Snow foam is probably one of the most satisfying parts of the professional level car detailing process. Even after thousands of washes I have never got tired of it.
Even though its fun to do, it also serves as a important step to protect your paint and washing your car easily.
If you are not yet using a snow foam in your detailing process, or you are just looking for a good reliable product, you are in luck.
I’ve used many of the best snow foams in my career – and trust me quality matters. I’ve included my best snow foams in this article and these are all that I’ve used extensively at times.
We bought these into the shop at prepmycar.com and tested many of the best to find the best snow foam on the market. Here are my top picks.
What Is Snow Foam?
Snow foam is a concentrated pre-wash solution that creates a thick blanket of suds. The suds stick to the car to dissolve oils and, dirt and dislodge contamination on your paint before you wash your car.
Snow foam is formulated to loosen up surface dirt in preparation for a hand wash, so the product quality matters. When done right, snow foam will loosen grime prior to using a mitt which reduces the possibility of scratching and swirling the paint in your car.
TIP: Since snow foam is a pre-wash regimen, you will still need to wash your vehicle with car shampoo to physically remove the majority of dirt and grime.
What Makes A Good Snow Foam?
The cleaning power of snow foam will vary by brand. However, what I like in a snow foam is its foam consistency and stickiness.
The foam should be thick enough so it can dwell or soak in the surface before running out. I usually wait for five minutes for the snow foam to do its magic.
Things to look out for when buying a snow foam:
- The foam should be sticky enough to remain on the paint for 5 min
- Strong enough to dissolve then remove all traces of loose dust and dirt.
- Mild enough to not remove wax on paint.
- Economical to use.
- Leave zero traces of residue after rinsing with water.
- Should be PH neutral and safe to use on plastic, glass, and clear coat paint
- Environmentally friendly and non toxic.
The best car snow foam should be strong enough to literally dissolve loose dirt. However, the concentrate should be mild enough so as not to remove the existing wax on the paint.
With that in mind, I only use PH neutral snow foams that can remove dirt without harming the layer of protective wax.
Of course, it also helps if the product won’t create a huge dent in your budget. As if spending money on waxes, polishes, and other car cleaning products are not enough, there is no point in spending too much money on snow foam.
These are some of the main criteria that helped me select the top 5 car snow foams.
Best Car Snow Foam – Top 5
Below are my best car snow foams on the market right now:
- Autoglym Polar Blast
- Auto Finesse Avalanche
- Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
- Valet Pro Snow Foam
- Adam’s Car Shampoo
Autoglym is one of the best-known detailing brands in the industry. Mainly because they are readily available in some of our local DIY and hardware shops, but also because they’ve been able to create products at a price point that most enthusiast detailers can enjoy.
Their latest addition to the range is that of their Polar Blast. This snow foam is designed to be their “pre-wash” stage of their new “Polar” range.
I’ll be honest, I was sceptical with this product as I’m not Autoglym’s biggest fan, truth be told. But how wrong I was!
First up, the cost. It says to use 100ml of product for 500ml of water. I found that around half this amount was more than enough for a mid-size car making the cost per wash at a very respectable 50p.
The product itself is excellent. The foam is on the thick side, which many like to see. However, this does not always mean it’s effective. You see, the most effective snow foams are thinner than most people like to apply. This is because we need the formula to move down and off the car, loosening and removing the dirt as it does this.
I’ve tested this now on a number of cars and each time it removes a staggering amount of dirt. In the summer months, when your car is only lightly soiled, I could see how you would be able to use this, rinse off and then be on your way. It’s that good!
It’s been hard to come up with negatives, to be honest. Autoglym package well, it smells great, it’s got incredible cleaning power and you should easily get 25 washes out of each bottle (likely nearer 50!).
Autoglym Polar Blast has quickly become my go-to best car snow foam!
- Rich snow foam with superior cling
- Apply through a pressure washer or foam gun
- Loosens dirt and contamination
2) Auto Finesse Avalanche
Now, if you want a snow foam that is more affordable than Adam’s Car Shampoo, check out the Auto Finesse Avalanche 5l. It is one of the cheapest snow foams in this list and comes in a 1L bottle. But unlike the Adam’s brand, Avalanche is only good as a snow foam and NOT as a car wash.
