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Summary
  • Foam cannons are an attachment for gas and electric-powered pressure washers. They use the high-pressure water from the pressure washer to mix soap and water in their cannon tank and spray the mixture out as a foam to loosen dirt and grime on your vehicle.
  • The benefits of using a foam cannon include reduced water and detergent use, reduced risk of scratches, and speed and ease of use.
  • There are different types of foam cannons with different features. Maintaining your foam cannon involves filling it with water and spraying the water out through the nozzle.

The pressure washer foam cannon is an impressive vehicle-cleaning tool. These handy accessories attach to both gas and electric-powered pressure washers. They’re made up of a solution bottle, an adjustable barrel assembly, and a suction tube. You’ll usually find a quarter-inch sized male quick-connect fitting pre-installed on the foam cannon. This is so it’s easy to link it with the standard quarter-inch female quick-connect fitting on the typical pressure washer.

How Does a Foam Cannon Work?

Foam cannons use the high-pressure water from the pressure washer to mix soap and water in the plastic cannon part. Thanks to the pressure from the water, the soap is broken up very well, resulting in a thick foam that clings to the vehicle and loosens the dirt and grime on its surface. The foam is then pressurized and can be sprayed onto your vehicle’s surface.

Sadly, you can only use a foam cannon with a pressure washer. If you’re looking for a foam cannon for a hose, you’ll need to purchase a foam gun instead.

using a foam cannon to a red sedan
For foam cannon maintenance, be sure to run water through the nozzle after every use to get rid of any soap residue.

Foam Cannon Benefits

There are a good number of reasons why you should consider purchasing a foam cannon. These benefits include the following:

Reduced Water and Detergent Use

Because the foam is highly effective at loosening dirt and removing grime, the need for multiple rounds of rinsing and scrubbing is decreased. You end up needing less water and detergent as a result.

Reduced Risk of Scratches

Of course, with less scrubbing comes a reduced risk of scratches. In addition, the effectiveness of the foam allows the dirt and grime to slide off your vehicle more easily. The high volume of suds or foam can melt off the heavy dirt. This means when you do scrub down the exterior with a wash mitt or towel, there are fewer solid particles to worry about scratching the paint.

Speed and Ease of Use

For all the benefits they provide, you’d think foam cannons would be a little more complicated to use. Thankfully however, the opposite is true. All you need to do is attach the cannon to a pressure washer, fill its container with soap and water, and spray. Because of its wide coverage area, foam cannons can save you a lot of time, especially on larger vehicles. They make for a speedier car washing experience.

Reduced Risk of Cross-Contamination

If you’re using a car wash foam cannon, the reduced risk of cross-contamination is also a big plus. If you’re washing off oil, transmission fluid, or other contaminants, they might get stuck on your wash mitt and get diluted into the soapy water in your bucket. As a result, whenever you attempt to use the water afterwards, you might actually be dirtying your vehicle instead of cleaning it. Foam cannons help you avoid all of this by melting off the oils with their foam.

Types of Foam Cannon and How To Maintain One

There are different types of foam cannons out there with a lot of different configurations. Many offer adjustable pressure and spray patterns and built-in soap reservoirs. Weigh your options and pick a foam cannon that suits your needs. For instance, say you have a high-pressure washer. An adjustable nozzle will give you more control of the pressure and spray pattern to match the highly pressurized water. Lower-powered pressure washers, on the other hand, would benefit from a foam cannon with a built-in soap reservoir so it doesn’t always need to reroute water to refill the cannon.

For foam cannon maintenance, be sure to run water through the nozzle after every use to get rid of any soap residue. Store your foam cannon somewhere dry and away from direct sunlight.

How Much Is a Foam Cannon?

A car foam cannon is a pretty good investment if you’re looking to save time when washing your larger vehicle. You can purchase one for around $90 to $100. Alternatively, if you don’t have a pressure washer handy, consider purchasing a foam gun for around $50.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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