Foam cannon vs. Foam gun

 You have probably gone to this classic car wash and discovered that all the cars being washed are covered in thick studs. After, inquiring you discover that they use some device called a foam cannon. Now you are confused about which between the foam cannon and the gun to get for your car.

If you are tired of getting the same sub-standard results from your bucket and soap washes it is time you upgraded to a foam cannon or gun. These devices are excellent at removing hard to remove grime from your car will reducing the chances of scratching your paint surface


One of the biggest disadvantages of using the traditional bucket, soap and sponge method for cleaning your car is that it leaves scratch marks on the car surface. As you apply soap in circular motions around your car, the dirt underneath scratches your paint. Most of the dirt consists of small rocky particles.

The preference for foam soap is that it generates thick studs that help breakdown the dirt hence helping in removing it without necessarily harming your paint. Swirl marks are an eyesore for a new car and you need to protect your car shine at all costs.

Foam gun

One of the key difference between the foam gun and the foam cannon is that you can use your foam gun with a normal garden hose while the foam cannon requires connection to a pressure washer. The foam gun is cheaper and is a great way to start using foam for your car. It is relatively easy to use but comes with downside of not producing as much thick studs as the foam cannon. The foam guns can work with regular soaps hence you can cut your washings costs.

Foam guns come in two forms –adjustable or non-adjustable. They work as the name suggests. One you can adjust the other you can’t. You will find foam guns from brands like Adams, Gilmour or Autogeek.


  • Affordable
  • Works with any soap
  • Easy to use
  • Does not need a pressure and works with your garden hose


Produces thin studs

Here are some of the best foam guns

Gilmour 75QGFR Foamaster

Gilmour 75QGF4 Foamaster Cleaning Gun
  • Uses 4 ounce of chemicals per gallon of water
  • Wide, easy-to-fill mouth prevents spills
  • Foaming attachment provides fan spray to maximize cleaning area

This foam gun stands out due to its use of brass attachments. These are more long lasting than the plastic ones. To control the foam gun radius all you need to do is adjust the pin and you can control how much foam is produced.

How to use the foam gun

  • First is to select the right foam soap. In our view, you can select something from Adam’s, Chemical Guy or Meguiar’s.
  • Next, read the instructions on the labeling to know the quantities. The amount you use will depend on the kind of foams that you are seeking.
  • Once you add the soap to the container, shake it well and ensure the nozzle is not leaking liquid.
  • Start spraying your car while wiping it with a wash mit. Once done rinse the car and you leave it to dry.

Foam cannons

Foam cannons work with pressure washers to produce very thick studs. This allows you to cover a larger surface area then the bucket wash or foam gun. The thick studs loosen the dirt hence helping in keeping your car super clean while protecting it from swirls. You will mostly find the foam cannons being used in professional car setups.


  • Produce thicker studs
  • More powerful than the foam guns
  • You can either use a gas or electric washer
  • Works better with foam cannon soaps


More expensive than the foam guns


Best foam cannons in the market

Adam’s foam cannon

Adam's Foam Cannon & Snub Nose Combo - Produces Unbelievably Thick Foam with Adjustable Air Valve - Pressure Washer Spray Gun Blaster Work with Our Car Shampoo Soap, Wash & Wax, Ceramic Wash + Coat
  • SNUB NOSE QUICK CONNECT ATTACHMENT - The Adam's Pressure Washer Spray Gun attachment fits any...
  • A DETAILING NECESSITY - We have our favorite products and go-to chemicals in the garage, and most...
  • THICK LAYER OF FOAM - Adam's Red Foam Cannon combines pressurized water and car wash soap to create...

Adam’s is a solid company when it comes to offering car waxes and polishes. One of the top things to be on the lookout for when selecting a foam cannon is the type of nozzle. Cheaper models will be made from plastic but the high quality ones are made from brass.

The Adam’s foam cannon has one of the best nozzles in the market. It is brass built and this makes it strong and long lasting. The foam thickness is high and last long. However, the cannon does not stand on its own, which can be frustrating when you are doing large surface areas.

You connect the device to your pressure washer through an attachment at the end. The downside is that the attachment is not compatible with all pressure washers and you may need some adjustments. The cannon bottle holds 35 ounces of liquid and produces a very powerful stream. The Adam’s foam cannon almost resembles a gas pump due to its trigger.


Chemical Guys EQP320 foam cannon

Chemical Guys EQP320 1 Pack MTM PF22 Professional Foam Lance and Cannon
  • Universal pressure washer Fittings attach to any pressure washer
  • 1,100 - 5,000 psi operating pressures
  • 1.8 - 5.3 gallon/minute pressure washer compatibility

Another high end foam cannon is the Chemical Guys one. Firstly, it comes with an universal pressure washer attachment that you can use in various washers. It operates at a pressure of 1,100 to 5,000 psi. The spray pattern can be adjusted to vertically or horizontally. Application varies as you can also use it for your agricultural projects.

When you are starting out, you can begin with a simple electric pressure washer that is able to deliver 2500 to 3500 psi. These are easier to operate than the gasoline pressure washers that are used in professional car washing companies. Note, that if you are working with a washer with high psi then the downside is that it can ruin your paint.


Using a foam cannon

When applying foam it is important to do it in an area with shade. This protects your foam from drying due to direct sunlight. Once you have connected all the parts and filled your soap foam to your cannon it is time to fill your car with studs.

Before you can start using the foam cannon, you may want to remove some of the loose dirt with water. Dirt can cause swirls on your car as it contains small stony particles.

Apply the foam and wait for it to settle on your car. Foam studs come with powerful active compounds that loosen the dirt and bird droppings.

You can work in sections. Probably start with the hood, go to the top, sides and then the undersides. This helps you cover all the car areas.

Once you are done rinse off the foam and you can apply a second layer of foam. This time use a soapy wash mit to wipe of the dirt. You can use a bucket for this. When using the mit you can reduce the pressure.

Rinse the car or use a blower to dry it.

The gas pressures are often some of the best washers to use as they can go for more than 2 gallons per minute. This is way higher than the electric ones. When it comes to producing thick studs then you need to be careful with the concentration. Most soap foams allow a ratio of 1:5. If you can find those that are scented the better. This not only leaves your car super clean but smelling fresh as well.


If you trying to upgrade from the bucket and hand washes to foam guns or cannons then it can be confusing choosing between the two. The foam gun is easier to use and does need a pressure washer like the foam cannon. However, it does not produce thick studs like the one for the cannon.

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