Best Car Vacuums

blackdecker-bdh2000pl-max-pivot-vacuumAs hard as you might try, it’s impossible to keep the floors of your car completely clean and free of dirt. Unless you somehow learn to float or levitate, your feet are going to touch the ground. Anything left on your shoes is going to rub off on your car’s floor and rugs. There are some solutions, of course. You can pay a visit to the gas station vacuums once a month and pay $1-$2.00 every time. Alternatively, you could use a regular carpet vacuum which, quite frankly, is not quite designed for cleaning car rugs. There is a third option, however. Car vacuums are designed to be the best of both worlds. As with many product markets, the market is packed. Some vacuums have a good set of features and suction strength, while others are best avoided altogether. The follow car vacuums will offer you a good mixture of value and effective cleaning.

Product NameCord or BatteryAttachmentsWet SuctionMotor strengthPlug Type
Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner 45W
Cord1No40 WattsCigarette lighter Check Price
Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner 80W
Cord3Yes80 WattsCigarette lighter Check Price
Hikeren Car Vacuum Cleaner
Cord4No75 WattsCigarette lighter Check Price
Black + Decker CHV1410L
Battery1No18 VoltsType A (2 prong)--for charger. Check Price
Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac AA255
Cord5Yes2 Horsepower (1491.4 Watts)Type A (2 prong) Check Price
Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Pivot VacuumBattery2No20 VoltsType A (2 prong)--for charger. Check Price

Car Vacuum Reviews

Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner 40W


  • Small and portable
  • Car adapter
  • Inexpensive
  • Small container
  • Underpowered suction strength

As far as small and portable goes, the Onshowy Car Vacuum cleaner is one of the smallest. This car vacuum cleaner is currently an Amazon bestseller with a reasonably good score of 4.3/5 average rating. While this is not the most powerful car vacuum cleaner available, not the most fully-featured, it is one of the best options for those who need to do simple, light cleaning rather often. As such, this is a great option for those who have children or those who have pets in the car with them on a regular basis (or both).

The Onshowhy Car Vacuum Cleaner is extremely small — as long as two 12 ounce Coca-Cola cans stacked on top of each other. This means that the device can easily slide into an oversized glove compartment, or take up very little space in a trunk. The suction strength is somewhat weaker than many other vacuum cleaners due in part to the small size of the motor and the small power requirement. The Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner only comes with one power option: a corded with an attachment for plugging directly into your car’s cigarette power receptacle. The vacuum draws only 45 watts. Therefore, do not expect it to have the best suction.

The device includes one attachment, an extended nozzle. This is useful for getting into some of the smaller spaces under seats and in between seats, as well as in smaller cracks. The cord for this device is 9.9 feet long, more than long enough to clean the inside of most cars. If may not be long enough to get into the trunk of some vehicles, however. Because of the small size, this handheld car vacuum cleaner can also hold very little dirt. While it is bagless, do not expect to fit much dirt in here before having to empty it and go at it again. This device is best for small jobs or regular maintenance. Finally, we do not advise using this vacuum on wet materials. While some users explain that it is possible, the manufacturer does not mention this as a potential use for the device.

Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner 80W


  • Cleans wet materials and liquids
  • Fairly powerful suction strength
  • Long cord
  • Hooks into 12V cigarette lighter
  • Small dust/liquid capacity

The Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner 80W is an extension on their smaller yet less powerful 40W version. The 80-watt version has much more power and a slightly different design. It can hold slightly more dirt, and also comes with more attachments to broaden the cleaning experience and functionality. Much like the 40-watt version, the Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner 80W can only be powered through your car’s cigarette receptacle, unless you purchase an adapter that allows you to use it elsewhere.

The most notable differences between this and the 40W version are the many different attachments. While the 40-watt version includes a single crevice attachment, the 80-watt version comes with a hair nozzle , a barge mouth, and the crevice nozzle. The barge mouth is particularly good for dust and wet vacuuming features. This, too, is one of the key differences between the two devices. The 80-watt version is clearly marketed for its ability to suck up wet spill s in the car as well as dry ones. Onshowy also includes a flexible extension hose to give added range and functionality to this device as well. The hose attachment, which is not specifically designed to be used as a solitary attachment, can be hooked into the other attachments as well.

Some users have been skeptical over whether this device can or cannot actually clean wet messes. Onshowy has been very good about answering potential buyer questions, as well as product concerns from current buyers. They’ve assured many users that the wet function does indeed work, something that has been confirmed by multiple tests. However, the bin size on this device, while larger than on the 40-watt device, is still somewhat unbearably small. You will find yourself emptying this device more than you’d like. However, it comes with a reusable filter and is bagless, so you won’t need to purchase any replacement parts or pieces after the initial purchase.

