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Snow foams have surged to prominence over the last few years and are now an integral part of the car wash process. We take a look at the best snow foam to buy and explain their uses and benefits, analyse their differences and any other considerations.
First of all, let’s just clarify exactly what a snow foam is. In simple terms, it’s a pre wash product that is used to soften up and remove as much dirt and grime as possible before washing the car. There is often confusion over whether a snow foam can be used as a shampoo and as a hand washing product, the answer is no, it definitely can’t. To clarify – a snow foam should always be used as a pre wash and not a shampoo substitute.
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Haven’t got time to read the full article and would like a quick overview of the best snow foams to buy? No problem.
1. Autoglym Polar Blast
Autoglym Polar Blast takes our number one spot in this review. The British car care giant produce some stunning car cleaning products and Polar Blast is no different. It took Autoglym a while to produce their first snow foam but boy was it worth the wait.
Polar Blast produces a rich snow foam which has superb cling abilities meaning it cleans better and for longer. It’s extremely simple to use and is pH neutral, an important consideration and factor for any snow foam.
It possesses great cleaning ability and actively removes dirt and road grime prior to the contact wash stage. This helps to prevent scratches and swirl marks being imparted onto the vehicle whilst washing.
Autoglym state that it can used in a variety of different ways and can be diluted at different ratio’s to achieve a thicker foam. A ratio of 100ml snow foam to 500ml water is Autoglym’s official suggested dilution rate.
Polar Blast can be used in either a foaming bottle or a dedicated foam lance attached to your pressure washer. We suggest the foam lance method, you’ll get much better performace and cleaning ability.
Simply load up the foam lance bottle with product and begin applying to the car working from the bottom upwards. Ensure full coverage of the entire vehicle and allow 10 minutes for the foam to dwell on the surface. Note – if you’re doing this in direct sunlight you’ll have to reduce the dwell time to ensure the foam doesn’t dry on the paintwork. After 10 minutes, rinse off the snow foam ensuring that it’s completely removed. You’ll have removed the majority of dirt and grime and are now ready to safely start the contact wash stage with shampoo of your choice.
The key features of Autoglym Polar Blast are;
- Supplied in 2.5L
- pH Neutral
- Great cleaning ability
- Clings well
- LSP safe
2. Autobrite Direct Magi Foam
Autobrite Magi Foam delivers an incredibly thick, clingy foam which cleans surfaces exceptionally well. Magifoam has been formulated in such a way that it produces a ultra high foam that will produce an extremely stable dense foam when used through a foam lance.
It’s produced to incorporate a light cherry scent which creates a lovely smell when working with it and applying.
Incredibly, Autobrite claim Magi Foam will dwell on a car or up to 30 minutes, remarkable. This means that whilst allowing the snow foam to dwell on the paintwork, you’ve got more than enough time to work on cleaning the wheels, door shuts etc.
It’s LSP safe which means that it won’t degrade of remove any previously applied waxes and sealants. Cleaning ability is extremely impressive and it’ll easily remove road grime and soiling.
As with any good snow foam, Magi Foam will drastically reduce the risk of scratching and imparting swirl marks during the contact wash stage.
The key features of Autobrite Magi Foam are;
- Supplied in 5L (Available in other sizes)
- LSP safe
- Incredibly thick and clingy
- Excellent cleaning ability
- Cherry scented
3. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
Bilt Hamber Auto Foam an extremely capable snow foam which produces exceptional cleaning abilities. Whilst it may not foam as well as other snow foams, it certainly makes up for that with it’s cleaning power. Coupled with it’s excellent price tag, Bilt Hamber Auto Foam represents superb value for money.
It’s non-caustic formulation tackles road grime extremely quickly and makes light work of removing stubborn debris and road salts. It’s excellent cleaning properties are owing to it’s forumulation which contains biodegradable compounds which are extraordinarily tough on soil and grime, yet harmless to paint. A non-caustic formulation ensures that even regular use will not cause any harm to the paintwork. Hard working surfactants will attack and penetrate the hardest of road dirt and grime, without the need for manual intervention.
Bilt Hamber suggest a dwell time of 5 minutes is all that’s needed to clean heavily soiled vehicles which makes it extremely quick and convenient to use.
