The Best Vacuum for Detailing Cars

Best Vacuum for Detailing Cars

Part of keeping your car in good condition is having it detailed. Having a car professional detailed costs hundreds of dollars, and often does not do as good of a job as you can. If you prefer to detail your car yourself, you need a good car vacuum that is designed specifically for car detailing.

​We've reviewed the best vacuum for detailing cars, pulled from all the vacuums that are on the market. With the models, you will be able to quickly deep clean your car with a high-suction vacuum cleaner.

​​How We Determined the Best Vacuum for Detailing Cars

​Detailing your car on your own is no easy task if you have the wrong vacuum. Simply taking the vacuum you use for your house out to your car is going to leave you frustrated, and it probably won't do a very good job.

On the other hand, if you pick up a vacuum that was specifically designed for detailing your car, you won't need to keep spending lots of money having a professional do all the work. Here are the factors we determined are needed in the best vacuum for detailing cars.

Powerful Motor

Your car has all sorts of difficult nooks and crannies where dirt, food, and hair get stuck. You need a car vacuum with a powerful motor to suction out everything, no matter where it is in your car.

Even without nooks and crannies, since your car is more than likely used a lot, dirt and debris can get ground into the floor and seats quickly. A powerful motor will be able to grab everything, and do it quickly.

A powerful motor will allow you to detail your car quicker, making it so that you pick up the majority of dirt and debris in your first pass, rather than having to go back over it several times.

Best Vacuum for Detailing Cars

Large Storage

While not as essential as a powerful motor, we found that having a decent sized storage unit in the car vacuum helps a lot. Speaking of convenience, there is nothing more inconvenient than having to stop half way through your detailing work and empty the storage canister.

Depending on the size of your car, you might be fine with a 2.5 gallon tank. Some of the options we've listed for the best vacuum for car detailing come with a 5 gallon tank, perfect for a larger vehicle.

Either way, don't settle for anything smaller than a 2.5 gallon tank.


Frankly speaking, cars are annoying to clean. The intricate job of detailing your car is downright difficult, with the wrong tools.

We looked for lightweight, portable vacuum cleaners when it came to our recommendations. This will make sure that you aren't put out to much when detailing.


​Many cheap vacuum cleaners ​skimp on the accessories, opting only to provide a vacuum but no attachments. And, while you might do fine with a simple vacuum like this, you'll be missing out on a lot of added benefits when it comes to detailing your car.

​Accessories don't typically come with too much of an added price, but they bring a whole lot of added convenience. Attachments like crevice and detail tools and blow drying make your job a lot easier.

​The Best Vacuum for Detailing Cars





​2 horsepower

​2.5 gallon

​4.5 horsepower

​​4.5 gallon

​5 horsepower

​​5 gallon

Armor All 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum

One of the best vacuums for detailing your car, the Armor All AA255 comes with everything you need to detail your whole car from top to bottom with total ease. It features a very powerful two horsepower motor that provides you with more than enough suction for the biggest of messes.

This model features a very large 2.5 gallon tank so you can clean your whole car in one go, plus the tank is very easy to clean as well.

The Armor All AA255 is large enough for most jobs, but also light enough to carry around. What is also neat about this vacuum is that it can suck up both wet and dry messes for your convenience.


  • ​Wet/Dry Vacuum​​​​
  • ​2.5 Horsepower Motor
  • ​2.5 gallon storage canister
  • ​Lightweight 7lbs
  • ​Reusable air filter
  • ​Many accessories
  • ​Relatively quiet

Also, you can convert it into a blow dryer so you can dry rims, upholstery, and other surfaces in or on your car. The built-in air and noise diffuser helps to keep this vacuum fairly quiet.

Moreover, all of the tools you need to detail your car come included in this package, including a two in one utility nozzle, a crevice tool, a deluxe car nozzle, a blower nozzle, and a detail brush too.

The reusable cloth filter that this model comes with means that the air which gets released from this vacuum is clean, plus you don’t have to deal with bags. You also get a fairly long power cord so you don’t have to worry about needing an extension cord.

