If you’re like us, your car’s interior much be cluttered with week-old french fries and enough sand to build a miniature castle. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting in a clean car, but who wants to spend up to $20 a week on car interior cleaning? Instead of hiring some guy who’s likely going to steal whatever you have laying around in your car (including those old, moldy fries), you’re much better off investing in your own vacuum cleaner.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are extremely easy to maneuver inside of tight spaces, and they won’t weigh you down while you work. Keep reading if you’d like to learn more about the best cordless vacuum cleaner to use in your vehicle.
Top 5 Best Cordless Vacuums for Cars
5. BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum
When it comes to portable handheld vacuums, nothing is at the same league as the BLACK+DUSTER dustbuster. This is also one of the larger handheld vacuums we’ve seen, making it a great option for use in abnormally dirty cars. The dustbuster’s large suction inlet combined with strong suction provided by the sizable motor means this baby will pick every crumb dropped onto your car’s carpeting and seats.
The included dusting brush and crevice tool will help reach any areas where the wide mouthed suction inlet can’t. There is one area that could do with some improvement, namely the battery. Many customers have experienced trouble running the vacuum cleaner for longer than 10 minutes after charging for 6 hours. That being said, this is still one of the best handheld vacuums we’ve ever used, and we think it would make a great piece of equipment to use during your annual car-interior cleaning project.
4. Homasy Portable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Next is the Homasy, a sleek handheld vacuum cleaner that’s made for those who drive around with pets. This beast of a portable vacuum cleaner deliver sup to 6,000 Pa of suction pressure, picking up every piece of dust, sand, cigarette ash, and pet hair on your car seats and dashboard.
This unit comes with three handy attachments – a brush attachment for dust, a crevice tool for extracting dirt from between cushions, and a rubber jar attachment that can hold up to 100 mL of liquid. The 2,200-mAh batteries can hold a 30-minute charge after roughly 3-1/2 hours of sitting on the quick-charge dock. Best of all, the Homasy produces only about 75 decibels of noise so you won’t blow your eardrums out when working in enclosed spaces.
3. VacLife Cordless Hand Vacuum Cleaner
The VacLife looks a lot like the Homasy, and it performs identically in many regards. It comes with the same three attachments, but you can also attach the included extension hose to increase your reach without leaning too far down. To start this baby up, plug it into the charger to fill the 2,500-mAh batteries with up to 30 minutes of power.
On a single charge, this vacuum cleaner will provide more than enough time to clean your vehicle’s interior front to back. This cordless handheld vacuum comes with True HEPA Filters for trapping microscopic particles (as small as 0.3 microns) with an effectiveness of 99.97%. If you drive with a pet and/or like to keep your windows open while cruising the open road, the VacLife can be your go-to vacuum to keep your car seats, dashboard, and carpets and clean as possible.
2. Shark WANDVAC WV201
This Shark-made cordless vacuum cleaner is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Appearance-wise, it looks nothing like a handheld vacuum cleaner, and its charging dock is as sleek as the actual unit. Weighing in at only 1.4 pounds (dry weight), we don’t need to tell you that maneuvering this tool around the interior of your car couldn’t be easier.
The tapered nozzle is a nice feature that really allows you to zero in on minute dust collections. The Shark also comes with a crevice tool and a multi-surface tool that works exceptionally well picking up fallen pet hair on car seats. But just like most cordless portable vacuum cleaners, even some mentioned on our list, the Shark’s battery doesn’t hold much of a charge. After roughly 2-1/2 hours of charging, the Shark will only work for about 10 minutes at max before shutting down entirely.
1. MEG Rechargeable Handheld Car Vacuum
Last but definitely not least is the handheld vacuum cleaner from MEG. This vacuum is different from the rest as it actually comes with a charger that fits in the cigarette lighter socket in your vehicle. There’s also a standard plug if you feel like taking the unit indoors to do spot-cleaning on furniture.
