NEW ON YOUTUBE: Toyota MR2 Built by F&F Legend

Review: Chemical Guys Big Mouth Foam Cannon And Mr Pink Foam Party Is A Car Wash Explosion

Get the most out of your pressure washer and clean your car without adding swirl marks.

byMichael Febbo|
Cleaning & Detailing photo
Share

0

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

A huge part of the experience of car detailing can be explained as sensory marketing. We’ve come to expect wheel cleaners to smell like grape soda and our waxes to smell like bananas. But, it isn’t just scents. When we use our radioactive color-tinted car wash soaps, we expect what detailing enthusiasts call, “shaving cream foam.”

Foam does have a purpose when cleaning a car, it helps lift and encapsulate debris so it can be washed off your car without scratching it. Chemical Guys wanted me to test out the latest in suds blasting tech. So, its new Big Mouth Max Release Foam Cannon arrived at my front door, along with the appropriate ammo, Mr. Pink Foam Party Wash & Wax. This foam cannon is designed to work with a pressure washer, and luckily I’ve also been testing a DeWalt 2100 PSI portable electric unit.

Let’s All Make Big Happy Clouds Like Bob Ross

The detailing industry always jumps from one latest and greatest thing to the next. Foam cannons are the current thing. Sure, people have been using pressure washers forever but if you don’t have a pic for the socials of your car looking like a coconut cream pie, are you even washing it, bro? 

The active parts of car wash soap are different kinds of surfactants; a type of bipolar molecule. That means one end will stick to water, the other will repel water. The end that repels water, will stick to oils, however. There is an almost endless variety of surfactants. Some will be better at cleaning, some at foaming, and some will help water rinse off your paint, while others make mayonnaise possible. If you haven’t guessed from the names, Chemical Guys is leaning into the foam thing, while not ignoring the cleaning part.

Chemical Guys has a variety of foam cannons. Some will connect to a garden hose, this one likes at least 800 PSI and 1.2 GPM, that’s gallons per minute. The DeWalt pressure washer I’m testing will do 2100 PSI, but it tops out at 1.2 GPM, which is about what you can expect from most electric units. It has a 34-ounce jug with a 2-inch opening. The spray pattern and soap mixture is adjustable, and it includes the automotive-style quick coupler shown in the photos. 

A Surprise Springtime Snow Storm In Vegas

I’ll be honest, even when filling up my car wash bucket, I get a little disappointed if I don’t have a mound of foam billowing up on top of the functional liquid. Yes, you do need some amount of foaming, but it turns out marshmallow-like fluff is mostly an experiential marketing thing. Experts in car wash science, chemists mostly, will tell you that a somewhat runny foam is ideal for lifting and encapsulating particulate matter and you want just enough body so it doesn’t immediately run off vertical surfaces. So that’s what I’ve been aiming for.

I’ve used a variety of dilutions of the Mr Pink and an endless number of guesses on the settings of the Big Mouth. For the dilution, I found that roughly 2 to 3 ounces of soap and filling up to 30-ounce line with water seemed to work best. A higher concentration of Mr Pink, will get you thicker suds. I also liked to fan out the stream into a wider pattern. Even with runnier foam, I could easily get a 2-minute dwell time.

Everything Is A Process To Manage

To run through this start to finish. The car was in the shade the entire time, it was roughly 70° F with a barely noticeable breeze. The car was cold and hadn’t been driven in about 12 hours. I sprayed down the car with the pressure washer with just water. I then foamed the whole car with Mr Pink Foam Party. After a 2-minute dwell, I then used a Chemical Guys Chenille Wash Mitt, with a regular Mr Pink diluted in a bucket, to manually wash one side of the car. The whole car was then rinsed with the pressure washer and after some profanity, I switched to a normal hose with a shower-type nozzle to finish rinsing the car. It was then dried with microfiber towels. There was no post-wash beer consumed as it wasn’t even 9am.

Your first question is probably, why did only scrub half the car? In earlier experiments with this product, I just didn’t feel like the car got completely clean without scrubbing it. On the plastic parts of the car, on the bottom where is collects the most grime, I did find that to be the case this time as well. I just don’t think there is a replacement for what the industry refers to as mechanical agitation—scrubbing. 

And second, why did I rinse with just a plain ole hose? I have been testing a number of pressure washer and I continually find they don’t apply a high enough volume of water to wash the soap off the car. The finely atomized water just isn’t enough mass to push the foam off of the car, even on vertical surfaces. Don’t get me started on trying to get soap out of the body seems. A regular hose is just faster, easier, and all around better for rinsing.

The Verdict

The Chemical Guys Big Mouth Max Release Foam Cannon isn’t cheap. It’s priced at $99.99 on the Chemical Guys website and even on Amazon, it’s $99.88. The components look similar to several other foam cannons out there, but nothing looks exactly the same. This is a very well-made tool. The brass pieces will last basically forever. The jug looks like it will take a few falls, but I’m sure will eventually need replacing.

The nozzle works great, but I do wish adjusting it required more turns as it is tough to get just the right spacing on the reed valve that adjusts the fan of the spray pattern. The ratio knob on top is easily adjustable and allows for real fine-tuning. You will pay a premium for any of the detailing company branded foam cannons and for many customers, it’s well worth the money. I am considering ordering one or two of the $20 options to see how much of a difference there is. Although, the thought of a bargain price, 3-pound “possible” projectile hanging off the business end of 2100 PSI pressure washer, pointed at my car, isn’t all that appealing.

Chemical Guys Big Mouth Foam Cannon and Mr Pink Foam Party
Value6/10
Quality9/10
Ease Of Use7/10
Durability7/10
Overall7/10

In this last test case, I was left impressed with Mr Pinks Foam Party. After figuring out a dilution ratio, and rinsing it with a shower nozzle, it left the clear streak free and shiny. In earlier tests, the concentration was too high and the pressure washer was ineffective at rinsing it off, so I ended up with soap residue on the car. That was not the product's fault. I had tried a bucket foam test back-to-back with regular Mr Pink, and the Foam Party lives up to the name. This is a PH neutral product that Chemical Guys labels as having moderate cleaning power and high shine level—I can go along with that.

A 16-ounce bottle of Mr Pink Foam Party will set you back $11.99 from the Chemical Guys site. It’s also offered in a 64-ounce size for $36.99 and car washing fiends can get a gallon of the stuff for $49.99 to get a substantial savings. Lastly, If you’re curious, the Chemical Guys Chenille Wash Mitt is only $8.99 and I have a few different brands of these and this is nicest by far.

stripe
Cleaning & Detailing