The 10 Best Car Vacuums
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in February of 2016. Don’t allow the interior of your car, truck, or SUV to become overrun with dust, dirt, leaves, and pet hair. Keep it tidy and presentable with one of these vacuums instead. These are all ideal for auto use, though several are lightweight and portable enough to utilize around the house as well. They’re available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best car vacuum on Amazon.
May 23, 2019:
Here, we've chosen a mix of handheld and cannister options to suit users with different preferences. For heavy-duty jobs, you'll be better off opting for a canister model, which generally can hold much more dirt and dust than their portable cousins. If you simply need something to keep your personal vehicle tidy, a cordless, handheld model is the way to go. You'll notice that many of these items come with multiple attachments that make it easy to do a thorough detailing job no matter what kind of mess you're up against.
As far as updates are concerned, the Dyson V7 Car+Boat and Bissell Garage Pro have been added to the list and awarded the third and first spots, respectively. The Dyson model was chosen due to its easy-to-carry, yet powerful design, and the Bissell vacuum was included for several reasons: it’s wall mountable, comes with plenty of attachments, and is built to last. The Vandek Automotive and Metropolitan Compact were both removed from the list due to quality complaints from users.
What Makes A Vacuum Suited For Cars
A model with a slim nozzle is crucial since even the widest aisles between car seats is rarely as broad as a full-size vacuum cleaner.
In most cases, using a regular home vacuum cleaner inside of a car can be strenuous, take too much time, and it won't even pick up all of the dirt and debris inside of the vehicle.
A car vacuum has special features designed with the compact and complex landscape of a car in mind. A model with a slim nozzle is crucial since even the widest aisles between car seats is rarely as broad as a full-size vacuum cleaner. But the carpet and flooring between seats is still the easiest part of the car to vacuum; you still have the space under seats, the area between the sides of seats and the doors, the floor beneath the gas and brake pedals and (if you're really thorough) the trunk, with all of its pockets and crevices.
With that cluttered landscape in mind, you want a car vacuum that has various smart attachments, like a visor that can slide into low areas, crevice tools for detailed cleanup, and even blower nozzles for those areas you just cannot reach. When you think of all the eating you do in your car, and the bacteria that comes with it, it's important that no corner goes unvacuumed.
Ideally, you don't eat in your car since a study has found it can reduce the bluebook value of a vehicle. But if it's a habit you can't break, you need to thoroughly clean up the messes that come with it. Since navigating a vacuum around a car is much more difficult than moving one around a home, a model that is lightweight, or even has a shoulder strap for easy carrying, will be very helpful. Cordless varieties are ideal for cars, too, so you don't need to worry about a wire getting wrapped up around the seats.
Tips For Vacuuming Your Car
Professional car wash services will have you believe that they can clean the inside of your car better than you can. But that's not true; save the average $35 to $50 it costs to have a professional do it, and follow these tips. First, remove all of your floor mats and vacuum these outside of the car; this will also let you clean up any particles that may have been stuck underneath them.
First, remove all of your floor mats and vacuum these outside of the car; this will also let you clean up any particles that may have been stuck underneath them.
Use the largest nozzle to vacuum the floors so that you can suck up as much dirt in one motion as possible. Remember to move your seats all the way forward and all the way back so you can thoroughly vacuum under them. Use a narrow attachment to thoroughly clean the area around your brake and gas pedals. Use that same attachment to reach between the console and seats.
If you have kids or pets that have soiled the carpet, vacuum that area to remove any surface debris and apply some stain remover. Once the area is dry, go over it again with the vacuum to pick up any remaining dirt. Clean the seats and dashboard with a soft brush attachment as this will be a little more gentle on the materials of these parts.
The History of Vacuum Technology
Before vacuum cleaners, people would remove dirt and dust from their rugs by hanging them up, and beating them with a large stick until most of the debris had flown off of them. Fortunately for carpet cleaners everywhere, in 1869 an inventor named Ives McGaffey invented a hand-pumped vacuum cleaner called the Whirlwind. This primitive model consisted mainly of wood and canvas. McGaffey's hand-operated vacuum had some features that have remained staples of this device, like a tall, erect body that allowed the user to stand up straight while they used it.
Two of the major vacuum systems that came after the WhirlWind depended on horse-driven carriages to operate. A man named John Thurman had a horse-drawn vacuum cleaner service in the early 1900s, that would go door-to-door in St. Louis charging four dollars per cleaning. Thurman went on to file for several patents relating to vacuum cleaners and their parts, including a hand-operated one. The British inventor Hubert Cecil Booth had the second famous horse-driven vacuum system. It ran on petrol, and to use it, one would have to drag its long hoses into their home.
In 1907, a janitor at an Ohio department store James Spangler created one of the first portable vacuum cleaners. His invention consisted of little more than a soap box, a broom handle and a fan motor. Spangler went on to improve his vacuum significantly, found the Electric Suction Sweeper Company, and sell his patent rights to William Hoover of the Hoover company.
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