Snow foam is one of the coolest parts of detailing your car. It’s a great sight, seeing your car covered in thick and it’s certainly fun to play around with the lance. But snow foaming serves a very real purpose. Like most of the preparation and pre-washing stage, snow foaming is one of the procedures that sets detailing apart from valeting or washing.
So what is snow foam?
Snow foam is a thick coating of detergent that sits on your car, softening and loosening dirt attached to the bodywork. It’s an important step because by lifting and softening dirt before a contact wash, you avoid leaving scratch and swirl marks in the bodywork, leaving a better finish and (hopefully) avoiding the need for polishing.
Why does snow foam need to be thick?
Snow foam’s unique characteristic is its thickness. It’s much thicker than car shampoo which contains similar cleaning detergents. The reason for this is a thick foam will stay in contact with the car for longer, maximising the time it has to clean, lift and soften dirt from the vehicle.
A shampoo in contrast is designed to be slippy, to allow your wash mitt to smoothly rub your car's surface when coming into contact with the paint.
How to use snow foam
The first thing you’ll (other than the foam itself) is a pressure washer. A pressure washer is the perfect way to deliver snow foam as the high-pressure cannon will allow for maximum foam! You’ll also need a lance to attach your bottle to and a bottle to mix your snow foam in.
· Give your car a thorough rinse with your pressure washer
· Take your snow foam bottle and fill it about a tenth of the way up. Our arctic storm snow foam is mixed in a 10:1 ratio with water. Top up the rest of the bottle with clean water.
· Attach the bottle to the lance and then the lance to the pressure washer.
· Make sure the water is flowing through to your pressure washer and that the electricity is turned on (we’ve made that mistake before).
· Spray an even covering of foam all over the car’s bodywork. Our pH neutral formula means that it can be used with any parts of the vehicle without reacting or causing damage.
· We recommend working from top to bottom to allow all the foam to run down the bodywork, capturing as much dirt as possible.
· Allow the foam to sit for 5 – 10 minutes, make sure that the foam doesn’t dry on the surface – particularly on a hot day.
· Rinse the foam off thoroughly, ideally using your pressure washer but you can use a regular hose pipe.
That’s it! You should now be ready for a thorough contact wash. In a pinch, you can use snow foam and avoid a contact wash, but we’d only recommend this if your car has paint protection like wax or ceramic coating and is washed frequently.
Why does it matter if a snow foam is pH neutral?
Snow foams of old used to contain acids that helped break down dirt from the bodywork. The problem here is the acid also breaks down layers of wax and can damage your paint. That’s why we ensure our foam is pH neutral.
Is Snow foam worth it?
If you have the equipment, snow foam is definitely worth it. It’s one of the steps that sets detailing apart, and, will leave you with a cleaner car and leave your paintwork free of swirls and scratches
Can you use Snow Foam as a shampoo?
You can! Whilst we would recommend using a dedicated shampoo, designed with contact washing in mind, you can use a snow foam diluted with water as an alternative.
How many washes does your Snow Foam Last?
We recommend a 10:1 ratio, so each bottle should be enough for around 5 washes. This will depend on the size of your car. We would always recommend mixing a full litre, to keep your solution in the correct ratio – and our snow foam contains preservatives that will allow you to store it sealed and mixed for up to a month.
Is Arctic Storm available in different sizes?
Yes! We sell our snow foam in 3 different sizes 500ml (about 5 washes), 2.5l (25 washes) or 5l (50 washes).
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