How to Use A Foam Cannon To Wash Your Car? – A Detailed Guide For You

A foam cannon is a great cleaning tool used to wash all types of vehicles. It saves your time and more importantly your efforts in removing the heavy dirt your car gets while driving on the roads. You should know how to use a foam cannon to wash your car to get the most out of this valuable tool.

It is effectively a pre-wash system that creates a thick, deep blanket of cleansing foam that gently dissipates. And it loosens a lot of sand and dirt that has settled on the car paint surface. After letting the foam take effect, blow it off with a strong jet of pressurized water.

Then it removes the vast majority of the dirt that could scratch the surface of the car. This is why the foam cannon has now become so popular with hardcore enthusiasts and professional detailers before hand washing their cars.

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However, if you have a pressure washer, you should definitely consider using a foam cannon. With it, quick and easy car washes can be achieved with the high-pressure soap spray, which removes dirt and debris.

In this article, we see all the equipment you need to wash your car with a foam gun. And how to properly use a foam gun for best results.

Things You Need While Washing Your Car With Foam Cannon

A foam cannon also called a soap gun, easily combines wash soap with water, and makes a perfect solution for washing every type of vehicle. There are some things you need when washing the car with a foam gun.

These products help you finish without tangles or scratches from rags and sponges and roll out with a scratch-free shine every time.

A. Foam Cannon 

Choose a quality foam gun that can produce thick foam with gas and electric pressure washers. Make sure the bottle is not cloudy so you can see how much soap solution is left. 

The bottle should also have volume measurements on the side so you can properly dilute the soapy solution.

We recommend using the MTM Hydro foam cannon. Their foam guns come with all the tools you need to start foaming your car, as well as corrosion-resistant quick disconnects.

B. Pressure Washer

You’ll need a pressure washer to hook up your foam cannon to deliver the thick foam you want. It should be rated above 1500 PSI with 1800 to a maximum of 3200 PSI being ideal, the more pressure you have the better the cleaning and foaming power.

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Water flow is also important, so make sure your machine also has a flow of at least 7-8 liters per minute. Connect the weapon/cannon to the machine with the appropriate adapter and you are ready to foam.

C. Car Soap

This is perhaps the most complicated variable in the equation to obtain a good foam. Each car soap is made a little differently and therefore needs to be diluted differently.

Choose a car soap that is concentrated, with a neutral pH and that produces a lot of foam. As a general starting point, try cutting 200 ml (6.5 oz) with 800 ml (27 oz) of warm tap water.

D. Microfiber Towel 

If you use a regular towel to wipe the water off your car, it could leave swirls and light scratches on your vehicle’s paintwork. To keep your car spotless, use a good quality microfiber cloth, such as options from The Rag Company.

These wipes not only protect your vehicle but are also highly water-absorbent.

Step By Step Guide On How To Use A Foam Cannon To Wash Your Car

Snow foam is a thick layer of soap that is designed to loosen dirt from your car’s paint, making washing your car much faster, easier, and safer.

Using a foam cannon or foam cannon can add a lot of joy to your car wash and make the process a breeze. To save yourself some frustration, follow this step-by-step guide to using a foam gun.

1. Pre-Wash the Car

Start Apply Foam To The Car

A pre-wash can be performed to loosen dirt and grime before starting the car wash. This means your wash mitt has a lot less dirt to remove.

This results in cleaner rinsing water, less need for rinsing the glove, and less need for mechanical cleaning.

2. Prepare the Cannon

Prepare the Cannon

Mix the soap with a little warm water to dilute the soap concentrate in the canister of the barrel. Follow the directions on your car wash soap bottle for the correct dilution. Warm water is the best option for thoroughly mixing the snow foam soap.

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Most foam guns and cannons allow for simple soap measurements and simply require filling the barrel/container with shampoo to the recommended level and then adjusting the water flow rate.

3. Start Apply Foam To The Car

Start Apply Foam To The Car

Squeeze the trigger on your pressure washer until foam comes out. Adjust the nozzle on the blue end of the cannon to find the arc of foam you want. And keep the cannon a meter from the surface of the car to cover it with a nice thick foam.

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Start in the lower areas and at the rear of the car and work your way up around the car from the bottom to allow the foam to stay in the dirtier lower areas longer. Leave the foam on for 4-5 minutes and work in, gently loosening sand and dirt from the surface.

