Foam cannons are great for pre-washing your car and remove all the stubborn dirt with minimum effort, but only when used with the right soap.
Three factors are crucial to producing a lot of thick suds –
1. Pressure Washer
2. Foam Cannon
3. Foam Cannon soap
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Best Foam Cannon Soap 2020 -The Ultimate foam cannon soap Reviews
Let’s get deep into the best options available in the market in the form of reviews.
Adam’s Ultra Foam Shampoo – The Best Foam Cannon Soap 2020
Well, this thing, the Adam’s ultra foam shampoo, is four times the cleanser concentration of their very own regular car shampoo. It is meant to produce a ton of thick suds for pre-wash rather than precision cleaning unlike the car shampoo, and it’s made that way.
There are other chemical formulation differences as well to serve other ‘pre-wash’ purposes. For example, it contains a lubricating chemical in the solution which is meant to avoid paint scratches when the soap rinsed off.
It features a polymer in the chemical mix as well that creates a thin protective layer on the body of the car, as soon as you’re done with washing.
However, these are added benefits of foam cannon shampoos but that doesn’t mean that all the shampoos have that. I mean, there are reasons why this is the top choice in our list.
Now it’s nice to have those added benefits but the top priority of a foam cannon shampoo is to always create suds. Adam’s foam cannon shampoo produces a lot of them. The foam is thick, rich and it does not evaporate quickly as some bad-quality cannon soaps do.
A crucial factor of a foam cannon shampoo is that it needs to be pH neutral so that it won’t harm the previously applied wax or sealant on your car. Adam’s foam shampoo tick marks that box as well and it removes all of the grime, pollen, dirt, and other gunk that’s accumulated, without harming any of the previously applied protective coatings.
Another added benefit of this soap is that it lets you wash your car even in good sunlight. Usually, cloudy days are preferred for this type of foam wash but this soap seems to break that stereotype.
All these benefits come at a cost and this is one of the most expensive soaps out there. If you can get it home, you’ll be highly appreciating it though.
-A lot of thick and rich suds.
-pH neutral, doesn’t harm any protective coating.
-Lubricates with every wash.
-It creates a thin layer of protective coating.
Chemical Guys Snow Foam Soap and Cleanser – The Best Value
The honeydew flavored cannon soap is one of the most popular solutions among car owners for three major reasons: it cleans quite as well as the Adam’s ultra foam cannon, it takes less amount of soap for every use, and it costs way lower than the Adam’s.
It needs just a capful of this soap with five gallons of water to get the ultimate scrubbing power. The solution is good enough to eliminate any dirt, grime, and other environmental contaminants.
Chemical guys use a unique PPM (Parts Per Million) formula that allows them to get a lot of suds using less amount of soap. This has to do with utilizing the full potential of the cannon.
However, though you get a lot of thick and rich foam with less soap, the foam tends to slip off the car a tad faster than Adam’s ultimate foam.
And don’t worry about any protective coating on your car. It’s quite expected that chemical guys won’t mess up with pH neutrality. It won’t damage any sealant, wax, and gel as well, nor it will damage any of the vinyl, rubber, paint, or plastic.
It comes in two flavors – honeydew and watermelon. I like the honeydew personally since I like the scent to be as subtle as possible. I mean, you don’t want your car to smell like you’ve just driven through and forth of the local flower garden, or do you?
There’s barely anything to criticize about the foam soap because it stands at the sweet point of everything: price, performance, and effectiveness.
-A lot of suds with lesser amounts of soap.
-Not harmful to any protective coating or other parts.
-Slips off the car a tad faster than the best foam cannon soap: Adam’s.
The foam soap that takes the most delicate care of your car’s protective coating is probably the Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash foam soap. This is a specialized pH-balanced formula that cleans without doing any harm whatsoever to your wax protection.
Another attractive thing about the Meguiar’s foam soap is that it cleans and conditions at the same time. It’s loaded with rich conditioners which reduces your time and effort needed to get a shiny finish. The conditioners reveal clarity, improve paint gloss, and leave a brilliant shine behind.
There’s one more thing that makes this soap stand out a little from other few other soaps in the list. This soap is quite useful to hand-clean your car as well. The result is decent enough.
When you’re using it with cannons, the dilution ratio should be one-to-five with water. It produces thick suds that’ll remove the road grime, dirt, and other contaminants that you expect to be removed in the pre-wash.
