The Best Snow Foam: 5 Market-Leaders Compared


Snow foam is one of the most popular types of car detailing products, and it’s use to help remove and soften as much dirt on the car prior to the contact wash to help reduce the risk of scratches and swirl marks. But which is the best snow foam?

Best Snow Foam

  1. Wax Planet 8 Below
  2. Squid Ink Alkafroth
  3. Autobrite Magifoam
  4. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
  5. Bilt Hamber Touch-Less

These results are based on tests I performed to compare these 5 snow foams in the following categories: thickness and dwell time, cleaning ability, effect on waxes and sealants and value for money. I selected these 5 foams for comparison as these are my personal favourites.

Comparison Testing

In order to figure out which is the best snow foam on the market, I put 5 of my favourites including highly-renowned market leaders to the test in four different categories: thickness, cleaning power, cost and effect on waxes and sealants. I ranked the snow foams in each category and gave them an overall score.

This test was pretty big, so took me just over a month to complete, so I made a video on my YouTube channel to talk through the results. Here’s the video, but if you want to read the results instead, I’ll be going through each category and the scores here as well.

The Contenders:

  • Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
  • Bilt Hamber Touch-Less
  • Wax Planet 8 Below
  • Autobrite Magifoam
  • Squid Ink Alkafroth

Foam Thickness and Dwell Time

I applied all the snow foams at their maximum recommended dilutions using an MJJC Foam Cannon Pro which I rinsed through with water between rounds.

  • Bilt Hamber Auto Foam: 4% Panel Impact Ratio, 200 mL of product and 300 mL of water in the cannon
  • Bilt Hamber Touch-Less: 4% Panel Impact Ratio, 200 mL of product and 300 mL of water in the cannon
  • Wax Planet 8 Below: 1% Panel Impact Ratio, 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in the cannon
  • Autobrite Magifoam: 1% Panel Impact Ratio, 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in the cannon
  • Squid Ink Alkafroth: 1% Panel Impact Ratio, 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in the cannon

The products were allowed to dwell for 6 minutes before rinsing, and I rated each of them according to their thickness and how long they lasted on the panel.

The time is 0:38 on the video for this round.

Foam thickness on application
Dwell time at the 6 minute mark
Thickness and Dwell Time Results:
  1. Autobrite Magifoam
  2. Squid Ink Alkafroth
  3. Wax Planet 8 Below
  4. Bilt Hamber Touch-Less
  5. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam

Thickness Snow Foam: Autobrite Magifoam

Cleaning Ability

I tested the cleaning power of each snow foam by applying them all to sections of a panel using an MJJC Foam Cannon Pro at their maximum recommended concentrations:

  • Bilt Hamber Auto Foam: 4% Panel Impact Ratio, 200 mL of product and 300 mL of water in the cannon
  • Bilt Hamber Touch-Less: 4% Panel Impact Ratio, 200 mL of product and 300 mL of water in the cannon
  • Wax Planet 8 Below: 1% Panel Impact Ratio, 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in the cannon
  • Autobrite Magifoam: 1% Panel Impact Ratio, 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in the cannon
  • Squid Ink Alkafroth: 1% Panel Impact Ratio, 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in the cannon

I allowed the products to dwell for 5 minutes before rinsing away using a pressure washer. This test was repeated on 3 different cars to get a good representation of cleaning ability. Here are the photos of each panel section when left to air-dry so I could see how much dirt was remaining.

The time is 2:13 on the video for this round.

Cleaning power comparison on a waxed car (6 weeks build-up).
Cleaning power on a waxed car (1 month build-up).
Cleaning power on an unprotected car (10 weeks build-up).

The first two photos were used to make the conclusions, as the snow foams made little impact on the unwaxed car with heavy traffic film build-up.

Cleaning Ability Results:

  1. Squid Ink Alkafroth
  2. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam and Wax Planet 8 Below (Joint 2nd)
  3. Bilt Hamber Touch-Less and Autobrite Magifoam (Joint 3rd)

Strongest Cleaner: Squid Ink Alkafroth

Effect on Last Stage Protection (LSP)

Since these are all strong snow foams with good cleaning capabilities, I wanted to see how much of a negative effect they have on waxes and sealants. I tested this by applying each product evenly to a section of the panel at the following concentrations which were based on the recommended maximum concentrations.

