An experiment with snow foam - Toyota GT 86 Forums UK
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 27th May 2020, 14:14 Thread Starter
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An experiment with snow foam

So I got a snow foam gun for my Karcher and decided to do an experiment.

As I was technically working and couldn't take an hour to wash the car properly I blasted it with HP washer. Then went back to work for 10 minutes.

Then I covered it in snow foam and went back to work for 10 minutes.

Then I rinsed it without rubbing it down at all. I worked for 10 minutes.

Then I went for a hoon to dry it.

The result.

Pants. Complete fail. You can see it was washed, but running you hand over the bonnet and your hand comes back black. It's like it didn't remove anything!

So my experiment for a quick and easy wash was basically a failure and it will need to be gone over with mits/microfibres whlie snow foamed.

Is there safe/reliable non-touch snow foam?

EDIT: I was using Autoglym Polar Wash snow foam, which is, yes, designed for contact washing.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 27th May 2020, 14:46
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I've used the Bilt Hamber stuff. Find it's better if the car is dry so it clings better, if it's wet it'll probably wash off.

Snow foam isn't meant to give you a clean car, it's there to get the top layer off so when you do wash it, there's less likely to be anything to scratch the paint work with.

If you have a proper dirty car (so it doesn't actually look the colour its painted) it's a good way to get it reasonably clean but as you say, running a finger over it when wet it'll leave an actual clean line.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 27th May 2020, 16:22 Thread Starter
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I've used the Bilt Hamber stuff. Find it's better if the car is dry so it clings better, if it's wet it'll probably wash off.

Snow foam isn't meant to give you a clean car, it's there to get the top layer off so when you do wash it, there's less likely to be anything to scratch the paint work with.

If you have a proper dirty car (so it doesn't actually look the colour its painted) it's a good way to get it reasonably clean but as you say, running a finger over it when wet it'll leave an actual clean line.
Yes but autoglym polar wash is the wash cycle version, not the prewash you describe. They call that Polar Blast.

I think the idea with polar wash is to foam it then go over it with a cloth.

My car wasn't dirty, it has hardly been driven since it was last washed and waxed, but it was covered in a layer of summer dust and rain spots. I am baffled as to how a good solid blast with HP washer AND a snow foaming + rinse did not take that layer of dust off! Bizarre. When dried I can run a finger down the bonnet and see the line through the dust.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 27th May 2020, 17:47
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Snow foam isn't meant to give you a clean car, it's there to get the top layer off so when you do wash it, there's less likely to be anything to scratch the paint work with.
^This, If you want to do a touchless wash you probably need a strong all purpose cleaner. The best I've tried is Koch Chemie Greenstar, however the car will still need washing properly for a perfect finish.

Bilt Hamber also make one called Surfex HD, that's supposed to be good but I've not used it.

See: https://www.detailingworld.co.uk/for...d.php?t=391545

Not the best video, but this'll give you an idea:
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 27th May 2020, 19:40
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Snow foam is a pre wash not a touchless wash as already pointed out. It's good for softening dirt and get the worst of it off but that's it. If my car isn't that dirty I don't bother with it as it has no effect.

Will300 Surfex HD is great stuff i use it all the time but it also won't do the job of getting your car spotless. You wont get far off it though if you have a really good fresh layer wax or sealant under the dirt.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 28th May 2020, 10:37 Thread Starter
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It seems there are more than one type of snow foam. The stuff I have is designed to be rubbed down as the wash cycle, saving you from having to use shampoo in a bucket just.

Quote:
POLAR WASH
Polar Wash is a safe and effective cleaner that should be applied using a pressure washer, after pre-washing with Polar Blast. This impressive cleaner will cover your vehicle in a blanket of foam that makes light work of dirt, traffic film and road grime removal.
https://www.autoglym.com/polarpressurewasher


I'm just baffled how a layer of dust survived pressure washing, soaking in foam and rinsing. I did a friends car and actually rubbed it down with cloths while covered in foam and it seemed to do a good job.

On the suggested contactless wash stuff... how safe is it for paint work?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 28th May 2020, 10:42
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The title of this topic was listed in the sidebar as 'An experiment with snow...' so full of expectations I opened the link. Turns out it is an experiment with using massive amounts of detergent just to wash your car. I think I'll pass

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 28th May 2020, 11:45 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MovesWithClouds View Post
The title of this topic was listed in the sidebar as 'An experiment with snow...' so full of expectations I opened the link. Turns out it is an experiment with using massive amounts of detergent just to wash your car. I think I'll pass
They claim 125ml. I used 200ml.

I think normal bucket shampoo is about half of that.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 28th May 2020, 11:51
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Originally Posted by paulca View Post
It seems there are more than one type of snow foam. The stuff I have is designed to be rubbed down as the wash cycle, saving you from having to use shampoo in a bucket just.


https://www.autoglym.com/polarpressurewasher


I'm just baffled how a layer of dust survived pressure washing, soaking in foam and rinsing. I did a friends car and actually rubbed it down with cloths while covered in foam and it seemed to do a good job.

On the suggested contactless wash stuff... how safe is it for paint work?
Oh right now that is different. What protection do you have on the car currently? That can make a significance difference to how dirt bonds onto paintwork.


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Originally Posted by MovesWithClouds View Post
The title of this topic was listed in the sidebar as 'An experiment with snow...' so full of expectations I opened the link. Turns out it is an experiment with using massive amounts of detergent just to wash your car. I think I'll pass
Typically you are using less than 100ml. Its concentrated and diluted with fresh water as it comes out of the pressure washer. Which uses less water than a garden hose. The stuff is designed to foam. Not by any means 'massive'
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 28th May 2020, 12:20
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Okay, I'll concede that point
It's still no actual snow though.

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