Best Hand Vacuum For Car of 2018 & Buying Guide

If you’ve got a dirty car then you surely know how difficult it can be to clean them properly. If you’re looking into cleaning your car properly, then the best bet (at least for getting loose dirt and debris) is a hand vacuum.

Unfortunately, not all hand vacuums are good. A lot of brands make hand vacuums that are low quality. These brands make products with low-quality suction, little durability, and frustrating function. We’ve taken a look at a lot of different hand vacuums, and have created a buying guide and a list of the best hand vacuums for cleaning your car. After reading our guide, you’ll be able to make a great decision for you and your vehicle.

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CLEANNERHUB RANKING

PRODUCT

CLEANNERLAB SCORE

CHECK PRICE

#1

HoLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum

99/100

#2

Black+Decker BDH2000PL

97/100

#3

Dirt Devil Scorpion

96/100

#4

Black+Decker CWV1408

94/100

#5

Carrand 94005AS

93/100

So what makes a good hand vacuum?

There are a lot of things to think about when you’re buying a hand vacuum for cleaning your car. One of the most important things to consider is the size of your car – cleaning a big truck won’t necessarily need the same kind of vacuum as you would for a small sedan.

  • If you’re cleaning a larger vehicle, particularly an SUV or a big truck, you may actually want to purchase a corded hand vacuum. We generally recommend not buying a corded vacuum to clean your car, because the cord can get in the way and you’re probably going to have to buy an extension cord to ensure that the vacuum reaches your car in the first place. However, if you’re cleaning a bigger vehicle, the battery life on a cordless vacuum may not be enough.
  • If you’re cleaning a smaller vacuum then you’ll probably be good with a cordless vacuum. The battery life on most cordless vacuums is usually quite short – just over twenty minutes. Fortunately, if you’re just going to be using this vacuum in your car, that’ll probably be enough time to clean it on a single charge.

Once you’ve decided whether you’re going to get a corded or cordless vacuum, then you’re ready to look into the kind of features and specs you want on your vacuum.

Suction power

If your car is really dirty, or if you have plush car seats that allow dirt to get stuck deep within the fabric, you’re probably going to want a vacuum with a lot of suction power. There are a few things to consider when you’re buying a vacuum with powerful suction.

  • If your car seats or the flooring is made out of delicate material, you`ll want to consider other methods of cleaning. For example, you won’t want to clean fur car seats with a powerful vacuum. Despite the fact that the dirt can get stuck very deep within the fur, it’s not a good idea to use powerful suction because it can ruin the material.
  • A powerful vacuum also means that you’re going to be using more battery than you would on a low-suction vacuum. If you’re just lightly cleaning your small car, you might as well just get a low-suction vacuum so you can have more time to clean it.
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Battery life

Of course, this only applies to cordless vacuums, unless you’re buying a hybrid model. Hybrid vacuums have a battery that can be charged while you use it while it’s plugged in, though these aren’t very common.

  • If you’re using a heavy duty vacuum, the battery isn’t going to last you a long time.
  • Some batteries use lithium ion batteries. These are good and can withstand a fair amount of intense usage before running out of juice.
  • Be on the lookout for vacuums that come with two separate batteries. These are convenient because when one battery runs out, you aren’t immediately forced to postpone the rest of your cleaning. You can use the other battery, and charge up the first one while you’re using it.

Wet or dry vacuums

It’s a good idea to consider what kind of mess you’re going to be cleaning up in your car. Most vacuums that you see are ‘dry’ vacuums, and they’re made for cleaning up dry messes – dirt, sand, debris, and the like. Wet vacuums, on the other hand, are capable of cleaning up stains, by using liquid based systems that help eliminate stains or other unpleasant things.

  • If you often travel with a baby it’s a good idea to get a wet vacuum. You never know what kind of fluid-based mess your baby is going to leave behind.
  • Some vacuums come as hybrids which can clean up both wet and dry messes. These are ideal for people traveling with babies.

Filtration systems

Filters are the bread and butter of what makes a vacuum good for you – especially for people with allergies. Unfiltered vacuums are a thing of the past, except for maybe the lowest-quality brands on the market. There are several types of filters that you can get in your vacuum.

  • HEPA filters are the cream of the crop. They’re the best. However, just because a vacuum boasts that it uses a HEPA filter doesn’t mean it’s as good as the next vacuum with a HEPA filter.HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air, and thus a HEPA filter filters particles out of the air. In an unfiltered vacuum these particles are just recycled back into the air for you to breathe in. unfortunately not all HEPA filters are properly attached. A good HEPA filter will have a completely sealed gasket which prevents any air from being circulated through the vacuum without going through the filter, but many vacuums simply stick a HEPA filter in the unit and advertise that.
  • Foam filters are not nearly as good as HEPA filters, but they’re much cheaper and better than no filter. Foam filters need to be replaced fairly often but that’s usually not a big problem.

So what is the best hand vacuum for cleaning my car?

