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The 4 Best Portable Car Vacuums

You don't have to splurge at the car wash to keep your ride's interior looking clean — especially if you choose to invest in one of the best portable car vacuums.

These compact vacuums are small enough to leave in your car, but even if you choose to store them elsewhere, they won't weigh you down as you maneuver hard-to-reach areas. And despite their smaller size, they actually do the job well. Your long-lost french fries don't stand a chance!

French fry jokes aside, portable vacuums are not all the dame. Some work wet and dry, while others are made to tackle stubborn pet hair and dust. Depending on your lifestyle and how deep of a clean you want to achieve, you might require certain features over others. One major thing to keep in mind as you shop is how you plan to use your new vac. Don't think you'll always have access to an outlet? Then you'll want to invest in a cordless option or one that's compatible with your car's auxiliary port. Otherwise, an extension cord will have you covered.

Here, find a list of three highly rated vacuums made for car use. Their different features set them apart, but they have one thing in common: They're all under $50.

1. Best Overall

Good to know: This well-reviewed, handheld vacuum set comes with everything you need to keep your car's interior spotless — including a convenient storage back with a handle. The vacuum works both wet and dry and boasts 160 watts of power, plus its removable HEPA filter and transparent dust cup are both easy to clean. It has a 16-foot power cord that can be plugged directly into your car's cigarette lighter. And in terms of attachments, you get three: a crevice nozzle, a brush nozzle, and a hose for hard-to-reach areas. The best part? Everything fits nicely inside the bag.

What reviewers with cars say: "It picks up dirt well and with the long cord, you can get around your car with no problem. This vacuum has saved me countless trips to the carwash!"

2. Best Small Wet/Dry Vacuum For Your Car

Good to know: This four-star mini wet/dry vac from Shop-Vac features a 1-gallon tank and a 4-foot hose, making it great for all kinds of car messes. The handle collapses for the most compact storage possibilities, and this model is even equipped with wall brackets should you want to mount it instead of leaving it in your trunk. Unlike some of its counterparts, this one is corded, so you'll need to either use an extension cord or attach it to an outlet less than 6 feet away. It comes with a few different attachments including a filter bag and a crevice tool to reach any awkward corners.

What reviewers with cars say: "[I] primarily used it to vacuum my cars and it did the job effortlessly. The only small issue is that if you set it down while using it, it has the tendency to fall over since it's so lightweight."

3. Best Hand Vac For Pet Hair

Good to know: Stubborn pet hair is no match for Bissell's Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum, which is protected by a one-year warranty. This small-but-powerful machine can hold up to .78 liters of fur and dust, and like the brand's full-sized products, it's engineered to remove allergens with a cyclonic filtering system. Its pink rubber nozzle loosens hair to ensure it's actually coming up with each swipe, while its slimmer gray nozzle is ideal for sucking up crumbs and bigger messes. And since it weighs just four pounds, it's a breeze to carry around. Note: This one isn't cordless, but its 16-foot cord provides ample leeway when attached to an outlet.

What reviewers with cars say: "I take my little dog to work everyday, and she sheds horrendously in the car. This little sucker (no pun intended) had no problem getting up all the hair from the seats and carpet. Very pleased and would recommend it to anyone looking for a car seat cleaner-upper. The cord is long enough I had no problem reaching the outlets in my garage."

4. Best Cordless Mini Vacuum For Smaller Messes

Good to know: This little vacuum from Honlibey is designed for smaller messes (think: ash trays and cup holders), but it comes with different attachment heads that make it surprisingly versatile: two flat nozzles for crevices as well as a brush tool that'll help lift stuck-on dust. It has a washable EVA filter and air vents to prevent overheating. Even better, its dust cup simply twists off for easy cleanup. And if your car has a USB input, you won't technically need access to an outlet to keep it running, because it's rechargeable via USB after each 50-minute run time.

What reviewers with cars say: "I got this to keep in my car and vacuum out any small dirt to keep the interior clean. Works very well! Has much more power than you would think with something this small. The attachments are great. Very good build quality for what it is."

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