Written byRyan GilmorePublished: February 24, 2023Updated: June 7, 2023
Snow foam is a pre-wash solution that anyone who wants to properly clean their car likes. In essence, snow foam is a detergent that mixes with air and water to create a nice sticky foam that helps loosen and soften any slush. ; clumps of mud, road film and even former insects. This is all in the name of minimizing the risk of scratches, which can happen if you accidentally drag these contaminants onto your car's paint.
The catch with snow foam is that it is best applied with apressure washer. This is great if you already have one or plan to get one. There are ways to get snow foam without a pressure washer. they're just not as good as the real McCoy. To be fair, pressure washers are great machines. They make quick work out of the car, and even some small, cheap units are pretty good these days.
So if you have the hose, pressure washer or foam blaster, cleaning tools, rags, wellies, and a dry day, here are the best snow foams to clean your car.
The short list of the best snow foams:
Editor's Pick: Bilt Hamber Touch-Less–Buy now from Amazon UK
Best Ceramic Snow Foam: Auto Finesse Lavish–Buy now from Amazon UK
The best heavy-duty snow foam: ValetPRO Snow Foam Combo 2–Buy now from Amazon UK
The best snow foams
Bilt Hamber Touch-Less (5L)
RRP 30,87 £ |SEE OFFER
Without a doubt, the best snow foam on the market today is the Touch-Less from the boffins at Bilt Hamber. The bottle and label may be rather unassuming, but that's not important at all. for pure pre-cleaning power, nothing comes close to this offering.
With a pH of 12, it's an alkaline cleaner, meaning it'll cut through dirt adeptly, but shouldn't pose a threat to any applicationpaint protection. It may not be the thickest foam on the market, but that's fine. the thinner foam will pull the dirt off the car faster than some of the shaving foam thick snow foams sold. Additionally, Touch-Less is made from sugar and therefore fully biodegradable, and even contains rust inhibitors, which is good for any older car owner.
• Fantastic cleaning performance
• Fully biodegradable formula
• Not the thickest foam
sound volume5000 ml
ExtrasRust inhibitors, safe for wax
Autoglym Polar Blast (2,5L)
The best simple snow foam
RRP 15,24 £ |SEE OFFER
Everyone has heard of Autoglym, knows its quality and has a few bottles rattling around in the shed. The company's unique snow foam is Polar Wash, a gentle yet effective option that works as a simple way to remove excess dirt before a proper shampoo. The foam the Polar Blast creates is thick, even from a weaker pressure washer, making it a great choice for beginners.
If you're worried about using strong, harsh chemicals, or if your car isn't too dirty, this simple pH-neutral snow foam does what it says on the tin. What more could you want?
• Nice thick lather
• Gentle formula
• You will use enough product per wash
sound volume2500 ml
Auto Finesse Lavish
The best ceramic snow foam
RRP 22,95 £ |SEE OFFER
Ceramic technologyis a hot car care product that offers almost unbeatable paint protection. What started in specialty candles, ceramic technology (Si02) can now be found here. Auto Finesse Lavish is a ceramic snow foam that promises up to six months of protection from a single application. Safe to use on all exterior surfaces, it may not be the most powerful cleaner, but for a moderately dirty car, it's the top choice.
Foam application not only makes everything quick, but also makes it easy to locate any areas you missed. It may not have the same properties as a proper ceramic coating, but it will complement an existing layer and protect an unwaxed car.
• Provides paint protection
• Thick foam
• Rather expensive
sound volume1000 ml
Gtechniq Auto W4 Snow Foam
The best citrus snow foam
RRP 13,99 £ |SEE OFFER
Citrus oils are fantastic natural grease and grime cleaners, they also smell great and are gentle on the paint. The only downside is that these oils do come at a high price. This option from Gtechniq uses these oils along with a range of other biodegradable detergents to deliver a deeper clean and the best possible pre-clean. It's non-caustic and non-acidic which will help keep your paint shiny and reasonably priced too.
• Excellent pre-cleaning capabilities
• Good value for money
• Not the thickest snow foam
sound volume1000 ml
ExtrasUses citrus oils
ValetPRO Snow Foam Combo 2
The best heavy duty snow foam
RRP 29,95 £ |SEE OFFER
A little more specialized than the other options here, this powerful option from ValetPRO won't be used every time you wash your car, but it will come in handy when you're doing a really deep clean. It is designed to lift petrol and oil stains as well as wax. It is a strong alkaline snow foam which makes it tough but ideal for adding a new layer of protection. The foam is also very thick and safe to use on aluminum, which is a concern for strong cleaners like this.
• Nice thick lather
• Incredibly powerful pre-wash
• Rather specialized application
sound volume1000 ml
ExtrasRemoves waxes and sealants
Chemical Guys Mr. Shampoo Pink Super Suds
The best car wash with snow foam
Price: RRP £9.99 |SEE OFFER
Wait, isn't that a proper car shampoo, isn't it a stand alone snow foam? This may be true, but it is designed to be used as both. As snow foams are often weaker shampoos, some can be used for both functions depending on the dilution. Mr Pink from Chemical Guys is one such example.
It is formulated as a gentle ph-balanced shampoo with excellent lubricating properties, all the characteristics of a good snow lather. Applied via a snow foam gun, it can help soften the dirt before moving to a bucket and wash glove to finish the job. Other than that, Mr Pink is a great shampoo, biodegradable and smells like American candy aka sickly sweet before dilution.
