Can This TikTok Massage Gun Hack Help Clean Your Car?

A day at the beach can mean a lifetime of sand in your car. The latest TikTok cleaning hack claims to solve this problem. Does it?

I don’t like vacuuming my car, so I’m always on the lookout for something to make it easier. Most weeks, I take it to the car wash.

My car’s interior usually resembles the sandy beach where I play fetch with my two dogs. Last week, I retrieved my vehicle at the car wash and the nice man mopped his brow and said, “Whew!”

I think I need to vacuum a little more often.

So I was intrigued by this viral TikTok video showing a mesmerizing car cleaning hack. A person holds a massage gun to the carpeted floor of their car, and a vacuum sucks up an incredible tornado of sand and dirt.

Does it work? I decided to find out.


Thought this was cool #carhack

♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery – Dante9k Remix – David Snell

How It Works

The idea is simple: Massage gun vibrations shake loose sand, dirt and dust from car carpeting, and a vacuum sucks it all up.

To test this hack, I bought a massage gun and attached the same U-shaped attachment as shown in the video. I dragged my vacuum cleaner out to the driveway and removed my car’s rubber floor mats.

I started up the massage gun and the vacuum and held them to the driver’s side floor. Sand immediately started dancing, but I wasn’t getting the sandstorm suction effect like in the video.

I looked at my dinky vacuum and decided to drive up to the gas station. Eight quarters later, I was in business.

The gun did an amazing job shaking loose sand, and the vacuum was strong enough to suck it up. This was going great. I made a mental note to buy a better vacuum cleaner.

Then I got to the backseat, driver’s side floor. Note: My Great Pyrenees mix wedges herself into this tiny space when we pass trucks. My car carpets are dark gray. My dog is bright white.

This hack was no help here. The gun definitely vibrated the dirt loose, but not the fine layer of white hair. That stuff stuck like glue.

The hack worked for sand and dust on my cloth seats, too.

What I Learned

Vacuuming my car (or yours) doesn’t have to be a dreaded event. This was kind of fun, and there’s nothing like the feeling of a truly deep clean.

Here are a few tips for getting the best results out of this massage gun cleaning hack:

  • Use a hefty vacuum with lots of suction power.
  • Set your massage gun on high so the vibrations penetrate the fibers of the carpet.
  • Before trying this hack, scrub your carpets with a brush to loosen dog hair and vacuum it up.
  • Vacuum the area first to remove surface debris, then use the massage gun to pick up sand and dirt that’s more deeply embedded.

Other Ways to Get Sand Out of Your Car

This hack worked, and it was satisfying. I doubt I’ll use it every time, but when a deep clean is called for, it’s a really good idea.

Here are more tried-and-true, everyday methods for getting sand and dirt out of your car:

  • Vacuum: Vacuum cleaners have been getting sand out of carpets for roughly 100 years.
  • Brush: Stiff-bristled brushes get down into the carpet fibers and lift the dirt up and out.
  • Remove mats: Take out your car’s floor mats and shake or beat them to really loosen that ground-in grit.
  • Use compressed air: This works great for crevices where sand and dirt are hard to reach with a vacuum.

These methods may not pick up every grain of sand, but there’s a reason they’ve been used to clean and detail cars long before the massage gun came around. They work.

Ally Childress
Ally Childress comes to Family Handyman from the electrical industry, where she was an accomplished electrician, winning the highly competitive Outstanding Graduate award as an apprentice. Her professional electrical experience included large commercial projects such as Minnesota's US Bank Stadium, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and several hospitals. Before becoming an electrician, she worked in food safety and water quality as a scientist and technical writer. Ally's career, spanning multiple industries and areas of the country, honed her innate sense of curiosity and her ability to connect with subject matters of all kinds and explain dense subjects to diverse audiences. Ally is her household's designated handy person and is well versed in a variety of home DIY and maintenance tasks, able to confidently clean, troubleshoot, build, install, and modify. She loves spending time outdoors, especially with her partner and dogs.