Investing in a rechargeable car vacuum cleaner, with added car attachments helps you to keep the car clean with minimum effort. From a mix of our own expert knowledge, user reviews and industry tests, we’ve created a guide so you could judge the best best cordless vacuum for car detailing and dustbuster cordless vacuum for yourself.
Though nearly 26 per cent of drivers never give their cars a full clean, according to Intelligent Leasing, let’s face it lugging a vacuum around isn’t fun. And if you’re an apartment dweller, the cord is never going to reach that far.
rechargeable car vacuum cleaner
While the Shark WANDVAC might look more like a hair-styling tool than a vacuum, don’t let it fool you. Weighing less than 1.5 pounds, it’s ridiculously light and small enough to get into cracks and around seats in your car. It comes with a crevice tool and a multi-duster head, perfect for dashboards and chasing Starbucks crumbs out of the ridges in your center console. The downside of being such a small unit is that you’ll get less battery life out of each charge. Then again, this a tool to use for small jobs, not something that you’re going to deploy when you need to do a deep spring clean.
The Dyson V11 is the latest in a long line of handheld vacuums that convert to a stick vac with a rotating brushhead (or from a stick vac to a handheld vac, depending on your point of view). As with every new generation of Dyson, it has more suction power than ever before (40% more than that the V8). Best of all, it has a brain. The LCD on the back of the unit tells you what suction mode you’re in and how much time you have left. When you switch from Eco to Boost, the battery image changes from green to red, and you’ll see the time drop. That LCD will also walk you through maintenance tasks when there are airway clogs and remind you when it’s time to clean the permanent filters.
Depending on which V11 model you get, there will be a variety of attachments, some of which you can store on the stick extension, others that you can keep in the drop-in base. Switching out attachments is painless, making converting between stick vac and handheld modes a breeze.
As a handheld, the Dyson is just as powerful, making short work of whatever mess you point it at. This is a good thing, since the base motor, battery and canister are fairly bulky. And even if you can’t quite maneuver it into the tightest spaces in your vehicle, switching over to Max suction is more than sufficient to destroy any lingering dirt. It’s the most powerful handheld vacuum you can buy.
Bissell Garage Pro
Somewhere between a svelte, minimalist all-purpose tool and a floor vac posing as a handheld vacuum, there’s this Bissell Garage Pro Wet/Dry vac that doesn’t pretend to be anything but a solution for all of your garage messes. With a 32-foot wand, you can mount it on the wall and still use the seven detailing tools in every corner and crevice of your car. And even if it’s not, you can take it off the wall and take advantage of the 5 extra feet of power cord (yes, I know it has a cord and this is a cordless list, sometimes you have to make compromises if you want the best). In addition to sucking up wet and dry messes, the Garage Pro can convert to a blower. It has a 4-gallon tank and a 2-stage filtration system so that everything you suck up is well contained. If you’ve got the wall space and want a dedicated cleaning station just for your vehicles, the Garage Pro is a great investment.
Black + Decker Flex Vacuum
If you’re looking for something a little less permanent, the Flex Vacuum from Black + Decker does a bit of everything. Not only does it comes with a wand and pet brush attachment, allowing you to do deep cleaning of your home, it also has a crevice tool. Attach that tool to the 4-foot hose and you can deep clean everything—ceiling fans, couches, high chairs, the corners of your son’s room that he swears he cleaned the last time he vacuumed (and never did). It’s portable enough that you can pull it out to the garage for detailing duty. With such a long hose, you don’t have to keep walking around the car. Just climb in and start vacuuming.
Best Cordless Car Vacuum Reviews & Recommendations 2020
BEST OVERALLBlack+Decker CHV1410L 16 Volt Cordless Lithium Dust Buster
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Black+Decker’s Dust Buster is a lightweight and powerful vacuum that has no problem picking up dirt and other debris thanks to its cyclonic action, which is designed to keep the HEPA filter clear of excess clutter while maintaining suction strength. The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery that can hold its charge for up to 18 months while still delivering high-level performance. Smart-charge technology recharges the battery completely in a few hours, and it uses 50 percent less energy than traditional chargers.
One feature that makes this an optimal hand vacuum for car use is the rotating slim nozzle attachment. Its small size can get into tight spaces, such as in between the seat and console where dirt and other particles can build up. There is also a flip-up brush tool for when you really need to scrub the upholstery or carpet.
In addition to being excellent at cleaning, this Black+Decker vacuum is also easy to clean. It is bagless, and plastic parts pop off easily and are dishwasher safe. With these features, it is easy to see why this is one of the top car vacuum cleaners on the market.
