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Detailing your car’s interior doesn’t always require a trip to a car wash or rolling out an extension cord to power an expensive home vacuum cleaner. Advances in cordless vacuum technology have made it easier than ever to clean your car. The New York Times recently reviewed the best cordless car vacuums available today and identified several that can help keep your car spick and span. 

The New York Times released its list of the best cordless car vacuums of 2022

LG cordless stick vacuum cleaner presentation at the Las Vegas Convention Center
LG cordless stick vacuum cleaner presentation | Alex Wong/Getty Images

The New York Times named two cordless vacuums as favorites that offer different styles and strengths. The article points out that both models are “capable of handling the tough-to-reach areas in a car” and will help keep your car clean. Let’s look at the best cordless car vacuums from Black+Decker and Dyson.

The Black+Decker Flex Handheld Vacuum removes stubborn pet hair

The Black+Decker 20-volt Flex Handheld Vacuum (BDH2020FL) lists for $129.07 and features a pet-hair brush, a four-foot flexible hose, and a washable filter. This model removes stubborn pet hair from your car’s upholstery and any vehicle or home carpet. In addition, the Flex’s flexible hose stretches up to four feet, allowing vacuuming in tight spots not accessible by handheld vacuums with one-piece designs.

However, it struggles when sucking up larger debris like Cheerios and snack chips. Nevertheless, its versatility gives it the edge when considering recommendations for regular users with lighter cleaning needs. 

The Dyson Humdinger is expensive but easy to use

The Dyson Humdinger (its name is enough to remember it) lists for $349.99 at Home Depot but is currently listed as “out of stock.” Although it does not have a flexible hose like the Flex, it delivers the strongest suction of any cordless handheld model tested by the NY Times. It also has a motorized upholstery tool that makes vacuuming pet hair from cloth seats and carpets a breeze. 

The Humdinger is almost a pound lighter than the Flex, and its compact shape allows easy maneuverability. However, its staggering price is hard to swallow, given that its usable life depends on the lifespan of the non-replaceable rechargeable battery. Additionally, its lack of onboard tool storage makes it easy to misplace the included attachments. 

Which vacuum is best for car cleaning? 

If your car-care area is close to an electrical outlet, the best vacuum for car cleaning may not be a cordless handheld model. Instead, the New York Times suggests considering the plug-in Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 priced at $199.99 on Amazon. 

The Navigator features a removable pod that transforms the standard carpet-centric floor vacuum into a handheld model with a flexible extension hose much like the Black+Decker Flex but with plenty of suction to strike fear into the hardest to reach Cheerio. 

How do you reach hard to get spots on a car? 

The vacuums listed provide various tools designed to access those hard-to-reach spots inside your car. Utilizing crevice tools and flex hoses can help, but sometimes an area is out of reach. If you find a place your vacuum cannot reach, it may be time to use some painters’ tape wrapped around a foam brush or your finger to remove debris stuck in a crevice. 

Another highly rated handheld option

Topping the New York Times list of handheld vacuums is the Black+Decker 20V Max Lithium Pivot (BDH2000PL). Unfortunately, it lost out in the cordless car vacuum race because it has less suction than the Humdinger and lacks the Flex’s flexible hose. However, it costs less than $70 and is available at multiple retailers. 


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