So with this product, you only get a snow foam and not a bottle of car shampoo. However, for what it’s worth, Auto Finesse Avalanche is still a great product. It has a citrus-infused PH neutral formula that effectively removes road grime.
But it’s not perfect. Based on my actual experience in using this snow foam, I tend to use a bit more of the concentrate to produce a thick head of foam. If you use too little, the light foam will simply run off the surface before getting a chance to stick or dwell on the surface.
I also found out this product should NEVER be used on a hot surface. If you do, the foam can evaporate easily and leave nasty soap marks. Some snow foam products are a bit resistant to evaporation, but not the Avalanche. It is best to keep this mind if you want to use this product.
As with all snow foam products, if you see the foam drying out, it is better to rinse it out immediately with clean water.
But if budget is tight and you want a good quality snow foam, you can do no wrong with the Auto Finesse Avalanche, especially as it comes in 5l tubs that lasts ages.
3) Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
I previously mentioned that not all snow foam products are created equal. If you want a stronger kind of snow foam without the exorbitant price tag, I highly recommend the Bilt Hamber Auto Foam. This is a PH neutral snow foam with a stronger cleaning action.
However, I have a few niggles with this product. It doesn’t produce the thick foam that I am looking for. It seems diluting more of the product does not result in more foam. But using more of the product is effective in removing a higher amount of dirt on the surface prior to hand washing.
The Bilt Hamber Auto Foam is great for excessively dirty or soiled surfaces. The directions for using the product are easy as pie. After spraying the foam, allow the solution to soak for five to eight minutes before rinsing with cold water. After that, you can proceed in washing the vehicle by hand.
Like I said, this product is not as foamy or as luxurious as the Avalanche or Adam’s Car Shampoo. But in terms of cleaning action, this snow foam is one of the best I’ve tried.
- auto-foam is the result of extensive in-house research and development. auto-foam will reduce even further the possibility of damage to paintwork by…
- auto-foam is a new generation premium quality, foaming water-based pre wash treatment, designed to soak and saturate soiled vehicle paintwork prior to…
- auto-foam is made with biodegradable compounds, is extraordinarily tough on soil and grime, yet harmless to paint, its non-caustic formulation ensures…
Read: Full Bilt Hamber Auto Foam Reveiw
4) Valet Pro Snow Foam
Like the Bilt Hamber Snow Foam, I find the Valet Pro to be a great snow foam cleaner. The concentrate only requires a 1:20 ratio for most applications. This means you can create 20-litres of snow foam in a single liter of concentrate! Considering the Valet Pro is sold in 5-litre containers, you get more value for money with this product!
The Valet Pro can also produce denser wads of foam. The PH neutral formula makes it safe to use even on sensitive surfaces. But you wouldn’t know all of this if I didn’t tell you. Why? The instructions at the back of the container are printed in German. This is one of my biggest qualms about this product.
For the sake of clarity, this product can also be used undiluted in removing stubborn dirt and stains such as bird poo, tree sap, and even tar and asphalt. I tried this once and Valet Pro was able to quickly dissolve baked-on bird droppings. However, but it was unsuccessful in removing the nasty asphalt stains in the rocker panels of my ride.
Notwithstanding the issues with the foreign labelling, I still find the Valet Pro to offer a nice mix of performance and value.
- ValetPRO Snow Foam is a pH neutral, high foaming pre wash solution designed to enable the cleaner to penetrate the grime through the thick and clingy…
- Its pH neutral formula makes it very safe for a car pre wash foaming solution, and suitable for all surfaces and finishes. It will not strip waxes or…
- This pre wash cleaner needs to be diluted 1:3 when used with a foam lance and 1:20 with a pump spray, still showing great cleaning power.
5) Adam’s Car Shampoo
It’s easy to get bewildered with the extensive variety of car care cleaning products. As it turns out, one of the best car shampoos today is also the best snow foam concentrate!
