car vacuum
Give your car a weekly rundown with a handy vacuum cleaner to save up on car wash trips. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Car vacuum cleaners are small, powerful machines with high suction power that helps them target food crumbs and dust wedged in seat crevices. Options in the market are aplenty – so which vacuum cleaner is the best for your vehicle? We reached out to Islam Sibai, the managing director of Evo Car Wash in Dubai, for some advice.

“We use wired vacuums here in the car workshop because they have a higher suction pressure. The handheld battery-operated ones are for quick vacuuming, which people like you and I can use, but the car will need a high suction cleaning at least once a month. For personal use, go for a vacuum that at least has a suction power of 4,000 Pa (Pascal), which is the ideal strength for stubborn dirt. Though do note that even a good handheld vacuum will not target tiny dust particles.”

For Sibai, two brands stood out in the competitive car vacuum market. He said: “Makita is a personal recommendation because it's a reliable brand among many car wash companies, and it will perform longer than other vacuum cleaners - but it can get heavy and expensive. Black+Decker is another brand that is better than many on the market since it’s cost-effective and has decent suction. We’ve tried both here; Makita worked better for us.”

We handpicked a few car vacuums from Amazon with the best reviews to boil down the list for you. If you still prefer a pro’s touch, hire experts to fetch your vehicle from your doorstep for a deep cleaning service. Don’t forget to become a Prime member for speedy, next day delivery.

1. Best Overall: Makita DCL180Z 18V li-Ion Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Pros

  • Runs for 40 minutes
  • Durable machine
  • Washable filters
  • 650ml capacity

Cons

  • Needs separate Makita batteries to work

Makita has several heavy-duty vacuums on Amazon; though our pick is not wired, it offers the convenience of a handheld car vacuum. The model is an 18V cordless cleaner in turquoise with a sufficient suction power of 4,200 Pascal and 650ml of dust capacity. It’s ideal for vehicle cleaning and comes with a set of attachments like a nozzle, straight pipe or an extension wand and a corner nozzle. On a single charge, you can hoover for 40 minutes straight. The only drawback is that you will need to purchase Makita lithium-ion batteries separately.

2. Best Portable Vacuum: BLACK+DECKER Cordless Handheld Portable Vacuum Cleaner

Pros

  • Includes charging base
  • Pivot nozzle for crevices
  • Can be used under sofas and on carpet
  • Translucent dust bowl empties out easily

Cons

  • 10 minutes of use
  • Relatively heavy at 2kgs

Another alternative to Makita in the same price range is the Black+Decker dustbuster pivot. Operating on 18V battery, this powerful tool has a nozzle that pivots up to 200 degrees, picking up dirt and debris from difficult spaces. The portable vacuum folds in half when not in use, so you can store it away in the car trunk for easy access. Unlike Makita, this appliance comes with its own charging base, but do note that it only operates for 10 minutes on a single charge with a capacity of 440ml.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty.

3. Best for Quick Cleaning: Svinkal Compressed Air Duster & Vacuum 2-in-1

Pros

  • Two-in-one gadget for air dusting and vacuuming
  • USB charging
  • Brush attachments
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Air blowing might be better than its vacuuming ability

If you’re looking for a mini versatile tool for gadgets in general, try this air duster and vacuum cleaner in one. It blows congealed dust from tight spaces and sucks loose dirt with a suction pressure of 8,000 Pa. However, Sibai says an air blower might be counterproductive when cleaning the car, "only moving dust from point A to point B", so if it's ever a choice, just vacuuming is far more effective. To charge it, all you have to do is use a Type-C USB cable to power up the built-in battery; a full charge delivers an operation time of at least 30 minutes. Reviewers say the tool does a decent job of both functions, especially in the car and for blowing away dirt stuck in keyboards and other electronics.

4. Best for Wet Stains: BISSELL SpotClean

Pros

  • Wet vacuums carpet and upholstery stains
  • Includes special shampoo formula
  • Ideal for car rides with children and pets

Cons

  • Wired
  • Heavy to move around
  • Expensive

Bissell’s SpotClean machine treats tough stains on car seats and carpets using heat, water and chemicals. According to Sibai, wet vacuuming can be used to deep clean when a car has tea and coffee spills or is even soiled from vomit. If you commute with little children or pets often, then you might find this Bissell vacuum helpful, but Sibai says if stains aren't a common occurrence then a paid service would be cheaper. Though it’s not as compact as other models on the list for personal use, weighing nearly 4kgs, the corded machine has two canisters for dirt and water and a hose to immediately lift stains. Your order even comes with two sample bottles of Bissell’s special shampoo.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh40 and two years for Dh57.

5. Best Budget: DOFLY Handheld Vacuum Cordless

Pros

  • Washable HEPA filter
  • Brush attachments
  • Rechargeable battery
  • LED light
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Can get noisy

A solid budget vacuum for quick cleaning is the DOFLY handheld cordless tool. With its built-in batteries, you can charge it within four hours and give your car a thorough cleaning for 30 minutes. It has a suction power of up to 10,000 Pa and employs a washable HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that captures particles as small as 0.3 microns into an 800ml dust cup. Its LED light feature helps with visibility for crevices in the car.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.