— What is Snow Foam? —
Snow foam is a product generally used in order to soften and loosen dirt and grime before you physically touch the car. The reason for doing this is the less dirt and grime on the vehicle, the less likely you are to inflict swirls and scratches into your paint which over time will dull the appearance of your vehicle.
A good snow foam works by clinging to your vehicle, this allows the cleaners and cleansing agents an adequate amount of time in order to break down and lift the dirt and grime from your vehicles surface. Once allowed to dwell, the foam should be rinsed away leaving the vehicle much cleaner and ready for the use of a wash mitt.
— Can’t I just use Car Shampoo? —
As a pre-wash…I would say no.
As a good quality snow foam is typically designed to remove grease and grime, it is generally not PH neutral like a good car shampoo. If your particular car shampoo is more aggressive, it may work as a pre-wash treatment, however I would advise that you use a gentle shampoo for regular washes as this will not degrade any sealants or waxes you may have used on the vehicle.
Once the vehicle has been properly cleaned and protected, the dirt and grime should be easier to rinse free and so does not necessarily require an aggressive pre-wash. This is good as an aggressive snow foam could negatively affect the protection used on the vehicle.
After a thoroughly rinse with water I will foam the car with regular car shampoo and proceed to wash with the foam still on the car! Doing this will allow the wash mitt to effortlessly glide over the paintwork due to the increased amount of lubrication (car shampoo) on the vehicle.
That being said, some paint-coatings are durable enough to safely withstand acidic or alkaline cleaners to a degree, and so using a good quality snow foam in this situation would be fine.
— How to Apply Snow Foam? —
There are two ways you can apply snow foam, either through a Snow Foam Lance (designed for pressure washers) or through a Snow Foam Gun (designed for a regular hose). The “Snow Foam Lance” is my choice of weapon as this produces a more thick and uniform blanket of foam. The “Snow Foam Gun” that is used with a regular garden hose usually produces a more watery product and therefore isn’t as effective due to its shorter dwell time.
— Is Snow Foam Applied to a Dry or Wet car? —
I don’t really think It matters, however I tend to rinse the car before using snow foam as I like to agitate badges, emblems and intricate areas with a soft bristled brush whilst I’m allowing the snow foam to dwell. If I didn’t rinse the car I could potentially be pushing around loose dirt and debris which could cause scratches.
As well as this, if the vehicle is muddy I would rinse this away first as this will allow the snow foam to get to work on the dirt and grime underneath that can’t be removed with just water.
On the other hand the snow foam might dwell longer on a dry vehicle, however I have never found this to be an issue.
— My Choice of Snow Foam —
My current go to snow foam is “Bilt Hamber – Auto-Foam”
I find this product incredibly effective at softening road grime and traffic film, leave it to dwell on the vehicle for around 5 minute and pressure wash off leaving a noticeable cleaner surface!
Let me know in the comments below what your favourite snow foam is?
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Thanks for reading!