How to Use a Foam Cannon to Wash Your Car? – A Detailed Tutorial

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

how to use a foam cannon to wash your car

Does cleaning your automobile take up more time than you’d like? Are you doing more damage to the exterior by using ineffective techniques? Maybe it’s time you learn about how to use a foam cannon to wash your car.

Compared to the typical sponge and foam cleanser combination, a foam cannon car wash gets the job done faster. Low-effort and efficient, this is the device that car owners around the world would definitely want to have in their arsenal.


Things to Prepare to Wash Car With Foam Cannon


Here’s a list of materials you’ll need before you can begin to wash your car with a foam cannon:

  • Foam Cannon Kit – Buy a foam cannon for pressure washer, or a soap foam gun with different types of nozzles. These attachments can help you pick from various spray patterns that work best in cleaning the car body.
  • Pressure Washer – Choose a compatible pressure washer that can generate just the right volume and pressure to produce thick foam. You can pick between a gas and an electric power washer foam cannon.
  • Foam Blaster Soap – Unlike a car shampoo, a soap designed for a foam cannon tends to produce thicker suds that can get rid of grime and dirt on your car. Shop around and find one with a pH-neutral solution that won’t damage your vehicle’s trims, paint, or molding.
  • Water – Water will be needed to pre-rinse and clean the vehicle after spraying it with foam.
  • Microfiber Wash Mitt/Towel – You can’t just use any towel to wipe down the foam off the car, as you run the risk of dragging grit trapped in the towel’s fibers. Instead, using a microfiber mitt will gently lift off all dirt particles without damaging the paint.

Steps on Using a Foam Cannon


Step 1: Pre-Rinse The Car

Many will argue that the pre-rinse stage before handling a soap cannon for pressure washer isn’t necessary.

Some car owners prefer to start foaming the car dry without hosing it down first. However, the pre-rinse stage is essential in preventing swirl marks from appearing on the exterior while it’s drying.

Pre-rinsing the car also softens up any stubborn dirt or mark to get rid of them more easily later on.

With a pressure washer, rinse your car on all sides, making sure that every surface has been thoroughly moistened. Leave it to settle for several minutes.

Step 2: Mix Soap and Water into the Container

Using excessive amounts of soap formula is not just wasteful, but may make the mixture ineffective. Instead, follow the recommendations indicated on the product label.

For a car wash soap gun, this can range between 2 to 4 ounces, depending on what type of soap you’re using.

Fill the foam cannon container with the soap, then combine the solution with water.

Cool or lukewarm water will work fine, but mixing the soap with distilled warm water will introduce more air into the mixture — this allows for more effortless foaming.

Reattach the container back into the cannon’s connector, then gently mix the solution. Assemble the pressure washer and cannon and you’re almost ready to use the device.

Step 3: Apply Foam to the Vehicle

Before washing car with foam cannon, you have to make sure you’re using the right nozzle.

Different nozzles will produce varying angles and spray patterns, such as a straight stream, a fan-like spray, or a hard spray. Adjust and readjust the knob as needed.

Also, see that the pressure washer is set in between 1,000 to 3,000 PSI. Heavily soiled vehicles will generally need a higher pressure for the dirt to be removed, while you may use a lower pressure during routine cleaning.

Apply ample layers of foam on all sides of the car — tires, rims, fenders, bumpers, windshield, etc. Generously coat every area and let the foam sit for a few minutes before washing it off with water.

Step 4: Rinse Off the Foam with Water

After the first round of foaming:

  • Use the pressure washer once again to rinse off the foam with water.
  • Work your way from the top to the bottom of the vehicle and rinse gradually from left to right, ensuring all the foam has been washed off.

Make sure that there are no visible traces or spots of dirt and other contaminants after rinsing.

As much as possible, wash the car with a foam cannon using distilled, instead of mineral water. This lessens the likelihood of water spots appearing on the car’s surface once they’ve dried up.

Step 5: Re-Apply the Foam (Optional)

Reapplying another round of car foam is recommended for the removal of stubborn stains. This is recommended for cars that haven’t been cleaned in a while, or for much larger vehicles, such as SUVs, trucks, pickups, or vans.

Again, let the foam set for some time prior to the final wash. While at it, start preparing a small bucket of water and a microfiber towel or wash mitt to scrub off the remaining foam and dirt.

Step 6: Scrub Off the Foam with a Microfiber Wash Mitt

Start wiping down all the remaining foam on the vehicle with a microfiber cloth, towel, or wash mitt. Compared to regular towels, microfiber is much gentler on the paint body. It can prevent the appearance of unwanted streak marks.

Dampen the cloth, then squeeze out excess moisture. Start scrubbing from top to bottom and make sure you get into every nook and cranny of the vehicle.

Pay careful attention to the door handles, wheel spokes, and other narrow spaces.

If there is any debris trapped in the cloth’s fibers, manually remove it first before dipping the towel in water. Let the car completely dry up and wipe off any more noticeable spots.


Learning how to use a foam cannon to wash your car is fairly easy, as long as you have the right equipment and understand the basic steps.

For a power foam car wash, start by canvassing for a durable foam cannon and a compatible pressure washer to go with it. Remember a few key nifty tricks to wash your car with a foam cannon even more smooth-sailing.

The foam cannon is simple and straightforward, the device continues to revolutionize car cleaning and maintenance everywhere globally.

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