Car interiors are dirty places. There’s dust hiding in the dashboard, crumbs nestling in the carpets and ground-in grime lurking in the glovebox. Thankfully, a vacuum cleaner can help keep the worst of these sanitation citations at bay.
Studies have shown that the inside of a typical family car is less hygienic than a toilet seat, playing host to thousands of units of bacteria per square inch. Naturally, the boot is the grubbiest part of the cabin (especially if the family in question has a furry friend to haul around), followed by the driver’s seat, cupholders and steering wheel.
Maybe a handheld vacuum cleaner isn’t enough, though. Maybe your car is already past the point of no return and is filthy enough to harbour new strains of penicillin. Happily, there are tools available online that are specifically designed to provide an answer to the question “why won’t anyone value my car?” To attract the best price, we suggest forking out for a professional valeting service.
If you reckon you can save your car from the classifieds with a bit of elbow grease, scroll down for our list of the best car vacuum cleaners on sale. For the purposes of this article, we’ve ignored upright household vacuums, simply because they’re a nuisance to use in the tight spaces of a car interior. For the best results, you need a manoeuvrable handheld unit.
Karcher WD 2 Plus
The Karcher WD 2 Plus is a tough and reasonably priced vacuum cleaner that’s perfect for raking all the rubbish out of your pride and joy. It’ll suck up both wet and dry detritus from your interior fabric and even has a blower function to free any stubborn muck in hard-to-reach places.
The hose is 1.8 metres long, which is just long enough to reach the deepest corners of your footwells, but not so long that you’ll get tangled up in it. You get a couple of handy accessories, too, including a stiff-bristled brush, a soft-bristled brush, a crevice nozzle and a wide suction nozzle.
Gtech Multi Mk2
We reckon the Gtech Multi Mk2 is the best lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner on sale. It weighs a mere 1.5kg, but it packs a mighty punch. It’ll bust any dust at which it’s thrust. There’s a trade-off, though. This bantamweight tower of power only has a 20-minute battery life, which means you’ll need to tackle your more extensive cleaning jobs in sections.
Top tip: don’t bother with Gtech’s optional Car Accessory Kit. It isn’t worth the money. The standard kit bag has everything you need, including a narrow crevice tool, a dusting brush and a rectangular power brush that’s great at removing hair and dirt from carpets.
WORX WX030 CUBEVAC
The Cubevac looks like a cross between a railway worker’s lunchbox and a droid. Happily, it’s much better at cleaning muck from your car than both of those items. It’s a compact unit that’s small enough to get lost in the boot of your car – and that makes it great for little and often cleaning.
It isn’t perfect – the filter gets clogged too easily and the bin isn’t particularly elegant to empty – but it’s ideal for those tight spaces you can’t reach with a proper upright vacuum. We also like how the Cubevac’s tools are stored on the body of the unit and that it’s powered by the same batteries as Worx’s cordless power tool range.
EUFY HomeVac H11 Pure
The HomeVac H11 Pure isn’t the best handheld vacuum cleaner on the market, but it deserves recognition for its design and features. It’s an ergonomic and manoeuvrable unit that’s great for tackling smaller clean-up jobs around your car. Despite its tiny size, it even comes with a crevice tool to help you rake out the pleats in your seats.
However, what makes the HomeVac stand out is its air purification function. Simply place the EUFY in the centre of the cabin, close all the car’s doors and wait 15 minutes for the unit to filter out all the dust and contaminants in the air. We’ve tested it – and the air in our cars felt way fresher after the treatment.