Best Snow Foam 2020: Snow foams are prewash products which are applied directly to the car via a snow foam lance. When allowed to dwell on the car, the foam will break down larger dirt particles on the paintwork. It will also encapsulate these particles making it easier for dirt to be rinsed off the car.
Through removing as much as dirt as possible before contact washing the car with a wash mitt and shampoo you are massively reducing the risk of damaging the paint. Personally I would never contact wash my car without some form of pre-wash process, like snow foaming or an alternative.
- Best all-round snow foam: Autobrite Direct Magifoam
- Best cleaning snow foam: Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
- Best value snow foam: Car Gods 54 Snow Foam
- Best snow foam bundle: Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam Bundle
Best all-round snow foam with great balance of cleaning & foaming ability
- LSP (Last Step Product) safe – so it won’t degrade existing protection
- Great for breaking down heavy road grime
- Clings to the paintwork well
- Highest priced snow foam in this article
Autobrite offers a few snow foams in its product range, but Magifoam is advertised as their “ultimate” foam and has been one of their flagship products for over a decade.
Magifoam offers the best all-round snow foam capabilities. It delivers an exceptional level of cling and can be tuned to be applied thick or thin depending on personal preference. Cleaning ability is strong and is also LSP safe so it won’t remove any existing wax or sealant protection.
Autobrite state that “when you get the correct Magifoam consistency, the foam will dwell on the car for up to and over 30 minutes”. Whilst Magifoam may be capable of clinging to the car for up to 30 minutes, do not feel obliged to see the whole 30 minutes through. From experience, the optimum dwelling time for snow foam is 5 – 15 minutes (depending on the product).
Either way, Magifoam has no issues clinging to the paintwork.
In terms of cleaning ability, Magifoam evidently contains powerful detergents capable of removing a high-level of dirt. After leaving the product to dwell for 15 minutes, I was very impressed with how much dirt was removed. It also made light work of some stubborn bug splats on the front of the car – something which some snow foams can struggle with.
The key with Autobrite Magifoam is finding a ratio that works for you. Autobrite advises using 1 – 2 inches of product in their snow foam lance. This is quite a broad measurement so take some time to work out what ratio works for you. Whilst a thick blanket looks impressive, Magifoam penetrates dirt better when applied more thinly.
Magifoam is a consistently effective snow foam that will likely become your “go-to” snow foam once you’ve dialled in your preferred ratio. Whilst its not the cheapest snow foam, it still offers great value for money and is highly recommended!
- Size: 500ml | 1000ml | 5000ml
Best cleaning ability compared to other snow foams
- Powerful alkaline cleaners offer incredible cleaning ability
- Biodegradble formulation
- Safe on existing waxes and sealants
- Won’t produce high foam (function over looks)
Bilt Hamber Auto Foam is a great example of why you shouldn’t judge a snow foam purely based on its foaming ability. Auto Foam is a game-changer when it comes to cleaning, as it offers more cleaning power than any other snow foam I’ve tried. All for a very moderate price tag.
The non-caustic formulation works effectively at removing tough dirt & grime. Auto Foam’s cleaning ability is what sets it apart from the crowd, as it’s able to remove dirt that other snow foams where other snow foams would struggle.
When testing Bilt Hamber Auto Foam, it was clear that it was not capable of producing a thick foam which might deter a lot of people. However, I would not discredit Auto Foam for this, because its ability to clean is far more important than its ability to produce a thick foam.
Bilt Hamber Auto Foam is second to none when it comes to cleaning ability. It may not be the most luxurious or foaming product on the markets, but from a functional perspective, it’s one of the best snow foams on the market.
- Size: 5000ml
Buy on Amazon: Bilt Hamber Auto Foam 5000ml
Best value snow foam offering great cleaning ability for the price.
- Most affordable snow foam in this article
- Impressive cleaning ability
- pH neutral so won’t strip waxes/sealants
- Reasonable dilution ratio of 100ml (50 uses per 5 litre)
- Pleasant fragance
- Not as clingy as premium brands
Like most of the snow foams in this review, Car God 54 are a UK-based car detailing brand. Having gained lots of traction and popularity in recent years with stylish branding and good value products, Car Gods 54 have produced one of the best value snow foams on the market at the moment.
At the recomended dilution ratio of 100ml per 1 litre, Car Gods 54 snow foam offers 50 usages from a 5 litre tub! For a single car you probably won’t need to use a full 1 litre mix, so you can quite easily extend your usages by being sensible with how much you use.
Most other snow foam are not able to offer such a reasonable dilution ratio for such a modest price. Usually you find that cheaper snow foams require you to use more product with each usage – so you’re not really getting much value.
As well as the great value for money, Car Gods 54 Snow Foam offers very impressive cleaning ability for the price. Whilst the foam doesn’t cling to the car as well as the more premium brands, it proved better than I expected upon usage. If you’re not willing to break into the premium snow foams, and are happy with a regular maintainence snow foam, then Car Gods 54 snow foam is a great option.
Car Gods 54 have found a middle ground between performance and price. Whilst it doesn’t quite offer the performance of the likes of Autobrite Magifoam or Bilt Hamber – it certainly packs a punch for the price.
- Size: 500ml | 5000ml
A high-quality snow foam bundle from a reputable brand – ideal for beginners.
