do you own a car? A motorhome? Something where dirt builds up and it’s woefully inconvenient to pull out a full-sized vacuum cleaner? Consider a portable handheld vacuum, one powerful enough to pick up errant cheerios, pebbles, balls of fluff, and anything else that gets into chairs and floors. I recently tested the ThisWorx car vacuum cleaner, which contains everything you need to keep your ride looking its best. But how well does it actually work? Here’s my ThisWorx review. (Spoiler alert: This works. Most of the time.)
Do you remember Dustbusters? Yes, this is pretty much a Dustbuster for the car, one with a 16-foot power cord that plugs into a standard 12-volt outlet (formerly known as a cigarette lighter, now referred to as a power port). That’s enough length to reach the back of a minivan, which I know because I tested it in a minivan (aka Dirt Trap on Wheels).
Do you think this would be better if it was battery powered and wireless? Maybe, but that would add weight and limit the amount of cleaning time. Plus, staying charged would be one more thing; for this particular product, I don’t mind a corded option.
The 2.4-pound vacuum cleaner contains a 106-watt motor, which is about on par with similar models I’ve seen. I don’t really care about numbers like that; I just want enough power to suck up everyday car grime. More about that below.
ThisWorx supplies three attachments: crevice nozzle, brush attachment and extension tube. I admit these items feel a bit flimsy, but at least they get the job done in the short term. You also get a spare HEPA filter and a filter cleaning brush.
I’m glad the vacuum cleaner comes with a zippered bag, but I wish it was bigger. There’s hardly any room for the vacuum cleaner itself, let alone the accessories. I was able to squeeze everything in (except the spare filter) and close the zipper, but it is certainly not neat and tidy.
Of course, the main thing is cleaning, so I’ll start with this true story: My wife was the book club’s designated driver, so she picked up a handful of friends on her way to the meeting. One of them brought a potted plant as a guest gift – and it promptly fell over, spilling dirt on a floor mat. (Why did it fall over? I understand we’re not here to discuss anyone’s driving skills.) So we had the perfect opportunity to test the vacuum.
How did it go? See the before-and-after photos here:
Pretty good, right? Although the mat was still a little stained where the dirt had been pounded in, the vacuum easily picked up any loose stuff – including in the crevices, thanks to the crevice attachment.
Then I turned to my own vehicle, where dirt had probably been on the driver’s side floor mat for six months. (Don’t judge me; let’s see yours.) This time, here’s before, during the day and after that:
Floor mats can be heavy, but the vacuum cleaner did a surprisingly good job. After an initial retry, I added the brush head, which helped “stir up” the stuck stuff so it could be sucked up. Of course, the crevice nozzle also came in handy here.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have much luck with small stones, the kind often brought by your shoe. They were left behind during normal vacuuming. Only if I tilted the suction end just like that, completely covering a pebble, the vacuum cleaner could grab it. This isn’t Dyson, friends.
That said, after a few minutes of floor work, my mat looked much cleaner. (The less said about the rest of the car, the better.)
If your vehicle is routinely littered with gravel, pebbles, and the like, I’d probably choose a more powerful vacuum cleaner. But if you want something for light cleaning or “dirty emergencies,” the ThisWorx car vacuum cleaner will get the job done at a very affordable price. It’s better than I expected.
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