If you're anything like me, your car is your baby — not to mention one of the most significant investments you've ever made. That's why it's disheartening to find that it's seemingly a magnet for dust, sand, leaves, crumbs, and pet hair. Luckily, the best vacuums for car detailing provide a quick, convenient way to clean every inch of the interior, so your car looks and smells the way it did the day you bought it.
Essentially, there are three types of car vacuums, and all of them will get the job done; it's just a matter of which best suits your needs. The first type is very similar to your everyday house vacuum — meaning that it sucks up dirt and uses a standard wall plug — but it's optimized for cars because of its accessories, size, and durability. Sometimes it'll even mount on the wall of your garage and have an extra-long cord.
The second type of car vac plugs into your car's 12-volt DC adapter (aka the "cigarette lighter"). This one gets its power from the car itself. For that reason, these vacuums are typically a bit weaker, but you don't have to worry about stretching an extension cord all the way from the house.
Finally, you can easily clean your car with a rechargeable, handheld vacuum; just make sure it's well-suited for cars by checking for a powerful level of suction and the right attachments. If you're not sure which type to go for, check out these five vacuums; they're all optimized for auto interiors and come highly-reviewed.
1. The Best Overall Pick
ThisWorx for Car Vacuum
This car-powered vacuum is a best-seller because it's strong, portable, and comes with all the right attachments.
Power Source: Car's DC adapter
Comes With: An extension hose, brush attachment, crevice nozzle, additional HEPA filter, cleaning brush, and storage case.
Pros: With over 900 reviews and a number-one best-seller title, the ThisWorx car vacuum is easily one of the most popular options on Amazon. It's also one of the most reliable. This pick allows you to thoroughly clean every inch of your car thanks to its 16-foot power cord, three versatile attachments, wet or dry design, and 106-watt motor. Its handheld frame is especially lightweight and comes with a compact storage case that takes up minimal room in your trunk — and it even includes a replacement filter and cleaning brush.
Cons: Since it plugs into your car, its suction isn't as strong as a vacuum that uses a wall plug. Some reviewers also say it's pretty loud.
2. The Most Budget-Friendly Buy
EletecPro Handheld Car Vacuum
For just $20, you get cyclonic-power suction and five different attachments.
Power Source: Car's DC adapter
Comes With: An extension hose, high-speed scroll-cleaning nozzle, rubber flat brush, flat nozzle, crevice attachment, and storage case.
Pros: Car vacuums can cost you hundreds of dollars, but despite the $20 price tag, this EletecPro handheld model has a 4.3-star rating. It's surprisingly well-reviewed because it offers strong, cyclonic-power suction in a portable design, and its three nozzles can be combined for even more versatility. It even comes with a high-speed scroll-nozzle and a rubber flat brush, which makes it well-suited for pet hair, dust, dirt, and sand.
Cons: It's not the most durable pick and will probably need to be handled gently.
3. The Best For Hard-To-Reach Areas
BLACK+DECKER Flex Car Vacuum
This vacuum has a long hose and an even longer cord, so you can reach every inch of your interior.
Power Source: Car's DC adapter
Comes With: A brush attachment, crevice nozzle, standard attachment, and mesh storage bag.
Pros: If your car is filled with tons of little nooks and crannies, you don't want to be limited by the attachments or the cord length. The BLACK+DECKER Flex is specifically designed to reach in between seats and vents, as well as under pedals. It utilizes cyclonic action to spin dirt away from the filter, which helps it to retain its level of suction over time — and reviewers say the "cord is more than long enough to get where you need and the hose also adds extra length."
Cons: It's clunkier than other options, and some reviewers are dissatisfied with the car-powered suction.
4. The Best Rechargeable Wet-Dry Vac
DEWALT Cordless or Corded Wet-Dry Vac
Thanks to its lithium-ion battery, this portable vacuum can handle both wet and dry messes anywhere.
Power Source: Standard AC wall plug or lithium-ion battery pack
Comes With: A lithium-ion battery, extension wand, and brush attachment.
Pros: Wet-dry vacs are designed to clean up liquids as well as dirt and dust, which means this one comes in handy for spills, leaks, and pet accidents. The DEWALT wet-dry vac has enough power for work and household messes — but thanks to its rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it can be used with or without a cord for optimal portability. That (combined with its crush-resistant 5-foot hose, reusable filter, and 2-gallon capacity) makes this a good pick for your car.
Cons: It's not as powerful as a full-sized corded wet-vac. The cord is also on the short side.
5. The Most Powerful Option
Bissel Garage Pro Wall-Mounted Vacuum
This wall-mounted vacuum comes with virtually everything you need to get dealership-level detailing.
Power Source: Standard AC wall plug
Comes With: A 32-foot hose, two extension tools, two floor attachments, two crevice tools, a brush head, a corner attachment, a storage bag, and a wall-mounting kit.
Pros: Looking for dealership-level detailing? The Bissel Pro comes with just about every attachment and feature you can imagine to thoroughly clean your upholstery, vents, and floor liners — including a super long hose, a 4-gallon capacity tank, and a two-stage filtration system. It even picks up both wet or dry messes and has a setting that blows instead of sucks, so you can sweep those leaves right out of there. Finally, this pick mounts on the wall of your garage to keep it out of your way until you need it. Out of all the options, this one easily offers the most power.
Cons: It's much bulkier than other options and requires a wall plug.
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