- High quality snow foam lance (with brass components)
- Dilution markings on bottle for easy mixing
- 3 adapters (Karcher K Series, Nilfisk Pro & Bosch)
- Premium snow foam included
- None that we could find
If you don’t own a snow foam lance then one of the best ways to acquire one is in a bundle. Not only can it save cost but its one of the easiest ways to acquire everything you need to start snow foaming.
Meguiar’s Ultimate Xtreme Cling snow foam is a premium snow foam, offering a great snow foam experience. As the name would suggest, this snow foam produces a super thick foam which clings to the paintwork very well. This gives it enough contact time with the paintwork to successfully dissolve stubborn dirt and grime.
The centre piece of this bundle is the snow foam lance. As with all of their products, Meguiar’s have not sacrificed quality during manufacturing, offering a robust plastic chamber and brass components. This helps to produce a rich and consistent foam whilst ensuring the robustness and durability you’d expect from a Meguiar’s product.
The bundle also contains 3 adaptors for the most popular pressure washer brands – Karcher K Series, Nilfisk Pro & Bosch. It also comes with a roll of thread tape to ensure a water tight seal between the adaptor and main body – this is not something we’ve seen supplied with other snow foam lances!
Buy on Amazon: Meguiar's Ultimate Car Snow Foam Bundle
Best Snow Foam Buyer’s Guide
What Makes a Good Snow Foam?
There are so many snow foam products on the market at the moment, with each snow foam having its own formulation. This can make it very difficult to find a snow foam that suits your needs. I’ve selected 3 qualities which are essential:
1. Foam – the best snow foams are able to offer a thick foam that will cling to the paint surface for up to 10 minutes. However, don’t judge a snow foam purely based on its foaming ability. There are plenty of products that boast a thick foam but offer zero cleaning ability.
2. Cleaning – probably the most important part of any snow foam is its ability to break down dirt, grime and contaminants on the paint surface. This is the primary reason behind using a snow foam so treat this property as a determining factor!
3. Value – some snow foams can be extremely expensive for what they achieve compared to cheaper alternatives.
Is Snow Foam Worth It?
A lot of people are sceptical about the effectiveness of snow foam and whether or not it is actually worth it.
It completely depends on what you expect to achieve by applying snow foam. You will not be able to fully clean your car by just using snow foam – it simply isn’t designed with that purpose in mind.
The purpose of a snow foam is to safely remove as much as dirt as possible before the contact wash stage. In turn, this helps to reduce swirling and light scratches on the paintwork – improving the final finish.
So yes, as a prewash process, snow foam is definitely worth it!
How Is Snow Foam Different From Shampoo?
Snow foams contain surfactants and detergents which are designed to be sprayed onto the car surface and left to dwell. Snow foams are designed to foam more than a dedicated car shampoo. The thicker foam will encapsulate any dirt on the vehicle allowing for easier removal when removed with a pressure washer.
A snow foam doesn’t contain ingredients found in car shampoos that allow the wash mitt to glide across the paintwork. It is important to still use car shampoo for the contact wash in order to safely clean the paintwork.
If you’re interested in a using a snow foam as a means of fully washing your car then check out our Autoglym Polar Series review!
Do You Need a Snow Foam Lance?
In order to get maximum foam when applying a snow foam, a quality snow foam lance is essential.
Avoid “foam” lances manufactured by pressure washer manufacturers such as Karcher. From experience, they are mainly constructed from plastic rather than the more durable materials used by brands like Meguiar’s, Autobrite and Autofinesse.
A higher-end snow foam lance will tend to have a higher-quality gauze, which is the component responsible for causing the foam.
Snow Foam Tips
1. Dilute Correctly
Snow foam is highly concentrated so should be diluted with water based on the manufacturers recommended ratio. To avoid getting into a foamy mess, work out how much water and snow foam you need. Next, add the water to the snow foam lance bottle before adding the snow foam solution. Attach the lance and gently swirl the bottle to ensure the water and snow foam have mixed.
2. Don’t Rinse Before Applying
Whether you decide to rinse the car before applying the snow foam is completely up to you. By rinsing the car with water before applying snow foam you are helping to remove dirt, but this will prevent the snow foam clinging. Personally, I will apply snow foam to a dry car for maximum cling!
3. Keep It Cool
Do not apply snow foam to a hot car as this will cause the water to evaporate, leaving a sticky mess on the paintwork which can cause etching and staining. Likewise, try to avoid applying snow foam in direct sunlight as this will give you less time to work with the product before it starts to dry out.
4. Give Yourself Enough Space
Before you start applying the snow foam to the car, make sure that you have plenty of room to move around the car. Ensure that the pressure washer hose is untangled and will allow you to move around the car easily.
5. Work Methodically
When applying the snow foam to the car, work methodically to get even coverage on all areas of the car. I tend to work around the bottom half of the car before doing another pass on the top half afterwards. Remember that the aim is to apply a single, even layer of foam on the car – piling foam on foam will not increase the cleaning ability of the product, it will just waste product.
6. Give It Chance To Work
Leave the snow foam to dwell on the car for 5 – 10 minutes. Letting the snow foam dwell for this amount of time will give it a chance to break down the dirt particles, making for a safer clean. After leaving the product to dwell, simply rinse off with a pressure washer.