Dirty Car? These Handheld Vacuums Can Suck Up Crumbs & Dirt From Every Nook & Cranny

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Car cleaning with handheld vacuum cleaner

No matter how clean you try to keep your car, it's only a matter of time before dirt, crumbs, and pet hair make their way into the crevices. If you're like me, you may have tried everything from lint rollers to your household vacuum to clean up, but honestly, only the best handheld vacuums for cars can do the trick. With a weight of fewer than 10 pounds, you can maneuver them easily under, over, and in between your seats. And while a cordless model will give you even more freedom, consider that you'll be trading off some suction power (measured in watts) for convenience.

Since there are a lot of small, oddly shaped spaces in your car, which a lot of cleaning tools don't have the reach for, you'll want an automotive handheld vacuum with a variety of attachments. When you're searching for a vacuum, be on the lookout for options that come with attachments of different sizes and shapes so you can tackle dirt from all angles.

It's also important to look for vacuums with lots of room to move. The last thing you want to do is keep unplugging while you move around your car. A cordless handheld vacuum is a good choice as long as it can hold a charge long enough to take care of your entire interior. Other great options are vacuums with extra-long cords or even one that plugs into your car.

In a hurry? These are the best handheld vacuums for cars:

  1. The Overall Best: HOTOR Car Vacuum
  2. The Most Powerful: Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum
  3. The Most Affordable: BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum
  4. The Best For Stubborn Pet Hair: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld

Not sure where to start? Here's a roundup of some great handheld vacuums for your car to help you narrow down your options.


The Overall Best, All Things Considered: HOTOR Car Vacuum

Not only is this handheld car vacuum super effective, but it's a great middle-of-the-road price point, too. This vacuum comes with a cord you can plug into your car's lighter, and at over 16 feet long, you can reach every inch of your car, from front to back, without issue. It also features a HEPA filtration system, and it comes with three detachable heads. Use the long hose to get beneath the seats, the brush for stuck-on pet hair, and the tube for sucking up crumbs in tight spots. It weighs 2.44 pounds, making it pretty squarely in the middle when you compare the weights of all the vacuums on this list. And while the 106-watt motor is not the most powerful you'll find in this roundup, the whole system comes with its own carrying bag and costs less than $40, making it a steal.

According to one reviewer: "I use it to vacuum the inside of my compact SUV, which is always getting dirty from daytrips and camping. No more need to run to the car wash to vacuum, and the car looks great!"


The Most Affordable: BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum

This lightweight handheld vacuum gets the job done without breaking the bank. It clocks in at 2.3 pounds (the lightest on this list) and comes with two separate attachments, including a crevice tool to get into tight spots and an upholstery brush. This battery-operated vacuum packs just 16 air watts of suction. But, for a cordless device under $30, this vacuum is still a great buy. Just be sure to keep your vacuum charging when not in use, as this portable handheld vacuum has one of the shorter battery lives of any on this list (Amazon reviewers say less than 30 minutes).

According to one reviewer: "LOVED this handheld vacuum. I was recommended to buy this from a friend and they were right. It's light but it works super well for cleaning out my car or touching up the room. Definitely a great choice if you need something for light cleanup!"


The Best For Stubborn Pet Hair: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ Cordless Handheld

Even the most stubborn hair can't withstand this cordless pet vacuum. It features two powerful cyclonic air streams for incredible suction (key when you need to pull up tufts of pet hair). It also comes with a detachable, self-cleaning brush specially designed to grab onto every last strand of pet hair in your upholstery, and its cordless design makes it easy to reach your pet's favorite spot to ride in the car. With 8- watts of power and an extra-large dust cup, this vacuum will be able to tackle tough jobs. It weighs 2.8 pounds, making it squarely in the middle in terms of size when compared to the other vacs here.

According to one reviewer: "This is a must have if you have pets. I have a long-hair cat that sheds like crazy. This works great and has different attachments that are very useful. The battery life is good. I vacuumed my whole car before needing to recharge it. It’s very easy to clean. It’s not too heavy and has good suction power."


The Most Powerful: Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum

If you're ready to splurge, this is one of the most powerful handheld vacuums you can buy, and it has all the bells and whistles you need to leave your car spotless. Not only does it have extremely powerful suction from a 1,400-watt motor, but it also has a 20-foot cord, which is a little more than the length of most cars from front to back. Thanks to a full 10 amps of power, you'll get rapid and continuous suction to get debris, dust, and small particles up from every nook and cranny in your car. And the wand is actually made of two pieces, so you can shorten it if you need to angle it to reach under the seats. Besides the two extension wands, you'll also get a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an upholstery nozzle. Bonus: when you're done cleaning your car, you can also use the blower port to blast leaves and other dirt out of your garage or off your driveway. This unit is a bit heavier than others on this list and weighs 9 pounds, however, the top handle makes it easy to lift and move. Also, keep in mind that this is not a bagless model, so you will need to factor in replacement costs for new dirtbags, however, there are five included in the box.

According to one reviewer: "This vacuum is the answer to my hand held vacuum needs. Stairs, car interior, and hard to reach places. Suction is powerful, and I recommend using the adjuster to lessen suction for area rugs. Lightweight for size. Love that it uses disposable bags"

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