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Old 15-04-2013, 09:08 AM   #1
andrewhutch1
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Snow Foam Lance Guide

(I'll add some more pics as and when I have them)

I’ve recently bought myself an Autobrite snow foam lance and thought I’d share my findings with folk on here who might have the same questions as I had.
I found plenty of questions (and helpful answers) about getting the right foam consistency but no central reference guide. So I thought I’d collect everything I have found and experienced about the snow foam lance and put it in one place.

What is snow foam?
Snow foam is a pre-wash foam, sprayed onto the car to dissolve and remove as much dirt as possible before washing by hand.

What do I need?
Typically you need a pressure washer and a snow foam lance attachment, as well as a snow foam solution/concentrate to mix with the water and create the foam.
You can also foam a car without a pressure washer using hose based lances, or even hand pumped foam guns. However, I’m not going to focus on those as I haven’t used them before.


Snow foam lance

Most people, including myself, seem(ed) to worry about their foam being too runny, too diluted, not staying on the car, just sliding off and not dwelling, etc, etc… (sound familiar?)

So in this post I’ll focus on those issues.


To start with I would go with Autobrite’s instructions (if you have the Autobrite snow foam lance) and see where that gets you. (Bare in mind that the foam will vary depending on the brand of snow foam concentrate you use)

Autobrite’s Lance instructions are as follows… “To use simply apply 50-200ml (depending on pressure washer) of either Autobrite Super Snow Foam or Magifoam into the 1 litre container bottle and fill up with warm or cold water. Each 1 litre bottle when full will foam approx 2 cars. You are now ready to use the Autobrite Snow Foam Lance by switching on your machine and altering the black adjuster on top of the lance for your desired foam. The adjustments are: towards the + on the knob gives you more water - less foam and towards the - on the knob gives you less water and more foam for a stronger mix.

Magifoam instructions:
Magifoam has been primarily formulated to be used in a foam lance, with a dilution rate of 100:1 it is also very economical, this equates to roughly 1-2" in the bottom of a 1l bottle in a foam lance when using with a domestic pressure washer. To use simply rinse car surface first, then spray the car with a liberal layer of foam and allow to dwell for at least 10 minutes, after this time simply rinse the foam off and watch the dirt rinse away too. The longer this product dwells the deeper it penetrates into the dirt and more of the dirt will then be removed.

Superfoam instructions:
For best results pre-wet vehicle surface and apply through an Autobrite Foam Lance via a high pressure washer. Dilute with up to 200 parts of water adjust the dilution for desired foaming. If using an Autobrite Foam Lance place up to 2 inches of the concentrate into the foam lance bottle supplied and then top up with warm water. Plug and play! When vehicle surface has been covered with a blanket of foam leave to dwell and rinse under pressure.



A couple of points to be aware of...
If the car has a well waxed/sealed finish the foam (and hopefully the dirt) will tend to slide off more and stick less.
If the car is wet, it will be a little more lubricated and the foam will slide off more and stick less.
Neither one of these, however, affects the thickness of the foam coming out of your lance. So be sure to identify whether your foam is just not sticking, or whether it’s too runny as it leaves the lance.




What works for me?

I personally work with 1 inch (at least 2 fingers) of concentrate in the bottom of the snow foam lance bottle. I have tried both Magifoam and Super Snow foam. I got a thicker foam from Magifoam. Both were good at removing the dirt from my car though. Little to choose between them on that front, but looks wise my preference is something more like shaving foam (thick).


AB Magifoam (Thicker foam)


AB Super Snow Foam (Thinner foam)

Nothing wrong with either foam, but you can see that the top one is thicker so (based on the way I put the liquids through my lance) you can get a difference depending on the product you use.


I top up with warm water to between halfway / two thirds up the bottle. I found that this step plays a HUGE part in the consistency of the foam you get.
All things being kept equal, except the foam lance bottle filled to the top with water (rather than halfway), I had much runnier (too thin) foam.
The way I see it, I’m going to use at least an inch of concentrate to foam a car. If I add a little water (halfway up the bottle) I get the foam I want. If I add a lot of water (fill the bottle) I may get more foam but it’s too runny for my liking.

I turn my dial on the top of the lance as far towards the – sign as it will go and then a tiny bit towards the + sign (just so it’s not on full lock… for my piece of mind more than anything else). This implies a “less water, more foam, stronger mix”

The nozzle on the end is down to personal preference; in fact I adjust mine as I go around the car, depending on whether I want a wide fan spray of foam or a concentrated jet.

I use a domestic Karcher as my pressure washer. No specific reason, it’s what I had before I even got into detailing. It’s nothing special, they don’t even make that model anymore, far from top of the range, so don’t feel that you need the best pressure washer money can buy to get a good foam from your lance.

I hope this is of at least some help to anyone looking to get the most from their snow foam lance. If there’s anything that can be added – feel free folks.

Andrew

Last edited by andrewhutch1; 17-04-2013 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 15-04-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
Cab2cos
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I'm new to DW.

I'm in the market for a snow gun as just got a brand new kercher K4 .

This post for me has been very helpfull.



Where's the best place and price to get a snow gun
Mark
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Old 15-04-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
andrewhutch1
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I bought mine through the Autobrite deal available to forum members...

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=183611
Pretty good discount and price includes UK postage.
There are others available but this one and these packages are very highly regarded. (Well they certainly get my seal of approval anyway).
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Old 15-04-2013, 08:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info will be giving snow foam a go at some point.
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Old 15-04-2013, 08:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for info
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Old 16-04-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
Gary gee
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Thanks for the info, I had the same questions running about inside my head, ,I've experienced runny snow foam but I think that is just down to the standard karcher bottle with no adjustment on, so new bottle required
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Old 17-04-2013, 08:41 AM   #7
andrewhutch1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary gee View Post
Thanks for the info, I had the same questions running about inside my head, ,I've experienced runny snow foam but I think that is just down to the standard karcher bottle with no adjustment on, so new bottle required
I had the standard yellow Karcher one for a few years, I can't believe I put up with it to be honest. The "proper" lances are a different league!
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Old 27-04-2013, 09:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewhutch1 View Post
I bought mine through the Autobrite deal available to forum members...

http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/foru...d.php?t=183611
Pretty good discount and price includes UK postage.
There are others available but this one and these packages are very highly regarded. (Well they certainly get my seal of approval anyway).
crap, only if i knew about this deal before i ordered mine from elsewhere.
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Old 27-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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ordered the lance and foam today, many thanks for a very imformative write up.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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great post
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autobrite direct, guide, magifoam, snow foam lance, super snow foam


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