Snow foam has been a hot car care topic on detailing blogs and forums for years now, with some people swearing by it and others adamant it does little more then a pressure washer does on its own. Here’s our view on it and why we still believe that a bottle of Snow foam and a foam lance still holds its place in a detailers arsenal.
Snow foam in their simplest form are a high foaming detergent, the reason for the extra foam – apart from it looking quite dramatic, is that it allows the active cleaning component to stay in contact with the surface giving a longer dwell time, that leads to higher cleaning rates from the detergent. Sounds pretty straightforward right? Well here is where it all goes kind of down hill, whilst the Snow foam that you use is pretty self explanatory the device/method of applying it is more than often the biggest pit fall for many who simply don’t get the results they desire from a Snow foam. Whilst a manufacturer can specify on the bottle how much solution to mix, they simply can’t predict the exact dilution ratio it will be when it reaches the vehicle, so it is just an estimate or guide, it requires user input and adjustment to get the correct mixture.
A Snow foam lance works by creating a syphon, as water travels across the jet it pulls the solution from the reservoir bottle and mixes in the jet, using a series of mesh inserts its agitated in to a foam. The problem lies in the fact that snow foam are actually diluted twice before reaching the vehicle, once manually by the user and the second by the foam lance when applying. It’s this second dilution that tends to cure the problem as each pressure washer, and hose pressure won’t be the same. Its hard to predict but with a little experimenting with different mixture levels users get the benefits of removing the most possible road grime and dirt, before actually having to come in to contact with the vehicle. This reduces the risk of inflicting fine scratches and swirls massively, and also allows you to get an active cleaning solution into gaps and crevices that are hard and sometimes impossible to reach with a wash mitt.
A Snow foam carries even more benefits than just that. Using to clean wheels regularly that are lightly dirty, wheel arches, engine bays and other areas that require a pre soak to break down dirt and contamination are just some of the extra benefits a good snow foam carries. Some car owners will even manage a minimal touch wash, with the use of a snow foam. Simply applying leaving to dwell and rinsing the vehicle off after light use can keep on top of things. Mixing 50:50 with a degreaser for engine bays to get a longer dwell time.
So, if your thinking about getting your car all foamy at the weekend why not try some of these tips out to get the most from a snow foam.