If your vehicle is your baby, which I presume is the case for most of us, then it needs attention, given that it is a magnet for dirt. It traps anything from pet hair to leaves and dust. Giving it the attention it requires ensures that it is ever in pristine condition, and the best way to provide it with care is with one of these best vacuums for car detailing.
But how do you settle on the best vacuum for car detailing? How do you know you know you are getting value for money? Well, you are in luck as this here is a list of the 15 best vacuums for car detailing. I also welcome you to leave a comment below if you feel there is something I missed.
Also, speaking of pet hair, here are the best vacuums for pet hair.
What is a Car Detailing Vacuum?
Unlike standard vacuums, these are machines designed to get into tight spots such as spaces between seats. They will help you clean areas where other devices cannot reach. Furthermore, they are equipped with accessories that help when it comes to these delicate tasks. Most standard machines cannot help with these cleaning jobs.
Car Detailing Vacuum Shops Near You
Beyond finding the best vacuum for car detailing, I found it prudent to help you find the best outlet for one of these bad boys. Fine, I will not be specific, but this should help you narrow your search.
First, I recommend asking the local auto care expert. These people are in the best position to point you in the right direction. Their experience in the world of auto care will come in handy when looking for an outlet for these devices.
You can also take your search online. Your search terms should point out what you are looking for, and where. Something like this:
- Car detailing vacuum shops near me.
- Car detailing vacuum shops in my area.
If you choose the online path, be sure to read the reviews before visiting the retailer to make a purchase.
My Top Picks
Here are my favorite vacuums for car detailing.
- Best Overall: Worx TWC-01 – It is affordable, lightweight, and works with the cigarette lighter in your car.
- Runner Up: Shop-Vac Micro Wet and Dry Vacuum – Affordable and quite versatile.
- Budget Pick: EletecPro Vacuum – Most of the devices on this quide are affordable, but none can beat the EletecPro.
- Best Cordless: Dewalt DCV581H Wet and Dry Cordless Vacuum – It is more than a cordless device and you can use the provided cord when low on power.
- Best for Pet Hair: Hoover Air Cordless Handheld Vacuum – It makes quick work of pet hair, thanks to the provided turbo tool.
Best Vacuums for Car Detailing Comparison Table 2020
Here is how the devices compare to each other.
|Best Vacuums for Car Detailing||Corded/ Cordless||Cord Length/ Runtime||Weight in Lbs||HEPA||Bagged||Warranty|
|Worx TWC-01 Car Vacuum - Best Overall||Corded||26-ft||2.4||Yes||No||1|
|Shop-Vac Micro Wet and Dry Vacuum - Runner Up||Corded||6-ft||6||No||Bagged||3|
|EletecPro Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner - Budget Pick||Corded||-||2.95||Yes||No||-|
|Bissell 18 PO-3 Garage Wet and Dry Vacuum - Best for Wet and Dry Messes||Corded||5-ft||33.2||No||No||2|
|Dewalt DCV581H Wet and Dry Cordless Vacuum - Best Cordless||Cordless/ Corded||10-ft; 12 – 35 minutes||11.06||No||No||3|
|Armor All AA255 Car Vacuum||Corded||10-ft||7||No||No||2|
|Black + Decker BDH1200FAV Car Vacuum||Corded||16-ft||3.31||Yes||No||2|
|Metrovac Vac N Blo VNB94BD||Corded||12-ft||12.5||No||Yes||-|
|Shop-Vac All Around Plus Wet/Dry Vacuum||Corded||20-ft||13||No||Yes||3|
|Ridgid 50313 Car Detailing Vacuum||Corded||20ft||14||Yes||Yes||Lifetime|
|Vacmaster Beast Series VFB511B||Corded||18-ft||13.5||No||Yes||5|
|Worx TWC-02 Car Vacuum||Corded||16-ft||2.65||Yes||No||1|
|Black + Decker CHV1410L Dustbuster||Cordless||15-min||2.6||No||No||2|
|Hoover Air Cordless Hand Vacuum - Best for Pet Hair||Cordless||20-min||4||No||No||2|
|Bissell 1985 Handheld Car Vacuum||Cordless||15-min||3.9||NO||NO||2|
15 Best Vacuums for Car Detailing 2020: Reviewed and Rated
Below are the best machines for car detailing, and I hope you find a device that meets your needs.
