Know your Foam!

Foam cannons and foam guns can be valuable tools for fleet washing businesses and DIY truck washes. They are another method of performing a 2-Step Fleet Wash. Knowing their differences and learning about their proper uses can be a challenge.

In this blog, we’ll compare foam cannons and foam guns, examining the benefits and drawbacks between them, as well as comparing them to other common wash methods. Whether you’re a fleet manager responsible for your company’s fleet, operating a truck washing business, or cleaning your own vehicles at home, make an informed decision on which option is right for you.

Why Use Foam Cannons or Foam Guns?

Both foam cannons and foam guns can offer efficient and effective washing solutions. By generating thicker foam from your detergent, this enables cleansers to cling to the vehicle's surface longer, with more hang time to lift dirt and debris. 

Moreover, the foam aids visibility during the cleaning process, ensuring more complete coverage.

Additionally, foam cannons and foam guns are fairly simple to use regardless of experience level. They do not require a complex setup and can work with large and small pressure washers, or even a garden hose.

Incorporating foam cannons or guns can streamline your maintenance routine and improve outcomes.

Comparing & Contrasting Foam Guns vs. Foam Cannons

Foam cannons and foam guns are variations of downstream injection because they create a suction effect to combine the concentrated solution from the soap bottle with water from the source. Both attachments also use air gaps or agitation to create a frothy application of the detergent. Some versions may have larger or smaller soap bottles, as well as different settings to allow for increased or reduced chemical dilutions.

Foam Cannons

A foam cannon is an attachment designed for use with pressure washers. While there are a variety of models available, they usually include a soap bottle with suction tube, adjustable nozzle/handle, and an adapter to connect to a power washer wand. Foam cannons are rated for higher PSI for a quicker, more powerful foam application from your pressure washer.

Foam Guns

In contrast, most foam guns attach to standard garden hoses, providing a fast and easy solution without the need for a pressure washer. There are also models which can be operated using compressed air systems. Garden hose foam guns may produce less dense foam compared to cannons due to lower water pressure, but they offer convenience and versatility, making them ideal for smaller cleaning operations or situations where pressure washers are unavailable.

Pros and Cons: Foam Guns & Foam Cannons

Foaming for fleet washing can be a valuable resource for your cleaning routine, however, there are some pros and cons to consider compared to alternative washing methods:

Foaming Benefits:

  • Affordable starting option
  • Soap adheres to surfaces better for even coverage
  • Removes loose debris during the spray process
  • Multiple styles and options to work with most pressure washers & water volumes
  • Adjust the strength of your detergent by changing dilutions or mixing rates
  • Easier to set up with fewer tools & parts needed to assemble
  • Simple to operate for all experience levels

Foaming Disadvantages:

  • Can be bulky and heavy
  • Longer rinsing time for heavy foam means more water usage & runoff
  • Does not remove caked-on debris during the spray process
  • Dilutions and mixing rates can be inconsistent
  • Requires constant mixing & refilling for multiple applications
  • Multiple foam attachments needed if using multiple detergents
  • May not be rated for use with high pressure, hot water, or aggressive detergents

So, Which is Better?

The choice between a foam cannon and a foam gun ultimately depends on your specific fleet cleaning needs. For heavy-duty cleaning on larger vehicles/equipment and superior foam coverage, foam cannons offer optimal performance.

When washing smaller vehicles or if you prefer a simpler/safer setup, foam guns may be the better option. 

Consider factors such as the availability of pressure washers, desired setup time, type of wash being performed, and the priorities of the user when making your decision. Foam might not be the best choice for your situation at all!

The Key Takeaway

Both foam cannons and foam guns have their unique advantages and drawbacks compared to alternative washing methods. By understanding the differences between these tools and evaluating your fleet's requirements, you can make an informed decision that enhances your maintenance process. 

Ready to start your own mobile fleet washing business? Get insider tips and expert insights in this blog. Then, explore our Mobile Fleet Solutions page for everything you need to kick-start your venture. 

Schedule a Free Wash Review