Hikeren Car Vacuum Cleaner 75W


  • Durable design
  • Excellent suction strength
  • Useful nozzle attachments
  • Undersized storage

As a car vacuum cleaner, the Hikeren Car Vacuum Cleaner has a good amount of variability. This vacuum cleaner has several unique features that distinguish it from the also popular Onshowy models, and may be a deciding factor for some buyers. You will find that this vacuum cleaner is extremely well made. While the device is heavier than the equally-sized Onshowy 80-watt model, it’s also heavier. This is because the Hikeren Car Vacuum Cleaner 75-watt uses a tough, dense plastic material. Hikeren advertises this product as having the ability to be thrown around a bit and not suffer any damage. This is mostly confirmed by other buyers.

The biggest advantages of this device are the long cord and the attachments. The cord on this car vacuum cleaner is an extensive 16.4 feet long. Most users will find this to be more than long enough to reach even into the back of the trunk while plugged into the front. The added attachments make it extremely useful for different cleaning tasks as well. This includes a brush nozzle designed to help pick up hair and a “soft” nozzle designed for leather upholstery. The “soft” nozzle should prevent leather seats from getting damaged through the cleaning process.

The device plugs into the cigarette lighter receptacle. The 75-watt power demand results in a noticeably stronger suction strength than what you’ll find on the Onshowy 40-watt device. Meanwhile, the strength is negligible between the Onshowhy 80-watt and the Hikeren 75-watt devices. This device is also advertised as both a wet and dry vacuum cleaner. However, the overall storage capacity is noticeably small. Finally, this device comes with its own carrying case. Current buyers have rated this vacuum cleaner extremely well, giving it not only a 4.8/5 average rating on Amazon but making it a best seller as well. Negative reviews are few and far between, with complaints that don’t quite match up with verified facts about the device. Concerns over a lack of suction strength appear to be due to somewhat unrealistic expectations. Keep in mind that stuck on materials will be difficult for any vacuum to get up, especially for a small, handheld car vacuum.

Black + Decker CHV1410L Cordless Dust Buster


  • Powerful suction
  • Long lasting battery
  • Large bin capacity
  • Pricey
  • Not usable with liquid spills

Black + Decker has a well-respected name when it comes to power tools of any kind. The company makes a wide range of vacuum cleaners, including a wide variety of handheld vacuum cleaners. Their Cordless Dust Buster is one a hot seller with a very strong reputation. Its effectiveness at getting the job done has earned it wide appeal, a “best seller” ranking on Amazon, thousands of positive reviews and an overall score of 4.3/5 from buyers. The majority of Black + Decker’s handheld vacuums are cordless, including this one. It is powered by a 16-volt lithium battery that can keep its charge, while in an idle state, for 18 months. The battery will also prevent the somewhat irritating slow power drain that many cordless appliances experience. Instead, you’ll experience full suction power until the battery needs to be recharged.

Although this device is not marketed as a car vacuum, it’s form and function make it a perfect solution for those looking for a car vacuum. To compensate for using less power (only 18 watts), Black + Decker utilizes cyclonic air flow that increases the overall suction strength of the device. This means you’ll be able to get up a wide variety of dirt, dust, and loose materials. While there is only one true attachment (a crevice attachment) to help aid in the cleaning process, there is also a flip-out brush tool for hair. Both of these work effectively and as intended.

The Black + Decker Cordless Dust Buster is completely bagless with an impressively large storage bin. Unlike dedicated car vacuums, this device is mostly designed as a workhorse for your home. This design has helped ensure a much larger storage bin that can go for longer cleaning sessions without the need to get dumped out. There is an included filter to catch very fine dust particles. This can be cleaned, but it will need to be replaced eventually in order to maximize the effectiveness of the device. Please note: this device is NOT designed to be used with liquid or wet materials. In fact, the included user manual specifies that you avoid allowing this device to come into contact with water, except for when you are cleaning it. There are shock and fire hazard warnings given in the manual. This is an overall great option for those who want to have a device good for use in the car, the house or any other location with a lot of vacuum needs beyond just carpets.


Armor All Utility Vac AA255


  • Long reach
  • Extremely powerful suction
  • Large capacity
  • Wet suction ability
  • No automatic shutoff; can overflow
  • Cannot be used with cigarette receptacle

The Armor All 2.5 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac is a heavy hitter. This car vacuum cleaner was designed for far more than just cars and is a much closer analog to what you’ll find at the gas station. Designed to get just about everything out of your car, you’ll find that this vacuum is extremely effective at getting the job done. It is not a handheld, so please note that you will not be able to easily transport this device around like you would a handheld car vacuum. This vacuum is much closer to a traditional shop vacuum than it is a car vacuum, and indeed somewhat crosses the line between these two types of devices.

This all-in-one device has 5 attachments perfectly suited for the various types of cleaning you may need to do. This includes small blower nozzle, brush nozzles, and a crevice tool. The Armor All Utility Vac is a corded device has a 2 horsepower motor, far stronger than anything you find in even the most powerful handheld car vacuum cleaners. The device also includes a blower function, allow you to use it to push material out from hard-to-reach places, or have this device double as a blower for loose material around your car or even as an air dryer after a car wash. The accessories all fit inside the machine without compromising any storage space.

