Best snow foam car cleaners 2023

| 9 Jan 2023
Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners

Car cleaning is a favourite pastime of many an enthusiast, as well as a necessity to keep your classic and its paintwork in good condition. Snow foam cleaners promise to be one of the least damaging ways of removing grime, so here’s our run down of the best.

Using a foamer gun is the ultimate way to get the best from a foam cleaner; it makes the foam easier and quicker to apply, and also means that you’re not going to scratch the paintwork as you may with an old-fashioned bucket and sponge. But which product is best?

To find out, we mixed each of our test products to the recommended dilution, and applied them to a conveniently filthy vehicle.

We considered how thick each foam was – it needs to be dense enough to sit for a while and dissolve the grime, yet also easy to rinse off. We also kept an eye on the pH level, because a mixture that is too acidic or too alkaline can damage the paintwork.

Snow foam car cleaners

12. Simoniz 2 in 1 Shampoo & Snow Foam

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Simoniz

Capacity 2000ml (2 litres)

This carnauba-wax-enriched shampoo is more up front about its dual usage than most other products here, and we can see why as we’d stick to using it as a normal car shampoo.

Even using Simoniz’s suggested dilution, the resulting foam coverage was too thin and short-lived to be very effective against even fairly mild everyday grime.

Stronger mixes may work better, though, and price-wise this is still a bargain choice even if you have to use big quantities to get a good foam.

Classic & Sports Car says 2 stars

11. Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Meguiar’s

Capacity 1890ml (1.89 litres)

Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam doesn’t quite live up to the name, but it is a decent all-rounder. The foam it produces is dense and clingy, and it cleans well while being easy to wash off.

All good, but this cleaner is quite pricey despite the 80-plus litres of foam it potentially creates. What’s more, it’s purely a pre-wash, not a shampoo or finishing wash, which is why we rate others here more highly for overall results.

In addition, it does smell a little too sweet for our liking.

Classic & Sports Car says 3 stars

10. Autoglym Polar Wash

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Autoglym Polar Wash

Capacity 2500ml (2.5 litres)

Polar Wash is the middle part of a three-stage plan. There is a pre-cleaner for really filthy vehicles and a finishing product for long-term protection.

It seems good value on the face of it, but you need quite a lot of cleaner in each wash – up to half and half in a typical foamer bottle – so you will get through it fairly quickly.

This equates to a solution of nearly 7%, yet in our tests we found just 4% gave good results.

Classic & Sports Car says 3 stars

9. Kärcher Ultra Foam Cleaner

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Kärcher

Capacity 1000ml (one litre)

This product is all about convenience, because it comes ready to go – you don’t have to dilute it.

In fact, if you have Kärcher pressure washer with the relevant nozzle, the bottle simply screws on to it, or you can just tip it into another foamer gun.

Either way, it is an effective and easy-to-use performer, but you’re paying a premium for that convenience because it only creates around 7.5 litres of cleaning foam.

Classic & Sports Car says 3 stars

8. Nilfisk 3 Step Premium Car Cleaning Kit

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Nilfisk

Capacity 500ml x3

Like Autoglym, Nilfisk has taken a three-step approach with its snow foams, but it supplies the entire trio of pre-wash, the cleaner that we test here and the finishing product in one set.

The set is good for 20 full treatments, according to Nilfisk, and we like the foolproof “add a capful to your foamer bottle and top up with water” approach.

The cleaning results were pretty good – if not quite up to the standard set by Bilt-Hamber’s excellent Touch-Less.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

7. Bilt-Hamber Touch-Less

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Bilt-Hamber Touch-Less

Capacity 5000ml (five litres)

This is a cleaner that breaks all the rules but, in many ways, is all the better for it.

The innovative sugar-based formula is kind to paintwork, even if our pH tests flagged up higher alkalinity than expected. High alkalinity often indicates excessive caustic content, which is best avoided, but that’s not the case here.

The foam produced is thinner than expected, but it is an amazing dirt-shifter and very easy to work with.

A final bonus is the massive 125 litres of foam this bottle potentially creates, although the high price of the product does offset that a bit.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

6. Diamondbrite Ceramic Blast

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Diamondbrite

Capacity 500ml

This three-in-one product melts away dirt, cleans and even finishes the job with a protective, high-gloss ceramic coating.

We all know what’s said about a Jack of all trades, but, after use, there was no evidence of compromised results here.

The Diamondbrite snow foam car cleaner dislodged even heavy grime just as well as most of the pre-wash-only formulations, while the overall clean and finished shine were as impressive as the shampoo foams.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

5. Autoglym Polar Blast

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Autoglym Polar Blast

Capacity 2500ml (2.5 litres)

You don’t have to get overly foamy before you discover why this Autoglym product has an enviable reputation for excellence.

In terms of usability and cleaning power alone, it is tough to choose between this and the Bilt-Hamber’s Touch-Less. There is a rather pervading chemical smell, which isn’t very pleasant, but otherwise it’s hard to fault.

Even the small bottle is offset by the fact that you don’t need much of the Polar Blast per wash.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

4. Bilt-Hamber Auto-Foam

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Bilt-Hamber Auto-Foam

Capacity 5000ml (five litres)

Used at the 4% dilution suggested, the Bilt-Hamber Auto-Foam is the best-value snow foam tested here. Even with frequent washes that bottle will last a long time.

Sure, some other snow foam cleaners have the edge when it comes to all-out cleaning power, but if you’re after a routine-use, car-cleaning product that’s effective and doesn’t cost too much, this is a great option.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

3. Chemical Guys HydroSuds

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Chemical Guys

Capacity 473ml

The price may seem high for this stuff, but it’s highly concentrated and we got great results from a miserly 0.9% solution; that’s 2oz of the cleaner in a foamer bottle.

It’s also a joy to use, with thick foam that clings to the car for a heavy coating of cleanliness, and then rinses with satisfying ease while it takes all the grubbiness with it.

HydroSuds also leaves a bright shine thanks to the protective ceramic coating, which will keep the paintwork looking great for ages after you’ve washed it.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

2. Farécla G3 Pro Snow Foam

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Farécla

Capacity 500ml

G3 Pro Snow Foam is a great all-rounder – and good value with it.

Technically it’s a pre-wash, but it’s also very much a shampoo as well, and you can use it for a traditional sponge wash if you wish to.

It is not a complete treatment like Ceramic Blast or HydroSuds, though, as Farécla recommends periodically finishing after the Pro Snow Foam with a sealer or wax for full paintwork protection.

But if you want a fast, effective and pH-neutral foaming shampoo that’s ideal for delicate old paintwork, this product is difficult to beat.

Classic & Sports Car says 4 stars

1. Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II

Classic & Sports Car - Best snow foam cleaners - Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II

Capacity 473ml

Chemical Guys does a wide range of snow foam car cleaners, and you can choose from a variety of scents ranging from Beer through to Watermelon and Honeydew, but this hybrid shampoo and foam combined is really quite brilliant.

It’s easy to use, has excellent cleaning power, smells like strawberries and has a perfect pH neutrality for the ultimate gentle paint treatment.

You only need a tiny drop to get remarkable cleaning power, too.  This small bottle, with a similarly small price-tag, produces up to 120 litres of excellent, clingy foam.

Whether you’re looking at foams to protect some valuable old paintwork, or in the market for an everyday cleaning solution that is kind to the paint and decent value, this is a stand-out choice.

It’s a clear winner.

Classic & Sports Car says 5 stars

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