The Complete Guide to Using a Foam Cannon

Foam cannons are invaluable tools for achieving a thorough and efficient wash on various surfaces, including cars, boats, and more. With their ability to produce thick, sudsy foam, foam cannons make the cleaning process easier and more effective. 

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about using a foam cannon, including the steps to setting one up, how much soap to use, compatibility with garden hoses, filling instructions, and tips for maximizing foaminess.

Captains Preferred Products foam cannon for hose.
This foam cannon is designed for use with a standard garden hose.


How to Use a Foam Cannon

Foam cannons make distributing soap a breeze, and they are really fun to use! Let’s take a look at the basic steps to follow to use your foam cannon:

  1. Attach the foam cannon handle to your hose by screwing the end of the hose into the foam cannon nozzle.
  2. Fill the reservoir with water, leaving some space at the top for soap.
  3. Add the appropriate amount of car wash soap or boat cleaner to the reservoir.
  4. Adjust the foam cannon settings to achieve the desired foam thickness and spray pattern. There is usually a dial at the top of the foam cannon for this.
  5. Spray the foam onto the surface to be cleaned, starting from the top and working your way down.
  6. Allow the foam to sit for a few minutes to loosen dirt and grime.
  7. For sensitive surfaces like the body of your car, use a wet microfiber wash mitt to wipe the areas where you have applied soap. For tougher areas like tires, use a scrub brush to loosen dirt and grime.
  8. To rinse, unscrew the foam cannon reservoir section from the hose nozzle. Spray clean water over the entire surface from top to bottom. 
  9. Repeat the process if necessary for caked on dirt or heavily soiled areas.
  10. When finished with the foam cannon, disconnect it from your hose, and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.


Common Foam Cannon Questions

How Much Soap to Use in a Foam Cannon?

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the amount of soap to use. This could vary from model to model. As a general guideline, start with 1-2 ounces of car wash soap per gallon of water in the reservoir. Adjust the soap concentration as needed to achieve the desired level of foaminess.

Can You Use a Foam Cannon with a Garden Hose?

Yes, some models (like this foam cannon) are made to be used with garden hoses. These foam cannons are easy to use and hook up to a standard hose you might have at your home or dock. 

How Do You Fill a Foam Cannon?

To fill a foam cannon:

  1. Remove the reservoir (the tank part) from the foam cannon body.
  2. Fill the reservoir with water, leaving some space at the top for soap.
  3. Add the desired amount of car wash soap or boat cleaner to the reservoir.
  4. Reattach the reservoir to the foam cannon body by screwing the top back on. Make sure it’s attached securely. 
Finger pointing to a foam cannon's sud dial to make more foam.
The sud dial at the top of the foam cannon controls the amount of soap used and can be used to produce more foam.

How Do You Make a Foam Cannon More Foamy?

To maximize foaminess with a foam cannon:

  • Use a high-quality car wash or boat wash soap
  • Try adjusting the soap concentration in your foam cannon
  • Use the foam setting dial at the top of the foam cannon to adjust for more or less foam


Get Washing Today

By following these steps and tips, you can make the most of your foam cannon and achieve professional-quality results when cleaning your car, truck, boat, and more. Happy foaming!



When it comes to keeping your boat clean, look to Captains Preferred Products boat cleaning supplies. Find everything you need to keep your vessel squeaky clean all season — always at the best prices.

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