  • Bilt Hamber Auto Foam: 4% PIR (equivalent to 200 mL of product and 300 mL of water in a foam cannon)
  • Bilt Hamber Touch-Less: 4% PIR (equivalent to 200 mL of product and 300 mL of water in a foam cannon)
  • Wax Planet 8 Below: 1% PIR (equivalent to 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in a foam cannon)
  • Autobrite Magifoam: 1% PIR (equivalent to 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in a foam cannon)
  • Squid Ink Alkafroth: 1% PIR (equivalent to 50 mL of product and 450 mL of water in a foam cannon)

The products were left to dwell for 5 minutes per round. I then monitored how well the wax and sealant repelled water after each round, to see which products were the least degrading. The results show below are from least harsh on the wax to most harsh.

Effect on Wax

Using Dodo Juice Blue Velvet (time is 4:18 on the video for this round).

  1. Wax Planet 8 Below
  2. Bilt Hamber Touch-Less
  3. Squid Ink Alkafroth
  4. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
  5. Autobrite Magifoam

Effect on Sealant

Using Garage Therapy /Two: Sigma (time is 6:06 on the video for this round).

  1. Wax Planet 8 Below
  2. Autobrite Magifoam
  3. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
  4. Squid Ink Alkafroth
  5. Bilt Hamber Touch-Less

Overall Results for Effect on LSP

I wanted to combine the impact of the snow foam on the wax and sealant into one category. There was a clear winner, however, when combining the results of the rest of the snow foams, they all scored equally, so were all awarded second place.

Safest Snow Foam on Waxes and Sealants: Wax Planet 8 Below

Cost per Application

Finally, I wanted to take a look at the value for money of each snow foam. I did this by comparing the cost per application, rather than the price per millilitre, as I thought this was the fairest and most helpful way of looking at it. I won’t include the exact costs here, as they may change in the future but you can check out the video at 8:17 for the prices at the time of making the video.

I used the cost of the 5 litre bottles on each brand’s website to compare the products. The cost per use was based on the maximum recommended concentrations of each snow foam. This was the same as the concentrations used in all the previous rounds for Autobrite Magifoam, Squid Ink Alkafroth and Wax Planet 8 Below (i.e. a 1/10 dilution in the foam cannon).

For Bilt Hamber Auto Foam and Bilt Hamber Touch-Less, a 4% panel impact ratio is recommended which is a 2/5 dilution in the lance. However, generally most people only use around a 1/5 dilution (around 2% PIR), so this is what was used to calculate the price per use. This didn’t actually make any impact on the cost per use, as they still worked out the most expensive. The Bilt Hamber snow foams are the cheapest to purchase 5 litres, but more product is required per use.

Cost Per Use Results (Least to Most Expensive)

  1. Wax Planet 8 Below
  2. Autobrite Magifoam
  3. Squid Ink Alkafroth
  4. Bilt Hamber Auto Foam
  5. Bilt Hamber Touch-Less

Best Value for Money Snow Foam: Wax Planet 8 Below

Overall Results

Of course, some categories are going to be more important to you than others, so I wanted to include the overall results table so you could work out which snow foam would be best for you.

As I mentioned at the start, I chose my 5 favourite snow foams for this comparison, so this is why the results are pretty close together. I would recommend all these products, so if you use one currently and are happy with the results, then there is no harm in sticking with it!

Overall Winner: Wax Planet 8 Below

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some more snow foam related questions and answers!

What is snow foam?

Snow foam is a pre-wash chemical designed to be applied using a foam cannon prior to contact washing the car. The chemical dwells on the car, softening and removing traffic film so it can be rinsed away more easily. This helps to reduce the risk of scratches and swirl marks during the wash process.

What makes a good snow foam?

A good snow foam should have good cleaning ability to lift as much traffic film off the car as possible before contact washing, along with a long dwell time so it is able to have the longest working-time possible. It is also useful for the snow foam to be as wax and sealant safe as possible.

How do you use snow foam?

Snow foam is applied using a snow foam cannon fed through a pressure washer at the manufacturer’s recommended dilution ratio. It should be left to dwell for around 5-10 minutes and rinsed before it is allowed to dry. This process should be performed before washing the car using a mitt.

Check out my Quick Detailer Comparison test

Heather

I first became interested in car detailing around 3 years ago and learnt all the main techniques on my very first car. I spend a lot of time detailing my current car, and trying to keep my family's cars looking presentable too!

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