How To Use A Foam Cannon To Wash Your Car

Using a foam cannon washing your car is not only fun but also very effective in creating a perfect finish.

How would you like to make cleaning your car fun, quick, and easy while maintaining a swirl-free finish and having the final results look like you just waxed it when all you did was wash it? If you answered yes, like the majority of people, you want a foam cannon.

What is a Foam Cannon?

A Foam Cannon is a spray head that attaches to a pressure washer and is used to wash your vehicle. When you pull the trigger on the pressure sprayer wand after mixing a premium car wash soap in the foam cannon reservoir, the foam cannon will smother your vehicle with a thick, frothy coating of rich, high-lubricating suds that will melt off any surface grime, dust, and traffic film.

How does a Foam Cannon work?

The magic happens in the mixing head, where the soap solution is combined with air and a large volume of pressure-washed water. When you pull the trigger on the pressure washer wand, water is blasted through it into the foam cannon mixing head, where it combines with the soap solution and air to form foam.

The end result is a thick, rich burst of sudsy foam bubbles akin to shaving cream that stick to vertical surfaces, allowing the soap foam to stay on the top rather than run down the ground. This adhering and dwelling property allows the soap to soften, loosen, and dissolve any built-up layer of grime, dust, pollen, and traffic film, which may then be blasted away with a pressure washer.

Quality car wash soap

Using a high-quality vehicle wash soap is essential for producing rich, thick suds. There are numerous options on the market now that are designed expressly for use with foam cannons.

Pure cleaning soaps versus wash-n-wax soaps

Make sure to do your homework and choose the soap that best suits your needs. If you’re working on a well-kept vehicle, one alternative is to use a car wash soap that includes a wax. This sort of soap will not only clean your vehicle, but it will also protect the finish with a layer of wax.

If you’re working on a neglected vehicle, you’ll want a car wash soap that’s made exclusively for cleaning because you’ll want a dedicated concentration on cleaning. Furthermore, the paint on a neglected vehicle is not in good enough condition to benefit from the built-in wax protection provided by wash-n-wax type car wash soaps.

Two kinds of washing

There are two kinds of automobile washing. The Maintenance Wash is one form of wash in which the vehicle is in new to exceptional condition and the purpose of the wash is to retain the present finish condition in its swirl and scratch-free appearance.

A Prep Wash is the other form of washing. A Prep Wash is a wash method used to prepare a neglected car for paint repair and finishing. The Prep Wash is intended for automobiles with swirls, scratches, water spots, and oxidation that lack an undamaged coat of wax, synthetic paint sealer, and/or ceramic coating.

Use a premium wash mitt to aid the foam in getting the vehicle ultra-clean in this state. Normally, you can’t blow-dry paint in this state since an air blower only works when there’s water beading. If the finish is not beading water, you will need to dry the rinse water off by hand with a chamois or drying towel.

Maintenance Washing with a Foam Cannon

Below are the procedures to wash your vehicle without touching it if it has an unbroken layer of wax, synthetic paint sealer, or ceramic coating and shows good water beading when wet.

No bucket or wash mitt needed

If you regularly maintain the finish of your vehicle with a coat of wax, a paint sealant, or a ceramic coating, you won’t even need a wash mitt to clean it; the cleaning action of the foamed vehicle soap combined with the powerful rinsing action of the pressure washer will suffice.

Touchless drying

You can wash and dry your vehicle without ever touching the surface if you have an air blower, and this is the secret that professional auto enthusiasts utilize to keep a swirl and scratch-free paint for that new off-the-dealership showroom floor appearance.

Aside from having a foam cannon, pressure washer, and air blower, the trick to washing without touching your vehicle’s finish with a wash mitt or a drying towel begins with having a good coat of wax, paint sealant, or ceramic coating on the paint.

Because dirt does not readily adhere to this type of surface, you can wash without a bucket and wash mitt. If your vehicle’s wax, paint sealant, or ceramic coating causes water to bead, the rinse water will readily blow off with an air blower. As a result, you may wash and dry your vehicle without ever touching it.

