Here's why you shouldn't just use a car vacuum in your car

eufy car vacuum and chair
(Image credit: Future)

You'll find crumbs, dirt, dust and other debris everywhere, with one of our favorite leather wingback chairs accommodating quite a bit of it. Admittedly, we don't clean it enough, which is kind of embarrassing, but it's the reality we live in. Like many folk, we're particularly time-poor in our household, and as a result cleaning tasks such as vacuuming the armchair end up so far down the to-do list that, more than likely, they often just drop off it entirely.

I've been reviewing a new car vacuum, the eufy Clean H20, which launched earlier this week on August 15 2022. 

Once I'd unboxed it, figured out how to charge it (with no plug to attach onto the end of the charging cable) and actually juiced it up, I had a spare 10-or-so minutes to put the vacuum cleaner to the test before the car was available for cleaning.

So I attacked my leather wingback chair, obviously.

This is how the car vacuum performed cleaning the chair - if we've got your vacuuming juices flowing, then do check out our best vacuum cleaner guide for cleaning other areas of the home. 

We're still in the process of reviewing the handheld car vacuum cleaner and once it's live, we'll pop the link into this article so you can find out how it fared in our tests.

What I found when using a car vacuum to vacuum a chair

Our wingback chair is made of leather, features a removable seat cushion and is best described as filthy. It has some tight creases and button detailing, so whichever appliance or tool I was going to enlist to sweep away the residing crumbs, dirt and dust, it was going to have its work cut out.

Having unboxed the eufy Clean H20, I noticed that it had just one of the three battery indicator lights lit up, which meant the appliance needed to be charged. 

I had no idea how much power that single light represented, nor how long it would take to charge the vacuum from this battery level; but the eufy specs stated that a full charge of the vacuum takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, so I was prepared to wait.

One hour later, all three battery indicator lights were illuminated. It was ready to go, and I had the time to use it. The eufy Clean H20 can be used without any attachments, so this is what I did.

I first vacuumed the back of the seat cushion. This isn't leather but some old, delicate material. I had the car vacuum on the "eco" setting, moving it across the surface of the cushion in parallel lines until I was satisfied that I had covered it all. 

This helped to smooth out any creases and I felt that the eufy Clean H20's 40AW of suction would be sufficient to reach deep into the cushion fibers to remove any nasties that may have been lurking and become too comfortable.

vacuming seat cushion

(Image credit: Future)

Next, I worked the car vacuum in parallel lines across the base of the chair, where the cushion would usually sit. This is also a type of fabric, rather than leather. 

I felt that the unit was robust enough to apply a degree of pressure when getting stuck into the chair's nooks and crannies. 

The seams between the wings and back of the seat are rather tight – goodness knows what would be sitting behind there – so I also scooped out as much as I could with my hands, letting it fall back onto the seat for the vacuum cleaner to suck up. 

I opted to use the vacuum on max power for this task – and let's just say, the dust cup wasn't a pretty sight once done. 

vacuuming the sides of the chair

(Image credit: Future)

Using the eufy Clean H20 to tackle the wingback chair's detailing wasn't as successful as using it on the softer upholstery; not even the brush head could clean up the buttons. 

So for this particular job, I had to abandon the vacuum for some cotton buds instead.

Overall though, I was pleased with how the Clean H20 performed, reminding me that this could be a good dual-use device. Now, am I brave enough to tackle the sofa...?

using car vac on button detailing

(Image credit: Future)

Is a car vacuum the same as a handheld vacuum?

In a nutshell, yes. A car vacuum just comes with some more specialized tools for the job.

If you don't have a "car" vacuum cleaner then you needn't worry – a handheld vacuum cleaner will do an equally good job. Many of the best cordless vacuum cleaners convert to a handheld vacuum and also come with a suite of attachments. 

So long as a handheld vacuum cleaner has good suction, is easy to move around and equally easy to empty, it will be more than suffice for cleaning the various surfaces in the car and the home - so don't think you can only use it in your motor.

What style is a wingback chair?

A wingback chair – also known as wing chair – is a design classic. It has a high, solid back, winged sides and wooden legs. The seat cushion is often removable, but the cushioned back isn't.

Materials used to cover a wingback chair can be anything from leather to any number of types of soft upholstery.

What is a car vacuum?

The clue is in the name: it's a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for cleaning cars. The main body of such a cleaner could easily be mistaken for a handheld vacuum. It's compact and usually features only two or three settings.

Accessories such as the extension hose, brush head and car charger that usually  accompany a car vacuum such as the eufy Clean H20 as standard confirm that the primary use of a this type of appliance is for the car.

Jennifer Oksien
Homes Editor

 Jennifer Oksien is TechRadar’s Homes Editor. Jennifer (Jenny) has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UKs leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.