When washing and detailing our cars we naturally want the best finish we can achieve. Regular washing and waxing can leave our vehicles looking clean and shiny but doesn’t always effectively deal with ingrained dirt that accumulates with the car’s regular use.
In recent times, snow foam car shampoo has been used more frequently in order to achieve a more thorough and deeper clean.
What is snow foam car wash?
Snow foam is a car cleaning product that's designed to serve as a pre-wash. It's generally applied using a snow foam cannon or lance. Your cannon is attached to a pressure washer which mixes the concentrated liquid with water and sprays a thick diluted foam onto the surface of your car.
A unique property of snow foam is it's ability to cling to the surface. This allows the cleaning agents to do their work. Unlike standard car wash soap that usually quickly slides off or evaporates, snow foam sticks around far longer. This gives it more time to break down and loosen dirt, grime and other contaminants that a regular car wash may miss.
The result of this prolonged contact is that dirt becomes far easier to remove in later washing stages. For those wanting a deep and effective car wash, it's a must.
It's far more than just a spectacle of frothy bubbles, it's an effective way of lifting dirt from the surface and reducing the risk of scratches causing by dragging particles across the paintwork.
How Snow Foam Works
Snow foam is designed to loosen and lift stubborn dirt and grime from the surface of your vehicle and prepare it for a more effective wash.
Unlike other car shampoos, snow foam is engineered to be thick and clingy. This ensures the foam stays on the surface for a longer period, which we often refer to "dwell time".
The extended dwell time is crucial for 2 reasons:
1. It provides the cleaning agents with more time to react with the dirt and grease that's settle on the paintwork.
2. It keeps all contaminants moist, which makes them far easier to remove later in the wash.
The application will usually involve a pressure washer paired with a snow foam cannon. You'd usually keep it sitting on the surface for up to 10 minutes and then rinse off. What you should notice is that the contact wash that follows should become more effective. All dirt that hasn't already been dislodged should come off with far less effort, which also reduces the risk of scratching the paintwork.
How To Use Snow Foam
Adding snow foam to your car washing routine may sound daunting at first. However, once you're up to speed you'll see it as being a straightforward process that provides fantastic results.
You will need to invest in some hardware. A pressure washer and snow foam cannon are required for an even and effective application. Simply mix your snow foam concentrate with water in your cannon's bottle, and attach the cannon to your pressure washer. You're now ready to apply a thick layer of clingy foam.
After applying, leave it to dwell on the surface for at least 5 minutes, but ideally closer the 10 minutes. This is to give the foam enough time to loosen the dirt and grime. Don't leave it long enough for the foam to begin drying on the surface.
Then simply use the pressure washer to rinse the surface, starting from the top and working down. This will wash away the lifted dirt and leave it ready for a safe contact wash.
Why You Should Use Snow Foam
The answer here lies in the limitations conventional car washing methods. Snow foam shouldn't be seen as just another step, it's a process than enhances the overall effectiveness of your car cleaning.
On every journey you make your car faces an onslaught of contaminants like road grime, dirt, bird droppings and dust. A traditional wash may well get rid of visible dirt, but it will likely fall short of removing more deeply embedded contaminants.
Snow foam excels at breaking down deep lying dirt in your paintwork leaving the car not just clean, but deeply cleaned, leaving the surface ready for further detailing steps.
Snow foam also keeps your car safer during a wash routine. If you just immediately start scrubbing your car without a pre-wash, you risk rubbing abrasive particles across the paintwork. This will likely result in swirl marks and light scratches.
You may also think that adding in this extra step to your car wash is time consuming, but in reality the opposite is true. Snow foam will make your washing far more effective and remove the need for you to be spend time scrubbing stubborn areas. Your car wash will not only be easier, but be far more satisfying.
Is snow foam safe for all types of cars?
For anyone who takes pride in maintaining their vehicle, this question is critical. The good news is that snow foam is generally safe for most modern paint finishes.
For modern vehicles with factory fresh paint, snow foam is excellent. It provides a gentle yet effective pre wash stage but lifting dirt from the surface.
However, if you car has a matte finish, you should check the product details or reach out to the manufacturer to check it's suitability.
For classic cars with single stage paint or oxidised finishes, it gets a little tricky. These older types of paintwork are more sensitive to chemical reactions. Snow foam is gentle to the surface, but you should always perform a spot test to ensure the product won't harm your finish.
The same can be said for any vehicle with existing paint damage as snow foam has the potential to make it worse.
Snow foam is versatile and broadly safe for many cars, however use some due diligence. Always read to guidelines, ask questions and perform a spot test if you're unsure.