A dirty car is not a pleasant sight for the car owner, passengers, or anyone else who gets in your car. The sight and smell of dust, debris, pet hair, bread crumbs, and other foreign particles can make your car less appealing.
It may look like a daunting challenge to clean your car, but things get super easy with the right handheld car vacuum. A handheld vacuum can reach places where your standard household vacuum can’t. Moreover, they have the added luxury of portability and on-the-spot availability to deal with messes right away.
Handheld vacuums are lightweight, making them ideal for a car’s tight spots and odd angles. With the right set of attachments, you can use a handheld machine to clean seats and between them, the dashboard, under the seat, and the car trunk.
Buying a handheld car vacuum may look like buying your favorite peanut butter, but it involves critically evaluating each and every feature. The buying spree gets even tougher with 100s of models available in the market.
This is where I come in; I have researched countless handheld car vacuums and analyzed user reviews to gather first-hand information for readers. My review of the best handheld car vacuums also includes a buyer’s guide and FAQ section to make the decision easier and more accurate for you.
Let’s check out the 5 best handheld car vacuums!
The 5 Best Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaners
1. BLACK+DECKER Dust Buster Advanced Clean Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner (CHV1410L)
- Power Source: Batteries
- Type of Filter: Reusable
- Dimensions: 17.25 x 5.5 x 7.75 inches
- Weight: 2.6 pounds
Review: Black+Decker’s handheld vacuum cleaner for cars is one of the best machines you will find on the market. The unit is the first choice of millions of car owners across the US.
The vacuum’s multipurpose application nature makes it a great fit for your cars, stairs, carpets, and other high traffic areas. Its lightweight and ergonomic design help you clean the tight spots and hard-to-reach areas in your car.
One thing I like about this vacuum cleaner is its 180-degrees rotating nozzle. This feature allows the vacuum tip to reach tight spots and fit into narrow spots like between the car seats, storage compartments, under the seats, and below the dashboard.
The included attachments, such as a crevice tool and flip-up brush, increase the ease of usability and convenience while cleaning between car seats and upholstery. The machine uses cyclonic action to push the debris away from the filter and supplies a strong and consistent suction force.
The dust storage bin is translucent, easy to view, and empty. The battery recharges in 4-5 hours and lasts for 20-30 minutes, depending on the cleaning load.
User Feedback: Buyers are happy about their purchase. They mention that this is the best cordless battery-operated vacuum cleaner they have ever used. The common praises include ergonomic design, lightweight operation, and 180-degree rotation.
There are not many negative reviews about the unit. The only issue some buyers mention is a loud operational noise.
- Strong charging base
- Ergonomic design
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Small dust container
2. THISWORX Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner
- Power Source: 12V DC
- Type of Filter: Paper filter
- Suction Power: 106W
- Dimensions: 13.4 x 4 x 4.3 inches
- Weight: 2.4 ounces
Review: If you have a big car and your cleaning needs are more than an average car owner, then this is a great machine for you. The 12V DC-powered handheld vacuum cleaner is a compact and lightweight machine that takes power from your car’s cigarette lighter to ensure that you continue with prolonged cleaning sessions.
A handheld vacuum is a specialist tool for detailing your car. Let it be sand, pet, dust, debris, or crumbs; Thisworkx cleaner does wonders to remove all the unwanted particles from your car.
The machine makes use of a 106W powerful motor to ensure that you get spotless cleaning with its crevice or brush tool. Moreover, an included spare filter, a carry bag, and a filter cleaning brush offer excellent value for your money.
One thing I like about this vacuum is a 16 feet long power cord. It provides the required slack that you need to reach all the car areas without any hassles.
Overall, it is a good little car vacuum cleaner for big and small cars.
User Feedback: Buyers are happy with their purchase and mention the ease of using this machine for wet applications. They like its long cord and powerful suction compared to battery-operated machines that don’t last long to clean a big car.
The only problem with this machine is a loud running noise. It sometimes gets very loud when exposed to a big cleaning load or when the filter is not cleaned before cleaning.