If you’re looking for a super thick snow foam to wow the neighbours, Bilt Hamber Auto Foam may not be the best option but if you’re looking for a snow foam that delivers outstanding cleaning abilities, you really can’t go wrong with it.
The key features of Bilt Hamber Auto Foam are;
- Supplied in 5L
- Stunning cleaning abilities
- Rapid working time
- Easy to use
- Biodegradble formulation
- Safe on existing waxes and sealants
4. Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam
Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam is a pH neutral snow foam which has been engineered specifically for use on coated, waxed or sealed finishes and cleans without stripping previously applied protection.
It creates an intense foam which clings & gently loosens road grime on lightly soiled cars before pressure rinsing and car washing.
It delivers great cleaning ability and ubricates the surface as a pre-wash on dirtier vehicles for when a wash mitt is required.
Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam is available in two sizes, either 946ML (32fl.oz) and 1.89L (64fl.oz).
The key features of Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam are;
- Supplied in either 946ml or 1.89L
- Extreme cling for added cleaning
- pH Neutral
- Safe on existing waxes and sealants
5. Pro-Kleen Cherry Snow Foam Lance Kit
Extensively tested and manufactured to the highest standards, Pro-Kleen Cherry snow foam delivers exceptional cleaning abilities and generates an impressive thick foam. This particular kit includes a superb heavy duty foam lance which is designed for use specifically with Karcher pressure washers. The foam lance will fit the Karcher K-Series pressure Washer models: K2, K3, K4, K5, K6 and K7 maximum Pressure: 220 bar maximum temperature: 60Â°C.
The particular kit offers exceptional value for money, seriously impressive stuff. The foam lance features a variable spray nozzle which forms a wide to a pencil jet spray, solid brass manifold construction with strong plastic nozzle.
The snow foam contains a lovely cherry scent which makes working with it and applying the snow foam particularly pleasing. It breaks down grime and dirt really well in preperation for the contact wash stage. Pro-Kleen cherry snow foam also contains wax as an added bonus!
The key features of the Pro-Kleen Cherry Snow Foam Lance Kit are;
- Includes high quality, heavy duty snow foam lance compatible with Karcher pressure washers
- Exceptional value for money
- Super thick foam
- Contains 5L of cherry snow foam
- Easy to use
What Are The Benefits Of Using Snow Foam?
Using a snow foam as part of your car cleaning process is extremely beneficial and is something that we strongly reccommend. Snow foam is a pre-wash product which is to be used before any wash mitt’s or sponges come into contact with the paintwork. The aim of snow foam in it’s simplest form is to remove as much dirt and grime from the paintwork as possible prior to the washing stage.
Let’s simplify the benefits of using snow foam;
Reduce scratches and swirl marks – A snow foam will reduce scratches and swirls being imparted onto your vehicle removing dirt and grime from the paintwork before any contact is made. The aim with a snow foam is to remove as much grime as possible prior to a wash mitt or sponge being dragged across the paintwork. Imagine a heavily soiled car that hasn’t been washed for a while, and then imagine a wash mitt or sponge dragging all that grime across the paintwork whilst washing the vehicle. Naturally, the car is going to end up with scratches and swirl marks. A snow foam will dwell on the surface of the paintwork, break down the grime and road salts etc and significantly reduce the amount of debris and grime left on the paintwork prior to washing.
Easier wash process – A good quality snow foam will make the entire wash process much easier. By breaking down and removing the majority of the dirt and grime, it’ll make it much easier to wash the car and remove the remaining grime. This will result in the job being completed much quicker and efficiently.
Cleans hard to reach areas – A snow foam will provide light cleaning of all areas of the vehicle, including those hard to reach areas such as inner wheel arches, underneath the vehicle, door seals etc. Some of those areas are often overlooked when the car is washed via a wash mitt or sponge and can therefore become extremely dirty and build up heavily very quickly. The snow foam will provide mild cleaning of the areas which would previously be untouched.
Snow Foam vs TFR
What’s TFR I hear you ask. TFR is Traffic Film Remover and is often touted as an alternative to snow foam. Both products are designed to be used as a pre-wash product but there are some key differences that you need to be aware of.
