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  1. #1
    Dan's Avatar
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    Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Figured I`d start a new thread on the topic as it has come up a few times in other thread. Please take this in the context of owning a pressure washer and using a foam canon on a paint that is maintained and protected with a good LSP.

    I know there are those that swear by foaming their car at every wash, but why? I`ve had a couple of different foam canon setups, first that g-blaster and then a real canon. I use a pressure washer to knock off all the dirt I can from my cars, this is always my first step. When using the foam setup, I would foam and let it dwell. What I noticed is that to get anything to happen I had to mix in a heavy duty APC into the soap mixture. Even then there was still road film left on the car.

    By rinsing the car with the pressure washer first, my wash bucket stays super clean. To the point I don`t even mess with two buckets, haven`t for ages. I do rinse my wash media after cleaning wheels/tires. If only washing one car, I even leave the wash bucket for another day.
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  2. #2
    Darth Camaro 12/27/15 Don's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    IMO, foaming the car adds lubrication to the washing process and helps (a little) in eliminating wash swirls. In order to really clean the car of road film, you must mechanically wipe it off the surface. The pre-wash with a pressure washer and the foaming rids the car of the majority of the abrasive dirt, but the film must still be mechanically removed. Again, just my opinion.
    Don M

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  3. #3
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    IMO, foaming the car adds lubrication to the washing process and helps (a little) in eliminating wash swirls. In order to really clean the car of road film, you must mechanically wipe it off the surface. The pre-wash with a pressure washer and the foaming rids the car of the majority of the abrasive dirt, but the film must still be mechanically removed. Again, just my opinion.
    I agree that the foam reduces swirls IF you start washing with your mit/sponge/etc while the foam is still on the surface BUT I see most people rinsing the foam right off after letting it dwell. And regardless, when you go to rinse that panel, you`re going to be rinsing the rest of the foam off if you are washing top down anyway. I guess you could re-foam again, but that would be a constant battle. Washing from the bottom up is something that IMO would make for more swirls.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Dan I`m with you. I`ve never owned a foam cannon or gun, but always pressure wash our cars before hand washing and have never had a need for the 2BM--after a full wash my wash water is also super clean so I use it for the wheels and wheel wells and even then it is still very clean.
    "If your Personal Beliefs deny what`s objectively true about the world, then they`re more accurately called Personal Delusions" Neil deGrasse Tyson
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  5. #5
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    It`s not the strength of the soap that matters to me but rather the fact that a thinner, more aqueous foam kinda soaks the surface while it clings, helping to loosen anything o.n the surface.

    Kinda like soaking a gunked up cooking pot in the sink to loosen the grime. I could clean it immediately wirh some effort and a Brillo pad or i could let it soak for s bit and clean it with a sponge.

    I have no need for thick, neat looking shaving cream foam; I want the thinnest, runniest foam I can produce that will stick to the surface for the recommended dwell time.

    And it`s fun.

    And then I`ll one bucket wash after rinsing off the foam. Cheap, entertaining, doesn`t add much time to process...and it can`t hurt. That`s how I see it.
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  6. #6
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    The brillo pad is a good analogy for soaking, but a well LSPd car is like a Teflon pan, rinse with hot water and nothing is left to wash.

    Can`t argue with the fun part, going nuts with the soap is fun. The dirty looks from the dog walkers having to go around the foam is another thing
    ..lol.

  7. #7

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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Eh, my use of the foamgun seem so different from "foaming" that I guess I`m not really relevant on this one.

    But FWIW, the application of foam as a presoak always seems of limited value. But it does seem have *some* value as "soapy mix soaking on the dirt" seems likely to diminish the bond between that dirt and the underlying surface. But note all those "seems" qualifiers...

    Do ya go years without having to polish? If so, then whatever you`re doing is A-OK; if not, well...whether you care/want to fix it is up to you.

    And yeah..I too divide the wash process into "getting the big abrasive stuff off" and "removing the road film". The pressure washer does indeed contribute a *LOT* with regard to the former.