• Foam and car shampoo in one
• Excellent lubrication
• No special snow foam
sound volume473 ml
ExtrasShampoo and snow foam
Do I need a pressure washer?
While a decent pressure washer will provide the best results, there are several alternative ways to get your snow foam to foam up on your car. These alternatives won't offer the same thickness, but they allow you to use snow foam without having to spend money on a pressure washer.
Matabi iK Foam Pro 2 Hand Sprayer
The best foam sprayer for cars
Price: RRP £28.95 |SEE OFFER
Portable foam sprayers will give you the thickest foam without using a pressure washer. Using a grid on the nozzle, these spray guns are pressure operated (pumped by hand) to deliver a nice thick blanket of foam. Matabi's iK Foamer has an excellent reputation for both build quality and ergonomics, which is why it's our pick here.
What you need to know about snow foam:
How does snow foam work?
Snow foam is basically weakercar shampoowhich foams when mixed with water (from the pressure washer) and air (from the atmosphere). It is important to realize what snow foam actually does. It covers your car with a layer of foam, where it will sit for several minutes, loosening and removing even the dirt and mud that forms on the surface.
When you rinse it off, the cleaning agents in the suds will have cleaned away the dirt and will make the next washing job easier and more successful.
It's easy to see foaming snow as an alternative to shampoo and a replacement for traditional cleansing, when in fact it's designed as a supplement. This does not mean that there are snow foams that can wash a car, but it is not the best course of action.
What should I look for in a good snow foam?
Concentration– Snow foams are not designed to be used cleanly. you should always add a little water to make the foam. Products likeKoch Chemie's Gsfrequire a tiny amount (up to 10ml) of product because it is so concentrated, while Autoglym's Polar Wash requires 100ml to make a proper lather. Therefore, check the concentration ratio when shopping, as a huge bottle of snow foam may not always be the best value for money.
Thickness– Some snow foams are so thick they put whipped cream to shame, but that's for show. Not only would you need a very powerful pressure washer to achieve this thickness (and use a load more product), there is no cleaning benefit from such thick foam. While a long residence time is good, the foam eventually has to slide off the car, taking the mud with it. A thick foam that adheres well but falls gently under the car is preferable.
Biodegradability– An increasingly important aspect of choosing the right car care products, biodegradability will ensure you don't leave any nasty chemicals that could be harmful to the planet. Some companies will proudly print that their snow foam is 100% biodegradable, while others don't bother, but we know that all the snow foams we've chosen are biodegradable.
Scent and Color -The most subjective part of snow foam, how it smells and looks on a car, has nothing to do with performance, but it can make cleaning a little more fun. While there are plenty of plain, white foam offerings available, there are equal options with crazy colors and great scents. Just for fun, we took a quick look to find the craziest foam snow scents and we weren't disappointed. We already found itbeer-scented snow foam.
How to use snow foam
First and foremost, it's fun. The theatrics of spraying thick foam all over your car is very satisfying. Gather everything – the pressure washer, the garden hose, the gun, the foam solution – and set up. Follow the snow foam directions on the label for how much you need to dilute the solution with water.
When applying the foam, you want to get an even and full coverage without spraying on such a thick layer that the top foam is excessive and wasted.
After spraying the foam, leave it on for the recommended time, usually about five to 10 minutes. After that, you wash it all off. Now it's time to bathe.
Does my snow foam gun matter?
Yes it is. Thelancethat comes with your pressure washer can get a fairly thick lather, but to get the most cleaning power possible from your machine, an aftermarket option (like this Autoglym model) it is preferable. These will provide a thicker lather, help your product stretch more and are packed with smart ergonomic features to make cleaning the car less of a chore.
Ryan Gilmore is the Deputy Autos and Tools Editor for Parkers, specializing in car cleaning and hand tools. A veteran car cleaner. whether it's detailed, waxed or washed, he'll be on hand to make sure it's worth your money.
Sign up toParkers Newsletterto keep up to date with more of the latest reviews, news and recommendations from the Parkers team.
Just so you know, while we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence our product choices –read why you should trust us.
Snow foam helps your car washing routine by partially breaking down dirt on your car's paintwork, wheels, and other surfaces, making it much easier for your regular car shampoo to finish the job. This will give you a much cleaner car that's better protected against dirt and general paintwork damage.Is snow foam good for cleaning cars? ›
Snow foam helps your car washing routine by partially breaking down dirt on your car's paintwork, wheels, and other surfaces, making it much easier for your regular car shampoo to finish the job. This will give you a much cleaner car that's better protected against dirt and general paintwork damage.Do you rinse car before snow foam? ›
Only apply to dry surfaces
While it may seem like logical sense to give your car a rinse off with water, to get some of the muck off before you start, this won't help you. In fact, it will hinder you. That's because snow foam works by clinging to the surface of the car.
Perhaps the most critical aspect of a snow foam is the dilution ratio. Whether it's coloured snow foam or not, you don't want to make the mistake of using an overly concentrated mixture. Most professionals will advise you to mix snow foam and water in a 1:10 ratio.Is snow foaming worth it? ›
Do I really need Snow Foam? If your serious about your paintwork then yes you do. If you take into consideration everything we have talked about so far, not using Snow Foam greatly increases your chances of scratching your paintwork by rubbing around dirt and contaminants.