Merguiar well justifies the name of this soap: gold class car wash, as it leaves a glow on the car when the soap is rinsed off. This has to do with the conditioners and probably other chemical elements unique to this cannon soap.
Whatever it is, such a glow after a pre-wash is overwhelming.
And as I’m a person that likes a subtle aroma, I’m pleased with the solution. It leaves a very gentle and pleasing scent which is not offensive at all.
-Leaves a glow on your car.
-Washes and conditions at the same time.
-Concentrated, one bottle lasts long.
-Very gentle to the wax coating.
-It tends to dry-off quickly if it’s exposed to sunlight.
If I put it dramatically, I would be like – the Mother’s triple-action foam wash creates a protective layer on your car after the pre-wash as if a ‘Mother’ is taking care of her baby. Yeah, I know that probably was terrible but I couldn’t help resisting myself to put the name of the foam wash in perspective with what it does.
I know you’re already familiar with this thing, because our premium product, Adam’s cannon soap does it as well. But, the mother foam wash does it standing at a way lower price point than the Adam’s.
If I compare, the Adam’s soap is more than double the price of the Mothers foam cannon soap, so it’s a great feature to have at this price point.
When it comes to the core job, sudsing and cleaning, the mother’s soap does not disappoint at all. With thick foam, it was able to remove almost all the dirt, grime, and other accumulated contaminants.
But there’s a doubt regarding the pH factor. It says ‘pH-optimized’, not pH-neutral and there was no mention of how close this solution’s pH is to 7.0, which is the pH neutral point. So it might not be as nice to your wax coating like most other soaps in the list.
The scent is not clarified either but it was nice and not overwhelming or offensively strong, just the way I like.
For advertising purposes, it says triple action on the labeling which can be a bit confusing. It has everything to do with the amount of soap you put on the cleaning bucket. Put 1 oz of soap in a gallon of water and it’ll act like a super sudsing shampoo.
Put 3 or 5 ozs to get ‘Extra strength’ or ‘Ultimate power’ respectively. I think these are just fancy names because simply put, you have to use 3 to 5 ounces to use this soap in a foam cannon, where these fancy names are regardless.
-It creates a protective layer after rinsing.
-It does a good job of cleaning.
-Very cheap and a great value for money.
-pH-neutrality is not guaranteed.
Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Car Wash Soap – Best Versatile Formula
I guess they’ve named it so because the solution is pink.
Alright, enough of the names, that’s not so important.
What’s important is this soap is one of the true versatile washing solutions out there. I mean this can be used as a shampoo for precise cleaning or a cannon soap for pre-wash as well, and it works just as well in either case.
I know many other car shampoos or foam soaps claim similar things but they don’t do equally well in either purpose, but this solution is different and it does what it says.
That said, it is another very well pH-neutralized solution that is very gentle to the wax or sealant coating. This solution is a superior surface cleanser that removes all the unwanted dirt, grime, or any other build-up but stays very gentle to any coating on your car.
And it leaves a shine and no residue as you rinse it off. It is an extra slick car wash solution for scratch-free washing experience.
Chemical Guys’ smart chemistry is the backbone of this smart foam cannon soap. It blends the super polymers with the hyper-surfactants that capture and lift all the dirt & debris from deep and do all other good things – thumbs up to those chemistry nerds.
-A true versatile washing solution.
-Nice and gentle to your wax.
-Leaves a shine to the car.
-Not so concentrated solution.
TriNova makes great foam cannons. Well, not just great foam cannons, they make the best foam cannon as I suggested in my foam cannon reviews. However, now they want to complete the system of pre-washing your car and thus they’ve introduced a foam cannon soap.
And that gets the job done.
I mean, this foam gun soap is nothing groundbreaking; rather it does the job well that it’s supposed to do.
It produces a decent amount of suds when you put a good amount of soap in the cannon. It cuts through all the grime, dirt, grit, grease, and other buildups and leaves a nice shine to your car. I mean, the amount of suds is on par but cleans well somehow.
Now, I want to emphasize the shine because not many foam soaps are capable of leaving as noticeable shine as it leaves in your car. I didn’t expect such a glossy and amazing shine from this moderately priced foam soap.
