Can’t get snow foam to work

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I think its one of the biggest jokes of the detailing* world. Spraying on foam and then expecting it to magically lift the dirt off......it just aint happening without agitation.....dirt can be really stuck to the paint and no amount of detergent will move that without at least gentle rubbing. I've tried a few.....and it wont remove anything except the lightest dust or dirt and even then only if you have a very good layer of wax or sealant on the car....it wont touch most of the grey traffic film that is so much of what makes a car look dirty. You might say that if it removes 25% of the dirt that 25% less scratchy particles to cause swirls when you wash it properly.........which might be good enough for you......but to me its not worth the time. Gentle washing with two buckets, two mits....lots of flowing clean water......far better result.

Cue flaming and people saying its amazing.......I can take it.........but IMO (and it is just that, my opinion).....its a bit of a ripoff.:)

*"Detailing"!!!?......NO!..... we don't live in America........its "cleaning the car"!!!



......and relax!
Detailing is far more than washing first wash, then use a clay bar, then machine polish then either a a wax or ceramic coat using a buffing machine, always wash the wheels first, then if you get splatter from washing the car it can easily be rinsed away, when doing the wheels use a wheel wooly to get into the barrel, use ‘fallout remover’ to get the nice bleeding purple of all the iron oxide from the brakes, rise thoroughly, then clay, polish and wax.

After that you can vac out the inside, use a detailing soft brush to get the vents and crumbs out of any hard to reach areas. If you have leather seats, you need some leather cleaner and conditioner, clean the car mats with upholstery cleaner.

If you want to go the whole hog remove all the exterior plastics, clean and use plastic restorer, get the car up on a lift jet wash and clean everything.

Dont forget the engine and engine bay.
 
I think snow foam is just for show, looks impressive when done at an Eastern European car wash, perhaps it should be called Show Foam instead.
Do Fairy liquid make a reduced salt version, asking for a friend?
 
I think snow foam is just for show, looks impressive when done at an Eastern European car wash, perhaps it should be called Show Foam instead.
Do Fairy liquid make a reduced salt version, asking for a friend?
I think salt would help, the abrasive properties would get all that nasty muck off😜
 
Snow foam is a good pre wash or will just help if your car is only, slightly dirty,its called a contactless wash, I always do a foam cannon before washing, if it’s running to thin either the mix isn’t strong enough or the foam is no good or the cannon is NFG
 
Snow foam is a good pre wash or will just help if your car is only, slightly dirty,its called a contactless wash, I always do a foam cannon before washing, if it’s running to thin either the mix isn’t strong enough or the foam is no good or the cannon is NFG
You can usually get good foam by running a Karcher with a vario lance set on low and putting the feed tube in the car shampoo, but cannon is better
 
Has the car got a water repelling coat of something on it ?
If so have you tried the snow foam on another car ?
Try using car shampoos in the foam gun instead .
Yes - ceramic coating. But it was like that before I had it done. However, I’ve always kept the car well waxed.

I‘ve wondered about trying car shampoo instead, because it stays on better when I’m doing a normal wash.
 
Dont water the snow foam down first before putting it in the lance put it in neat and it will work better as it will mix on application
 
You need to understand the ratio of snow foam concentrate to water that you need in the cannon bottle, and to do this you need to run the bottle full of water at a marked level and pressure 'wash' only water through the system into a graduated bucket until you get 10L.

This then allows you to see how much water was consumed from the bottle for a 10L total volume in the bucket, and you can then calculated how much snow foam concentrate to put in the cannon/lance bottle to get the correct working concentration on the panel. A lot of snow foams require about 2-5% snow foam concentrate present in the water on panel contact. And because there are variations in cannon/lance consumption from the bottle under the cannon/lance, you need to calculate it.

This will then give you a nice thick foam, provided the lance/cannon isn't junk.
If you have an adjustable lance like the good ones I recommended, having already calculated and set up the correct dilution in the bottle, you can turn the adjuster knob on the top and get between a watery snow foam and something like shaving foam.

You only need to do the calibration once to understand your particular lance.

I had a junk lance to start with, had the same problems as you, and could only resolve it with a better lance, even though the panel concentration at the car was correct.

