Best Vacuum for Car Detailing

best vacuum for car detailingWant to keep your brand new Mercedes or Corolla in tip-top shape?

Tired of having friends and family sit inside your vehicle and having to “explain” the mess away?

Do you miss that new car look & smell?

If so then this page might be exactly what you are looking for!

Below we look at the best vacuum for car detailing. Now although we put out a list of 5 distinct vacuums there is no particular order on which is the best. This could come down to many factors such as the interior used within the vehicle, the size, and how much suction or pressure is required. However we do feel any of the options below would present an upgrade so you don’t have to be embarrassed by a messy vehicle.

Comparing the top vacuums for car detailing

Below we outline our top 4 choice when it comes to automobile detailing vacuums:

ImageCar Detail VacuumRating (/5)PriceMain FeatureCord Length (ft)Hose Length (ft)Latest Price
Workshop WetDry4.4$$Long motor life2010
Metropolitan Vac 'n' Blo4.3$$$Versitile - use at home and on road16
McCulloch MC1275 Heavy-duty4.1$$Steam Cleaning1510
Carrand 94005AS AutoSpa3.9$Handheld123.25

Workshop WetDry Vacuum overview


Keeping your car looking as good as new is as easy as using a great wet-dry vac. The WorkShop WetDry Vac is designed especially for car and their little nooks and crannies. This little vac packs a big punch when it comes to cleaning the interior of any car. This little vac is portable and quick to set up and take down. This models is an excellent vacuum choice for car detailing.

Major Features

The WorkShop WetDry Vac is perfect for anyone who wants to detail the interior of their car. The vacuum is lightweight, weighing in at only 15.6 pounds with all of the attachments. With a peak of 5.0 HP, this vacuum will grab just about anything in its way. At four-gallons, the little vac will hold quite a bit of debris before you have to empty it. The vacuum does not have wheels, instead it has a flat bottom so it can sit inside the car without tipping over. It also comes with a big handle making it easy to move it from the garage to your car or even from your trunk to the interior of your car. Most large shop vac with wheels have small handles, which makes them difficult to carry. The designers of the WorkShop WetDry Vac thought of everything.

Useful Accessories

The WorkShop Wet Dry Vac comes with all of the necessary accessories to keep your car neat and tidy. The 10-foot hose helps you reach every spot where debris could land. The hose is flexible and has an anti-crimping design that keeps the air flowing smoothly. The vac has a crevice tool, a soft-bristle brush, a triangular dusting brush, and a claw nozzle. The soft-bristle brush is perfect for cleaning the dash and console. The claw nozzle and crevice tool help clean the upholstery and floor boards. The 1 ¼” locking hose is intentionally small so it can be maneuvered inside of the car; its size is substantial enough to avoid clogs, too.

Quality Design

When WorkShop WetDry Vac sucks up debris, the debris stays in the canister. The vac has a cartridge filter that pops in and is secured with Qwik Lock technology. The vac also has a Dust Collection Bag that prevents fine dust from filtering out of the canister and back into the car. The Qwik Lock filter has an auto-shut off so that the vac will not overflow if you are using it suck water out of the car.

Benefits for Owners

This wet-dry vac is built to last and get autos clean on the inside. Anyone who is looking to detail cars will be happy with this vac. It is easy to put in a car and take to a job. The accessories are designed specifically for detailing cars with hoses and attachments that fit into the tight spaces that a regular wet-dry vac cannot reach. With the Qwik Lock filter and dust collection bag, the WorkShop WetDry Vac is easy to keep clean, too. The vac was built with mobility in mind with the big handle and lightweight design.

Car Detailing with a Metropolitan Vac ‘n’ Blo


Shopping for the great vacuum for detailing is easy with the Metropolitan Vac ‘n’ Blo Compact Vacuum. This little vac is lightweight and comes with all of the attachments that you could possibly need. With this little vac, you can clean up all the debris in your car quickly and easily. Along with vacuuming up the inside of cars, this vacuum can also be used as a blower for a variety of purposes.

Power and Durability

This powerful vacuum is made of steel and has a 4.0 HP motor with a 120 volt 12 foot long grounded cord. The hose is six feet long and has two extensions that add an additional 20 inches to the hose. This vacuum comes with 13 attachments and it has a reusable dust cloth bag to filter debris. This strong little vacuum is ideal for anyone who wants to take care detailing cars because of its size, durability, and power.