How to use a foam cannon to do a Maintenance Wash

The instructions for using a foam cannon for a Maintenance Wash are provided below for automobiles in new or like-new condition. This section of the article implies that your vehicle is frequently waxed, has a synthetic paint sealant, or has been ceramic coated.

Step 1: Mix your soap solution

Follow the specifications for the soap you chose and combine it with water according to the foam cannon’s instructions. I’m using 3D Wash N Wax with the 3D Foam Blaster in this demonstration.

Fill the soap solution reservoir first with the recommended amount of water, then add the vehicle wash soap. By first adding the water, you will have a full reservoir of correctly mixed soap and water. If you add the soap first and then the water, the water will tend to start forming suds as it fills the reservoir, making it difficult to fill the entire reservoir with soap and water since you’ll wind up with a reservoir half-filled with suds, which is soapy air.

Step 2: Power rinse the vehicle first

Do a full pressure washing of the car with your pressure washer and wand to remove any loose dirt, dust, pollen, and large debris such as sticks, leaves, and dead bugs.

Step 3:  Attach the Foam Cannot to the Pressure Washer Wand

Most pressure washer wands have a spring-loaded collar that snaps onto your foam cannon’s fitting. After releasing the collar, double-check that the spring-loaded wand tip is entirely linked to the foam cannon fitting and that the outer sliding collar has completely sealed onto the fitting.

Step 4:  Use the foam cannon to cover the vehicle with foam

Pull the trigger on the pressure washer wand and cover the top, sides, wheels, and tires with foam, starting on one side of the vehicle and holding the foam cannon a few feet away from the side of the vehicle.

Step 5:  Allow the foam to dwell

Allow the cleaning ingredients in the foam to soften, loosen, and dissolve any built-up layer of filth, dust, pollen, and traffic film on the car.

Step 6: Switch out foam cannon for 40-degree nozzle tip

While the foam is cleaning your vehicle, remove the foam cannon from the end of the pressure washer wand and replace it with the largest spray pattern nozzle that came with your pressure washer. These universal nozzle tips are included with most pressure washers.

Nozzle angle of 15 degrees

Nozzle with a 25-degree angle

Nozzle angle of 40 degrees

Nozzle for a soap tip

Nozzle with a turbo tip

The 40-degree nozzle is the greatest overall option for safe but strong rinsing, but feel free to experiment and choose the nozzle that works best for our application and the size, shape, and style of your car.

Step 7:  Power rinse to foam off the vehicle

Power rinse all of the foam and debris that the soap has loosened from the top, sides, wheels, and tires of this initial side after a few minutes but before the foam has dried.

Repeat on the opposite side of the car.

Step 8:  Remove any standing rinse water with an air blower

Blow off any standing rinse water with your air blower, beginning at the top and working your way down and around the vehicle. Pay special attention to the regions between panels, such as the hood, fenders, and doors. Also, thoroughly blow out all of the rinse water from the wheels and tires.


If your vehicle has a decent-quality coat of wax, sealer, or ceramic coating, the results should look like you just spent all day detailing it.


A foam cannon is a fun method to keep a car looking like new or to prepare a neglected vehicle for paint repair and polishing. The thick foam produced by a foam cannon not only allows the cleaning agents to loosen and remove any dirt buildup on your vehicle, but it also provides extra lubrication to make washing a finish in pristine condition safer by reducing the potential for wash-induced swirls and scratches.

When doing a Prep Wash on neglected vehicles, the foam cannon and pressure washer allow you to get the vehicle cleaner than a standard water hose and bucket wash, and a super clean wash job is the foundation for a professional level detail.

Aside from these key considerations, a foam cannon just makes washing any car more entertaining. If you have children, they will like assisting you in cleaning the family automobiles because everyone enjoys suds and bubbles when it comes to car washing.

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Ruqayya Batool
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