Best Foam Cannon for Car Washing: Son of a Gun

Vivek Nayyar
by Vivek Nayyar

Top 8 Best Foam Cannons

best foam cannon for car washing son of a gun

For a good many gearheads, washing their car is a form of relaxation, if not outright therapy. From the initial hosing off of loose dirt to the final wipe of a chamois, taking one’s ride from dirty to clean hardly a chore for most people reading this post.

We’ve assembled eight options of foam cannons designed to help you make the most of that time. Whether one uses the two-bucket method or a foam cannon shown here, no one wants to scratch the life out of their vehicle’s paintwork. Pro tip: if you drop your sponge or cleaning cloth, pitch it into a dark corner of the garage and don’t use it again until it has been thoroughly cleaned.

A clean car is a happy car (it’s our twisted belief it runs better, too), plus it is more likely to retain a smidgen more value when it comes time to sell the thing. Here are a few options to help you get your whip in top form.

Table of Contents

1. MATCC Adjustable Foam Cannon

Similar to another option found here on our best foam cannons list, this is a cheap way to add foaming action (so exotic!) to your pressure washer. At less than twenty bucks, one shouldn’t expect a brass neck on the bottle and it is indeed plastic here. There is an adjustment knob on the top for sorting out foam delivery, of course, with the whole unit simply attaching to the end of a pressure washer wand.

The missive to "contact us if tube is missing" is of some concern and doesn't bode well for the company's quality control but the unit is cheap enough to warrant taking a chance on it. Both fan and cylindrical patterns are available as water settings. At a grand total of 1.6 ounces, it is featherweight.

Pros

  • Costs little, weighs even less

Cons

  • Potential to get what you pay for

Bottom Line

  • Worth a shot for the price

Similar to another option found here on our best foam cannons list, this is a cheap way to add foaming action (so exotic!) to your pressure washer. At less than twenty bucks, one shouldn’t expect a brass neck on the bottle and it is indeed plastic here. There is an adjustment knob on the top for sorting out foam delivery, of course, with the whole unit simply attaching to the end of a pressure washer wand.

The missive to "contact us if tube is missing" is of some concern and doesn't bode well for the company's quality control but the unit is cheap enough to warrant taking a chance on it. Both fan and cylindrical patterns are available as water settings. At a grand total of 1.6 ounces, it is featherweight.

2. TriNova Foam Cannon and Gallon Car Wash Soap Kit

With the suggested 800 and 3200 minimum and maximum PSI respectively, TriNova Foam Cannon comes with a barrel assembly that comprises an underneath female port to connect the suction tube; a high-quality ¼” quick-connect male connector that ensures a continuous and consistent supply of water from the pressure washer; and an adjustable air pressure regulator and a nozzle to set the thickness of the foam and controlled stream concentration respectively.

The container of the cannon has a wide neck that makes filling and refilling pretty easy, and also warrants the durability of the bottle. The wide base helps the vessel stay balanced and steady when filled with the solution and placed on a surface, thus making your entire car washing experience quite convenient.

Pros

  • Excellent reviews, actual thought put into its build quality

Cons

  • Requires a pressure washer

Bottom Line

  • Post pics of that mountain of soap

With the suggested 800 and 3200 minimum and maximum PSI respectively, TriNova Foam Cannon comes with a barrel assembly that comprises an underneath female port to connect the suction tube; a high-quality ¼” quick-connect male connector that ensures a continuous and consistent supply of water from the pressure washer; and an adjustable air pressure regulator and a nozzle to set the thickness of the foam and controlled stream concentration respectively.

The container of the cannon has a wide neck that makes filling and refilling pretty easy, and also warrants the durability of the bottle. The wide base helps the vessel stay balanced and steady when filled with the solution and placed on a surface, thus making your entire car washing experience quite convenient.

3. MTM Hydro Professional Premium Foam Cannon

This kit has received top marks from over 350 customers, earning itself an aggregate 4.8 out of 5 stars. It would seem that with foam cannons, one tends to get what they pay for. Several fittings and components are included with this product, most of which are either brass or stainless for longevity. This is one of the areas in which this cannon is highly praised.

The seller goes through the trouble of listing pressure washers with which this thing is compatible, always a good sign. Customers seem to like the style of quick disconnects deployed by this cannon, which will save time compared to fumbling around with soapy screw-type connectors. As a bonus, the company throws in a bit of Teflon tape for good measure.