TriNova says that this soap is safe for any wax or sealant coating. They say this solution is ‘pH-balanced’ which I do not like to see, rather I like it when manufacturers can confidently claim that their solution is ‘pH-neutralized’.
However, I might be nitpicking as it didn’t seem to damage the coating I had in my car.
It offers a great value for money as they include a plush scratch-free mitt with the soap which you would have to buy otherwise. It saves you a few bucks and you won’t be using any old rag, towel, or sponge which could leave scratches on your car.
-Leaves a noticeably nice shine on your car.
-Takes away all stubborn buildups.
-It comes with a mitt in the package.
-Needs more soap than mentioned to create optimum foam.
-Lubrication is not the best.
Sun Joe Premium Snow Foam Soap – Best Biodegradable Foam Cannon Soap
I knew Sun Joe more for making awesome lawn mowers and snow blowers but it seems like they’re taking part in a totally different game now. They make snow foam soaps as well and I must say, they’ve maintained just as good quality as their mowers and blowers.
This is a high-viscosity biodegradable soap and it does a great job of soaking off all the gunk in your car. The foam it produces isn’t as thick as the chemical-based foam soap solutions but it does an equally great job at cleaning, if not better.
You don’t have to worry about damaging the wax finishes either, because this is a biodegradable formula which produces such a foam that is absolutely harmless to paint and other substances. The pH terminology is regardless here.
Now, another major thing that is completely different from all other soaps that I recommended is that this soap comes non-concentrated. Do you know what that means?
It means you’ll have to put the soap undiluted in your cannon to create foam. Now that’s something which is not great about this soap.
You’re going to need a lot more of this soap for every wash than you needed for other soaps. So your 1-gallon jar will empty up way faster than other traditional chemical foam cannon soaps. This increases the effective cost of the soap.
Another drawback of this is that you don’t get to control the concentration of the final cleaning solution which you might need to do sometimes depending on the strength of the dirt you’re looking to remove.
However, if you can afford the extra effective cost, this soap performs great, and it is probably the safest solution for your waxing. Many car owners love this soap and so do I.
And by the way, go for Pineapple or Orange-vanilla scent as someone like me who wants minimum to zero scents on his car, loved the scent this particular soap spread.
-Biodegradable soap, very safe for wax and sealant coating.
-Suds are limited but washing is on point.
-The nice aroma it leaves.
-Non-concentrated soap, the effective price is higher.
Why do you need a foam cannon soap?
A question I often get asked is, why do you need a foam cannon soap particularly? Why a regular car wash shampoo won’t work?
Well, it’s a common mistake to mix car shampoos and snow foam cannon and thinking that they’re just the same. They’re similar sorts of products and I get why people confuse between two, but one is not the perfect alternative of another.
Foam cannon soaps are best used for pre-wash and they’re usually a lot more concentrated than car shampoos. Take Adam’s car wash shampoo and ultra foam shampoo for example.
Both are manufactured by the same manufacturer but the ultra foam shampoo which is specially made for use in foam cannons is four times the concentration of the regular car wash shampoo.
So, it’s clear that foam cannon shampoos need different formulations in concentration. There are differences in the chemical formula as well. And they’ve their purposes that they serve best.
However, there are a few solutions that can be used for either purpose, which are specially manufactured. So, it won’t be wise to think that all other car wash shampoos and foam cannon soaps are good alternatives for each other, just because few examples are there.
And to be honest, those few formulas that are out there are not the most ideal solution either. I prefer dedicated solutions for different purposes to get the maximum performance and utilize the purpose of the products to the fullest potential.
Types of foam cannon soaps
If we talk specifically about foam cannon soaps and not mix car shampoos, there are not many types to define. Basically, they can be categorized into two types:
Concentrated: Most of the soaps we talked about come in a concentrated state. That means you have to dilute them as per the recommended ratio before putting them in operation.
The benefit of having concentrated soaps is that you can control how thick you want the foam to be (by varying soap: water ratio) depending on the various parts of the car you want to wash.
Non-concentrated: You can use this type of soap undiluted in your cannon and that’s what is recommended by the manufacturer, to get the best performance. I find no direct benefit of non-concentrated soaps but other benefits are dependent on it.
Biodegradable soaps are most gentle on your wax and they’re eco-friendly as well, and most of the biodegradable formulas have to be non-concentrated.