Included Attachments

The attachments that come with the Van ‘n’ Blow were designed with car detailing in mind. The vac comes with traditional attachments, like a carpet/floor tool and a pair of 20-inch extension wands that make it easy to clean trunks and hatchback spaces. The crevice tool and Pik-All nozzle make it easy to get into tight spaces. The dusting brush can be used for the dashboard and other spots that get dust build up. The vac also comes with a blower nozzle to direct air wherever you need it to go. The inflator adaptor can be used on any item that needs to be inflated, like bike tires, pool floats, and footballs. The vac also comes with a set of four micro cleaning tools that are perfect for the smallest spaces in your car. You can go hands-free with the shoulder strap and the reusable filter bag makes it easy to keep the inside of the vac neat and tidy.

Quality Manufacturing and Warranty

When you add this vac to your collection of detailing tools, you will quickly be able to see the quality manufacturing. This vac is made in America and includes a quality warranty showing that the company truly stands behind the product. The vac is durable and powerful, which are the main qualities that anyone should want in a vacuum. Since it is so lightweight, it is easy to move from one car to the next, and the shoulder strap makes it easy to move the vac and other tools with ease.

Best Features

One of best features of this vac is the set of micro cleaning tools. Cars have so many little crevices and areas that are difficult to clean. This little set can get all of the dust and debris that builds up in the vents, around the shifter, and in other tight spots. Most other car vacs do not come with these little tools, especially for such an affordable price. The only thing missing from this vacuum and accessory set is a carrying case, but the small size of the canister and the accessories make it easy to find a case for everything to fit into.

McCulloch Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner


There are times when a car needs more than just a quick vacuum clean. When it comes time for a deep steam cleaning, the McCulloch Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner will get the job done. With powerful steam heat, all of the ground in dirt and grime is loosened to get the deepest possible clean. The McCulloch Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner is an excellent addition to a professional detailers collection of tools.

Details about the Steam Cleaner

It is easy to see why this steam cleaner is so popular with detailers. The lightweight canister weighs in at 10 pounds and is easy to roll around on its set of wheels. It only takes 8 minute for the water to reach the maximum heat and that heat lasts for a lengthy 45 minutes, giving plenty of time for thorough cleaning. The tank holds 48 ounces of water. With a 15-foot power cord and a 10-foot steam hose, it should be easy to reach all of the spots that need cleaning in any vehicle. The small size of the canister and the attachments makes this steam cleaner easy to put in the trunk or a carrying case for offsite jobs.

Features and Attachments

The durable steam cleaner comes with several features and attachments that make it a perfect tool for auto detailing. If you need a continuous blast of steam, the cleaner comes with a trigger that can be locked into place. There are 18 accessories that can be used in a car and in several other places. The steam cleaner includes a carrying handle and a steam jet nozzle for basic use. For hard-to-reach places, the two extension wands as helpful length to the hose. To ensure the right amount of water and cleaner gets into the tank, there is a water funnel and measuring cup. To clean a vehicle’s carpet and upholstery, the microfiber pads, nylon utility brushes, and scrub pad can be helpful. The steam cleaner also comes with a mop head, squeegee, triangle brush, and brass utility brush. The tools are not only useful inside of cars, but they can also be used to clean brake dust from wheels and get grime off of license plates, headlights, and other exterior spots that can be difficult to keep clean.

Cleaning without Chemicals

Using steam heat to clean is a good choice for car interiors. All too often, professional detailers will use cleaners with harsh chemicals in vehicle interiors. With a steam cleaner like the McCulloch MC1275, heat and water do the job, leaving behind no unwanted aromas or chemicals. Cleaning with steam is a surefire way to keep the inside of a car a clean and safe place to be.

Pair With a Powerful Wet-Dry Vac

Professional detailers appreciate the flexibility of the McCulloch Heavy Duty Steam Cleaner. It lets them take good care of the interiors and exteriors of all vehicles. Its small size and useful accessories make it a must-have for anyone who cleans for a living. The McCulloch MC1275 becomes even more useful when paired with a powerful wet-dry vac to clean up any debris that was drawn out by the steam heat.

