How to Snow Foam your Car
Published By - 7th May 2019
I am sure you have seen it, cars covered in a white snow shampoo looking mixture that beautifully coats the vehicle in a mist of snow. This is snow foaming, and this is a popular way to lift the dirt on your car when cleaning.
Snow Foam Car Wash Guide
In this article and guide we look at snow foaming, how it works, what it does and how to do it.
Best Snow Foam Lance?
Snow foam is a mixture that you spray on using a pressure washer, the snow foam mixture itself is a pre-foam, it sits on your car paintwork and helps to dissolve and lift dirt and grime that is there. If you leave it to do its thing, it makes it easier to wash off the dirt by hand or with the pressure washer, removing all dirt and stains. The mixture you use for your snow foamer will depend on what you buy, however to use it you will need a snow foam gun which will connect to your pressure washer.
There are numerous brands available, so you can try a few to see what works best for you. If you do not have a pressure washer, you can use hose based lances or hand pumped foam guns, however we do recommend investing in a pressure washer if are looking at snow foaming your car, it makes it easier to apply, and also easier to wash off.
Other lances that are suitable depending on the brand of your pressure washer.
Best Snow Foam to use?
Once you have your lance you also need a snow foam mixture. There’re many to choose from and many pressure washer companies such as Karcher have their own mix you can use too, however we recommend checking out Magifoam or Bilt Hamber autofoam, both a great and work really well giving a good thick foam that helps lift dirt. Autobrite also offer their own snow foam mixture too which can be bought with their lances too.
From our testing we love the Autogylm snow foam mix which can be bought in a large mix.
Using a Snow Foam Lance
First off you ideally need a pressure washer and foam lance, check out our guide to pressure washers for cars here, many pressure washer companies of their own foam lance however we recommend checking out the autobrite lance here.
Before beginning it is better to have the car in a dry state, this stops the foaming from sliding off, so if it has rained or you have already washed down the car it maybe better to leave it to dry before snow foaming.
A common problem is getting the right consistency when foaming. If it is too diluted (too much water), it will just slide off the car, therefore it won’t set and help to dissolve any dirt making it a pointless exercise.
With different formulas used by different snow foaming brands it isn’t possible to advise on the correct formula to use. Depending on the soap foam brand you buy, ensure to read and follow the specific instructions closely to make sure the foam applies how it should. Watch this video below on how to snow foam your car using a Autobrite snow foam lance.
Depending on the instructions for the snow foam you use for the current amount into the bottle and then top up with water and screw onto the snow foamer. On the foamer itself will be a small knob which you can turn, this will adjust the amount of foam you get when using the spray gun. If you move the knob towards the (+) you will get more water, and if you move towards the (-) you get less water. When you have less water you will have more foam so you get a stronger mix applied to the car surface. Feel free to experiment with different mixtures until you get a foam consistency that you are happy with.
To get a thick foam you want to use less water, so you do not have to fill the containers completely when mixing. When the bottles are filled completely, you tend to get runnier foam. Personal preferences will therefore dictate how much water you choose to use.
You may find topping up the bottle as you go along helps with the consistency of the foam, this may not be needed however if you have a large vehicle and applying a thick layer of foam then it may become thinner as you go on, so topping up will keep a consistent layer.
You want to use sweeping, unhurried motions moving either up and down or side to side. This will ensure your car gets full and even coverage. If you have an adjustable lance, using the wide spray means you need fewer passes to cover the car. Be careful using the jet spray setting because this can actually remove foam you already had set in place.
One the car is foamed it is time to leave it. You want to cover the car with an even layer of the foam and allow it to sit for ten minutes at least. Once you have had a cup of tea it is time for you to rinse the car with water and watch the dirt slide away with the foam.
The longer you leave the foam in place the more dirt it can pull away from the surface of your car. The condition of your car will determine how long you want to leave the foam on, because dirtier cars may require longer sitting time. If your car does not come away as clean as you expected, you can always apply a second layer.
So you have rinsed the car and finished cleaning, job done! However it is important to rinse through and clean the snow foaming lance to ensure it is reedy to use again next time, after each use you should empty the snow foam bottle and rinse out, fill it up with clean water and run again using your pressure washer to clean the filter.
Snow Foaming helpful tips
- Do not let the snow foam completely dry on the car
- Do not apply the pressure washer too close to the car, keep it about 1 metre away at all times
- Do not use a high pressure setting as this can cause the paint to get damaged
- Always rinse and clean your foam lance with water after use. This will make sure the nozzle does not get blocked with left over foam.
How to Repair and Clean Snow Foam Lance
This is an useful video on how to help fix an issue with your lance if it isn’t producing s thick foam or is leaking water.
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