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  • Please advise me on the best handheld vacuum!

    With the kids eating in the car just about every day, I’ve been longing for a powerful handheld vacuum to clean up all the crumbs. And the sand. Whether he’s at the beach, the park, or the playground at preschool, Alex always seems to have a few ounces of sand in his shoes.

    But I keep putting off the purchase because I don’t know what to buy.

    So I’m asking for your advice: Which handheld vacuum is the best available?


    1. Anonymous says:

      I absolutely love the red devil hand held vac. It has a small dust bag in it and a beater bar. The cord is long enough I can use it to vacuum the stairs without having to move the plug from one outlet to another. And I bought it for 4 dollars at the thrift store.

    2. I tried looking online to find the best hand vac (I went against my usual rule of “no appliances as gifts” and asked for one for my birthday). I ended up buying a Dustbuster at Target that was around $20, and then I found an older version at a yard sale for $2. Both work great, so I have one on each floor, though one often migrates to the van and stays there a few days.

    3. Suzanne Morris says:

      I have the Black & Decker Dust Buster 7.2V. I like it because it picks up wet and dry. I have used it for soggy Cheerios, sand, confetti, you name it. I keep it charging in the laundry room, ready for that quick pick up. And it’s easy to clean


    4. Kathryn says:

      Strange as it may sound we no longer use a handheld vac for such situations. Instead, we banished our old upright bagless vac (with a hose & accessories) to the garage.

      The bagless vac now lives out there and is handy anytime we need to vacuum out the car. We now have enough room in the garage to use is inside; however, when we needed to use it on the driveway, we simply attached an outdoor extension cord.

      Using a full size bagless vac allows us to collect more than the handheld (it is positively scary what you can find back there) and, I think, is easier to empty.

    5. Sheer Blind Luck says:

      I have a Black and Decker Dust buster that I bought in March of ’07 that’s still going strong. Whenever I’ve used it in the car, it’s been great! I think it can only run 8 minutes or so on one charge, but my car has only been so dirty where I’ve had to make it two sessions. The attachments are pretty great too. I’d look for it on sale, as I think I bought it for 24 bucks, which was certainly worth it to me.

    6. Clean ClutterFree Simple says:

      The main problem with the handheld vacs is the charger, which doesn’t handle battery recharging properly. I don’t understand the physics or whatever, but the charger essentially burns out the vac battery over time, necesitating replacement. That said, Our DustBuster 14.4V has lasted longer than usual, and has good power and a crevice attachment. We mounted the base on a cabinet over our basement workbench–handy!

    7. Jen_nifer says:

      I like our Shark. I’m not sure if it’s just available in Canada or not. The cord is many feet long, and it has a hose that hooks up to the “mouth” of the shark.

      It’s been great for getting into the nooks and crannies of the highchair.

    8. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thanks, everyone! I’m going to check out your suggestions – I definitely need to get one pronto so I really appreciate the recommendations!

    9. Karen_thrifty says:

      My handheld vacuum is horrible! It is made by Shark. I got it at Target about 4 years ago because it was on clearance for half price, $25. It wasn’t even worth the $25. Hopefully, Shark is making them better now. I give it to my son to use while I’m vacuuming. He likes to think he’s helping. lol

    10. Anonymous says:

      I have an oreck canister vac that I got for free with my upright oreck. They are pricey, but well worth the investment as I don’t anticipate having to buy a new vacuum for at least 10 years (my mom has had her oreck for 15 and it works perfectly still). the canister vac has been my savior in many a crummy situation.