- Good cord length
- Included carry bag
- HEPA filter
- It gets loud at times
3. VACLIFE Handheld Car Vacuum
- Power Source: Batteries
- Type of Filter: Washable
- Dimensions: 17.2 x 5.59 x 5.2 inches
- Weight: 2.48 pounds
Review: Vaclife’s 706 handheld car vacuum is another good quality battery-operated vacuum cleaner to clean your car interior. The machine comes with all the attachments you need to clean your car and make it look new again.
Like other vacuum cleaners, the cordless machine allows you to enjoy convenient mobility and easy reach in tight spots. The included attachments like a crevice tool and brush with a hose make it super easy to clean your car.
One thing I like about this vacuum is that it uses 3 lithium-ion batteries compared to a single battery that offers more suction power. However, its runtime is still a concern like other battery-operated machines. You get only 20 minutes of cleaning after recharging the unit for 4-5 hours.
Another mentionable feature is the double LED light that makes it easier to clean at night. It also helps get a better cleaning because the cleaning surface is illuminated, and you don’t skip any dust particles on your way.
It comes with a charging adapter, so you don’t need to arrange for a spare USB charger to charge the machine. These features make the cleaner one of the best cordless handheld vacuum cleaners.
User Feedback: Vaclife’s vacuum cleaner is loved by buyers because of its LEDs and compact design. Many Uber drivers mention that it is a great machine for instant cleanup. Some pet parents recommend this machine for removing dander from the car.
The biggest complaint is low battery timing. The unit fails to last more than 15 minutes.
- Compact design
- Decent suction power
- Ergonomic design
- Short battery timing
4. BISSELL Clean View Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum, 47R51
- Power Source: AC power
- Type of Filter: Reusable
- Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 8 inches
- Weight: 4.65 pounds
Review: So, here it is; the best handheld car vacuum for big cars, RVs, camper vans with maximum power and usability. This machine is best known for its all-in-one cleaning service and large dust capacity.
The dust container has a size of 0.78 liters that is good enough for cleaning a large vehicle in one go. Moreover, it doesn’t run on your car’s or lithium-ion batteries, so you don’t need to worry about spending more time on your car for better cleaning.
One thing I like about this machine is its long power cord. The 18 feet long cord minimizes the use of an extension cord. All you need is a power outlet near your car, and most of the garages have a switch nearby.
One thing that might be a hassle for some users is its irregular handle design. The upward handle may seem like a hassle for some buyers, but it won’t matter much because you get a hose and all the tools for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.
Another thing that might be a concern for you is its weight. The machine weighs almost double compared to a handheld battery-operated or 12V DC vacuum cleaner. I guess this is the price you pay for using a powerful vacuum cleaner.
Its flexible rubber nozzle is great for cleaning car upholstery and carpets. The included tools and attachments make this vacuum an all-rounder machine for your cleaning needs.
User Feedback: There is hardly any complaint about this machine. The only problem is that it is slightly heavy than most people prefer. However, users ignore this because they get effortless and immaculate cleaning with this cleaner.
- Powerful suction
- Long power cord
- Lots of attachments
- Slightly heavy
5. BLACK+DECKER 20V Handheld Vacuum for Car Cleaning
- Power Source: Batteries
- Type of Filter: Reusable
- Dimensions: 18 x 6.88 x 6.75 inches
- Weight: 3 pounds
Review: This is the second handheld car vacuum from the house of Black+Decker. This shows that Black+Decker is a well-reputed brand that offers vacuum cleaners for various people.
This vacuum cleaner is best defined by its irregular shape. Surprisingly, its irregular shape gives the machine an edge over other models. The 200-degree pivoting nozzle gives you the freedom to take your vacuum cleaner to places where an ordinary vacuum won’t go.
Another great feature of this vacuum cleaner is the charging base. The wall-mountable or tabletop charging base is a great way to free you from the hassle of managing charging cables. It comes with a crevice tool and a hose to make cleaning easy.
The dust can capacity is 15 oz., and the dirt bowl and the filter can be cleaned with tap water. The dirt bowl comes with a door to dispose of debris and waste during a cleaning session.
The vacuum comes with a 20V lithium-ion battery that requires 3-4 hours for a full recharge, and it lasts for 20 minutes, making it ideal for cleaning small cars. Lithium-ion batteries are better than NiCad batteries as they last longer.