Carrand 94005AS AutoSpa overview


As car detailing has become a popular business, options for detailing vacuums have grown. The Carrand Auto Spa is a small and powerful vacuum that is perfect for cleaning up cars and other small spaces. The vacuum comes with an affordable price and plenty of useful features. The little vacuum is a favorite with car detailers because of its power, price, and tools.

Specs for Power and Size

The Carrand Auto Spa is a powerful vacuum, especially considering its size. With 550 watts of cleaning power, the 8-ounce vacuum packs serious power for its tiny size. It takes up very little space when placed in the car. The vacuum also has a 12-foot power cord and the vacuum hose measures 40-inches in length. For easy cleaning, the vac has a 360-degree elbow that allows the hose to swivel smoothly. The little vacuum even has storage spots for the three specialty tools. For an added benefit, the collection basket is reusable – just clean it out and its ready to go again.

Three Specialty Tools for Easy Cleaning

The three tools make it easy to get every square inch of your car’s interior neat and tidy. The Carrand Auto Spa vac comes with a brush tool designed to clean the dash, a crevice tool, and a tool designed to vacuum up everything on the carpet and upholstery. And, along with using the vacuum to suck up dirt, the vacuum can be used as a blower, which can help with loosening up debris from hard-to-reach areas like rims and vents.

More Air Flow than the Competition

One of the reasons that the Carrand Auto Spa is so powerful despite its size has to do with the air flow. The little vac has very litlte resistance built into its design, so air flows freely and increases the suction. And independent reviewer found that this vac has 44% more air flow that other vacuums in the same class. The handheld vacuum is perfect for anyone who appreciates having an extremely clean automobile.

Innovation and Unique Design

Carrand has become a popular brand for auto enthusiasts who love to have clean cars. The manufacturer has worked hard to incorporate innovative design into its functional tools. The lightweight Auto Spa vac is a perfect example of what Carrand stands for in its products. The lightweight vac stands apart from the rest of the car vacs in its style and performance. This little bagless automotive vac can easily be placed in a bag to be carried from car to car. Because the vac is so lighweight, it is easy to use and its power makes cleaning up the car quick, too.

Necessary Power Sources

The vacuum does require a 110-volt AC plug. So unless you have a converter for your 12-volt DC plug in your car, you will need to plug the Auto Spa into your garage’s outlet for power. The 12-foot cord makes it easy to reach the inside of a car and many users will simply add an extension cord if necessary.

What features should you look for in a car detailing vacuum?

Car vacuums are quite unlike the types of vacuums that you use in your home. Since car spaces are much smaller, it is nearly impossible to get a home vacuum into your car to get the upholstery and carpet neat and tidy. And, even if you want to use your vacuum’s attachments to clean your car, most people do not want to bring their vacuum cleaners into the garage or out into the driveway. Instead of using your indoor vacuum cleaner for your car, it is better to just invest in one of the better car detailing vacuums outlines on this page. When you are ready to do that, there are several features to consider.

Power

The first necessary feature is power. Unless you have a garage or long extension cords, you might want to consider investing in a car vacuum that runs on battery power. A cordless vacuum is useful because you do not have to waste time getting an extension cord out and putting it away again just to clean the inside of your car. Small cordless vacuums are great choices for cleaning cars because cars have such small areas that require cleaning. Just be sure that when you are finished using it, you put the cordless vac back on the charging unit.

Accessories

You will also want to be sure that your car detailing vacuum comes with plenty of helpful accessories. There are plenty of crevices in cars that can trap things like French fries, dirt, and other unwanted things, so you want your vacuum to be able to access all of the spots. Little hoses and crevice tools that can get between and under the seats will make the task of keeping your car clean much easier. Brush tools, flexible hoses, and specialty tools are useful for getting things like pet hair out of your car. Another beneficial feature is a washable filter that is easy to clean.

Wet-Dry options

Wet-dry vacuums are also good choices for car detailing vacuums. They come in a variety of sizes and the small ones are useful for cars because you can take them with you. If you ever want to shampoo your interior, then a wet-dry vac will make it easy to clean up the shampoo and the grime. Like the little car detailing vacuums, it is helpful to find a wet-dry vac that comes with a variety of attachments that let you get into the crevices of your car. Wet-dry vacs can also blow air as well as vacuum up debris. A blowing option can be helpful if you want to dry the interior of your car after a good cleaning and it can also be helpful if there is debris in tight spaces that the attachments cannot get to. A quick blast of air can move debris to a spot that you can vacuum up.