1. Worx TWC-01 Car Vacuum
You will not get a better vacuum than the Worx, some will come close, but it is ultimately the best vacuum for car detailing. First, it is a pretty compact device that you can store in the closet or your car without running out of space.
Another convenience feature of the Worx TWC-01 is that it is a corded machine that works with the 12-Volt DC adapter in your car. It thus saves you the trouble of looking for an outlet. You will also appreciate the filtration this machine offers; It has two HEPA filters that ensure that the air in your car is superb quality. Only the best for your baby, right?
As for the cord, it is long at 16-ft, allowing you to clean the back seat comfortably. It also has a stretch hose that is great for hard to reach spots. As for the accessories, it has a dusting brush and a crevice tool.
The bin also piqued my interest as it has a shut-off lid that prevents dirt from falling off. It is also clear alerting you when you have to empty it.
- It is affordable
- It is lightweight
- It has a long cord allowing you to clean different parts of the machine
- It has a bag for storage
- It will struggle with pet hair ad it does not have a powered brushroll
This is a small machine, and I was amazed at how good it is. Here is a demonstration. Remember, your engine should be on so as not to deplete the battery.
2. Shop-Vac Micro Wet and Dry Vacuum
The next best vacuum for car detailing is this Shop Vac Micro Wet and Dry Vacuum. With a 12-amp motor, it packs quite a punch. It is cordless, and you need an outlet when working with this machine. However, it does have strong points that most devices don’t.
First, it is lightweight at 5-pounds allowing you to work for hours with ease. It has a top carrying handle, and you don’t know you need one until you use it. The handle happens to be collapsible for better storage. And speaking of storage, it works with wall-mountable storage, and I recommend it for people with limited space.
As for the reach, it is ideal for most cars, but it falls short for things such as RVs or larger cars. It has a 6-ft cord, coupled with a 4-ft hose, which I don’t think is enough for most of these tasks. Finally, it has a slew of accessories for car detailing.
- It is affordable
- It is lightweight
- It has a decently long hose
- It cleans wet and dry messes
- The power cord is short
Seeing is believing. Here is the Shop Vac’s performance on dirty car floors with a bit of grass.
3. EletecPro Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner
The next item on this list of the best vacuums for car detailing is the EletecPro. Most of the devices on this guide are affordable, but this machine outdoes them all and is one you should consider if you are on a tight budget.
Despite this being a low-budget device, it still happens to be a reliable machine. The filtration is better than most thanks to the HEPA filters that will trap even the Shop-Vac dust. The EletecPro happens to be a bagless vacuum and relies on 360-degree cyclonic technology to separate dirt from the air. By doing so, it reduces the constraint on the filters ensuring they will last longer.
The EletecPro happens to be a corded machine, and it will work with the adapter in your car. As for the cord, it is 14-ft long and will help you reach all spots. The cable is also great for cleaning awkward places.
- It has a beater brush, which is ideal for pet hair
- It can clean tight spots
- It is affordable
- The suction is weak, and there are instances where the canister falls off when cleaning
If you are considering this machine, then you will also like these best vacuum cleaners under $100.
4. Bissell 18 PO-3 Garage Wet and Dry Vacuum
(Best for Wet and Dry Messes)
One shortcoming with most vacuums is that they cannot be used for wet messes. Well, the Bissell 18 PO-3 is an exception, and you can use it for dry and wet messes. The versatility does not stop there though, you will appreciate that you can use it as a blower too for cleaning the garage, and the car. Fascinating, right?
Also, where other devices opt for a long cord and a short hose, the Bissell has done the opposite. It has a 32-ft hose and a 5-ft cord. You can set it anywhere in the garage and still clean your car. Nonetheless, it is best if it is mounted on a wall as then it is out of the way, and it does not occupy space.
As for the performance, it has 7-accessories plus extension wands, which increases the versatility.
- It is a mighty vacuum
- It has a large bin capacity
- It has an LED indicator alerting you when the bin is full
- It cannot pick fine dust
- It is not maneuverable as you cannot carry it from one spot to another
Cleaning the tank of the Bissell 18 PO-3 is a breeze. Here is a video illustration that will help you with that.
5. Dewalt DCV581H Wet and Dry Cordless Vacuum
Following on this list of the best vacuums for car detailing is this Dewalt. It is a pretty basic machine though it has its unique selling points. First, it is light beside it is a large machine. It has a pretty decent bin at 2-gallons that I found is enough for a complete cleanup before you have to empty.