Adam’s Car Shampoo is a PH neutral formula with thick and luxurious suds. It is primarily intended as the perfect car wash concentrate. But with an advanced blend of special polymers and cleaners, just a small amount of Adam’s Car Shampoo is enough to cover your vehicle with a thick head of foam. When paired with a foam cannon or foam gun, the formula can easily dissolve grime, dirt, mud, and environmental contaminants.
- Instantly eliminates dirt and grime
- Safe to use on vinyl, rubber, glass, plastic, and clear coat paint
- Delicious wild berry scent
- Economical to use
- Can be used as snow foam and car shampoo
In fact, Adam’s Car Shampoo is so good that it can be used in direct sunlight. However, take this statement lightly. In my many years of experience washing and detailing cars, washing under the hot sun is obviously not a pleasant undertaking. The soap will also have a tendency to dry and leave ugly soap marks over glass and paint.
Apart from the brilliant cleaning action, what I really like about Adam’s Car Shampoo is the invigorating smell. It smells like a fresh harvest of wild berries! There are no strong chemical or detergent smell. This product produces the cleanest results in the shortest possible time.
Adam’s Car Shampoo is basically two products in one bottle. It is great for snow foaming cars, and it performs wonderfully as a basic car wash concentrate. It is hard to beat that considering this product is also one of the most expensive in this list.
- ✅ ELIMINATES DIRT, GRIME, AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS! Thick, luxurious suds, and a pH balanced formula to give your vehicle a thorough…
- ✅ SAFE ON ALL VEHICLE SURFACES INCLUDING PAINT, RUBBER, VINYL, GLASS AND PLASTICS! Using a blend of advanced cleaners and polymers, Adam’s…
- ✅ PERFECT WASH FOR WEEKLY MAINTENANCE! State of the art chemical technology allows you to wash your vehicle in full sunlight and suspends…
Is snow foam effective?
From a detailers point of view, yes. But if you expect snow foam to completely remove all traces of dirt, you’ll be sorely mistaking.
The primary purpose of snow foam is to dissolve light traces of dirt while loosening up any traces of thicker contaminants. This makes it easier and safer to wash the vehicle with car shampoo after treating the surfaces with snow foam.
What is the right way to apply snow foam?
The first thing you need to remember is to never apply snow foam over hot surfaces. If the surface is hot to the touch, allow the vehicle to cool down considerably before cleaning your vehicle with snow foam. With that in mind, you should not apply snow foam if the vehicle is exposed to the sun.
The next important step is to rinse the vehicle with clean water before spraying the snow foam. This will further remove traces of loose dirt that might scratch the surface.
The snow foam should be allowed to cling or dwell on the surface for at least five minutes. When the foam turns into liquid as it runs off and drips towards the ground, rinse it immediately with clean water before it gets a chance to dry. I have a full guide on how to snow foam a car which will dig deeper into this topic.
Can I use snow foam if my vehicle is festooned with mud?
Yes, I can see no problem in doing so. However, you should rinse the surface with a pressure washer to blow away thicker patches of mud.
Next, spray the snow foam, allow it to cling on the surface for five minutes, and rinse off with water. After this, you can proceed to hand wash the vehicle with car shampoo. You may need to repeat the snow foam part to get maximum results on heavily soiled vehicles.
Does the snow foam lance make a difference?
The lance can make the biggest difference in my opinion. I actually used the Karcher variant that you get with most pressure washer bundles for about a year and always wondered why I failed to get that thick consistency. Well, turns out the lance is junk!
I invested into a properly made one, for not a huge amount of money and the whole process was transformed on its head. The way the water and concentration mix in the higher-end lances means that you get a much better consistency for your foam and in turn, much better results. You get way less waste as well, which saves you money.
My top pick is from EZ Car Care and has been my go-to snow foam lance for some time now. They offer an unbelievably well-valued package with their excellent snow foam and wash pad for under £40! It really can’t be beaten!
A lot of people think that snow foam does a lot more than it actually does. In reality, snow foaming your car actually does very little. But, that being said, it does just enough to warrant it for pretty much each wash you use.
You see, you’re essentially adding in another contactless wash phase of your routine, which is imperative. It might not remove much dirt, but the dirt that it does remove is still warranted.