Pros

  • Top-tier reviews, includes all the gear, works with most pressure washers

Cons

  • More expensive than other options on this list

Bottom Line

  • Well-regarded by those who splashed out their own money

This kit has received top marks from over 350 customers, earning itself an aggregate 4.8 out of 5 stars. It would seem that with foam cannons, one tends to get what they pay for. Several fittings and components are included with this product, most of which are either brass or stainless for longevity. This is one of the areas in which this cannon is highly praised.

The seller goes through the trouble of listing pressure washers with which this thing is compatible, always a good sign. Customers seem to like the style of quick disconnects deployed by this cannon, which will save time compared to fumbling around with soapy screw-type connectors. As a bonus, the company throws in a bit of Teflon tape for good measure.

4. Chemical Guys Torq Foam Blaster 6

Besides being lime green, the seller of this product shows the thing in action, always a bonus when buying stuff online. This unit hooks up to a standard garden hose, so there’s no need to splash out (pun intended) for a costly pressure washer. It includes the wash gun which combines the soapy water solution with air and running water to create foam.

An adjustment wheel allows users to choose the correct combination of soap concentration, reducing waste compared to an all-or-nothing unit. Chemical Guys are a relatively new company in the grand scheme of things but are well-regarded in the enthusiast community. Customers can buy this cannon with or without a bottle of suds; we recommend going ahead and getting the soap rather than picking it up separately.

Pros

  • Adjustable soap dispenser, all-in-one unit, 4.3 out of 5 star rating

Cons

  • Cheaper options exist, unlikely to provide the force of a pressure washer

Bottom Line

  • A great option to pair with a simple garden hose

Besides being lime green, the seller of this product shows the thing in action, always a bonus when buying stuff online. This unit hooks up to a standard garden hose, so there’s no need to splash out (pun intended) for a costly pressure washer. It includes the wash gun which combines the soapy water solution with air and running water to create foam.

An adjustment wheel allows users to choose the correct combination of soap concentration, reducing waste compared to an all-or-nothing unit. Chemical Guys are a relatively new company in the grand scheme of things but are well-regarded in the enthusiast community. Customers can buy this cannon with or without a bottle of suds; we recommend going ahead and getting the soap rather than picking it up separately.

5. Twinkle Star Foam Cannon

Embarrassing brand name aside, this foam cannon seems to be a good option for those of us who are trying our hand at achieving slightly more professional results. The kit comes with no fewer than five different nozzle jets, meaning users can fine-tune the level and shape of spray emanating from the cannon (keep those lewd jokes to yerself, alright?).

There are a few troubling English-as-a-fifth language slip-ups in the ad copy but, by and large, the product gets good reviews from real-world customers. In fact, out of the very nearly 6000 respondents, a full 86% of them gave this product 4 or 5 stars. Some customers complain the cannon only dispenses a thin layer of foam but there's a solid argument to be made that's down to user error (being cheap and not adding enough soap to the container).

Pros

  • Great reviews, comes with a bunch of handy nozzles

Cons

  • Asinine brand name

Bottom Line

  • Put a speed shop sticker on the bottle

Embarrassing brand name aside, this foam cannon seems to be a good option for those of us who are trying our hand at achieving slightly more professional results. The kit comes with no fewer than five different nozzle jets, meaning users can fine-tune the level and shape of spray emanating from the cannon (keep those lewd jokes to yerself, alright?).

There are a few troubling English-as-a-fifth language slip-ups in the ad copy but, by and large, the product gets good reviews from real-world customers. In fact, out of the very nearly 6000 respondents, a full 86% of them gave this product 4 or 5 stars. Some customers complain the cannon only dispenses a thin layer of foam but there's a solid argument to be made that's down to user error (being cheap and not adding enough soap to the container).

6. Yamatic Pressure Washer Spray Gun with Heavy Duty Foam Cannon

With a heavy duty core made of brass, the seller alleges this foam cannon is much thicker and heavier than competitors, able to be firmly manhandled by hamfisted car wash attendants. A filter block weeds out harmful particles than could spray forth and damage your car.

Pressure washer requirements are similar to the other items we’ve seen so far on this list, with two adjustable knobs for soap concentration and water pattern. It can’t handle really hot water, with a maximum water temperature listed at 140 F. It is said to be capable of simply attaching directly to the gun of a pressure washer, which must create a wand nearly as long as the car itself.

Pros

  • Easy to attach, brass core for stability

Cons

  • Can’t handle the heat

Bottom Line

  • Not affiliated with Yamaha

With a heavy duty core made of brass, the seller alleges this foam cannon is much thicker and heavier than competitors, able to be firmly manhandled by hamfisted car wash attendants. A filter block weeds out harmful particles than could spray forth and damage your car.

