Detailing

How to improve foam density for low pressure electric foam cannons

Make it snow year 'round with a smaller nozzle for your low-flow electric pressure washer

I love having a clean car, and almost anyone who has seen my car is always surprised to learn that it isn’t brand new when I tell them.

My 2012 Audi TTRS still looks showroom fresh, but it’s almost 7 years old now.

I achieve this by being obsessive about detailing, parking my car in a garage most of the time, and a little extra help from having a clear bra installed.

One of the best ways to keep your car looking clean is to wash it regularly. I got tired of using the “two bucket” method that most detailers recommend, so a few years ago I picked up an electric pressure washer for my foam cannon.

Most detailers recommend using a gas powered pressure washer, but I wanted to use an electric one as they’re cheaper, easier to maintain, smaller, and more environmentally friendly. I actually think it worked pretty great, even though all of the professional detailers still strongly recommend using a gas one that has higher horsepower and more water flow.

The problem with gas powered pressure washers is that they’re noisy, they require more maintenance, they’re much bigger and eat up storage room in the garage, and they’re more expensive.

Electric pressure washers are cheap, compact, quieter, and nicer on the environment, too.

It’s a tough tradeoff for someone like me who wants their car to look their absolute best, but doesn’t want to deal with a ton of hassle that will ultimately result in me using it less frequently, either.

While I was shopping on my favorite detailing site, Detailed Image, I found a solution that was perfect for someone like me – a revised 1.1MM orfice specifically made for electric pressure washers.

Is this the $9.99 solution to my needs?

Installation was super simple, just take your foam lance and remove the existing nozzle. You’ll need a wrench to remove the fitting like pictured above, which should then expose the orfice itself as pictured below:

The orfice comes out using a flat head screwdriver, like so:

From there, you can compare the existing orfice compared to the DI Accessories one, and see the hole/opening is much smaller in the new one and optimized for lower pressure and lower flow electric pressure washers.

This makes sense – if your foam gun was made for a gas-powered pressure washer, then the opening would be much bigger to accommodate the extra power and water flow.

But for an electric pressure washer, this orfice is too big to work well.

To finish installing, reverse the steps you just completed with the new orfice and be careful not to over torque anything and strip the threading.

Once it’s all assembled, it’s time to see how it worked…

I fired up my electric pressure washer (well really I just plugged it in, once of the big advantages of going electric!) and pulled my dirty car out of the garage.

I then filled my foam lance with Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II which is my favorite soap.

Here goes nothing!

As you can see, the foam is super thick now.

Is it as good as a gas powered pressure washer?

Probably not, but it’s at least 80% as good…and much better than before.

For $9.99, it’s a game changer if you are using an electric pressure washer.

The suds are thicker, and the coverage is better…best of all, you can tell the difference immediately!

The advantage of thicker foam is that it clings to the car longer, letting the chemicals do the work.

This is perfect, as my ideal car wash uses no wash mitts or sponges, instead just letting the foam clean the car and then rinse off any residue using the pressure washer.

This is often called a “no touch” car wash, and the benefit of this is that you can’t accidentally scratch or marr your paint since nothing ever touches your car except water and soap.

It’s also less work, as all you have to do is spray a hose…and it’s less clean-up too, as you don’t have to clean sponges or wash mitts once you’re done.

So if you’re like me and dig using an electric pressure washer, but you also want the best cleaning products for your car and hate to comprise, then this is the perfect solution for you.

Your car will come out ridiculously clean, and coupled with a good ceramic coating you’ll never have to work hard at washing your car again.

I’ll admit the pictures above don’t do the revised nozzle 100% justice as it’s hard to see white foam on a white car, so here is a picture of me washing a friend’s Camry to give it a little more contrast:

So if you use an electric pressure washer, or even worse you’re still washing your cars with a wash mitt(!), it’s time to upgrade your garage.

Pick up an electric pressure washer and foam cannon like detailed in this post, then hop over to Detailed Image and pick up a 1.1mm orfice and some good suds and you’re going to be living in foam heaven!

Any other tips to maximize your foam? Leave me a comment below.

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.

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