  8. #8
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    The brillo pad is a good analogy for soaking, but a well LSPd car is like a Teflon pan, rinse with hot water and nothing is left to wash.
    You`ve obviously never seen the aftermath of my wife cooking with a Teflon pan.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by BudgetPlan1 View Post
    You`ve obviously never seen the aftermath of my wife cooking with a Teflon pan.
    Heh heh, "just pour some water in that, bring it to a boil and all that [stuff] will come right off"...that came up the other night when neither of us was paying attention Stir FRIED indeed!
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  10. #10

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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    ... my wash bucket stays super clean.
    I still gauge my work by whether or not there`s any dirt in the rinse bucket after I wash a "too dirty to say what color it is" vehicle...even without a pressure washer.

    I could almost certainly get by without any buckets during the main part of the wash, but I still use two anyhow (on each side of the wash bay). But my shampoo buckets last for a *LOT* of washes.

  11. #11
    Dan's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    Eh, my use of the foamgun seem so different from "foaming" that I guess I`m not really relevant on this one.

    But FWIW, the application of foam as a presoak always seems of limited value. But it does seem have *some* value as "soapy mix soaking on the dirt" seems likely to diminish the bond between that dirt and the underlying surface. But note all those "seems" qualifiers...

    Do ya go years without having to polish? If so, then whatever you`re doing is A-OK; if not, well...whether you care/want to fix it is up to you.

    And yeah..I too divide the wash process into "getting the big abrasive stuff off" and "removing the road film". The pressure washer does indeed contribute a *LOT* with regard to the former.
    I`m glad you`re on the pressure washer band wagon at least. For awhile you were using something with your compressor, right? I remember the days of autopia where pressure washers were a bit shunned. Times have changed.

    I can confidently say that my normal washing technique is absolutely not adding any paint defects. Life, well really people are the biggest contributor to my paint`s aging. At times I do QD a car that has been driven, or rained on (never both, that`s a wash for sure). I think I may introduce some marring with that BUT I`ve relaxed a bit and quit looking under special lights for defects.

  12. #12

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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    It kinda boils down to wash regimine/technique as well....

    After a PW rinse, if the car is filthy, I`ll use the cannon to add foam to the car (not to shed any dirt) but just to aid in lubricity by having foam on the panels.
    The flipside @ times, is because there is so much ~foam~, sometimes I need to make a extra pass as I`m not really sure if I washed that panel surface....if that makes sense what I`m saying..

    With each extra passes = extra touching. And I strive to touch as minimal as I can already...
    Regardless of topical dirt that has been knocked off already by the PW, I do like to foam if I feel like I`ve gotta do a wash pass to remove road film - -- which at this time of the year, it starts to be inevitable.

    This summer, I skated free almost on every weekly wash, and 75% of the time, I did not even use the PW to do a pre rinse. The panels were just that clean....

  13. #13
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    My process is to foam, rinse, 2BM. I believe the foam helps saturate particles on the paint better than a rinse alone by promoting a longer dwell time for the moisture, especially on a well protected car where water just runs off from rinsing. Fully Saturating the particles means that when I go to touch the paint, there is less chance of inducing swirls.
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  14. #14
    Founder Poorboy's World Poorboy's Avatar
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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan View Post
    i`ve relaxed a bit and quit looking under special lights for defects.
    amen !!
    life is short ..do it while you can

    e-mail info@poorboysworld.com
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  15. #15

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    Re: Foaming, is it just all bubbles?

    I have found a foam that works good for as a prewash. Start with cleaning the wheels with sonax wheel cleaner. Then foamcannon with the prewash on the car dry. Let it dwell for over 5 minutes and then power wash from bottom to top and take advantage of the prewash so the most of the roadgrime goes of. Do I rinse with the power wash so the beam(hope you understands what I mean?) Always is on the dirty part of the paint it makes it better than just do without the prewash. I think that I get the most of the traffic film away this way. And I use this sometimes when I just want it cleaner in the summer. I then take the car for a spinn to det the water fly of as I don`t want to dry it with a drying towel as it can be dirt still left. Doing this 1 time a week and every 3 week the 2bm added to this.
    Does this replace the 2bm wash no it don`t. It`s make the car looks like it`s just been washed if you don`t take a look really close. The more dirt I get of with the power wash with the prewash on. More chance is that it`s not get trouble when I 2bm wash.

    I have problems to upload pictures but will look into it so you can see little bit of what I mean.

 

 
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