Traffic Film Remover’s are commonly used at hand car wash establishments (god forbid!) and feature frequently there due to their rapid cleaning ability. If you’ve ever visited a hand car wash and they start spraying the lower half of your car with a pump sprayer to begin with, it’s almost certain to be a TFR that they are applying. They apply this because it breaks down the dirt rapidly and is also extremely cheap when bought in bulk. TFR however has two extreme negative points, which are;
Damage to paintwork and trim – TFR’s are extremely powerful and can very easily cause damage to paintwork and trim. Chrome trims are particularly susceptible to damage from TFR. If they TFR is not removed pretty quickly after being applied, it’s highly likely to cause damage to the car.
Strips waxes and sealants – A TFR will completely strip and remove any previously applied waxes or sealants. If you’ve spent a good few hours waxing your car and then apply TFR to it as part of your wash process the following week, you’ll be erasing all your hard work from the previous work and leaving your car unprotected from UV damage and road grime.
By contrast, a good quality snow foam will not cause either of the above problems. Ensure that your snow foam of choice is LSP (Last stage protection) safe and you’ll be just fine, you’ll not have to worry about causing damage to trims etc.
How Do I Use Snow Foam?
Snow foam can be used a range of different ways and with the use of a range of equipment. First of, we think snow foam works best when used in conjunction with a pressure washer and dedicated snow foam lance. Whilst it’s not imperative that you do that, we think it provides the best performance and maximises the cleaning ability of the foam. In this scenario, follow these easy steps to use your snow foam
- Dilute the snow foam with water. You should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on what ratio to dilute but generally speaking, an inch of foam mixed with water should give a nice thick foam. You can ofcourse adjust this and add more foam which will create an even thicker foam.
- Begin applying to the car via the pressure washer working from the bottom upwards. Ensure the car is completely covered and go over heavily soiled areas a few times to ensure maximum cleaning power.
- Allow to dwell for 5-10 minutes depending on weather conditions and the specific snow foam that you’re using (Autobrite Magi Foam can dwell for up to 30 minutes!)
- Thoroughly rinse the car ensuring that all snow foam is removed, paying particular attention to the lower half of the vehicle.
- You’re now ready to wash your car with the shampoo and wash mitt of your choice
Snow Foam FAQ’s
Q. Can I use snow foam on a convertible roof?
A. Yes, you can use snow foam on a convertible roof. The same principle as cleaning the main body of the car applies, use snow foam as a pre-wash and then follow up with a shampoo and wash mitt to give it a thorough clean. We reccommend to follow up this cleaning and treating with a dedicated convertible roof treatment product.
Q. Do I need a snow foam lance and a pressure washer?
A. No, you don’t need a snow foam lance and pressure washer but we would always suggest using them as we think you’ll get much better results. If you don’t have access to a pressure washer you could always use a spray foamer. A spray foamer won’t create a foam that’s as thick as when using a pressure washer but it’ll still work well.
Q. Why isn’t my snow foam very thick?
A. Your snow foam may not be as thick as expected for a number of different reasons. First of all, you may not be using enough snow foam. Always follow the manufacturer’s reccomended guidelines but generally speaking, an inch of foam diluted with water should always produce a relatively thick foam.
Secondly, if you’re using a foam lance, you may not have it adjusted correctly. Most foam lances contain an adjustment dial on the top of the bottle, turning one way will increase the foam mixture, turning it the opposite will decrease it. Try adjusting the dial and see how it impacts the foam that it produces.
Thirdly, there will always be a variance between snow foams in terms of the thickness of the foam that they produce. Autobrite Magi Foam produces an incredibly thick foam (almost like shaving foam in some circumstances), whereas Bilt Hamber Auto Foam doesn’t produce a particularly thick foam.
In summary, we think snow foam’s can have an extremely positive impact on your car washing experience and help keep your car looking it’s best. A good quality snow foam will ensure your vehicle isn’t unnecessarily scratched or covered in swirls whilst removing road grime and dirt and for that reason alone it’s well worth the relatively small outlay. Aside from that, it looks extremely cool and will be sure to impress your neighbours!
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