Snow foam and / or Pre-Wash are the first steps taken to thoroughly clean your car. It’s not recommended you use it to replace a shampoo and mitt wash. No shortcuts! And you wouldn’t normally use pre-wash and snow foam, it’s usually one or the other.
Pre washing is a must to help keep the infliction of swirl marks, scratches and abrasions to an absolute minimum. The key is to remove as much dirt as you can before actually touching the car.
Snow Foam or Pre-Wash products are applied and allowed to dwell for several minutes. It’s a non-contact step. It softens dirt and surrounds the larger particles drawing them away from the surface of the paintwork. This includes traffic film, grit, insects and bird droppings. The snow foam is then rinsed off.
Which is Best – Snow Foam or Pre Wash?
Both do the same job equally well. It comes down to budget and personal choice. Without question, snow foam is waaay more fun to use! but on the down side you’ll need a snowfoam lance, a pressure washer and the snow-foam itself. Pre-Wash essentially does the same job but involves a bit more manual labour, it’s less craic to use but is cheaper as it doesn’t require a snow foam lance.
Differences Between Snow Foam & Pre-Wash
It’s in the name. Snow-Foam produces a thick foam blanket of clinging foam, with the use of a Snow-Foam Lance, which will sit on the paint work for several minutes encapsulating dirt. Pre-Wash is sprayed on paintwork with a normal bottle pump sprayer. It doesn’t create any foam, just a fluid that pretty much eats into the dirt.
How to use Snow Foam
You will need:
- Snow foam lance (the sprayer and bottle which connects to the pressure washer)
- Snow foam (your choice of foam),
- Pressure washer
Snow Foams are usually slightly alkaline, but you can get PH neutral ones. They are usually concentrated and need to be diluted in the lance bottle before application. Please check the manufacturer’s instructions for dilutions ratios. Once mixed, gently shake the lance bottle to ensure its mixed well and ensure the lance is securely attached to the pressure washer.
Now you can begin. You ideally want a white blanket, that runs slightly, to drag the dirt off. Try to spread it as efficiently as possible to avoid wastage. When the whole car is covered allow it to dwell for several minutes to ensure it does its job properly.
With the pressure washer and snowfoam disconnected, rinse the whole car, starting at the top and working your way down.
When finished, you should have removed most of the dirt from the car without even touching it. The next step is to move on to a shampoo wash with a wash mitt.
How to use Pre-Wash
You will need:
- Pre-Wash of your choice (in a pump spray bottle)
- Pressure washer
Pre-wash products can require dilution before use so check the manufacturer’s instructions for dilutions ratios if necessary.
The process is virtually the same as with snow foam. Spray the Pre Wash onto a dry paint surface. The pre wash isn’t as easy to see on the surface as snow foam but try to spread it evenly over the whole car. Once covered allow it to dwell for several minutes to ensure it does its job properly. With the pressure washer, rinse the car from the top down
When finished, you should have removed most of the dirt from the car without even touching it. You can now move on to a shampoo wash with a wash mitt – and don’t forget the Grit Guards!