On the negative side, there can be some issues with the battery and/or charger failing after a short period of time. This can be especially annoying with the battery as it is not removable. Luckily, Black+Decker offers a two-year warranty and will provide a replacement if necessary.
BEST VALUE Shuley Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
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The Shuley Car Vacuum is a great deal for the price. It weighs just over one pound and is very compact, so you will have no problem getting into tight spaces to clean them. It uses a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged via the USB port located in your car, laptop, or any handheld device.
The Shuley Vacuum comes with a crevice tool to reach tight spots, a liquid nozzle that is very handy for spills, and a brush nozzle to scrub out pesky hair and dirt from the upholstery. The plastic body and debris bin are dishwasher safe for easy clean up as is the washable filter.
One major downside of this vacuum is battery life. A full charge will only get about 25 minutes of run time, making it difficult for performing any sort of deep cleaning given the amount of suction available. Also, suction power can be an issue if you are trying to clean up heavy debris.
HONORABLE MENTION TowerTop Cordless Portable Vacuum Cleaner
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TowerTop’s handheld vacuum features a 100-watt motor and is designed for use both at home and in your car. The battery takes three to four hours to charge and lasts up to 30 minutes. The charger has over-voltage, over-current, and over-temperature protection for safety.
The vacuum is very light and easy to use. It comes with four accessories, including a brush tool for carpet and hair, a crevice nozzle for small gaps and corners, a long tube for flexibility, and a pet brush to remove pet hair. It not only cleans the crumbs off the car floor, but it’s also great for cleaning car seats and cup holders.The stainless steel filter can be washed 1,000 times and sucks up fine particles. The vacuum also has two LED lights for visibility in dark spaces.
The biggest drawback with this product is that you need to clean the filter after each use or it will adversely affect the suction power. Also, the suction power is not as strong as some rival brands, and the crevice tool could be a little narrower.
HONORABLE MENTION GNG Hand-Held Vacuum Cleaner
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GNG’s mini car vacuum cleaner has a high-efficiency, 106-watt lithium battery that works for about 20 to 30 minutes. It also has two charging cables that can connect to your vehicle while you’re using it if you need a longer cleaning time. It is a wet/dry vacuum that can suck up dust, pet hair, and liquids.
The filter is washable and the dust compartment is visible, so you know when to empty it. It comes with an extension hose, brush, and long corner wand and is even more powerful if you connect it directly to your vehicle’s power source. It has a very good grip, great suction, and is very compact. In addition, it comes with a convenient storage bag.
One downside with this vacuum is the charging cords are a little short. The instructions are hard to read because the font is so small, and it’s easy to accidentally turn the vacuum off while you’re using it due to the location of the on/off button.
HONORABLE MENTION BISSELL Pet Hair and Pet Stain Eraser Lithium Ion Cordless Hand Vacuum
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If you have pets, you know how difficult it can be to clean up their hair. This vacuum removes both hair and stains. It features a motorized brush tool and 14V lithium-ion battery for more suction. The vacuum is designed to remove pet stains from carpet, upholstery, auto interiors, and more. Also, BISSELL donates a portion from each purchase to save homeless pets.
This vacuum is easy to use, easy to open, and easy to dump out the debris. It features a transparent dirt cup, so you know when you need to empty it. It runs for at least 30 minutes on a charge, and it’s lightweight and easy to handle. The long wand helps you reach cracks and crevices, and it has other attachments that help in removing pet hair.
One downside is it takes six to eight hours to fully charge the battery. Also, if you need to buy new filters, you have to buy the whole filter apparatus, which isn’t cheap. This product is also very pricey compared to other cordless car vacuums.
HONORABLE MENTION Vaclife Handheld Vacuum
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The Vaclife Handheld Vacuum is perfectly portable and compact for vacuuming and cleaning your car. It’s cordless, so you can move freely into small spaces, and it’s lightweight enough to make vacuuming a breeze.
It offers powerful suction and three attachments — a crevice nozzle tool, brush tool, and extension soft hose — so you can clean every corner, crevice, and tight space inside your vehicle. A stainless steel HEPA filter allows you to reuse and wash the filter for efficient cleaning.
And you’ll love the bright LED light on this vacuum, which helps you see into dark corners, so you can make certain you’re getting every piece of dirt and debris. When you’re ready to recharge, this cordless car vacuum offers fast charging in just two to 3.5 hours.
- Make sure that you vacuum in both directions to remove the most dirt and debris from the carpet or upholstery. That means vacuum from north to south and then east to west (or vice versa, it’s really up to you).