Now you know what kind of filters to look for, what kind of suction you’re going to want, and the other specs that you need in your vacuum. Great! Now it’s time to head to the store and search through dozens of brands to find one that hopefully suits your needs.

Related:  Best HEPA Vacuum of 2018 & Buying Guide

Or, you can look at the list we’ve come up with. We’ve extensively reviewed a large number of hand vacuums and have decided that the following ones are best for cleaning your car. You’ll surely find a model below that will suit you and your vehicle well.


1. Carrand 94005AS AutoSpa Bagless Auto-Vac Hand-Held Vacuum

Our first entry, despite what we’ve suggested about purchasing cordless vacuums, is in fact a corded vacuum. That doesn’t make it useless though, and in fact this is one of the best handheld vacuums you’ll be able to find for cleaning your car.

Regardless, you’re going to need an extension cord to use this unless there’s an outlet right next to your car, since the cord’s only 12 feet. However, this is still one of the best models.

It’s got a great 550 watt suction power which is pretty impressive for a handheld vacuum. Since it’s corded, you won’t have to worry about your battery running out while you’re using it, which makes this model ideal for bigger vehicles or ones that are really dirty.

It comes with several cleaning attachment tools to perform a variety of tasks. There’s a tool made specifically for cleaning your dashboard, as well as a crevice tool to get underneath your seats and in between the middle console. It’s also got a reusable dirt canister that’s easy to change.

Pros:

  • Made specifically for use in cars
  • Has a dashboard cleaning tool
  • Great for use in bigger vehicles
  • Easily emptied, reusable dirt container
  • 550 watts of suction power

Cons:

  • Short cord, restricts your use of movement

2. Black+Decker CWV1408 Dust Buster Wet/Dry Hand Vacuum

Black + Decker have been known for making quality vacuum cleaners, particularly handheld ones. This one is of particular interest because it’s both a wet and dry vacuum. This means it’s great for cleaning up stains from liquids as well as dirt and dust. This is a great model if you travel with a baby.

It uses a 14.4 volt battery which is sufficient for doing car cleaning. It’s better for smaller vehicles, because like any battery powered vacuum, you will run out of juice if you’re doing a lot of sucking.

The dirt cup is very easy to empty and can be continually used – no need to replace bags or deal with a hassle when you’re full.

It comes with a couple cool attachments – a upholstery brush, which is ideal for cleaning your seats and can also be used inside your house on your furniture, as well as a squeegee which is helpful for cleaning up liquid messes.

Pros:

  • A wet and dry vacuum in the same model
  • Can be charged by mounting it on the wall
  • Has a squeegee tool to help you clean your liquid messes
  • Has an upholstery brush so you can clean the seats
  • Uses a 14.4 volt battery
  • Lightweight and easy to move
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Cons:

  • Battery charge begins to dwindle after some months

3. Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum SD20005RED

This is the cheapest model on our list, but it’s not without merit. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad, but unfortunately in this case, it means you’re going to have to deal with another corded unit.

Fortunately that’s not a problem if you’re on a serious budget. The other benefits of this unit are quite good – it’s very lightweight, coming in at just over 3 pounds, which make it a pleasure to use. It’s got a whole bunch of attachments, including a long hose that you can use to clean all areas in your car. There’s a very creative crevice tool which isn’t just a long, thin attachment like most vacuums have. This one redirects the suction so its full power reaches deep into the crevices.

Pros:

  • Super cheap
  • Very lightweight
  • Has unique attachments for difficult cleaning
  • Has a long hose

Cons:

  • Uses a cord
  • Not the most durable

4. Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum

Another Black + Decker model, this one’s more expensive than the previous one but also has a lot more powerful of a battery. It’s got a pivoting system which allows you to use the full suction power in all sorts of different situations.

It’s got a  great filtration system and a cyclonic system that directs dirt and dust in the direction of the vacuum so they don’t get blown into the air for you to breathe.

Pros:

  • Made by a reliable company
  • Great filtration system
  • Uses cyclonic system to ensure you can get the best control of the dirt

Cons:

  • Expensive for a handheld

5. HoLife Handheld Cordless Vacuum

This is another lightweight model coming in at just under 4 pounds, but it boasts impressive suction power and good battery life. It’s quite similar to the previous Black + Decker model, but this one allows you to clean up wet messes as well as dry ones.

It’s a quiet unit which is surprising given its power, and it also costs a bit less than the last entry. It comes with a bunch of tools for cleaning in various situations. This, combined with a good battery, make it an ideal choice.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Very light model and easy to handle
  • Can be used for wet and dry cleaning
  • Quiet motor
  • Uses a powerful suction system
  • Comes with lots of cleaning tools

Cons:

  • Not the strongest for wet messes

So which is the best?

The HoLife Handheld vacuum wins this round. It’s got pretty much every basic feature that the other vacuums offer, but it’s also able to clean up wet messes. There’s no cord, making it easy to maneuver, and the battery charges quite quickly and holds a decent charge.

If you’re looking to get good value for your money, this is the best option on the list. It’ll last you a long time and do a good job.