Pressure washer requirements are similar to the other items we’ve seen so far on this list, with two adjustable knobs for soap concentration and water pattern. It can’t handle really hot water, with a maximum water temperature listed at 140 F. It is said to be capable of simply attaching directly to the gun of a pressure washer, which must create a wand nearly as long as the car itself.

7. Bravex Foam Cannon

Occupying some middle ground in terms of price and feature count is a product from the what-was-that-name-again school of mysterious branding. This foam cannon is said to be made with a thick all-brass core (we suspect this refers to the bottle's neck) and rigid plastic that's leak-free and durable under high pressure.

Like another product mentioned above, this Bravex foam cannon comes with five different pressure washer nozzles, permitting a change in spray density or angle. The company is also proud of its bottle design, one in which the mouth is wide rather than narrow. This is said to help prevent breakage since forces are distributed over a larger area. Makes sense to me.

Pros

  • Decent price, five nozzles

Cons

  • What's that name again?

Bottom Line

  • The wide mouth is an interesting concept

Occupying some middle ground in terms of price and feature count is a product from the what-was-that-name-again school of mysterious branding. This foam cannon is said to be made with a thick all-brass core (we suspect this refers to the bottle's neck) and rigid plastic that's leak-free and durable under high pressure.

Like another product mentioned above, this Bravex foam cannon comes with five different pressure washer nozzles, permitting a change in spray density or angle. The company is also proud of its bottle design, one in which the mouth is wide rather than narrow. This is said to help prevent breakage since forces are distributed over a larger area. Makes sense to me.

8. Karcher Foam Cannon Soap Dispenser

Buying from a brand that has been around for ages has some advantages, even if they are mostly placebo. Regardless, the Karcher name is well known in the car-wash industry. This compact foam cannon is great for applying a thick heavy foam onto vehicle surfaces. One simply adds detergent concentrate to the canister and top it off with water.

This thing attaches straight to the end of a pressure washer wand but, as noted below, only fits certain makes of Karcher washers. At a weight of fewer than eight ounces, however, it likely won’t spoil the wand’s balance. There are no adjusters for foam concentration.

Pros

  • Known brand name, compact design

Cons

  • Designed for specific Karcher pressure washers

Bottom Line

  • Sticking with a known quantity can work well

Buying from a brand that has been around for ages has some advantages, even if they are mostly placebo. Regardless, the Karcher name is well known in the car-wash industry. This compact foam cannon is great for applying a thick heavy foam onto vehicle surfaces. One simply adds detergent concentrate to the canister and top it off with water.

This thing attaches straight to the end of a pressure washer wand but, as noted below, only fits certain makes of Karcher washers. At a weight of fewer than eight ounces, however, it likely won’t spoil the wand’s balance. There are no adjusters for foam concentration.

FAQs

Can you use any car wash in a foam cannon?

A quick answer is, yes, you can use any car wash/car soap in a foam cannon. However, even though the car soap need not necessarily be foam cannon specific, you must ensure that they are made particularly for car wash only. Using any other washing or cleaning agent may harm your car and/or give unwanted, undesirable results.

For best outcomes, always consider using a car wash that produces soft and thick foam upon application. In this context, many professionals suggest using snow foam as it is scented and gentle on the paint and therefore gives you a clean and pure finish post washing.

Are car wash foam cannons worth it?

Yes, they are. A foam cannon is used to remove most dust and grime from your car’s body, thus eliminating any chance of leaving scratches on the paint that might happen otherwise. Once the cannon has done its job, you can then go ahead and safely use a microfiber cloth to rub the body for cleaning. Because a foam cannon is used before you even touch the vehicle, this cleaning process is called a pre-wash stage.

However, it is noteworthy that although foam cannons do excellent work, the car shampoo or soap that you use with them must be of good quality as well. Therefore, make sure to pick a car wash that results in thick foam and is gentle on the body paint.

Who makes the best foam cannon?

Although several vendors claim that their product is the best, some foam cannons from reputed brands that genuinely received a decent number of positive reviews on Amazon are:

DUSICHIN SFL-001 ( Buy here!)

Chemical Guys TORQ ( Buy here!)

Adam’s Premium Foam Cannon ( Buy here!)

What is better foam gun or foam cannon?

The question is quite debatable, especially among the professionals, and even after never-ending arguments, none of them have ever agreed upon a common idea as to which among the two pieces of equipment is better.

