Car Vacuuming Tips

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Any day can be a great day to clean out your car! Many of us have had it; that gross confetti of various bread crumbs, paper bits, snack wrappers, or just plain dust and dirt from who-knows-where. Sometimes we excuse ourselves with, "I just haven't had time to take it to the car wash..." but why spend $50 on a car wash and vacuum cleaning when you can invest that same price in a handheld vacuum cleaner? Even better, why not also acordless vacuum cleaner?

Car Vacuums 1

Why Cordless?

The answer is simple, cordless often means that you can take it into your car and keep it there for quick pickups and cleaning. Especially for parents, spilt snacks in a car can spell disaster, but a cordless vacuum cleaner can easily clean up after your little ones' little messes. Some of you might be pondering, "Well are they powerful enough to pick up these crumbs?" In all honesty, cordless vacuums are still improving and many models have sought to have the same suction power as a Shop Vac. However the power in a corded vacuum has long overpowered the capacity of a cordless vacuum. Here are some things to know while shopping for the correct cordless vacuum:

  • Battery type: This is very important in determining the power of a cordless vacuum. Lithium-ion batteries are powerful yet lightweight, and do not "fade" as drastically as other batteries. Other batteries, such as nickel-based batteries, may not have the same power or the consistent power that lithium-ion batteries do. Word of warning, however, lithium-ion batteries are often more expensive than other rechargeable batteries.
  • Life: Can the cordless vacuum run 15 minutes straight, or a mere 3 minutes? You should ask this question mainly because a car vacuum may need to be used minutes at a time without the need for recharging.
  • Bagged or Bagless? Although many cordless vacuums are bagless, you may never be too sure. Bagged units makes it easier to clean, however bagless cordless vacuum cleaners are much more convenient to maintain and use. Also, with enough time, several replacement bag models may become discontinued and hard to find in later years.
  • Recharge Time: Some vacuums would be ready to go in lightning-fast speeds, and others would need to sit for several hours. Consider this in your cordless vacuum cleaner. What time frame would be acceptable to you? Typically, most cordless vacuums require an hour to recharge, so consider leaving it charged overnight before taking in the car with you.
Car Vacuums 2

Why Handheld?

I believe this answer is simple, you can use it while in the car and store it in the car without taking too much space. Imagine having a 20 lbs. upright vacuum in your car and the few applications you would have for it. Handheld vacuums can be stored in the trunk, or better yet, on the passenger seat that seldom has a guest sitting on it. You could also place it at your passenger's floor. Here are some suggestions on using your handheld vacuum cleaner:

  • Nozzle: A narrow nozzle is an excellent choice for handheld vacuums for the car, that way, you can reach into the deep crevices of your car seats and the edges around the upholstery.
  • Weight: Obviously, a heavy handheld vacuum will fatigue your hand and wrists. Most handheld vacuums are a comfortable 3-4 lbs. Depending on your tolerance or wrist strength, you may be able to hold a 5 lbs. handheld vacuum for hours, or a 3 lbs. handheld vacuum for a half-an-hour.
  • Ergonomic Handle: Consider the handle of your handheld vacuum. A comfortable grip handle can reduce fatigue while operating it, as well as give you comfort while cleaning out your car. You may be cleaning out your whole car or doing one touch up, but a comfortable, natural grip is key.
  • Placement of Power Switch: A strange thing to consider, but important nonetheless. Some models have been built with the switch-on, switch-off function, which makes it perfect for several minutes of cleaning. However, an unfortunate few handheld vacuums operate by continuously applying pressure to a button, that will definitely add to your hand and wrist fatigue.
Car Vacuums 3

Floor Cleaning

For the average person, cleaning your mats would require one to lay across the back seat, or leave a door wide open. Some handheld, cordless vacuums include attachments such as crevice tools or even a narrow nozzle that flips over for more pinpoint vacuuming. Consider these tools when you purchase a car vacuum, as well as a wet/dry handheld vacuum.

Most parents would rejoice at a cordless handheld wet/dry vacuum. This would make the perfect tool to address cereal spills and accidental soda on your car upholstery. Although technology is constantly changing and improving, most wet/dry cordless vacuums are not powerful enough to dry out spills completely, but enough to stay the stain before it settles in.

Car Vacuums 4

Enjoying the Benefits

Here are only a few benefits in keeping a handheld, cordless vacuum cleaner in your car:

  1. Tool to clean up spills.
  2. Tool to occupy yourself with when you are in a parked position.
  3. Keep your car "guest ready" at all times.
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