With this car vacuum, you’ll find a 6-foot long hose and a 10-foot long cord. That gives you 16 feet of usable length from where you have it plugged in. Because this device is rated at 120 volts, you cannot use it with your car’s cigarette lighter, even with a converter. You will need to plug it in into an outdoor outlet. As such, this may not be the best option for those who live in apartments, or for whom outdoor outlets are not easy to come by. You may find yourself needing to purchase an extension cord if you do not already have one as well. That said, this car vacuum is extremely popular. It’s currently an Amazon best seller. It has earned a healthy 4.4/5 average rating from current users as well.

Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Pivot Vacuum


  • Strong suction
  • Easy storage
  • Fold-out attachments
  • No liquid suction

Buyers interested in the Black+Decker Cordless Dust Buster may find more value in the Black+Decker MAX Pivot Vacuum. The two vacuums share a lot in common while having some significant and noticeable differences that may make the purchase of one or the other a more logical option for you. Much like the Cordless Dust Buster, the Black+Decker MAX Pivot Vacuum is highly favored by Amazon buyers, landing a 4.4/5 average rating with thousands of reviews, most of them positive.

This vacuum is not designed specifically for use in cars, but can be used for this purpose rather effectively. The 20-volt device uses cyclonic power to generate a very strong suction strength. It uses slightly more power than the Cordless Dust Buster, with a noticeable increase in suction strength as well. This device is perfectly suited for picking up large pieces of dirt and other loose materials, including pet hair, human hair and bits of food. You’ll find that the device is extremely effective at getting into small crevices, although not as good as some other vacuums that are designed specifically for use in cars. While the device does not have any true attachments, it does include two fold-out attachments, a brush and a small crevice tool. These work effectively for what they are but are limited in comparison to more dedicated car vacuums.

This vacuum is not rated for use with liquid spills. Users are highly advised to avoid trying to suck up liquid spills, as this can cause the device to short circuit. The device is best used as directed by the user manual. While the storage bin for dirt and dust is larger than most car vacuum cleaners, it is noticeably smaller than on the Cordless Dust Buster. However, the true benefit of this handheld vacuum is in its small size and easy storage. The front nozzle folds down toward the bottom, making this device easy to store. This device is a good option for those who do a lot of cleaning on a regular basis. Note that while this device includes a filter, that filter will need to be changed out. Black+Decker sells replacements through Amazon, which can be easily accessed from the same page as this product as well.

Car Vacuums Buyer’s Guide

Most of us have used vacuums before. Thankfully, car vacuums don’t change the form of function of a vacuum so dramatically that they’re hard to understand. When shopping for a car vacuum, it’s best to keep these topics in mind.

Power Method

There are two methods car vacuums use to get power: rechargeable batteries and cord. Consider the method your car vacuum uses to generate power before you make a purchase. If you live in an apartment, what are the chances that you’ll be able to find a place to plug in? Some car vacuums require more power than what’s generated by your car’s cigarette lighter receptacle, meaning you will need an extension cord to plug into any outdoor outlet. Some car vacuums have the ability to use both a rechargeable battery and a cord. Car vacuums that can use the 12-volt receptacle often require a power inverter. Be sure to purchase one if you do not already have one. Additionally, make sure to consider the length of the cord before purchasing your unit.

Bag vs Bagless

All of that dirt has to go somewhere, right? Choosing between a bag or a bagless car vacuum will likely come down to preference. Ultimately, neither has a more significant cleaning advantage over the other. You may find that car vacuums that use disposable bags are a bit cheaper than bagless vacuums. However, in the long run, a bagless vacuum will be less expensive to own. Just note that a bagless car vacuum will need its basin cleaned every so often.


Much like the vacuum you use in your house, many car vacuums come with additional attachments for varying purposes. Because a car vacuum is much more singularly focused, the attachments are typically not as extensive as one might find with a normal vacuum. Instead, expect to find one of these following common attachments:

● Tube/hose extender – designed to give longer reach and flexibility

● Brush mouth attachment – designed for getting up hair

● Long mouth attachment – designed to reach under seats and into crevices

● Barge mouth attachment – designed for dust and water

Wet/Dry Function

Before you begin sucking up a wet mess in your car, make sure you’ve purchased a vacuum that can handle moisture. Many car vacuums operate similarly to shop vacuums. Ones that do not use a disposable bag may often be rated for cleaning up water as well. Make sure you determine whether the vacuum you’ve purchased has that function. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a vacuum that has that function, ensure you verify this before purchasing it.

Reverse Airflow

Many car vacuums are increasingly including the ability to reverse the airflow. This creates a vacuum that can work just like a blower. Buyers may find this useful for a variety of purposes, such as blowing loose material from under seats, or air drying a car after washing it at home.

Suction Strength Settings

Some car vacuums include the ability to change the suction strength. Look for these features if that is a valuable option for you. This may not be useful for most buyers, however.

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