Using your car every day could make it a home for dust, grime, and odor. The car’s interior could become so dirty and smelly over time that it could actually make you feel sick and also decrease the lifespan of your vehicle.
The traditional solution is to drive your car to the professional detailer’s, but this is costly and also takes considerable waiting time.
A more affordable alternative is to purchase a special vacuum cleaner and detail your car yourself. Many vehicle owners opt for cordless versions given their convenience of use and ease of storage. These vacuums are specifically designed to suck up debris from the car’s upholstery, mats, and floorboards. Their regular use helps preserve the car’s look and value, while also prolonging its life.
To help you pick the best cordless vacuum for the detailing process, here are our top 3 choices:
Bokic Car Vacuum Cleaner Cordless
Weight: 1.2 pounds
Run Time: Over 30 minutes
cordless vacuum cleaner offers numerous benefits. With an easily handheld body and high suction power, this device is a practical solution to your car’s cleaning needs. It is also lightweight and maneuverable since it carries no bulky and tangling cords.
The attachments included with this Bokic model get into nooks and crannies of your car’s interior, and vacuum the embedded dirt for a thorough clean. You can run this vacuum cleaner for over 30 minutes, which is a longer duration than those of other handheld cordless vacuums. It recharges fully within 3–4 hours, so you don’t have to wait for too long to be able to reuse it, if needed.
The H12 HEPA filter that comes with this vacuum powerfully filters 99.99% of the dust particles stuck inside your car, and its seal technology prevents the dust from leaking out. Plus, the manufacturer also provides another H12 HEPA filter as a backup.
+ Powerful suction
+ Deep yet easy cleaning
+ Seals dust inside
+ Good run time
+ Convenient to use
+ Storage bag provided
DeWalt 20V Max Cordless/Corded Wet-Dry Vacuum, DCV581H
Weight: 10.71 pounds
Run Time: 39 minutes, 40 seconds
The DeWalt auto detailing vacuum is a unique, versatile unit that allows you to use it with batteries as a cordless device, or as a corded option with an AC outlet. Besides, in addition to vacuuming dry dirt, you can also use it to suck up wet messes from your car, such as spilled drinks! It has a 2-gallon tank capacity, so you don’t need to worry about filling up the vacuum, and can thoroughly detail your car.
This canister vacuum is heavy-duty yet comfortably maneuverable around the car because of its ergonomic design. With its excellent battery life, you can keep using it nonstop for nearly 40 minutes!
Another user-friendly feature of this device is its H12 HEPA-rated filter that captures dust with 99.97% efficiency, thus the particles don’t leak out and there is no need for secondary cleaning. You can also wash and reuse this HEPA filter, which helps you save money as you don’t need to purchase new filters from time to time.
+ 2-gallon dirt capacity
+ Easy to maneuver and carry
+ Long battery life
+ Accessible and washable filter
+ Crush-resistant hose
+ Less noisy
– Short hose
– Suction less than ideal
– Batteries and their charger sold as separate attachments
VacLife Handheld Vacuum, VL189
Weight: 0.012 ounces
Run Time: 20 minutes
The VacLife Handheld Vacuum is a high-performance machine whose powerful motor suctions everything at lightning speed in hard-to-reach areas of your car. The lightweight makes it easy-to-handle and portable.
A special feature of this compact device is the 2 super-bright LED lights that help you detail your car effectively even in darkness. According to Forbes Wheels, the VacLife vacuum has the “best illumination for hard-to-see crevasses”.
The machine gets fully charged only in 2.5 to 3 hours so you don’t have to wait long before reusing it. You can also reuse its durable HEPA filter and filter wrap, as are both washable.
This hassle-free unit comes with a detachable dust cup that makes trash dumping easy and quick, preparing the vacuum for the next use. All in all, these practical features make this vacuum one of the best cordless car detailing options available on the market.
+ Deep yet easy cleaning
+ Fast charging
+ Equipped with LED light
+ Durable and washable filter
+ Low noise
– Only one power setting
– Vacuum bin clasp not strong enough
– No storage bag provided
To help you narrow down the countless car detailing vacuums in the market to the one that suits your needs, first consider the size of your car. That will determine the cleaning duration and help you decide what the ideal run time of your vacuum should be.
Also, think of the debris that you will usually need to suck up—cordless vacuums could be in canister form for heavy-duty cleaning, or in handheld form for light vacuuming.
Other than the above factors that have to do with your car, below are the vacuum features to keep in mind before making your purchase:
- Suction Power
For a car vacuum, the suction power of a strong motor could be in between 1 Horsepower and 7 Horsepower, or its equivalent in watts. A powerful suction is ideal for sucking out deep-seated tiny dust particles from tight spaces, and particularly from underneath your car’s seat covers.
However, strong suction power can compromise the vacuum’s battery life by heavily using its motor. Therefore, look for a cordless model that balances suction with battery, meaning the vacuum should do a decent job with the cleaning while not needing to be recharged halfway through.
- HEPA Filtration
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a HEPA or ‘High Efficiency Particulate Air’ filter is one that can “theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm)”.
While buying a car detailing vacuum, it is important to check if the device has a HEPA filter. This will capture the floating fine dust, allergens, and any tobacco smoke from your car—without re-depositing them into the air—providing you a deep clean.
- Tank Capacity
The larger the tank capacity, the less often you will need to empty out the dirt tank. However, most cordless vacuums have small tanks since it becomes infeasible to maneuver a large device to clean out the various crevices and narrow spaces in the car.
Having said that, you need to make sure that the vacuum you buy has a large enough capacity to hold all the debris picked up during a single cleaning session—without the need to empty the tank.
Generally speaking, car vacuums whose attachments are sold separately are not a good choice—you may end up spending too much on a very essential piece of equipment.
Make sure that the vacuum you pick already includes all the different attachments you are going to need for cleaning various parts of your car’s interior, such as crevices, upholstery, the area underneath the seats. Besides, if you have a pet that you carry along in the car, remember to go for a model that also provides a pet hair remover brush for cleaning out the hair that remains stuck on the seats.
If you don’t have the right tools for the cleaning job, the detailing will get done only partially!
- Maneuverability and Storage
The cordless car vacuum that you buy should be lightweight enough so that you can maneuver it effortlessly around your car’s interior and garage. Handheld vacuums serve this purpose best, but a canister or upright device should not be too heavy and/or bulky either.
As for storage, you need to make sure that the vacuum cleaner fits in your car’s trunk space, so that you can carry it along with you whenever needed.
Finally, before buying a car detailing vacuum, check its warranty carefully to make sure it is reliable. Select one whose warranty is long and fully covers all the additional attachments, as issues tend to arise in these accessories more often than the actual device.