4. Rinse off

Rinse off

Remove the foam cannon attachment and attach the pressure washer nozzle. High pressure washes the entire car, starting from the top down, cleaning the rear of the car last so that the suds have the longest dwell time.

5. Dry the Car

Dry the Car

Dry your car as usual with a microfiber towel to prevent swirls and scratches for a better finish. Be sure to remove all water from your vehicle to avoid water spots and streaks.

How To Use A Foam Cannon Without A Pressure Washer?

You may be surprised to learn that you can use the foam cannon without a pressure washer. Instead of a pressure washer, you can use a hand pump sprayer or a commonly used garden hose attachment.

This product also provides good results in a cost-effective way. So check out how to use these components with foam guns to wash your car.

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A. Garden Hose Foam Gun

If this is your first time using a foam gun, a garden hose attachment is the best way to wash a car. You just need to screw it to the foam gun. And most importantly, this equipment is readily available in your yard.

However, if you want an excellent result, you can use a good quality car wash hose attachment to work effectively as a pressure washer. These accessories come with tips that give you precise control over how much soap you want.

B. Foaming Pump Sprayer

The second best way to use a foam cannon with a pressure washer to wash a car is with a foam pump sprayer. To create pressure, you need to create a thick layer of snow foam with the built-in pump. Plus, it contains more than enough foam needed for an average detailing project.

How Much Soap To Use In A Foam Cannon?

The biggest factor in thick suds is the type and amount of soap used. There is a wide range of car soaps on the market that you can use with your foam gun. You should only use car soap.

To get thick suds out of your foam gun, you need to choose a car soap that is very sudsy and highly concentrated. Diluted car soap gives a watery lather rather than the thick “shaving cream” consistency everyone loves.

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Try to put about 6-7 oz in the bottle and fill the rest with warm water. If your foam cannon keeps spraying watery foam, try adding more soap or using a more concentrated car soap.

FAQs About How To Properly Use A Foam Cannon

Why should I use foam cannon to wash the car?

Efficiency is the biggest benefit of using foam cannons. A good foam gun can pump up to 5 gallons of foam per minute. This not only provides solid coverage for your car but also saves a lot of time compared to washing by hand.

The foam cannon is faster and can deal with stubborn messes a little easier thanks to the power of the pressure washer. And of course, the cannons are great for spreading foam all over the car.

What is the difference between a foam gun and a foam cannon?

A foam gun is designed to attach directly to a regular garden hose, while foam cannon is intended to be used as an attachment to a pressure washer, which then attaches to the garden hose.

A foam cannon has a significantly higher pressure than a foam cannon, which makes the snow foam come out thicker and create a stronger snow effect than you can imagine.

Is a foam cannon better than hand washing?

Using a foam gun instead of washing your hands is faster, easier, more efficient, and less dangerous than washing your hands. It’s not uncommon for people to accidentally scratch their car while washing it by hand.

With a foam cannon, you don’t have to worry about that. Because there’s no reused water or dirty bucket, there’s less chance of something coming into contact with the glove and scratching your car.

How much PSI does a foam cannon need?

Foam guns typically require between 1,000 and 3,000 psi. Light to medium pressure washers have a pressure range of 1400 to 2500 psi, so be sure to check the specs on your pressure washer and match them to the specs of your chosen foam gun.

Can you put water directly in the foam cannon?

Yes, you can put some water in the foam pot. And then mix it with the laundry soap to make the diluted soap solution that you will use to wash the car. You should use a 9:1 ratio of water to foam wash and this is very easy to solve.

Once you’ve diluted your laundry soap, there’s no need to open the foam canister until your next car wash.

Can I use any soap in a foam cannon?

Technically you can use any soap in a suds cannon or suds cannon, but you should be aware that some car wash soaps will foam more than others.

Please note that you should never use soaps that are not intended for car washing, as they can cause undesirable results.

Final Thought

Using foam guns as a way to pre-wash a car is a fantastic way to apply a foam base coat in no time. The more aggressive the foam, the more lubrication is generated, further reducing the risk of swirl marks and surface scratches, and other nasty car wash encounters.

Just make sure you buy a quality foam gun that will give your car that nice touch you’ve come to expect from cleaning products.

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