You will also appreciate that you can use it as a corded, and as a cordless machine. Should you choose the latter, you will need an 18-volt or a 20-volt battery. It can work with any cell from the 18-volt or 20-volt ecosystem, and it is a no-brainer that it should be an additional tool if you are already in the ecosystem. As for the runtime, it will last for about 20-minutes without fading.
It has an upholstery and crevice tool for cleaning different surfaces. Finally, these tools store on the unit reducing the likelihood of losing them.
- It works both as a corded, and as a cordless machine
- It is crush-resistant
- It can clean wet and dry messes
- The cord is short
- It has few accessories given the price
The Dewalt is unique as it can run on a 20V battery or by attaching it to an outlet. Watch the next review to know what I am talking about.
6. Armor All AA255 Car Vacuum
The Armor All AA255 is another wet and dry vacuum, but it also happens to be a blower thanks to the blower nozzle. That is handy when you want to clean areas that prove difficult to reach.
Starting with power, it has 2-HP that will be enough for most tasks. It has decent reach thanks to the 10-ft cord and the 6-ft hose. The hose is also helpful when cleaning awkward places. As for the bin, it is 2.5-gallons, which is enough for most tasks, or even several cleans before you have to empty.
As for accessories, it has the standard cleaner head, a crevice tool, and detailing brushes. The brushes are ideal for delicate surfaces. Also, you can remove the brush on the larger brush and use it as a simple suction tool.
Though it does not have a HEPA filter, I appreciated the intuitive design as it has a foam filter for wet messes and a cloth filter for dry vacuuming.
- It has a long reach
- It has a substantial bin
- It is mighty
- It does not have a HEPA filter and compromises the air quality in your car
Wet and dry vacuums happen to be different from most other devices. Here is how to choose one of these machines.
7. Black + Decker BDH1200FAV Car Vacuum
Similar to my top picks, this machine connects to the 12V DC port on your car and cuts the need for having to look for an outlet. With that in mind, then you cannot use it in the standard home as it will not connect to the outlets.
It happens to be compact, and it is easy to store in the back of your car without occupying a lot of space. It is compact, thanks to the patented motor in filter technology. You will also appreciate the reach on this device. First, it has a 16-ft cord allowing you to clean even the back of your car. Couple this length with the hose, and you can clean even the most awkward places.
As for the accessories, it has a flip-up brush/ wide nozzle which reduces the need for many tools, and the risk of misplacing them.
- The unit is easy to empty
- It is compact for ease of use and storage
- It is relatively quiet with sound levels at 70db
- Good at picking up hair on hard floors
- It does not pack quite the punch like competitors
8. Metrovac Vac N Blo VNB94BD
The next item on this best vacuums for car detailing is the Metrovac Vac ‘N’ Blo, which happens to be my heavy-duty pick. You will appreciate the durability and the commercial build of this unit. The industrial build allows it to last longer, but also comes in handy as it results in more power.
Speaking of power, it packs quite a punch at 4HP. The power will be most noticeable when you are using it as a vac but not as a blower. And yes, it does work as a blower which though not mighty, it is ideal for drying the vacuum.
As for accessories, you will appreciate the vast selection. It includes a blower nozzle, a carpet tool, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and a 6-ft hose, which gives you incredible reach. Other packages have four-6-ft hoses for cleaning large areas.
- The floor tool makes cleaning large areas easy
- It is well built, and you can expect it to stay
- It is versatile, thanks to the slew of attachments
- It is compact
- It is pricey
- It cannot be used for wet messes
Here is the Metrovac reviewed. I welcome you to watch this to get a feel of the length of the hose.
9. Shop-Vac All Around Plus Wet/Dry Vacuum
With two cleaner heads, one for hard surfaces, and the other for carpeted areas, Shop-Vac All Around Plus had to be on this list of the best vacuums for car detailing. The diversity in cleaner heads allows you to clean a wide variety of areas. It also happens to be a wet and dry vacuum, and it works as a blower too.
Other attachments include a gulper nozzle, a round brush, an extension wand, and an 8-ft hose. Thus the reach will be unmatched. You will also appreciate that you can store all the tools onboard, reducing the risk of losing them.
