October 07, 2020 3 min read

A BEGINNER'S GUIDE: Using a Foam Cannon and Pressure Washer to Wash Your Car

Using a pressure washer and a foam cannon can greatly speed up your car wash process. You can even just use foam soap and a pressure washer to clean lightly soiled vehicles, without any scrubbing with a wash mitt. It can also help to minimize scratching on your vehicle, as the foam will lift away and encapsulate dirt on the vehicle. Using the pressure washer to rinse the vehicle can make it incredibly easy to remove most dirt and debris before applying the foam soap.

What you will need:

  • Pressure Washer
  • Foam Cannon
  • Microfiber Drying Towel
  • Microfiber Wash Mitt
  • High Foaming Soap
  • Wash Bucket
  • Bucket Dirt Trap

The Steps:

Put 3 to 4 ounces of foam soap into your Foam Cannon reservoir, and fill the rest with water. Shake well to mix the soap into the water. Using a car safe pressure washer tip, thoroughly rinse the vehicle, making sure to spray off any large clumps of dirt or debris.

After you have rinsed the vehicle thoroughly, replace the pressure washer tip with the foam cannon. Turn the knob on the top all the way to the “negative” setting and pull the trigger on the pressure washer lance. Rotate the top knob towards “Positive” until you get the desired amount of foam coming out of your foam cannon. Rotate the foam cannon nozzle to achieve the spray pattern you are looking for to more easily cover your vehicle. Cover the entire vehicle, including the wheels and tires, with foam from the foam cannon. Once the vehicle is covered with foam, let it sit brief, then move on to rinsing it, or using a wash mitt if it was heavily soiled.

When using a wash mitt, put the bucket dirt trap in the bottom of your bucket. Fill the bucket 3/4 full with water. Put the wash mitt on and dunk it in the bucket to soak it, then wring it out. Start cleaning your vehicle one panel at a time, working from top to bottom. This is because the lower part of the vehicle is often far dirtier than the upper part, and to make sure dirty water isn’t running all over freshly cleaned areas of the vehicle. Work in straight line motions, and avoid circular motions. Circular motions can increase the likelihood of swirl marks and scratches in the finish.

Once a panel has been completely wiped down with the wash mitt, stick the wash mitt into the bucket. Rub the dirty side of the wash mitt against the bucket dirt trap to remove any debris that might have been picked up by the wash mitt off the vehicle. Once you work the dirt out of the mitt, wring it out thoroughly and start wiping down the next panel. Rinse the vehicle, including the wheels, after every panel has been wiped down.

Once all the soap is rinsed off, you can move on to drying the vehicle. Take your drying towel and unfold it completely. Lay it on the surface of the vehicle and pull it across the surface in straight lines to avoid swirls and scratches (just like with the wash mitt). A single ExoForma Double Sided Microfiber Drying Towel can dry a whole vehicle completely. If you notice any streaking occurring, simply flip the towel over and continue drying.