Buying Guide to Foam Cannon Soaps
There are a few things that you need to cross-check to find out the best soap for foam cannon. Let’s find out.
Dedicated vs Versatile Formula
I have already stressed this point regarding the differences between a car wash shampoo vs. ultra foam shampoo. It’s clear that they’re made with different purposes and one is not the perfect alternative to the other.
But the fact that there are few versatile formulas makes things a little confusing. Should you go for a dedicated formula or settle for a versatile one?
The answer is quite simple though. I prefer dedicated formulas every time, to get the best performance. I know how much you love your car and you probably want everything best for it.
However, versatile formulas are not too bad either, especially a few specific ones. And the effective price of those is a tad lower. So if you don’t want multiple containers to hang around and save a few bucks, versatile formulas are a go.
But make sure you don’t get fooled by the advertisement and pick the true versatile formulas, like the Mr. Pink car wash soap by Chemical Guys.
Another major factor to consider is the pH-neutrality of the solution. This is highly important to ensure that your previously done wax or sealant coating does not get harmed by the soap.
The either acidic or basic formula is bad for the coating. So you want to pick a soap that is pH neutral. pH-optimized or pH-balanced could be disguising terms on occasions so if your soap says that, make sure you go through the reviews left by other users to ensure that it is harmless to the coating.
Cleaning power is the core factor of a soap that you could already tell. In a general sense, cleaning power has a lot to do with the amount and concentration of the foam a soap creates.
In a general sense, the more thick and rich foam a soap produces, the better it cleans. You also want to ensure the foam doesn’t slip off the car too early, in which case it won’t be able to do its job properly.
However, few biodegradable soaps do good cleaning without much foam, like the Sun Joe premium wash.
Talking of biodegradable soaps, it could be a factor as well. If you care about eco-friendliness, you will be proud of using biodegradable soap. They’re less harmful to the environment as they biodegrade over time and lose their toxic existence.
Sun Joe premium is a great biodegradable soap if you want to pick one.
How to use the soap for foam cannon?
Using soap in the foam cannon properly is nowhere as hard as picking the best foam soap cannon. The only thing you need to be concerned about is the dilution ratio.
Manufacturers are likely to recommend the best water: soap ratio for the best performance. You want to follow their instruction.
However, you could ditch them too on a few occasions. If you’re not getting the expected suds, consider using a bit more soap in the same amount of water. If you want to be efficient while cleaning areas with less stubborn dirt, you may use less soap than recommended.
Another little yet useful practice is to put the water first.
So take water in the cannon, put your soap in that, shake and dilute well, tighten the cannon and start busting tons of suds.
What’s the best soap for a foam cannon?
Hands down, the best soap for foam cannon to me is the Chemical Guys Honeydew foam soap. I would have named the Adam’s ultra foam shampoo but the chemical guys offer a way better price to performance ratio, so that’s my personal pick.
Do you dilute soap for foam cannon?
Put the water first in the cannon and then put the necessary amount of soap. Tighten the cannon and shake well.
How much soap do I use in a foam cannon?
It depends on what soap you’re using and what area you’re going to wash. Usually, 3 to 5 ounces in a gallon of water is the standard ratio.
Can I use shampoo to pre-wash the car?
We’ve had a long talk on that already. I recommend using a dedicated foam cannon soap for this purpose.
How do I make my foam cannon more foamy?
Dilute in the right ratio and consider shaking a bit before putting it into use.
What is the best homemade car wash soap?
You can prepare homemade soaps using dishwasher gel and baking sodas, but I will highly discourage using that. No homemade soaps are as good as proper car wash formulas. They can harm your car’s coating and paint as well.
The Best Foam Cannon Soap 2020 – Wrap Up
Picking the best car wash soap for foam cannon is just as crucial as picking the best canon itself. That’s the whole purpose of this piece and I hope I was able to help you with my foam cannon soap reviews.
The Adam’s ultra foam shampoo is clearly the winner if you care highly about performance.
If you’re looking for a good price to performance ratio then you can’t go wrong on the chemical guys honeydew.
For a versatile formula, the Mr. Pink from chemical guys is certainly the best option.
If you want to be environmentally friendly which I’d highly appreciate, consider the Sun Joe premium car wash shampoo.
Shoot me any questions in the comments. Happy foaming!