The Shop-Vac happens to be a bagged vacuum, and you have to factor the cost of that in the long run. It should not be a problem, though, as the bags are affordable. The bags happen to be HEPA bags, and you can be sure of high-quality air in your home.
- It is lightweight and portable
- It is resourceful and works as both a wet and dry vacuum
- The hose is a lock on hose for a better fit
- There is a cord storage
- It is loud
10. Ridgid 50313 Car Detailing Vacuum
The Ridgid 50313 has power similar to that of most standard commercial vacuums, and you will appreciate how it sucks thanks to the 5.0HP. It has 209CFM at the base, which is remarkable for such a small device, and 54 inches of water lift at the suction. It happens to be a wet/dry vacuum, and also acts as a blower. By and large, your vacuuming and blowing needs are all met with this machine.
Other than the superior performance, you will appreciate that it has a large bin at 4-gallons. You can clean large areas as well as bigger messes without having to empty the machine. As for the filter, it has a patented Qwik lock fastening system.
Finally, there is the issue of quality. The Ridgid 50313 is rugged and can handle abuse without sustaining damage. There’s also the issue of a lifetime warranty, which says that the company trusts the device will last.
- It is compact, and it will be easy to store
- It sucks thanks to the strong suction
- It is lightweight and easy to use
- The hose is of low quality and splits when subjected to demanding tasks
The Ridgid is a beast, a gentle beast. Here is a demonstration of this unit’s power.
11. Vacmaster Beast Series VFB511B
Vacmaster had to be on this list of the best vacuums for car detailing. It packs quite a punch in power, similar to what the Ridgid above offers. First, the airflow at the base is 190CFm, and the suction is an incredible 88 inches of water. This is at par with powerful Dyson and Shark vacuums. The power is all thanks to the 5HP motor, which though is large, it is well within the realms of what I consider a lightweight machine.
The reach on this device is incredible, with an 18-ft cord allowing you to clean virtually all areas in the car. The cable, though, is short at 1-7/8’ and you will have difficulty cleaning awkward places, but the suction makes up for that.
Finally, it has a cord holder, and you can store the tools conveniently onboard the machine.
- It is easy to assemble
- It is the most powerful in terms of suction power
- It has a large capacity and will allow you to clean large areas without emptying
- The power happens to be a drawback. It will be challenging to move the cleaner head on surfaces
People claim that the Vacmaster is better than the Ridgid car detailing vacuum. I disagree, but here is a review of the Vacmaster to help you make a decision.
12. Worx TWC-02 Car Vacuum
The Worx TWC-02 is the newer version of the Worx TWC-01. It has all the features that make the previous model such a darling among vehicle owners, but it has some additional features that you will love. The reason it does not rank higher is that the durability has not been put to the test.
First, you will love the long reach. It has a 16-ft cord that will let you reach the furthest areas in your car. It also incorporates a hose for those awkward spaces. As for the power source, it works with the standard cigarette lighter port. Thus you can use it even when on the road.
Some convenience features in this unit include the LED light which lights up dark areas and the plastic cup that reduces the strain on the HEPA filter. The latter (HEPA filter), ensures you have clean air in your car.
- It is has a 1-year warranty
- It is aesthetically pleasing
- It has a flat bottom for hands-free use
- It has a protective lid that prevents debris from falling out
- The speed is not adjustable
- The suction power could be better
13. Black + Decker CHV1410L Dustbuster
The next best vacuum for car detailing is what I have always ranked as the best handheld. The Black + Decker CHV1410L happens to be a standard handheld vacuum, but it is one that will work when it comes to cleaning cars.
It is a cordless vacuum, and so outlets will not be a hindrance. As for the runtime, it lasts about 15-minutes of continuous use, after which you have to recharge. I found the recharge time to be quite long at 4-hrs, but the runtime is enough for a complete cleanup.
As for the weight, it is light at 2.6-pounds, and it allows you to work for long without fatigue. You will appreciate the bin and the nozzle. The nozzle can lift large debris with ease, and all the tools are on the unit reducing the likelihood of losing them. It is a remarkable machine.
- It has a decent sucking power
- It is light, and you can work for extended periods
- It is excellent for pet litter
- Seeing as all the tools are on the device, it is unlikely that you will replace them
- It lacks some of the tools for detailing
I find that this machine is almost everything you would love. Here is how the attachments are attached to the unit.
