Have you heard of snow foam? Is it different from car shampoo, and how does it benefit my vehicle? In this article about snow foam, my goal is to debunk the myths and misconceptions about snow foam.
What Is Snow Foam?
Snow foam is, well, a foam that looks like snow! No, really. The primary reason behind the exploding popularity of snow foam is because it’s huge fun. You basically attach a snow foam lance to the tip of your pressurized washer and blast thick wads of glorious foam all over the vehicle. It’s like having a winter wonderland every time you wash the car!
But snow foam is not just for fun. It is a concentrated pre-wash solution that safely lifts off dirt and dust from the paint. Because of this, snow foam is great in further preventing scratches and swirl marks. When combined with proper washing techniques, snow foam is an easy one-step solution to help prevent marring or scratching the paint as you wash the car.
And as you might imagine, snow foam is best for black or dark paint. We all know how swirl marks are somewhat magnified on darker surfaces, and snow foam will prevent that from happening. However, snow foam is applicable to all types of paint colors and all kinds of vehicles.
What Does Snow Foam Do?
Snow foam is similar in purpose to car shampoo, but it’s not about what it can do. It’s all about how you do it. Using the right consistency of foam, it can safely remove or dissolve dirt prior to washing the vehicle. The foam should be allowed to dwell or soak in the exterior until the foam dissolves and drips towards the ground. So in order to effectively snow foam a vehicle, the foam should be of the right thickness and consistency.
If the foam is too thick, all the dirt will remain on the surface. In this regard, the risk of scratching the surface is high. But if the foam is too thin, it will quickly run to the ground before getting a chance to interact with the dirt.
But hold on. Snow foam is not a miracle solution. Most products are not strong enough to remove all traces of dirt. What you need to understand about snow foam is this: you’ll still need to wash the vehicle with car shampoo after applying snow foam. That’s how it works.
Snow foam may sound like a waste of time and money. But if you do it right, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a cleaner and scratch-free finish. And if you’re willing to put the money and effort into snow-foaming your vehicle, it will help maintain the clarity and smoothness of the paint, which is more than worth the extra cost in the long run.
Is Snow Foam Good For Muddy Or Extremely Dirty Vehicles?
In a nutshell, no. If you’re working on a dirty 4×4 truck or SUV with thick wads of mud in every conceivable body panel, snow foam can do nothing. If this is the case, using strong pressurized water is more effective than using a snow foam.
But if we’re talking about moderately dirty vehicles, or if you want to preserve that expensive paint job, snow foam is highly advisable. However, you need to do it right.
What Are The Types Of Snow Foam?
There are two basic types of snow foam concentrate:
1. Alkaline. This is more aggressive and is intended for removing moderate dirt. Most commercially available snow foam concentrate falls under the alkaline variety.
2. PH-neutral. This type of snow foam is more expensive yet less aggressive than alkaline. However, PH-neutral snow foam is my preferred choice. It is strong enough to dissolve dirt but is not harmful to rubber or plastic trim.
How Do I Choose Which Snow Foam Is Best For My Car?
I’ll tell you a little secret. In most cases, you don’t need to buy a separate bottle of snow foam concentrate. Car shampoo is usually enough, but only if you mix it with the appropriate amount of water.
Yes, car shampoo can be used as snow foam. But it starts with the quality of the car shampoo. If you have a bottle of car shampoo, you can use it to treat your vehicle with snow foam. The usual choice for the best snow foam is to find the best car shampoo if you’re looking to save money.
With that in mind, I highly recommend Adam’s Car Shampoo. When combined with some water and a snow foam lance, this product is capable of producing thicker clouds of foam. What’s more, Adam’s Car Shampoo has a PH balanced formula that will not dry out rubber or plastic trim.
I also like the Chemical Guys Honeydew Snow Foam Car Wash Soap. This is a two-in-one product that works as snow foam and as an ordinary car shampoo. It also has a PH balanced formula that is safe on all exterior trim. However, the powerful cleaning and lifting action ensures minimal scratching and swirling as you wash the vehicle.
How To Snow Foam A Vehicle
It’s as easy as pie. Here are the easy steps on how to apply snow foam to your car.
Step 1: Park your car in a shaded garage. Do not apply snow foam if the surface is hot to touch, or if the vehicle is exposed to direct sunlight as you wash.
Step 2: Rinse the entire vehicle with pressurized water.
Step 3: Mix the proper ratio of snow foam and water. Use a snow foam lance to spray the foam in the entire vehicle. The foam should be thick enough to stay in the surface, yet light enough to run down to the ground after a couple of minutes.
Step 4: Once the snow foam begins to run down, rinse off the excess foam with mild pressurized water. Do not use strong pressure when rinsing off the snow foam! The pressure might be strong enough to abrade the dirt and particles on the paint.
Step 5: You’re done! The next step is to wash the vehicle using microfiber wash mitts and a fresh solution of car shampoo and water.