Top 8 Best Foam Cannons
By | Last updated: April 28, 2021
best foam cannons

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 my twisted belief it runs better, too). Here are a few options to help you get your whip in top form.

1. Editor’s Pick: 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

2. Very Affordable: Dusichin Snow Foam Cannon

This option costs about the same as a feed of fast food but it must be paired with a pressure washer. If you’ve one of those in your stash, you’re good to go. A thumbwheel atop the cannon permits control over how much water is mixed in with the soap; this permits the user to adjust how much foam is being created. The nozzle can fire the stuff forth in either spray or fan patterns.

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Recent reviews from this calendar year are largely positive, save for a few numptys who seem to have tried to attach the thing to a standard garden hose (it’s pressure washer only, remember) The bottle’s neck is made of brass, an important distinction in a market where most bottles of this type are plastic.

Pros/Brass neck, two spray patterns, positive reviews
Cons/Can’t be used solo
Bottom Line/Cheap add-on for an expensive tool

3. Best Reviews: 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

4. 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.

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English-as-a-fifth language product descriptions are of some concern 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 nothing
Cons/Potential to get what you pay for
Bottom Line/Worth a shot for the price

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

6. Yamatic Adjustable 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.

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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

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

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.

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This rig 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 less 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 only
Bottom Line/Sticking with a known quantity can work well

Foam Cannon FAQs

How do these work?

A foam cannon vigorously mixes water and soap, the latter of which is pre-loaded into the bottle shown in all these ads. The H2O comes from either a pressure washer or garden hose. When used correctly, it will create a thick layer of soap over your car.

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What’s better – garden hose or pressure washer?

Without a doubt, the latter will hurl soap at your car with a lot more force, meaning its more likely to dislodge dirt and grime before you even place a wash mitt or sponge on the thing. However, it can also dislodge paintwork if you are overzealous. Use a modicum of good sense and you’ll be fine. While a garden hose isn’t as robust, it’s a heckuva lot more common and a great deal cheaper.

Anything else to keep in mind?

Be careful when using a pressure washer. Some of those things, with the proper nozzle, have enough force to punch through stuff … including you. Don’t point the wand at anyone and definitely don’t use it to water your spouse’s flower bed. Be smart when choosing a soap, too. Household detergents don’t have the right mix of ingredients to be tough on dirt but gentle on a car’s paint finish. Do yourself a favor and invest in some proper car cleaning supplies, including one of the foam cannons shown here.


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.]

9 Comments on “Best Foam Cannon for Car Washing: Son of a Gun...”


  • avatar
    brn

    Never used a foam cannon. Came to see the comments as to when and how people use them vs using a sponge (I’ve never had an issue scratching with a sponge).

    Anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      brn,

      I’ll weigh in since I went through this today. If a car is new to me (or has been sitting for awhile) and is dirty dirty, step one is to hit it with the ‘foam cannon’ (not a very nice one) which came with my very basic ‘Sun Joe’ ~1500psi electric pressure washer, with ‘Vehicle and Boat’ pressure wash concentrate (might be ‘Purple Power’ brand?) mixed at 20:1 in the ‘cannon’ receptacle [resembles #8 but has a screw adjustment on top] – this happens at low pressure. Then I use the 40 degree high pressure tip to clean the vehicle from top to bottom. The cheap pressure washer with the 40 degree tip isn’t powerful enough to damage most paint and trim [I use my ‘real’ 3100psi gasoline pressure washer to clean siding/driveways/etc. but never on vehicles]. This excels at getting crud out of little cracks and crevices (including emblems and lettering).

      THEN I move immediately to the two-bucket system (Chemical Guys buckets and ‘cyclone dirt traps’) with a long-handle microfiber ‘brush’ and a microfiber ‘bug scrubber’ for little problem areas. (Using basic car wash soap the first time around.)

      Then, depending on how much I care about the car, I would clay bar (using soapy water because it works), machine polish (3M ‘Perfect-It’) and wax the vehicle. And from then on I would use the two-bucket wash system (with Chemical Guys ‘Hybrid V07’ car wash soap) – never back to the foam cannon and pressure washer unless it gets neglected again.

      Here is a more advanced user with a more specialized pressure washer mixture:
      https://youtu.be/LaNwsb07QR8?t=341

      And here’s how they use a (really nice) foam cannon in Germany:
      https://youtu.be/PU5orW-mtVs?t=658

  • avatar
    EX35

    I have the MTM. Nothing but problems. I do not recommend.

  • avatar
    rd56110

    For those who live in a drought area consider Frothe from Ammo NYC. I have been using it for over two years. http://www.ammonyc.com

  • avatar
    random1

    I have the Griot’s Garage foam cannon, on a friend’s recommendation. I have to say, it’s really quick and easy, and works pretty well. I’m not going to tell you it’s better than a really good hand wash and wax, but I do this much more often than I would the manual version. Good investment for me.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    I live in an area of lots of water so no rules on use. One of those yard weed sprayer leftover bottles filled with soap does the trick for me and free to boot.

  • avatar
    orange260z

    Some feedback to those who run this site:
    I understand the need to write these “product recommendations” to generate advertising dollars, but I don’t feel that they are fulfilling the Editor’s note of “help[ing] you be an informed shopper for automotive product”.
    Firstly, the writer should have and share real knowledge about the product, not just condense the Amazon vendor’s ad. For example, for #5 this is straight up incorrect – ” no fewer than five different nozzle jets, meaning users can fine-tune the level and shape of spray emanating from the cannon ” – the nozzles are not for the foam cannon, but rather for the sprayer itself.
    Secondly, it would be much more useful for readers if the writer differentiated the products and explained the relative features and benefits of each.
    Thirdly, the article would benefit from having an explanation of “foam cannon” vs “foam gun”,and tips about operation and maintenance.
    There’s value-added ways to present the advertising links in a way that benefits users instead of just being an ad.

  • avatar
    orange260z

    WRT the above products:
    I personally own the non-CG branded version of #1 (which is a foam gun), as well as the exact product in #4 (which is a foam cannon).

    I’m guessing that #3, 5, and quite possibly 6 are exactly the same product inside (aside from the obvious differences). I’ve been quite happy with my MATCC cannon, but you need to use the right soap concentration, the right orifice for your pressure washer, and have a clean mesh filter inside to get the best results like in the Youtube videos.

    I find the foam cannon to be a great way to clean my ceramic-coated cars when only pollen and road dust (which have never gotten wet) on the car. When I do this, I pressure-rinse, foam, rinse and then air dry. I don’t touch the car unless it’s been washed with a mitt.

    When the car is dirtier, I pressure rinse, foam, rinse, and then two-bucket wash the car, and dry with MF towels. An alternative to the two-bucket is to use the foam gun as the source of soapy water, running it ahead of the mitt keeping the paint surface well-lubed; doing this you only use one bucket for rinsing the mitt.

    Bottom line is that you touch your car, you scratch your car. Only you can decide how far you want to go to reduce the scratching, and foam guns and cannons can be a way to reduce the scratching and increase the time between polishing/re-coating your cars.

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