The 4,800-Pa MEG is one of the most battery-efficient handheld vacuum cleaners available. After “only” 2-1/2 hours of charging, the MEG’s 2,600-mAh battery can supply up to 24 continuous minutes per charge. Be aware that even though the Meg is marketed as a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, the “wet” refers to slightly moist objects, so don’t use this on tiny pools of liquid in your car.
Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for Cars Buying Guide
We’ve looked at dozens of different cordless vacuum cleaner models and decided that the five mentioned above are by far the best of the best. If you’d like to scour the market on your own, feel free to use this brief buying guide as a reference in finding what works best for you.
Like with any vacuum cleaner, you should pay special attention to how much suction pressure the tool can provide. For obvious reasons, handheld vacuum cleaners are not nearly as powerful as uprights and sticks (both of which can be used to clean your car’s interior with the right cleaning attachments). The higher the Pa rating, the better.
Wet and Dry
Some cordless vacuum cleaners can pick up wet messes just as well as dry ones. This is mainly due to the rubber jar attachment that can hold onto minute quantities of liquid at a time. However, some manufacturers like to add the “wet cleaning” label to their vacs (see the MEG for instance) when in fact they can only handle slightly moist objects at best.
Some of the better models we’ve seen have a number of different cleaning attachments available either in the box or sold separately. In either case, you’ll want to make sure that the vacuum cleaner of your choice is compatible with the handiest cleaning tools like crevice tools and dust brushes. Some may even come with specialized attachments for pets (for you lovely pet owners out there).
The larger the dustbin, the longer you can work without needing to empty it out. This is more of a convenience-adding factor than anything, but it can be a pain in the butt having to dump the bin’s contents every so often before you’ve completed the vacuuming cycle.
A common problem among cordless vacuum cleaners – be it a handheld model or a stick vac – is their battery life. Do not expect more 30 minutes of runtime after charging the battery for more than 2 hours. Just be aware that some brands like to boast a longer runtime than the product can actually handle (see the Shark WV201).
Although you can technically use a cordless vacuum cleaner while it’s plugged in, you don’t always have this option. The Shark’s battery recharges on a stagnant dock and cannot be used while charging, whereas the MEG comes with a charger that plugs directly into your car’s 12V cigarette lighter socket, allowing you to work (albeit in a limited space) while filling the battery. Choose whichever works best for you.
Weight and Size
The final things to consider are the weight and overall size of the handheld vacuum cleaner. Portable vacs are made to be as compact and as lightweight as possible to give you maximum maneuverability without weighing you down. All of the models we’ve mentioned above are extremely lightweight (less than 3 pounds, dry weight) and can poke their noses into the tightest spots at awkward angles.
1. How long should I charge the vacuum cleaner?
Take a look at the paperwork that comes with your vacuum cleaner to fully understand how to use and maintain the unit. Many customers make the mistake of charging the vacuum’s batteries overnight or longer which can ruin the batteries’ ability to hold a charge for longer than 5 minutes over time. Generally speaking, you’ll want to charge the battery for up to 4 hours before turning it on for the first time, then after that follow the manufacturer’s suggested charging times carefully.
2. When do I need to replace the filter?
This depends entirely on the model and filter type. You can find the suggested replacement times for the filter in the manufacturer’s manual, and they’ll also let you know which filter to get. Replacement filters are relatively inexpensive and can be found easily online.
3. How loud are cordless handheld vacs?
Handheld vacuum cleaners are not nearly as loud as uprights, sticks, or canisters due to their smaller motor (and thus, weaker suction pressure). However, even the tiniest buzz can be a nuisance in cramped spaces like inside your car. Thankfully, the models we mentioned earlier are pretty quiet (not whisper-quiet) and shouldn’t blow your eardrums out of your skull when used in enclosed spaces.
Cordless vacuum cleaners are not at all hard to come by – something that makes choosing the best model more of a challenge than you might like. It becomes increasingly more difficult when you’re looking for a model for a specific purpose such as cleaning your car’s interior.
There are several considerations you need to make before settling on a particular model. You could take a look at our buying guide to find the best model at a local retailer, or you could select any of the top 5 best cordless vacuum cleaners we’ve provided you above.