Weight

Another feature that many people like when they are vacuuming their cars is the weight of the vacuum. A heavy or cumbersome vac can be a nuisance for several reasons. If you use a big shop vac, you have to worry about it denting your car if it rolls around. A lightweight vac can sit in your car and not do any damage to the interior or the exterior. Lightweight vacs are easy to store, too.

HEPA filter

Another helpful feature for your car detailing vacuum is a HEPA filter. This type of filtration system is good for you home because it prevents allergens from moving out of the vacuum and back in your home. Cars are also hotbeds for allergens, especially if you travel long distances. With open windows and sunroofs, all types of pollens, dusts, and other allergens can get into your car. If your detailing vac has a HEPA filter, then you do not have to worry about those allergens blowing back into your car. Be sure to keep the filter clean.

Price

One more desirable feature for a car vacuum is the price point. Unless you plan to become a professional car detailer, then there is no reason to spend a fortune on a car vacuum. There are plenty of good options with powerful motors, HEPA filtration systems, and useful accessories for low prices. If you use your vacuum on a regular basis, you might want to spend more on it than if you only use it monthly because you will want a good quality vacuum that will last for a long time. The best vacuum for pet hair will cost more than one that is not designed for pet hair.

The car detailing process: Explained

What exactly is car detailing? Is it simply keeping your car clean?

Car detailing is quite a bit different than a simple car wash. It does entail washing the exterior of the car, but it’s so much more than simply driving a car through a car wash to scrub away the dirt and grime. The detailer will give a car a serious cleaning with specialized tools to clean every nook and cranny on the inside and the outside. When you get your detailed car back, it should look as good as new.

Here are a few things you can expect to have happen when your car is detailed:

Exterior Procedures

  1. Prior to washing the body of the car, your detailer will work on the wheels and the wheel wells. There are special cleaning tools and products that the detailer will use to get all of the brake dust off. The detailer will also clean all of the lug nuts and the details on the wheels (thus the name “detailer”). You can also expect the tires, suspension components, and brake calipers look brand new once the detailer is finished
  2. Your car will be thoroughly washed on the outside. Many detailers have a special soap that will foam up to loosen up any grime and caked-on dirt. While that soap works on dirt, the detailer will use a special brush to work on the trim, grill, and badges. Then, the detailer will rinse everything off
  3. The next step is to give the painted part of the car a gentle cleaning. The detailer will soft mitts and microfiber towels to thoroughly wash the body of the car. These gentle tools will prevent those swirls and scratch marks that often come with hand washing. You can expect this entire process to take close to two hours and the detailer is still not finished
  4. After the car has been thoroughly cleaned on the outside, the detailer will look for places on the car where tar or other road grime is truly stuck on. The detailer will use a lubricant and a clay bar that are specially designed to remove these unfortunate problems. It is important for the detailer to remove these flaws for the next step
  5. Once the exterior surface has been properly prepared, the detailer will polish the car using a polishing machine. It will swirl around the polishing product and give the car a beautiful shine. Some detailers will polish cars by hand. Whether they use a machine or a hand, the detailer will take several steps to add the perfect shine. In some cases, the detailer will polish over the course of several days – especially if they car that is being detailed is for a show. Once the polishing process is completed, the detailer seals it
  6. The engine is the final step for the exterior of the car. It is cleaned with special products to get rid of the grime and buildup that comes with everyday driving

Interior Procedures

  1. The interior is vacuumed first getting into all of the tight spots with special vacuum attachments. Once the floor and the seats are free of debris, cloth upholstery is shampooed to get rid of stains and toxins. The shampoo will add a fresh scent. If the car has leather seats, they are cleaned by hand to refresh the grain of the leather and to clean up contaminants. A leather conditioner will be applied to keep it soft and supple
  2. Once the large parts of the interior are cleaned, the next step is to take care of the details. The trim is cleaned up and protected so it is not damaged by the sun. The interior glass is also cleaned to remove grime and buildup. The detailer will use special interior cleaning products and tools like cotton swabs and little brushes

The process is time consuming, but it prolongs the life of the exterior and interior of the car. It is a useful to have a good detailing completed each year to keep you car looking great.

We hope that you’ve enjoyed a look at what we believe are the best car detailing vacuums available right now. Please let us know if you’ve tried any and how well they’ve worked for you!

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