- Take your time while vacuuming to let the machine do the task it was designed for. Zooming over material quickly will not suck up dirt and dust into the vacuum any faster, in fact just the opposite is true.
- Make sure you use the right attachment. The crevice tool becomes a hindrance when trying to use it in open spaces, as does the brush tool when trying to use it in a crevice.
- Empty the debris bin regularly to avoid a loss in suction. If the debris bin is more than halfway full, then you’ll start to see a loss in suction power from the vacuum.
- Don’t wait for the interior of your car to look dirty before deciding to vacuum. Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule will ensure that dirt and dust won’t build up within the fibers of the upholstery and carpet.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.
Types Of Vacuum Cleaners Explained
The types of vacuum cleaners to choose from can be overwhelming. Each one comes with its pros and cons.
1. Handheld Vacuum
The handheld vacuum cleaner is good for cleaning hard-to-reach places. Think of your car, between the couch cushions, and underneath the bed. You can even use this handy machine for cleaning corners in rooms for a thorough clean.PROS:
- Not good for general cleaning, as it would take too long.
- Less power than a canister or full-sized vacuum.
|Cleaning Surface||Any fabric, hard floor, carpets, cars|
|Best for Cleaning||Dust, crumbs, hair|
2. Canister Vacuum
This powerful vacuum comes with a separate canister attached to the wand of the vacuum. Because of the separate canister, the engines of these vacuums can be bigger. If you’re looking for amazing suction and airflow, consider a canister vacuum.PROS:
- Powerful vacuum.
- They can clean floors, stairs, under furniture, upholstery, and curtains.
- They come with a variety of tools for different surfaces and flooring types.
- They are bulkier, making them harder to store.
- You need to assemble it before use, so it’s not as quick as other vacuums.
- You have to take the canister with you as you vacuum.
- Not good for people prone to back pain, as you’ll have to bend down to lift the canister and switch the vacuum on and off.
|Cleaning Surface||Carpets, fabrics, hard floors, stairs|
|Best for Cleaning||Dirt, pet hair, dust, food|
3. Upright Vacuum
When you visualize vacuum cleaners, an upright vacuum is probably the image that comes to mind. These vacuums are popular in households because they are effective for cleaning carpets and hard floors. They’re also affordable, powerful, and easy to maneuver.PROS:
- Easy to store.
- Stand up on their own.
- Great for cleaning carpets, but can also be used on hard floors.
- They come with attachments for different uses.
- Wide cleaning path which is good for large areas.
- Typically heavier.
- They can be quite noisy.
- Difficult to vacuum stairsbecause the cord or the body of the vacuum gets in the way.
- Not efficient in hard-to-reach places or corners without attachments.
|Cleaning Surface||Carpets and hard floors|
|Best for Cleaning||Dust, allergens, hair|
4. Stick Vacuum
Because of their stick-like design, they’re slender and simple to store.PROS:
- Easy to store.
- Good for quick, small messes.
- They work great on hardwood floors.
- Corded or cordless.
- Not as powerful as other vacuums.
- Small dirt bin capacity.
|Cleaning Surface||Hard floors, light carpet, and rugs|
|Best for Cleaning||Surface litter, like crumbs and hair|
5. Robot Vacuum
A robot vacuum is like having a well-behaved dog. They clean up your mess, and you don’t even need to train them.
Robot vacuums are becoming more and more popular. That’s because of their wonderful convenience. This vacuum does the work for you while you’re out or while you’re home, cleaning floors and underneath furniture.
- You can relax while the vacuum cleans.
- The vacuum can find its way around the room and navigate between tight spots.
- You can control it with your smartphone.
- Takes only a small storage area.
- They clean small messes, so you might need to vacuum manually every so often.
- Small dirt bin capacity.
- Not great on shaggy carpets or rugs.
|Cleaning Surface||Hard floors and carpets|
|Best for Cleaning||Dirt, dust, hair, crumbs|
6. Backpack Vacuum
A backpack vacuum is a vacuum you can wear like a backpack. This can be a good choice for people who experience back pain.
While these have decent suction, they aren’t as powerful as some of the previously mentioned vacuum cleaners.PROS:
- Good for people with back pain.
- They pick up soil and dust.
- The wand is lightweight.
- Straps can be hard to adjust.
- The storage bags inside are usually quite small.
|Cleaning Surface||Floors, carpets, furniture|
|Best for Cleaning||Soil and dust|
7. Wet And Dry Vacuums
A wet and dry vacuum has the ability to vacuum up dry dirt and wet spots, a very useful function. So whether you’ve got spilled milk or sprinkled sawdust, this vacuum can solve your problem.PROS:
- Vacuums wet and dry debris.