14. Hoover Air Cordless Hand Vacuum
(Best for Pet Hair)
Most of the devices on this list cannot handle pet hair with ease. The Hoover, though, will make short work of any pet hair thanks to the powered turbo tool. The attachment is also great when it comes to deep cleaning the seats. Other accessories included in this unit are the crevice tool and the standard nozzle.
One thing that caught my eye in this machine is the fact that it is built into the Hoover battery ecosystem. That way, you can use batteries from other tools in the ecosystem, reducing the downtime. And speaking of time, this device runtime of 20-minutes, which is reasonably good. The battery happens to be a fade-free battery meaning you get the same amount of power even when the battery is running low.
Finally, it has a decent warranty for 2-years.
- It is lightweight, and you can work for long periods with ease
- It is powerful
- It is versatile and will clean hard floors as well as carpets
- It is cordless, and you can clean without a cord limiting you
- The clamp where you put it back together should be stronger
Working with the Hoover battery can be an extreme sport. Here is a review that will help ease that.
15. Bissell 1985 Handheld Car Vacuum
The last item on this best vacuum for car detailing list is the Bissell 1985. It is a rather interesting device. First, I think the bin is a bit big, and though it will hold a lot of dirt, it gets in the way when it comes to cleaning tight spaces.
As for the accessories it is packed with enough tools for any cleaning job. First, it has a powered brush, which makes cleaning pet hair easy. It also has a dusting brush for cleaning delicate surfaces and an extension wand for tight spots.
Did I say that this is a cordless machine? Well, now, you know. It has a 22V battery that gives you 15-minutes runtime. That should be enough for a complete clean up before you have to recharge.
- It is powerful
- It is motorized and thus can clean hair with ease
- Seeing as it is a cordless machine, you can clean large vehicles without worrying about outlets
- There have been complaints of the device shutting down when using the brushroll
- It is best for quick tasks and not complete cleanups
Seeing as this is a guide, you should know how devices on this list compare to others. Here is a comparison of the Bissell 1985 vs. the Dyson V7 car + boat.
Hoping that you have narrowed your list of the best devices, here are other things to consider when looking for a vacuum for car detailing.
Type of Device
First, you have to consider the kind of machine you want. First, you can have a dry vacuum cleaner, which is the most standard device. Such a tool can only work for dry messes as the rest (wet messes), can damage the motor. However, if you want to clean wet messes, then get a wet/dry vacuum.
Furthermore, you might want a machine that works as a blower.
Detailing vacuums fall into three categories when considering the power source. First, there are cordless machines which are great for cleaning areas without outlets. They also happen to be easy to use as you are not limited by cords. However, you have to worry about the runtime and contend with long charging times.
As for corded machines, you can get some that will work with the 12V cigarette lighter in your car, while others will work with standard house outlets. For the former, you cannot use it in the house unless you have a DC converter. On the other hand, it is excellent as you can carry it anywhere. As for the latter, you can use it to clean other areas in the house, but you have to get an extension when it comes to cleaning cars.
Attachments are crucial in detailing. A standard floor brush will clean large areas when cleaning, but it is not helpful when it comes to delicate tasks such as dusting, and fine tasks such as cleaning tough to reach spots. That is why it is best you invest in a machine with a slew of accessories, or better yet a detailing kit.
Some attachments that should be staple include the nozzle for general cleaning: a dusting brush, and a crevice tool for tight spots. If you have pets, then get a device that retails with a turbo tool.
Also, cars have a ton of awkward surfaces that not even a handheld machine can get to. Therefore, invest in a machine that has a long hose, and one that is flexible. Finally, ensure that all tools attach to the primary device with ease.
Next, be sure to check the cord length when purchasing one of the corded devices. Though a long hose can make up for a short cable, it often compromises the suction as the air has to travel farther. For devices that have to connect to house outlets, get a cable that is well above 15-ft. For those that use the cigarette lighter, get something that is about 15-ft.
Seeing as these devices have to be maneuverable, it is best if they are lightweight. However, you are in luck as these best vacuums for car detailing all happen to be considerably light.
Here are some questions about car detailing that I hope will put your mind at ease.
That’s it for the best vacuum for car detailing article. I hope one of these machines piqued your interest. If so, let me know which in the comments below. Moreover, I welcome you to leave a comment if you feel there is something I missed.