Do You Hand Wash After Foam Cannon? – Answered

do you hand wash after foam cannon

Thanks to the foam cannon, car washing can be easier and quicker because of its ability to produce contaminant-softening and lifting foam, along with the use of a foaming car soap and pressure washer.

But in some cases, it isn’t enough, particularly heavy soils, stubborn contaminants, and preparing for paint correction and car detailing.

So the answer to “Do you hand wash after foam cannon?” is yes. But when a car’s condition isn’t so bad, you can ditch hand washing.

Should You Hand Wash After Using a Foam Cannon?


The foam cannon is a powerful tool for car washing. It can cover a car in a thick layer of cleansing foam and do it quickly. Specifically, the amount of foam it can produce in a minute with the aid of a pressure washer is up to five gallons.

With a car soap specifically for foam washing, the foam cannon can deliver the perfect foam consistency. Regular car soap isn’t capable of producing foam.

The foam would work to eliminate contaminants on the surface, so in some cases, there’s no need for wiping. This prevents scratches and cross-contamination.

Overall, the foam cannon helps make cleaning easier and lessens the car washing time. However, there are some instances where just using a foam cannon doesn’t suffice.

When to Hand Wash After Using a Foam Cannon

Below are the situations when to hand wash after using a foam cannon.

1. When the Car is Heavily Soiled


Although a foam cannon can soften and lift contaminants on a car, some contaminants may still be left over when you rinse after foam cannon if the car is covered with many contaminants. Because of this, you would still need to hand wash the car.

2. When the Car Has Stubborn Contaminants


Some stubborn contaminants may be missed when you wash a car with a foam cannon. Some examples would be oil and grease that can’t be removed simply by a foam cannon.

Worse, is that this layer of oil and grease can accumulate more contaminants in the long run. So it’s important to still hand wash for such stubborn contaminants to be removed.

3. When Preparing a Car for Paint Correction and Car Detailing


When a car with scratches, swirl marks, water spots, and oxidation without an intact protective coating of any kind needs to undergo paint correction and car detailing, it would also require a hand wash after using a foam cannon. This process is called the prep wash.

Make sure the wash mitt you use for the prep wash is high quality. Moreover, the car must be dried by hand with a chamois or drying towel, as blow drying wouldn’t work without the beading effect on the protective coating.

Pros and Cons of Hand Washing

Hand washing is a very safe, effective way you can wash a car when done properly and carefully.

Through this, you can clean a car without causing scratches or damage. And you’ll be able to pay good attention to the car’s exterior surfaces and thoroughly remove contaminants as you wipe them with the wash mitt.

Moreover, what you need to do this task isn’t so expensive. But its downside is that it takes more effort and a long time to finish. Nevertheless, the desirable result after hand washing is worth the effort and time it takes.

  • Gentle, safe, and scratch and damage-free car washing
  • Through cleaning
  • Affordable
  • Takes more effort
  • Takes a long time to finish

How to Handwash After Foam Canon


Inded, it’s best to combine hand washing with foam washing. The foam cannon can help for easier contaminant removal, while hand washing can ensure thorough cleaning. This method involves the following steps:

  1. Pre-rinse the car using a pressure washer to help soften the contaminants and dislodge the loose ones.
  2. Dilute the foam cannon soap in the foam canister following its product instructions.
  3. Shake the canister well to thoroughly mix the foaming cleaning solution.
  4. Assemble the foaming spray.
  5. Make necessary adjustments to the nozzles to get the perfect water pressure and foaming. This is usually done by turning the nozzle to the right for greater foam and pressure and turning it to the left for lesser foam and pressure.
  6. Spray the foam liberally on the entire car. Let the foam sit on the exterior for two to three minutes to soften and lift the contaminants on its surface.
  7. Remove the leftover stubborn contaminants using a microfiber wash mitt, a bucket of soapy water, and another bucket with water and a dirt trap for rinsing the wash mitt to prevent scratches.
  8. Wipe in straight lines and avoid wiping in circles to prevent scratches.
  9. Switch the spray to water only, and rinse the car.
  10. Wipe the car dry with a drying towel, again in straight lines to prevent scratches.
  11. Clean the foam cannon to prevent its parts from deteriorating due to exposure to leftover abrasive surfactants for extended periods. Dump the remaining soap, fill the canister with water, reattach the foam cannon to the pressure washer, and flush out the leftover soap with some good spraying.
  12. Dump the remaining water in the canister, and keep the foam cannon in a clean, dry space.

Is Foam Wash Good for Cars?

It was mentioned earlier that a foam cannon provides many benefits for car washing. With all of these benefits, it is definitely good for a car. In fact, experts recommend the use of a foam cannon.


Do you hand wash after foam cannon depends on the condition of the car. When the car isn’t in a bad condition, then a spray of foam and water would suffice because the foam, itself, can easily remove contaminants from the car’s exterior.

But it’s usually best to combine both washing with a foam cannon and hand washing, as you can take advantage of the benefits of both these methods that would result in a scratch-free, spotless cleaning, especially when a car is heavily soiled, has stubborn contaminants, and needs a prep wash before paint correction and detailing.

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