- Good for inside the home but also on industrial sites.
- Easy to wash out the separate filters.
- Nozzle for getting into small spaces.
- Inflates mattresses and paddling pools.
- Corded, so if using outside, you’ll need to use multiple power supplies.
- It gets smelly, especially if you’re vacuuming up urine or vomit.
|Type||Wet and Dry|
|Cleaning Surface||Floors, cars, furniture|
|Best for Cleaning||Liquids, solids, foods, glass, dust|
8. Central Vacuum System
If you’re tired of plugging and unplugging vacuums, you can get a central vacuum system installed in your home.
You get a tubing system hidden inside the walls of your house. That’s connected to a motorized suction unit usually stored in basements or garages. The tubing system can also connect to wall ports throughout the house.
When you need to vacuum, you connect a long hose to the wall ports and turn it on. Then you vacuum as normal around the house. The debris goes down the hose, through the tubes, and into the debris collection container.PROS:
- More powerful than normal vacuum cleaners.
- You don’t need to bring anything around with you.
- Healthier indoor air quality since the debris container is located outside of living areas in the house.
- The suction isn’t affected as the container fills.
- You add value to your house.
- These systems are expensive, costing roughly $1,000 to $3,000.
- You have to carry around a pretty long hose.
- Less energy efficient.
- Difficult to vacuum stairs.
- Not that effective on carpets.
|Type||Central vacuum system|
|Cleaning Surface||Carpets, hard floor, furniture|
|Best for Cleaning||Dirt, debris, dander|
Is A Vacuum Cleaner Really Necessary?
Maybe you’re quite happy with your broom and dustpan, but here are some reasons that a vacuum cleaner is necessary.
What Are The Advantages Of A Vacuum Cleaner?
- It’s good if you have allergies: If you don’t vacuum, your allergies could worsen (1). Dust, pollen, and pet dander never go away. Dust mites breed quickly, too (2).
- Your carpets and rugs will last longer: The more often you vacuum, the cleaner your house will be, therefore, lengthening the lifespan of your carpets, rugs, and other furniture.
- Vacuuming purifies the air: To an extent, vacuuming can purify the air, especially if you’re a smoker. Smoke gets caught in carpets, curtains, rugs, and couches. Vacuuming is a good way to lessen the amount of old cigarette smoke in your home (3).
- Vacuuming gets rid of mold: Mold has the creepy ability to move around your home. Vacuuming sucks some of that mold up, cleaning your home (4).
- Your home looks cleaner: Finally, it’s important to vacuum your home for aesthetics. There’s nothing worse than visiting a friend and being totally uncomfortable in their dusty, dirty home. Vacuum your floors to create a pleasant and clean environment.
Location, Location, Location
Each type of flooring requires a different vacuum cleaner. Consider these tips when choosing the right vacuum cleaner for you.
If you have hard floors in your house, such as hardwood, tiles, and laminate, your best option is a vacuum cleaner that comes with a number of attachments. You also want to opt for a lightweight vacuum cleaner so you prevent scratches on your floor.
An upright vacuum cleaner can scratch your floors and leave debris on your floors. Some upright vacuums do come with a setting for hard floors, but you’re better choosing something like a canister vacuum.
Canister vacuums usually come with an attachment brush for bare floors, which prevents scratching. Plus, they are good for rugs if you have any on your hard floors.
If you’ve opted for a cozy carpet in your home, it’s important to care for that. For carpet, you need something quite powerful. It needs to be able to pull out dirt and debris from carpet strands.
You don’t need to worry about floor scratching, so an upright vacuum cleaner is a fantastic option. So, when you have wall-to-wall carpet, shaggy or smooth, or even area rugs, an upright vacuum is best for you.
Bagged Vs. Bagless
When it comes to deciding between vacuum cleaners, you might also want to consider if you want a bagged or bagless device. There are pros and cons to both.
- It’s good if anyone in your family has allergies. Bags trap most of the dirt, dust, and pollen. Exposure is minimal even when you’re emptying them.
- There is less mess. The dust doesn’t go everywhere when you empty the vacuum, because all the dirt is in a bag.
- Vacuum bags are available at most supermarkets.
- You have to change the bag regularly.
- There is more waste and an extra ongoing cost to your vacuum cleaner.
- Environmentally friendly option.
- You don’t need to stock spend money on vacuum bags.
- Usually, you can see how full the dirt container is so you know when to empty the vacuum.
- It’s messier. When you dump the vacuum contents into the trash, dust tends to fly up everywhere. We often find we need to vacuum around our garbage can after emptying our vacuums.