How To Adjust Foam Cannon in 10 Minutes [Soap Ratio+PSI+GPM]

By Power Tools

September 17, 2019


The primary reason behind writing this article is eliminating the confusion on “how to adjust foam cannons” by sharing my real-life experience.

how to adjust foam cannon soap ratio

There are two types of foam cannon users.

One that posts epic foamy car wash videos on Youtube and the other comments on the video “how to make foam cannon more foamy?” People asking these are seeing just soapy water with their foam cannon.

That’s frustrating. I know that.

Just stay with me for two minutes reading this article. I am going to share what mistakes you are making and how to fix them.

Also, I’ll share the adjustment procedure of cannon and the perfect foam cannon soap ratio.

Do you want to wait? No? Let’s jump in.

How To Adjust Foam Cannon

I think it’s better to follow the backward process for learning a process. Let me show you the mistakes you might be making with your foam cannon.

Avoid these mistakes and do the correct things mentioned.

1. Are You Using The Wrong Pressure Washer?

Foam cannon is directly dependent on PSI and GPM.

No matter the pressure washer is electric or gas-powered, a foam cannon requires a minimum PSI and GPM. Fortunately, you can find the requirement of specific PSI and GPM on the instruction manual of foam cannon. In addition, you can also find that information in the product description section if you buy online.

PSI and GPM are the two factors responsible for sucking up the soap and mix it with the water. Furthermore, these factors also produce a suitable soap mixture for foam.

For example, if you own a foam cannon that requires 1.1 GPM water surely it won’t work properly with a 1.0 GPM water supply.

As a result, you are kind of forced to select a pressure washer that meets the foam cannon requirement. However, selecting a pressure washer depending on the foam cannon is hilarious. Having said that, I got some pressure washers for cars reviewed in this article.

You better buy a pressure washer of minimum 2000 psi and 1.4 GPM for foam cannon usability and think no further.

2. Are You Using The Proper Soap?

Once I saw someone using washing machine detergent in foam cannon. Turned out crappy!

Don’t be stupid like that guy!

Car soaps are good for foam cannon. But even a good car soap can sometimes be tricky for more sud. And less sud means low foam.

To focus on foam, some manufacturers produce specialized foam cannon soap. Surely, these soaps are king of sud. More sud means more foam.

Personally, I like the concentrated soaps as they give you full control of mixture. Specialized soap for foam cannon will mix with water properly and later produce thicker foam.

I have written a whole article on car wash soap.

3. Foam Cannon Soap Ratio

Using the wrong soap ratio can be another good reason for watery foam.

However, the perfect soap ratio does not exist. The ratio can differ regarding the soap brand, the bottle size, and water quality. Furthermore, once again your soap ratio need to match with your pressure washer’s GPM and PSI.

Clearly the ratio depends on trial and error method. As you can see, the ratio is dependent on several things which can only be achieved by trial and error method.

Regardless of the different variables, there is some kind of universal ratio that I am going to share with you.

I personally use 2 ounces of soap with 10 ounces of water.

However, experts suggest using 1 ounce of soap with 10 ounces of water. Filling a bottle with water where you have 1 ounce of water is not a good idea. This way the mixture will be very much soap less.

On the sweet spot, use 1 ounce of soap wit 10 ounces of water.

Here’s a video on soap mixing hack:

 4.  Wrong Orifice Size

Another tiny but crucial point you might be missing out is the orifice size, which is a tiny hole on the nozzle screw set.

There are usually two sizes of orifice available. 1.1 mm and 1.25 mm (hole size).

1.1 mm orifice requires a minimum of 1.4 GPM and 1100 PSI of water pressure.

1.25 mm orifice requires a minimum of 1.8 GPM and 1100 PSI of water pressure.

foam cannon orifice size

In the USA, as the electricity is 110v, the electric pressure washers are of quite a low capacity. To be compatible with it, you need to use a 1.1mm orifice size.

On the other hand, if you own a powerful pressure washer you might want to opt for a 1.25mm orifice size.

Having a bigger orifice size with a low PSI and PGM pressure washer is only going to result in watery foam.

You can easily change the orifice available online. Also, you can play with the adjustment knob.

5. Is the Orifice Dirty?

Not only the orifice size matters but also a clean orifice too.

A dirty orifice can only result in a blocked or inconsistent supply of foam. This can also hamper the suction of soap mixture from the bottle.

If you are thinking about how an orifice can get dirty, then, think about your basin sink. Kind of like that.

Soap residue can create a thick layer around the orifice hole and cause a blockage. Moreover, dust can also be a hindrance here.

No matter how limited your use is, it is recommended to clean the orifice once a month.

Here’s a video on taking care of your foam cannon:

6. Quality Of The Foam Cannon

No matter how hard you try to be precise with the foam cannon soap ratio or PSI or GPM, quality of the soap; a quality foam cannon is always going to be on your side.

A $15 foam cannon will never be the same as the $90 foam cannon.

But, I am not asking you to buy the $90 cannon nor the $15 one. However, you get what you pay for is absolutely true.

As far as I know, chemical guys are the best in these products. Check their foam cannon on Amazon.

As long as you have the right orifice or soap, I assume a $15 is not going to be a problem for you.

Final Thought

As discussed, if you can match any of the above issues with your foam cannon, that’s what you are doing wrong. Please read carefully about these and do it perfectly.

No doubt, a foam cannon with proper performance will give you the best car cleaning experience. Just get your gear and make the proper mixture