The best snow foam for car cleaning

• What snow foam is and how it works
• The best snow foam products on the market
• How to use snow foam to clean your car

If you want a fast and effort-free way of giving your car a respectable clean, snow foam is a great option. If you want an effective dirt remover before a thorough wash, polish, and wax, snow foam is excellent. If you want to prank your kids into thinking it snowed overnight, snow foam is definitely amusing.

What is snow foam?

Technically, snow foam is different from car shampoo. In the four-step car clean dance, it is number one: snow foam to loosen grime and dislodge dirt; wash with shampoo to remove all muck; polish to remove mild scratches and generate shine; apply wax or ceramic coating for protection.

The catch with snow foam is that it has to be applied with a pressure washer. That’s great if you’ve already got one, or are even planning to get one. But for those who like the idea of snow foam but don’t possess a pressure washer or entertained the idea of buying one, that’s the drawback. In fairness, pressure washers are excellent machines to have. They make fast work of jobs beyond the car, and even some small, inexpensive units are very good these days.

How does snow foam work?

Snow foam is generated by a mixing of the foam solution, water, and air. It is important to realise what snow foam actually does. It is designed to coat your car in a layer of lathered foam, whereupon it will sit for several minutes and loosen dirt and muck caked on the surface.

When you rinse it off, the cleaning agents in the foam will have worked away at the grime and makes the subsequent task of washing with shampoo and a cloth, mitt, or sponge easier and more successful.

A lot of people see snow foam as an alternative to shampoo, when in fact it is designed as a supplement.

Now you know what snow foam is, you may still opt to use it instead of shampoo anyway. Just be aware of what level of clean you should realistically achieve with snow foam alone.

The best snow foams:

Bilt Hamber Auto Foam (5L)

Bilt Hamber Auto Foam (5L)

Price: RRP £23.86 | VIEW OFFER

The bottle and label are rather unassuming, but that’s hardly important. What is important is that we consider this to be superb snow foam that does the best job of loosening dirt. Don’t fret if you have fresh wax on your car either, because this will not remove it. It doesn’t foam as thick as some of the others, so the theatrics aren’t quite as spectacular, but you’ll be smiling when you see how good a job it does.

Karcher Car Shampoo (5L)

Karcher Car Shampoo (5L)

Price: RRP £13.48 | VIEW OFFER

The Karcher solution is mildly alkaline and has active dirt removers. Thus, it works very effectively. But don’t worry, it is biodegradable and safe to use on all external car surfaces (we wouldn’t recommend it otherwise). It’s excellent value, too.

Autoglym Polar Wash (2.5L)

Autoglym Polar Wash (2.5L)

Price: RRP £11.99 | VIEW OFFER

Autoglym has a snow foam that is a little different to those above. It’s a wash rather than a pre-wash foam. It is still best used with the pre-wash snow foam, but you can use this as your two-in-one foam and wash if you wish. Spray it on with a pressure washer and then scrub the bodywork with a sponge, cloth, or mitt.

Turtle Wax Hybrid Snow Foam Shampoo (2.5L)

Turtle Wax Hybrid Snow Foam Shampoo (2.5L)

Price: RRP £12 | VIEW OFFER

Another two-in-one. Turtle Wax has designed this for use as both a snow foam and a shampoo you can use with a bucket of water. The hydrophobic polymers in the solution are an excellent touch because it helps with streak-free rinsing. Oh yes, and it smells of bubblegum.

The best snow foam kits:

Naturally, snow foam guns and lances for pressure washers are a necessity. The crucial thing about these is that many of them are designed to fit a particular brand of pressure washer. Therefore, make sure you know the kit you want will fit your pressure washer.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Snow Foam Cannon Kit

Meguiar's Ultimate Car Snow Foam Cannon Kit

Price: RRP £56.26 | VIEW OFFER

Luckily, Meguiar’s has thought about this for a few minutes and decided to supply adaptors with its snow foam cannon, which allows it to fit Karcher, Nilfisk, and Bosch pressure washers. Included in the kit is about one litre of Meguiar’s snow foam to get you going.

Pro-Kleen Snow Foam Kit For Karcher K Models

Pro-Kleen Snow Foam Kit For Karcher K Models

Price: RRP £49.95 | VIEW OFFER

A fantastic kit for Karcher pressure washer owners. This gun will attach to Karcher K2, K3, K4, K5, K6 and K7 models. In addition, you get a cleaning mitt and two microfibre cloths, as well as two five-litre containers of snow foam. One smells of apple, the other of cherry. Pro-Kleen has an orange one too if you’re interested.

Karcher Foam Jet Nozzle

Karcher Foam Jet Nozzle

Price: RRP £16.95 | VIEW OFFER

This is best paired with the five-litre Karcher Car Shampoo above. It’s pretty good value that way. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: this foam jet nozzle is for Karcher K2-K7 models.

How to apply snow foam

First and foremost, it’s fun. The theatrics of spraying thick foam all over your car is very satisfying. Gather everything together – the pressure washer, the garden hose, the gun, the foam solution – and get set up. Follow the snow foam guidelines on the label in regards to how much you need to dilute the solution with water.

In applying the foam, you want to get an even and complete coverage without spraying on such a thick layer that the top foam is excess and wasted.

Having sprayed on the foam, leave it for the recommended length of time, which is usually about five to 10 minutes. Following this, you rinse it all off.

Then you either continue on to the wash, or dry it off a head indoors for a cup of tea.