With that extra faffing around, you can understand why a lot of people just add the required e.g. 4% of concetrate to a pump action pressure sprayer, top up with 96% water and pre-wash the car with that. It doesn't look pretty, but the panel concentration is correct and this is the important bit when it comes to snow foam working as the manufacturer intended.
 
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You need to understand the ratio of snow foam concentrate to water that you need in the cannon bottle, and to do this you need to run the bottle full of water at a marked level and pressure 'wash' only water through the system into a graduated bucket until you get 10L.

This then allows you to see how much water was consumed from the bottle for a 10L total spray volume, and you can then calculated how much snow foam concentrate to put in the cannon/lance bottle to get the correct working concentration on the panel. A lot of sniw foams require about 2-5% snow foan concentrate present in the water on panel contact. And because there are variations in cannon/lance consumption from the bottle under the cannon/lance, you need to calculate it.

This will then give you a nice this foam.
If you have an adjustable lance like the good ones I recommended, having already calculated and set up the correct dilution in the bottle, you can turn the adjuster knob on the top and get between a watery snow foam and something like shaving foam.

You only need to do the calibration once to understand your particular lance.

I had a junk lance to start with, had the same problems as you, and could only resolve it with a better lance, even though the panel concentration at the car was correct.

With that extra faffing around, you can understand why a lot of people just add the required e.g. 4% of concetrate to a pump action pressure sprayer, top up with 96% water and pre-wash the car with that. It doesn't look pretty, but the panel concentration is correct and this is the important bit when it comes to snow foam working as the manufacturer intended.
Or you could just fill a bucket with nice warm soapy water.......🤔
 
Alternatives to using snow foam wasn't the question, but good baiting SM ;)🎣
Sorry MrG, couldn't resist :D:rolleyes:
I like a nice squeaky clean motor as much as the next person, but I'm not sure I have the patience for all the snow foam malarky. I appreciate that many do though.
 
You need to understand the ratio of snow foam concentrate to water that you need in the cannon bottle, and to do this you need to run the bottle full of water at a marked level and pressure 'wash' only water through the system into a graduated bucket until you get 10L.

This then allows you to see how much water was consumed from the bottle for a 10L total volume in the bucket, and you can then calculated how much snow foam concentrate to put in the cannon/lance bottle to get the correct working concentration on the panel. A lot of snow foams require about 2-5% snow foam concentrate present in the water on panel contact. And because there are variations in cannon/lance consumption from the bottle under the cannon/lance, you need to calculate it.

This will then give you a nice thick foam, provided the lance/cannon isn't junk.
If you have an adjustable lance like the good ones I recommended, having already calculated and set up the correct dilution in the bottle, you can turn the adjuster knob on the top and get between a watery snow foam and something like shaving foam.

You only need to do the calibration once to understand your particular lance.

I had a junk lance to start with, had the same problems as you, and could only resolve it with a better lance, even though the panel concentration at the car was correct.

With that extra faffing around, you can understand why a lot of people just add the required e.g. 4% of concetrate to a pump action pressure sprayer, top up with 96% water and pre-wash the car with that. It doesn't look pretty, but the panel concentration is correct and this is the important bit when it comes to snow foam working as the manufacturer intended.
I’m a bit confused here. You talk about
2-5% snow foam concentrate present in the water on panel contact.
and later
a lot of people just add the required e.g. 4% of concetrate to a pump action pressure sprayer, top up with 96% water

Why did you suddenly switch to referencing dilution levels for pump action pressure sprayers, when my question is about using snow foam lances with pressure washers?

I‘m not aware of any of the snow foams that I’ve used specifying the ratio of concentrate to water at the panel. All they’ve told me is the required mix in the bottle - generally 25% to 30%. I’ve tried up to 50/50 with no success. What I haven’t done is try <25%.
 
Sorry MrG, couldn't resist :D:rolleyes:
I like a nice squeaky clean motor as much as the next person, but I'm not sure I have the patience for all the snow foam malarky. I appreciate that many do though.
Well I second that, spray it on and leave for 5 mins, near enough.
 
