The Best Portable Car Vacuum To Dial In Your Interior

Flex 9-Gallon HEPA Wet/Dry Portable Vacuum for Car Detailing

Cleaning car interiors is not my thing. I hate it with a passion. Being slumped over inside of my E92 is not my idea of a good time, especially when I’m sweating profusely. Regardless of my car interior cleaning woes, it was time I decided on what portable vacuum to bring into the store. There’s no question that the Flex 9-Gallon HEPA Wet/Dry Vacuum is the best portable car vacuum for your car detailing needs. 

For years, I’ve had several people ask me when I would have a vacuum solution available. In all honesty, it wasn’t something I had on my shortlist because I didn’t freakin’ care. You’d think I’d have a sophisticated vacuum system like we have with our pressure washing solutions, but my interest wasn’t in vacuums and still isn’t. It’s just something I know we needed to have to complete our interior cleaning set of tools. 

My decision to make a decision was based purely on demand, and we now have a portable vacuum solution I think you will love, with a wall-mounted one coming soon.

Why I Chose The Flex 9-Gallon HEPA Wet/Dry Portable Vacuum

I’ve had my FLEX vacuum every since I brought FLEX tools into the store a while ago. It never resonated with me until now that the portable vacuum we needed to have was right under my nose all these years. Again, this speaks to my aversion to cleaning interiors. Several vacuums have come and gone, but this one has stuck around. I laugh now because I’ll use this thing thoughtlessly and push it back into the corner of my garage. 

So, I will share a few reasons why I love having this thing around. I’m glad Tommy (our Director of Product Development) nudged me to get this up in the store. It’s a tool I use multiple times a week. 

Here’s how I use my FLEX vacuum:  

  • To clean Swisstrax tiles. This is the most important use of this portable vacuum cleaner for me. One of the advantages you have with tile flooring is you can vacuum right over the top of it. Or, you can use our tile popper tool to lift your tiles and do some deeper cleaning with an all-purpose cleaner. It’s nice to have a wet dry vac like the FLEX to do the heavy lifting with minimal effort. 
  • To clean bare floors. My primary application for this machine is to clean car interiors and garage flooring, but I’ve found that it has multiple uses, especially with its max flow rate (CFM) of 148. The suction power is absolute perfection; you can even adjust it with the turn dial located on the front. I’ve taken it home to clean up construction dirt and carpet. It does a great job of getting up all the unseen crap in the crooks and crevices of tiles. 
  • To clean the interior of my cars. I’ve tried using cordless car vacuums, but they all seem to struggle with suction power. I like the idea of not dragging a cord around, but with some tools, you’ll have a better experience having them corded. The FLEX does a fantastic job maintaining its power throughout the entire detailing process. A powerful vacuum cleaner like this ensures no crumbs will go untouched. Not that I have many crumbs in my cars, but it’s nice to know that my carpets, seats, trunk, and cupholders are getting the complete cleaning I want them to get. 

The cost of this vacuum is high, but the performance and build quality justify the price. As I said, I’ve had this thing for several years, and it still looks new and performs like it did the first time I used it. Granted, I am obsessed about keeping my garage space and tools clean, so that does play into how pristine this thing looks. 

I can count on one hand how often I’ve used the wet vacuum function on this thing, mainly because I don’t spill stuff while I’m working. However, the few times I have used it, it performed as expected. There’s nothing magical about this machine other than it does what I/you/we want it to do, but with way better performance than all the other vacuums on the market. Although I’m not a big fan of cleaning car interiors, I am a fan of and really good at shopping for quality products - this is one of them.

FLEX Wet/Dry 9-gallon Portable Vacuum Cleaner


You want to be sure you’re getting the optional accessories along with this vacuum. You’d simply select “Yes - Add Flex Vacuum Cleaning Set” on our FLEX vacuum product page. I say that because I want you to experience this thing the same way I do. I also don’t want you to purchase this thing thinking you’re automatically getting the accessories with it;  you have to choose the yes option. 

What makes this thing complete and versatile are the tools you can get with it. I’ll discuss each as I’ve used them for various reasons.

  • The handle. It may seem kind of odd to talk about a handle, but you don’t realize how important it is to have one installed until you have to move this thing around. Comfort and my back are two things I value very much, so having this handle makes transporting this vacuum around much more effortless. 
  • The bent hose end attachment. Having this attachment just makes working around tighter areas much simpler; rather than fighting to get the round brush nozzle or crevice tool in between tight spaces, having this bent hose makes reaching those hard-to-reach places more convenient. I also use this attached to my floor cushion nozzle to clean up my Swisstrax tile flooring
  • The crevice tool. I use this crevice tool for most of my interior vacuuming. I use this when I want to get dirt or debris up from my carpets, in between my seats, and when I’m cleaning inside my cupholders. The narrow nozzle on the crevice tool makes cleaning tighter spots more efficient. 
  • The round brush nozzle. I like to use this round brush nozzle for vacuuming up the dust I get on my dashboard and door panels. This tool, in conjunction with the tornador blow out tool, makes for an excellent 1, 2 combination. You can also use this around the house to suck up all the junk that accumulates over time around your baseboards, etc. 
  • The cushion nozzles. There’s a small one and a big one you’ll get. I tend to use the bigger one to clean up my floors. Because of this thing's suction power, it does an excellent job of getting all the crap up from on top and underneath my tiles. The smaller one works well with the crevice tool for dialing in your car’s carpet.
  • Three extension pipes. You’re getting three 350mm extension pipes and an anti-static elbow connector, giving you the extra reach you’ll need to avoid awkward bending and getting those hard-to-reach places. I use these mostly when I’m vacuuming my floors. 

There are so many uses for this wet/dry vacuum that you will find different ways to use it. Again, I’m not using the wet vacuum function very often, but when I need it, I know I’ll have a stout tool to handle that task. 

I like multifaceted things. Give me a product that performs different tasks at high performance, and I’m happy. There aren’t many portable vacuums out there that are built to last and give you the wide range this thing can - I freaking love it, and I think you will, too.

The Perfect Portable Vacuum

I’m always careful of what I put my stamp of approval on, especially when I’m saying it’s darn near close to perfection. There are several vacuums out there that are much cheaper and can do the same job this thing can. But, I’ll challenge that by saying you won’t find many of them that have 1) the suction power, 2) the durability, 3) the ergonomics, and 4) the overall fit and finish. 

Overall, it’s my favorite portable vacuum cleaner for detailing. I get it if you’re on the fence about it because of the price. But you’ll have this freaking thing forever.