Let's get Snow Foaming
Why do you snow foam?
We have found that snow foaming is the perfect first step to dramatically reduce swirl marks and micro scratches while washing modern clear coated paint. It's effectively a pre-wash system that creates a thick, deep blanket of cleansing foam that gently dissolves and releases a lot of the grit and grime that has bonded to the paints surface. After letting the foam dwell, you blow it off with a strong jet of pressurised water. With it goes the vast majority of the potentially scratching contaminates.
This is why snow foaming has now become so popular with hardcore enthusiasts and professional detailers to do before hand-washing their cars. After a couple of years playing around with different foams and guns, we have created our own combination that we believe is quite perfect for a great Snow Job.
Three things you need
1. Snow foam wash
Of which our Snow Job is as good as you’ll get for creating that thick and beautiful foam. It has a purpose specific grouping of detergents that work to loosen and remove the grit and grime as it dwells on the car. A lot of snow foams were made to be quite strong, so they can strip the car of all its waxes and sealants, which is more suitable for professional detailers to decontaminate the car before they begin their multi stage methods of paint care and repair. We engineered ours to be more enthusiast friendly, with a gentle pH balanced formula that allows it to be used more regularly. If you do want a stronger decon-wash, add 700mls of water to 200mls of our Orange Agent citrus cleaner and 100mls of Snow Job wash.
2. The foam gun
The Snow Blow Cannon was custom designed to be easy to use and give amazing foaming capabilities. Our back to back tests against other foam guns have shown it to be well above them in this regard. We also custom made a short, stubby bottle so you can put the Cannon down and not have it tip over, like every other foam gun does...
On the same note, the standard "foam guns" that come with most pressure washers give very poor foaming and in our opinion are quite useless if you're wanting a good thick layer of foam!
3. A good pressure washer
You need something that's rated over 1000 PSI, with 1300 to a maximum of 3200 PSI being ideal. Attach the gun/Cannon to the machine with the right adapter and you’re ready to foam. We’ve used a Gerni brand pressure washer that’s rated at 1800 PSI in our videos and images here.
The hook up
We supply the popular current Karcher K Series, Gerni/Alto/Nilfisk Pro/Kew and Stihl pressure washer adapters to hook your pressure washer up to the Snow Blow Cannon. If you require a different type of adapter, please contact us as we also keep the more popular Kranzle, Lavor, Karcher HD/ HDS, Nilfisk and Kew quick connect, Black and Decker, Ryobi, Bosch and a 1/4" quick connect fittings in stock too.
A lot of these fittings will work on other machines as well (there are literally hundreds of different machines) but if we don't have the fitting you're needing, they can usually be found online at different EBay stores.
Have a read of our article on finding the right adapter for your machine by clicking here.
For first time use, screw the required adapter on very tight to the white thread taped end. We have found the base model Karcher K Series pressure washers don't allow the Cannon to swivel and sit straight, so apply some extra thread tape to the connector end and move to where it feels comfortable.
Mixing ratio made easy
Set up your pressure washer directly in front of your car and connect the power and your hose/water to it. Don’t turn it on yet!
We use a 10:1 ratio of water to foam wash and have made this super easy to work out. Simply fill the Cannon’s bottle to the “Fill Water to Here” mark (that’s 900ml of water), then top it up with the Snow Job foam formula to the “Fill Snow Job to Here” mark (100ml of Snow Job). We put the Snow Job in last so it doesn’t foam up while you’re filling.
If you're not using our Snow Blow Cannon, each capful of Snow Job is 50mls, so two capfuls is all you need to make up to one litre.
You can mix the foam as low as a 15:1 ratio (if you're a cheaper bugger), it just means a little less foaming action though.
Important pre-wash tips
Before you begin foaming away, make sure the car is cool to touch (especially black plastic mirrors and trim) and it's not overly windy. We also think it's best to foam in the cooler parts of the day, like first up in the morning or late in the afternoon. All these are done to slow down the evaporation time of the foam, so it gets optimum dwell time.
Getting ready to blow
Attach the bottle to the Cannon’s screw in intake, being careful to not cross-thread it, then shake it well with your thumb over the adapter tip to stop it splashing out.
Now attach the Cannon to the pressure washer, turn on the water, then power it up.
For the thickest foam possible, turn the Cannon’s top blue air adjustment knob clockwise towards the “-” symbol. If you desire less foam or wish to use less foam solution, turn it the opposite way towards the “+” symbol.
The fun part
Squeeze the trigger of your pressure washer till the foam starts coming out.
Adjust the Cannon’s blue end nozzle to find your desired foam arc. We like it around half to two thirds the way between full fan and powerful jet.
Keep the Cannon about a metre away from the cars surface to cover it in a lovely, thick foam. Starting on the lower sections and rear of the car, working your way around the car, from the bottom to the top, allowing the foam a longer dwell time on the dirtier lower areas. Let the foam sit and do its work for 4 to 5 minutes, gently dissolving the grit and dirt from the surface.
Remove the Snow Blow Cannon attachment and apply your pressure washer nozzle. Pressure wash the whole car starting from the top and working to the bottom, cleaning the very back of the car last so the foam has the longest dwell time on it.
Don’t let the jet of water get too close to window and door rubber seals or other delicate parts like fabric tops, or emblems on the car. A distance of 30 to 50cm away is always recommended so no damage can occur from the water jet.
Do you need to wash again?
Once the foam is completely washed off, use your best judgement on whether it now needs a hand wash or not.
Inspect the cars surface closely for any dirt or grime. If you see any, or if it has been through rain since the last wash, you should follow up this foam wash with a safe two bucket wash method. This is where you have 1 bucket that is filled with our lubricating Nanolicious Wash (best, most lubricating), Wax Wash or Auto Body Gel, and a 2nd bucket that's filled with clean water to rinse your Muffy Sponge or Love Glove out in each time you come off the car, so you're releasing any left-over dirt and grime from the cleaning tools and never putting dirty water back on the car.
If there was only light dust or sea spray on the car, we find the Snow Job foam can remove it all, so you can begin drying it with The Big Green Sucker microfibre drying towel and the After Glow (a new product that's coming soon) lubricant/drying aid spray.
If you don’t use all the foam solution in one wash, it can be stored in the Cannon’s bottle for up to a month.
Use the Fully Slick protective spray after the car is all done, as the slick and slippery finish allows the Snow Job foam to be more effective as the dirt cannot stick as well to the slick surfaces.
We believe that Snow Foaming is a great addition to your regular washing regime, to provide the best and safest wash possible. It's fast, easy and fun!
These two products are currently available from our supporting AutObarn stores as well as many other independent stores. Part numbers to quote them (if it's not already on the shelf) are BOCANNON for the Snow Blow Cannon and BOSNOW for the 2 litres of Snow Job foam wash.
If there's any other questions you may have about this process that's not covered in this article or the video, please feel free to contact me and my great team via email email@example.com or call us on 1800 351 308.