Sorry MrG, couldn't resist :D:rolleyes:
I like a nice squeaky clean motor as much as the next person, but I'm not sure I have the patience for all the snow foam malarky. I appreciate that many do though.
I‘m heading to the same conclusion. My greatest issue is that I’m no good at accepting defeat, and I still have a couple of litres of snow foam concentrate that I’d hate to waste.
 
Why did you suddenly switch to referencing dilution levels for pump action pressure sprayers, when my question is about using snow foam lances with pressure washers?

For snow foam to work properly, you need the correct dilution ratio as the snow foam/water solution hits the car panel.

So if you are using a pre-mixed solution in a pressure sprayer, it is a piece of cake to work out because you just add e.g. 4% by volume of snow foam to make up to your desired volume in the pressure sprayer. So you would add 40ml to make up to 1 litre of solution in the pressure sprayer. I use the pressure sprayer to give the easiest example of how to get the correct concentration that will work correctly on the panel to clean the car at the correct concentration, but this method won't aerate the foam so you won't get the shaving foam look. But it is quick and easy which is why people do it.

I guess your question is 'how do I get snow foam to foam', and not 'how do I get snow foam to work correctly in terms of cleaning'. But concentration is important to get both snow foam cleaning properly (the main reason for using this pre-washing product), and also to get it foaming.

So without doing the consumption test I outlined above, you might not be getting the correct cleaning concentration at the panel, and this could also impact the ability of the solution to foam if the solution strength at panel contact is too weak. If it's too strong, it is a waste and could be too harsh.
 
I‘m not aware of any of the snow foams that I’ve used specifying the ratio of concentrate to water at the panel. All they’ve told me is the required mix in the bottle - generally 25% to 30%. I’ve tried up to 50/50 with no success. What I haven’t done is try <25%.

Don't guess on bottle usage, do the test. If your snow foam lance isn't drawing hardly any solution, that might be the problem, but you won't know without that bucket test.

Bilt Hamber snow foam requires a dilution ratio of between 1% and 5% at the panel.


See 'how to use'
 
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Well I second that, spray it on and leave for 5 mins, near enough.
That’s my issue. It won’t stay on for much more than 5 seconds, let alone 5 minutes. It even disappears from horizontal surfaces like the roof and bonnet.
 
I‘m heading to the same conclusion. My greatest issue is that I’m no good at accepting defeat, and I still have a couple of litres of snow foam concentrate that I’d hate to waste.
To use this, you have two options:

1. Use the pressure sprayer method and rely on the cleaning power at the correct dilution. You won't get shaving foam, but it will help lift dirt and give you the prewash benefit.

2. Do the feed bottle consumption test for your snow foam lance. Add the correct amount of snow foam concentrate to the feed bottle to get the correct panel dilution. Now try your lance. If it's not foaming, the lance is junk. So buy one of the ones I've suggested to get the shaving foam.
 
That’s my issue. It won’t stay on for much more than 5 seconds, let alone 5 minutes. It even disappears from horizontal surfaces like the roof and bonnet.
As long as the panel is wetted with the solution at the correct panel concentration, it will do the prewash. If it's not foaming, you will need to do this on a cool, not sunny, not windy day, as the foam helps stop evaporation and the surface drying out. You might have to apply a bit more over then 5-10 mins to stop it drying out.
 
Bilt Hamber snow foam requires a dilution ratio of between 1% and 5% at the panel.


See 'how to use'
Thanks. Some interesting reading there, not just about Panel Impact Ratios!

Of greater interest to me was the reviews. Very many commented on the lack of ‘shaving foam’, which has been my concern to date. I had been under the impression that if it wasn’t foamy (if there is such a word) it wasn’t going to do anything. But the reviews for this particular product say otherwise.

Without having measured the time that I’ve left it to dwell on the car, there’s every possibility that I haven’t left it for anywhere near 5 minutes to do its stuff. I haven't wanted to leave chemicals on my car’s paintwork for too long when they don’t appear to be working as they should.

This could well account for why I’ve never been impressed with the cleaning power of snow foam; certainly nowhere near enough to leave the car after just power rinsing off with the Karcher. Maybe the products I’ve been using are also of the low-foam type and I need to give them time to work.
 

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