you to do is pick the model that will best meet your needs. Which one will it be?

If you have any comments or first-hand experiences with car vacuums please post them below or share your pictures via our social media.

About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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1 thought on “7 Best Car Vacuums – 2022 Buying Guide”

  1. Power tools are really very much helpful when any homeowner wanna to renovate his or her house, garden or any other woodworking related tasks. But if any newbie took the basic tools for use then I think a proper guideline must be followed. so here need one thing that proper guideline step by step power tools user manual, For the safety and proper cutting the wood and using the power tools perfectly it’s very important to know how to use it. so I think writer must update this content.

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