Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Car Vacuum

Clean out your car thoroughly (and save your quarters) with one of these three types of car vacuums.

Most homes have some kind of doormat at the entrance, so people can wipe their feet before entering. But there’s no such thing as a car doormat. Whatever is on a pair of shoes is going to get inside your car. When you consider how often we go into and out of our vehicles in just a week, it’s no wonder that the interiors are often, well, filthy. Add in things like a pet, snacking, trips to the beach, or parking on mud or dirt, and our car floors and seats can become fairly disgusting fairly quickly.

Hence the advent of dedicated car vacuums. Instead of paying for what is often a lackadaisical vacuum job at a car wash, or pumping in several dollars of quarters at a do-it-yourself vacuum station (with hoses that never fit into the crevices where dirt collects in cars), dedicated car vacuums are lightweight, portable, efficient, and affordable. They come with attachments specifically designed to remove dirt from vehicles. Most will remove wet dirt as well as dry. There are three basic kinds, each with specific advantages.

12V Vacuums

The ThisWorx TWC-01 car vacuum has 16-foot long power cord and a transparent dirt receptacle so you can see when it’s full. ThisWorx for

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Car vacuums that operate off of your accessory outlet are the ultimate in ease and flexibility, because all you need to do is plug it in and start vacuuming. That means you can clean your car’s interior no matter where you are—a parking lot, the side of the road, or remote areas. All you need to do is start your car, or turn the car key to the accessory setting so the outlet is powered. These vacuums are ideal for people traveling with kids, or those who carry a lot of passengers in their vehicles.

Wet-dry Vacuums

Armor All’s 2.5 gallon wet-dry utility vacuum weighs only seven pounds and has on-board storage for all accessories. ArmorAll

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Although wet-dry vacuums must be plugged into a standard household outlet, they have several advantages. They’re very powerful. They’re capable of vacuuming up liquids (a consideration if you have kids). They have a blower setting, allowing you to dry those wet sections (as well as clean out a grill or an air filter), and you can use one in a garage or basement, too.

Cordless Vacuums

The MEG handheld cordless car vacuum has a 106-volt lithium battery and charging cables for both household and car accessory outlets. MEG

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Rechargeable lithium batteries have created a whole new class of powerful portable devices, and vacuums are no exception. A cordless car vacuum is easy to use because there’s no cord trailing behind you. That makes them ideal for cleaning car trunks or carpeted pick-up truck beds, and, of course, they double as hand-held household vacuums for quick pick-ups, or in places where there’s no electric outlet. Look for one that can be charged through either a vehicle’s 12V outlet or a standard household outlet.