​Why Buy?

​Inexpensive option with a powerful motor and loads of accessories.

Shop-Vac 5986000 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Stainless Steel Wet Dry Vacuum

We really like this model because it is both reliable and inexpensive. We also really like how this particular vacuum has a five gallon dirt canister. This means that you can easily clean up huge messes in your car or shop without having to empty it all of the time. It has a huge capacity, making it very convenient and user friendly.

Moreover, the canister and overall design of this vacuum is meant to be able to handle both dry and wet debris. You can literally soap down the leather seats in your car and then suck up everything including the water, thus eliminating the need for more water oriented tools.

What we also like about the Shop-Vac 5986000 is that it comes with a myriad of accessories like special wands and car detailing tools. It truly comes with everything you need to make cleaning your car a simple and easy task.


  • ​Wet/Dry Vacuum​​​​
  • ​4.5 Horsepower Motor
  • 5 gallon storage canister
  • ​Average weight 15lbs
  • ​Good air filtration
  • ​Many accessories
  • ​Very mobile

We like how this model comes with a filter to remove fine dust particles in order to prevent dust and dirt from reentering the air.

However, this model does require a bag for dirt storage, which is something that some people may not like too much. We like the ​Shop-Vac 5986000 Wet Dry Vacuum because it has a powerful 4.5 horsepower motor. This means that it has more than enough suction power to clean up everything in your car including heavier particles.

You might also like how this particular vacuum comes on a little wheeled cart for easy transportation and a high level of versatility. Even better is that it comes with a rear blower port so you can dry off wheels and other wet objects

​Why Buy?

​Middle tier pricing for top end power and tank storage.

Vacmaster 5 gallon 5 HP Wet/Dry Vacuum

We love the Vacmaster Wed/Dry Vacuum, and it gets our vote for overall best vacuum for detailing cars. A powerful 5 horsepower motor and a large 5 gallon storage canister are just a few of the things that make this car vacuum stand out.

One of the very best features of this Vacmaster Vacuum is that it comes with a whole lot of cleaning accessories. When you buy this model, you get a 10 foot flexible hose, an 11 foot standard hose, two extension wands, a round dust brush, a combo floor nozzle with a brush, a car nozzle, and a crevice tool.

Literally everything that needs vacuuming in your car can be done with this one great machine. And, of course, it comes with all of the onboard storage space required for all of those accessories.

One of the really neat parts about this Vacmaster Vacuum is that it has a remote controlled ON/OFF switch for your convenience. Even better is that it comes with a wall mounting system for easy storage.

What you might also like about this model is that it comes with an air and noise diffuser to help keep it extra quiet at all times.


  • ​Wet/Dry Vacuum​​​​
  • ​5 Horsepower Motor
  • 5 gallon storage canister
  • ​Heavier 26lbs
  • ​Wall mount
  • ​Tons of accessories
  • ​Quiet

The 5 horsepower motor on this vacuum is more than powerful enough to deal with the heaviest of jobs, plus the 5 gallon dirt canister is more than large enough to keep you going for a long time without having to empty it. This combo makes it a great fit no matter how large your car or how tough the job.

 The foam sleeve and the washable cartridge filter help makes things even easier for you. The carrying handle on this vacuum makes it easy to carry around.

Moreover, this model is ideal for both wet and dry messes, thus making your life just that much easier once again, plus it even comes with a blower function so you can blow dry your car from top to bottom.

​Why Buy?

​A top line shop vacuum with tons of power and an army of accessories.


Perhaps you are tired of paying an arm and a leg to have your car deep cleaned. Or, perhaps you are meticulous and prefer to detail your car yourself.

In either circumstance, it's time to invest in one of the above-listed best vacuum for detailing cars. ​If we had to pick, we think its worth spending the money to get the Vacmaster Vacuum.

Yes, it will cost you a few extra bucks. But, you get a powerful motor, plenty of storage, and every accessory you could want. You'll make it back in just a handful of car details.

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