User Feedback: Buyers like this machine because of its large pivoting angle and charging base. The charging base is best for buyers who don’t like to deal with charging cables. The other common praises include efficient cleaning with decent suction power.
The major complaint is the high price, but it looks nothing compared to the features you get after buying this model.
- Charging bases
- The flip-up brush makes cleaning easy
- Pivot head
- Limited battery life
5 Best Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaners Compared
A handheld car vacuum is a complete solution for cleaning your car, and you can use it for other applications as well. However, you won’t get the most out of it as per your needs if you don’t make a critically evaluated purchase decision.
I have listed all the important factors you need to check before buying your next handheld car vacuum cleaner. A bird’s eye view will help you remove all doubts. Check out the faatures below!
Handheld vacuums run on batteries, AC power, or your car’s 12V DC outlet (cigarette lighter). Both the models have the same suction power and features, but the main difference is the running time.
Battery-operated car handheld vacuums have a limited cleaning time. They need to be charged before use. A standard model takes around 4-5 hours for a full recharge, lasting for 20-30 minutes. These vacuums are best for small cars and people who drive Uber or taxis because they can help you clean the car in between rides without the hassle of connecting the machine to your car’s lighter.
Corded models offer longer runtimes and are best for big cars. However, they involve the hassle of handling wires and take slightly longer when you want an immediate cleanup.
AC-powered handheld vacuums are best for maximum power and large cars. They are recommended for users who have to deal with a lot of sand, pet hair, debris, and pebbles in their cars.
Type of Filter
Most handheld vacuums come with a HEPA filter. It is best for removing allergy-causing germs and bacteria from your car. Make sure the cleaner you are buying has a reusable filter as it lasts longer and can be used many times before you have to replace it.
The cleaner’s suction power will impact its cleaning ability greatly. The rule here is simple, the larger the cleaning power, the better results. When it comes to handheld vacuums, the cleaning power of 5000 Pa or above is considered perfect by car cleaners.
Car Size and Interior
The size of your car and the type of interior will also impact your purchase decision.
Let’s discuss the car size first. A big car requires more time to clean than a small car. Battery-operated units will not provide the required backup time, and you will be stuck with a dead cleaner halfway during the cleaning session. So, it is better to go with a corded vacuum cleaner.
You must consider the type of interior in your car before buying a handheld car vacuum. You will need a soft brush with medium suction power if you have leather seats. High suction power is required for effective cleanup for fabric seats and carpets.
Attachments and Tools
The vacuum you are buying must have at least two attachments; a crevice tool and a brush attachment. Any additional attachment or hose is like icing on the top.
Design and Weight
The unit’s weight is an important factor to consider while buying a handheld car vacuum. The unit must be lightweight to support hassle-free operation. What’s the point of a stressed arm if you use a vacuum cleaner? If you have to tolerate pains after a machinated cleanup, isn’t it better to do the cleanup with your hands? No, it isn’t. You can’t get the same cleaning quality with manual clean-up as you would with a vacuum.
The handle design must be ergonomic and user-friendly. It must facilitate turning the machine at odd angles and cleaning under the seats and hard-to-reach areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best handheld car vacuum cleaner?
BLACK+DECKER Dust Buster Advanced Clean Vacuum (CHV1410L) is the best battery-operated car vacuum, THISWORX Car Vacuum Cleaner is the best 12V DC car lighter, and Bissell Clean view Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum 47R51 is the best AC powered vacuum cleaner for cars.
Can I use car vacuums for other applications?
Yes. You can use a car vacuum for other applications like cleaning carpets, stairs, and cupboards. However, you must not overload the machine and use it for lightweight cleaning.
Will a 12V car vacuum affect battery life?
It depends on various factors. Your car battery’s current condition and its strength to charge it back, vacuum power, working time, and cleaning load all affect the battery usage.
What is the best way to clean a handheld car vacuum?
The cleanup process is simple. You need to clean the dust container and filter before starting a cleaning session after you are done. The machine parts can be cleaned with another vacuum or with the help of a dust brush.
Now that you know everything about the best handheld car vacuums, I hope it will be easier for you to make the final decision. Buy the vacuum cleaner as per your needs and make your next car cleanup easy, quick and effective.