August 20, 2018 by
Snow Foam is a great and inexpensive way to get your car looking like it just rolled out of the showroom. Snow foam is what’s known as a pre-wash – it’s something you spray on your car to loosen and break down the dirt. This means that when you follow your snow foam pre-wash with a proper car shampoo, the shampoo will work much more quickly and more effectively as most of the dirt will be already broken down! For more detailed information, you can read this beginners’ guide to snow foam here.
Now, snow foam’s name comes from the thick, clingy white foam that it forms all over your car. Read the guide we linked above and you’ll see that, in most cases, a thicker snow foam means a deeper clean as it clings to the surface of your car and has a longer contact time with the dirt. For some people, it’s tricky to get that thick snow foam, and they end up with a watery mess that runs straight off their car and doesn’t seem to clean that effectively. If you’re one of these people, read on; we’ll tell you how to get thick snow foam every time!
Step 1: Get the Right Tools
When you spray your snow foam, the pressurised jet of water from your pressure washer pushes the snow foam and water mixture through a mesh inside the nozzle of your snow foam lance. This mesh agitates the snow foam mixture and turns the liquid into a thick, soapy foam. To get thick snow foam, you need a quality lance and quality snow foam that are both designed to work together. There’s no point getting a quality lance then getting cheap snow foam and vice versa. We recommend using Pro-Kleen’s Snow Foam Lance and Snow Foam as they’re designed to work together and will give you a thick foam with a minimum of fuss.
Step 2: Mix Your Snow Foam
Many people miss this step, but it’s important: mix your snow foam liquid with some warm water inside your lance’s bottle. If you’re using Pro-Kleen’s Snow Foam and Lance, put in around 1 part snow foam and 3 parts water. This will help the foaming agents to activate properly before they’re sprayed through your snow foam lance. Don’t put loads of water in though, or you’ll dilute the foam too much.
Step 3: Experiment
Experiment a little with your snow foam and water mixture and your lance nozzle. Pro-Kleen’s Snow Foam Lance comes with a valve on top that you can adjust to spray more or less water through the nozzle. This can be a bit tricky at first as your pressure washer essentially dilutes the snow foam again, so it’s easy to put too much water in and get a runny snow foam. Play around with your snow foam mix and nozzle settings until you find one that works for you – when you get it perfect the first time, you’ll know exactly what to look for!
Step 4: Make Sure Your Car is Dry
Don’t snow foam your car when it’s wet! Many people assume they need to wet their car first to help snow foam work, but this can actually make it less effective. Snow foam works by clinging to the dirt on the surface of your car and breaking it down – if there’s water on your car’s surface, it’s basically acting as a barrier between the snow foam and your car. It’ll also dilute the snow foam even more, which can cause it to drip off. Snow foam always works best on a dry car.
Step 5: Spray on Your Snow Foam
Spray the foam onto your car and you should get a thick, clingy foam! Now all that’s left for you to do is leave the foam to dwell for a few minutes, then rinse it off. You’ll find a lot of the dirt on your car is gone, making your subsequent car shampoo or contact wash much easier!
Snow Foam FAQ
Do I Work from Top to Bottom or Bottom to Top When Using Snow Foam?
Unlike other car washing products, it’s best to spray snow foam on the bottom of your car first, then work upwards. When you rinse it off, rinse it off from top to bottom as you normally would. This is because the bottom of your car tends to get dirtier, so working from bottom to top gives the snow foam a bit more time to work its magic.
Does Water Hardness Affect Snow Foam?
It can be harder to get thick snow foam in very hard water areas. If you live in a hard water area, mix a little less water in with your snow foam liquid to reduce this effect.
Do I Need pH Neutral Snow Foam?
This depends on your car. pH neutral snow foam is a little gentler on your car’s paintwork, so many find it best for expensive or classic cars that they take to shows. Regular snow foam is a little more alkaline, so while it isn’t as good for your paintwork, it has a bit more cleaning power. Most consumer snow foams are only very slightly alkaline anyway so the effect they’ll have on your car’s paintwork and wax layers isn’t noticeable, especially if you follow up your snow foam with a proper was and wax.
Can I Use Snow Foam as a Shampoo?
Technically no, but practically this all depends on how dirty your car is. If your car isn’t that dirty, you might find the snow foam lifts all the dirt away when you rinse it, so all you’ll need to do is apply some wax to get it shining (if you’re using Pro-Kleen’s Snow Foam you might not even need to do this as the formula contains plenty of wax as it is). If your car has a lot of caked-on dirt, snow foam might not get all of it off, but it will loosen it and make it easier for your shampoo to get rid of it.
Can I Use Snow Foam on a Convertible Soft Top Roof?
No. While snow foam won’t hurt your soft top roof if a bit gets splashed onto it, spraying snow foam directly onto your convertible roof won’t end well for you or your car! Make sure your roof is folded away or protected with a plastic sheet before spraying snow foam on a convertible with a soft roof. Use some proper soft top cleaner to clean soft roofs.
Can I Use Snow Foam on a Motorbike?
Yes! In fact, this is highly recommended as dirt can build up quite quickly on your motorbike underneath your fairings and in the many other nooks and crannies on a bike.