Because of this, many times it is easy to mention the pros, cons, and differences between foam guns and foam cannons and leave the decision to the consumers. With that said, listed below are some common points that help you differentiate two:

Foam Gun

Foam Cannon

Can be used with a normal garden hose

A pressure washer is required

Produces limited suds

Produces thick suds

Convenient setup process

Tedious and time-consuming setup process

Cheap

Comparatively pricier

May leave behind scratches and swirl marks

Gives new-like finishing without any scratches or stains

Takes time to clean the car body

Quick cleaning process

Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of both foam gun and foam cannon, you can choose a piece of equipment according to your preference.

Do you need a pressure washer for a foam cannon?

Yes, you do need a pressure washer to make the best out of your foam cannon. In addition, you also need a thick, concentrated car wash that can produce a large amount of suds when used with the pressure washer.

On the other hand, if you use a foam gun, a simple garden hose would be pretty sufficient to clean your car. However, in this case, do not expect much lather, and if not used properly, you may end up having scratches and swirl marks on the vehicle’s body once you are done cleaning.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Jaroslav Francisko / ShutterStock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

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  • El scotto El scotto on Oct 28, 2021

    Foam Cannon recommendations in October? Perhaps we'll have Snow Tire recommendations in May?

    • Burgersandbeer Burgersandbeer on Nov 03, 2021

      Looks like this was originally from April and Matt bumped it to the top. Maybe something on the original list of not available anymore?

  • Burgersandbeer Burgersandbeer on Nov 03, 2021

    I don't like foam cannons. Dragging out the pressure washer is a hassle. Using the pressure washer is a hassle. Between the power cord, garden hose to pressure washer, and the pressure washer hose there are trip hazards everywhere. The pressure hose is always kinked. It's only 25' so you have to move the pressure washer to reach the whole car, along with the garden hose and power cable attached to it. It's impossible to dry the car before water spotting occurs, even in the shade. My leaf blower runs out of battery long before the car is dry. Gas blowers and pressure washers solve some issues, but I wouldn't use those on a car. I like rinseless washes. It's quick and gets good results. It's drought friendly and you don't have to worry about violating water run off laws. If the car is filthy, rinse off first (at a car wash if that's inappropriate to do in the driveway in your region), then do the rinseless wash. For me the foam cannon uses an ocean of water, is more work, and gets worse results.

  • MrIcky I remember driving one too, as a rental. My thoughts were 'it's fine'-the engine was good (pretty sure it was the v6). Then I read everyone was saying how bad they were and I couldn't quite figure out what the fuss was about because it was fine. I drove a Ford Fusion of roughly the same era and I thought the 200 was nicer to drive. The why wouldn't you buy a Camry/Accord question seems to be a question of actual sale price.
  • Arthur Dailey Compare that interior, that engine, and the fact that M-B sold cars with manual transmissions to the Mark V's of the same era.You can see why for a great many North American cars, during that era/those years, the Mark epitomized style and luxury rather than the M-B.Yes the M-B would last longer, but back in the day when a luxury car buyer would 'flip' their vehicles every couple of years that didn't matter.And the M-B was better engineered, but back then chrome, size, engine displacement, opera windows, power everything, etc meant more to the average 'luxury' car buyer than engineering. That is probably true of today's average vehicle purchaser.
  • Tassos In the late 70s-early 80s, an UNBELIEVABLE 80% of all Mercedes models sold were DIESELS. WOuld you believe it? That was the time of the second oil crisis that for moment resulted in $40 Jimmy Carter Dollars per barrel, up almost 40 TIMES from the about $1 per barrel before the 1st crisis in 1974
  • Tassos In 1878 my professor at MIT took a European sabbatical, and also took delivery of this exact model, for which he paid a modest $8,000 Jimmy Carter Dollars. He immediately regretted not paying a little more, and buying the 300 D. Both were woefully underpowered, but of course very well made inside and under the hood and everywhere else, as most Mercs are to this date.However, the E320 Blutec, of which I bought a 2016 for $10,500 and a 2017 for $11,000 DOnald J Trump dollars, and cost a base $51k or so when new, are far, far, far superior to this piece of junk in every imagineble way, than you sentimental oldtimer admirers were willing to admit.
  • Dukeisduke Thanks for posting this, Cary. Several years ago, we had a pretty in-depth presentation on oil, and viscosity versus thickness, temps, etc., at our local Corvair club meeting. The conclusions from the presentation (given by one of our members) pretty well matched your findings.
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