About car wash vacuums and carpet cleaners

Would a car wash vacuum be able to remove all the dust on a car carpet versus that of a consumer grade carpet cleaner (rigid wd06350) which is what I used but didn’t have air filter on it and didn’t pick up all the dirt (still had dust clouds after striking it against a hard surface… Would I get the same results using a car washes vacuum and washing the carpet with a carpet shampoo/handheld shampooer or which would be better?

I don’t see why not.


Try it and then you will have the real answer .


Many car washes have free vacuums that are very powerful. Just try one. Some have ‘rug beaters’ for removable carpets.
I have washed the removable carpets in my clothes washer and dried them in my clothes dryer.
A wet dry vacuum is good to have but no better than most vacuums at car washes.

I have a fairly powerful wall mounted vac in my garage, but no vacuum will ever get Al the dust and grit out, especially in a car. That’s why you also need to shampoo the carpets and using a wet vac. Same as your house.

Never done either, standard vac on rugs of course.

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Well try it and look at the rinse water.

Do you guys have any tips to clean with the carpet shampoo because I’ve never done it before? Also I hear you can use a pressure washer but what would be the best settings, if you’d be washing off any shampoo applied (or what is the process?) and then leave to air dry or what?

I actually use the household steam cleaner solution mixed with water in a pale with a brush to apply and work it in-since I already have the solution. Then I suck it up with the wet vac. After it dries, you vac again. Or you can use the auto shampoo stuff which is usually just a foam spray that doesn’t get down to the complete fibers and fairly expensive.

Once the carpet has been vacuumed, you can use a carpet shampooer that has a wand for upholstery, stairs, and yes, even car carpets.

Here’s the one i use.

Or, you can use a portable carpet cleaner.

Both work very well

But don’t power wash the carpet.

That will;leave standing water on the car floor.


Here’s the one I use

If you are asking about using a Power Washer inside the vehicle just forget that . If these carpets in your car are that bad then I see a detailer in your future.

Some members here frown on telling people to search You Tube but this might be a case for that . Put ( Cleaning car carpets ) in your search engine and you just might find a video that shows you how and that you can do easily .

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Here is my thought. Cars we keep for 20 years, 286 Man In Recliner Chair Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock

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I just want to add a some words of caution. I have a friend who owns several car washes and he has a couple of folk who service his vacuums, He has them dump the drums once a week because you never know what the customer sucks up, from dust, to dirt, to mud, to vomit, to poop, to (every other objectionable, obnoxious, disgusting, detestable, nauseating, bit of debris imaginable and a few you cannot imagine…).

If you are going to use a car wash vacuum, try to find out if and when it was cleaned. Each Vac has a dust filter as well as a dump drum. I have accompanied him on several occasions when he receives reports of broken equipment or vandalism and he changes out the dust filters about once a month. He bought another car wash that was for sale about a year ago and I went with him to inspect it after closing the sale. The Vacs all worked, but hardly sucked. The dumps were full and the dust filters looked like that had never been changed.

I use a small (one gallon) Craftsman Wet/Dry Vac and I do it often enough that the little Vac is all I need.

Oh, and one more point, my friend puts wire ties on the Vacuum’s access doors in an attempt to keep the kids and bums from dumping the debris out looking for loose change (coins that are vacuumed up) and they do not always close the doors. If the door is not sealed (left open, or ajar), the Vac will draw most of its air through the door and not the nozzle…

I would use a spray bottle with water. Spray a bit on carpet and vacuum. You can do it even with the filter installed. The water will evaporate before it gets to the filter. It works and it’s only a car. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.

I use the Hoover but I’ve never found the stair brush work that well. Fine for suction but not agitating.

I use a big shop vac in dry mode to pick up most of the dust, then if dirt/dust remains I brush the carpet surface with some slightly soapy water, then vacuum the water/soap out using the shop vac in wet mode. Then I brush the carpet surface with plain water, on the hot side, vacuum out again, done. I do this on a hot day, afterwards I open the windows, and use a 20 inch box fan to air dry the carpet completely. Usually that’s good enough. If not then the carpet has to be removed (often a time consuming job) and thoroughly cleaned on both sides.

I’ve never in my life seen a free vacuum at a car wash. Unless you’re talking about the full-service car wash, but they don’t let you touch anything at those.

I’ve never seen a free one either, but the pay versions at self-serve car washes are pretty inexpensive and usually work well. Not as good as my own shop vac though.

I’ve never seen a free one either but I rarely use a self serve car wash. Last time though with my bag of quarters was surprised at the price increase. Guess you can use plastic with them though. Then had to go twice and with the brush to get the gooey beet juice off.