Does anyone use an off-the-shelf foam cannon and specific wash for their bikes? Would a traditional bike wash work in a foam cannon that attaches to a hose?
Thinking of something like this instead of relying on spray bottles:
Chemical Guys ACC_326 – TORQ Foam Blaster 6 Foam Wash Gun – The Ultimate Car Wash Foamer that Connects to Any Garden Hose Amazon.com
I know MucOff sells a power washer with a foam cannon but that one is pricey, and otherwise I find their products not as good as others.
Thoughts or advice?
Not what you asked for, but it sprays foam that you then go over it with a wet rag and brush. Works brilliantly for me, and no long-term negative effects on the chain or topcoat.
I love that sprayer for dishes! If they made a bike wash version, that would solve my question.
The issue I’m concerned about is that Dawn formulation might be too harsh. I think I saw a SILCA video in which the owner talked about how the very strong dishwashing detergents have salts and abrasives that aren’t good for paint. I do get he’s also selling his product and is very much focused on “marginal gains” so this might not be a substantive concern. He also doesn’t compare his bike wash with other bike washes, just with non-bike specific washes.
Here’s his video:
The regular hose foam guns work but not as well as the ones for a pressure washer, I’ve used both for cars, only the later for bikes. Once because I thought it was entertaining but can’t be bothered to deal with it normally.
The best way to describe the difference is that the hose versions spray out thick water and the pressure washer versions spray out foam.
Since bikes don’t have long flat surfaces for the water to slowly sheet down pulling the dirt with it, I’m not sure how well the hose version would work on a bike vs any other method like a bucket of soapy water. Not sure I see the value in that type of system for a bike personally, if you were buying for a car too go for it.
I’m just a hose it off and wipe it down with waterless wash guy for my bikes.
Not that I’m the best to defend Muc-Off, but I did get their power washer, and it’s really done well. I have another corded power washer, and the MO washer is probably better than that one by a bit (Yeah, I was surprised). The wands work really well too. They do have it on sale every so often, and it’s so capable, it can be used for many other things. I bought it before the pandemic while working at a bike recycling group, and ended up just washing my own bikes as everything closed down. If they haven’t changed it, my opinion is it’s worth the money, easily. It felt odd, buying the kit for the foam wand, but with the bag and other kit items and the cleaner supply, it’s ready to go. Hook up a hose, crank the water, and plug it in, and wash away.
I spent a bunch of time to try to find a ‘foam wand’ at the time, and was surprised that no one apparently made one for general sale. Figures that MO would make you buy their washer kit to get one, but by now, I’d expect someone to have one out there without having to buy a whole kit. There has to be some demand for one for other purposes.
(I need to clean the siding soon, and the MO washer would be perfect for it)
at the price point of what you posted, theyre all essentially the same. Get the cheapest one. Ones that connect to a pressure washer put out thicker foam. Does that really matter for cleaning vs looking cool? Who knows…
I buy bike specific wash if I need it and its on sale, otherwise, Im a self-proclaimed car detailing nut and have so much car stuff to use that it ends up on the bike. After a messy cx race, ill usually foam the bike in dawn, knock off the bulk of the mud, and then do another soak with bike or car soap and do the actual wash. Dawn is damn good at getting the bike clean but it sucks at making it look nice after the fact. Same goes for a car if youre trying to strip old wax. As an aside, I also use an automotive coating such as CquartzUK or Ammo reflex once a year or so for protection and easy cleaning after the fact.
Theres people that will die on this hill, but running water or even a pressure washer are fine on a bike. Obviously dont blast your bearings, they will eventually leak, but modern sealed bearings…well…seal…pretty well. yes, youll wear them out from blasting them, but so will grinding dirt into them from not cleaning them. Theyre a wear item, replace em when theyre worn
I know this from the car detailing world, but the tldr is that foam is mostly for impressing your neighbors than cleaning. Suds =/= cleaning power. It’s basically marketing.
Better tldr: Reddit - Dive into anything
A karcher pressure washer (if you want) and some degreasing washing soap (like Dawn) is fine. If you want to put a sealant on your bike, that’ll improve future cleaning if paired with a balanced soap (to not strip the sealant.) I use Power lock+ on my non matte frames.
AFAIK the foam used for washing cars is mainly for pre-washing, to remove the sand and other particles that could harm the paint. The actual washing is done after that (by hand, preferably). I know there are foaming products that can be used for the actual washing too, if you are lazy or the car is not very dirty.
Some years ago I tried foam washing my bikes, but the results were not good enough. Much better results can be achieved by the specialized bike washing products from MO, Dynamic, Motorex, etc. Just spray the detergent on the bike, wait for five to ten minutes and wash it off.
Foam cannons just add air into the stream, you can DIY one if you want.
Other than being hoseless, which definitely has its perks, the modified garden sprayer method will cost you the same as a generic foam cannon off ebay or amazon.
This might be serving the use case behind my question. I was trying to find a way to spray on bike wash without using bottle sprayers that require all that manual spraying. I thought maybe using a foam sprayer would quickly get the soap on and maybe this is the way I can do it. I’ll just want to make sure I maintain the necessary concentration of bike wash to water. Thanks!
I was using a Maguires car wash product. I kept having noisy disc brake issues. Mechanic suggested that detergent could be the source of contaminated pads! He recommended using Dawn!
I have a ryobi power washer (The type where you can draw water from a bucket)
I’m heavy into car detailing and I have a foam cannon I use on my cars (but I’ve mostly switched to rinseless washes, see below). I don’t find ia foam cannon to be worth the effort to get it out just to wash a bike. However, if you already have the pressure washer out or you normally use the pressure washer when cleaning your bike, have at it, they are fun.
For a general frame washing, any decent car wash soap will work fine. The higher end car cleaning stuff these days is super advanced and my guess is the bike specific soap or general cleaners are either years old tech or just relabeled car stuff. (Bike specific degreasers are likely better for bike parts though).
The car cleaning stuff that is really interesting for bike use is rinseless wash chemicals (Optimum No Rinse etc). Its a mix of polymers and stuff I don’t understand that encapsulates dirt so the potential for scratches is greatly reduced over regular soap and its a (special) sponge on/off and dry process (you can use a pump sprayer too). Super quick. I can wash my car in less than 15 minutes and a bike frame in seconds. This stuff has become highly advanced over the past several years and these days most serious car detailers do rinseless washes most of the time and don’t use traditional soap and a hose all that often.
Optimum No Rinse is pretty much perfect for washing bikes. I keep a spray bottle by the bike area in the garage. Quick and easy. I also keep a bottle in my truck.
Also perfect if you need to clean your bike in your living room if you live in an apartment.