Best snow foam car cleaners 2022

Whether you’re gearing up to sell or just want your car to look its best, snow foam cleaners can remove tough grime and dirt with ease. These are the best around...

Best snow foam car cleaners 2022

Fans of snow foam cleaners say that feeding their favourite product through a foamer gun is the ultimate way to clean a car. They reckon it makes the foam easy and fast to apply, while offering the deepest and least damaging clean possible.

To others, covering an entire vehicle in a thick layer of white foam seems a needlessly messy and long-winded way of sprucing it up. If you're in the former camp, which product is best?

To find out, we mixed each of our test products to its manufacturer’s recommended dilution then applied it both as a liquid and as a foam to the side of a grimy panel van. 

We also appraised each product’s foaming properties – the ideal is to have a thick foam that rinses off easily – and monitored its pH level (mixtures too far to either end of the pH scale can damage your paintwork).

Top 12: snow foam car cleaners

12. Simoniz 2 in 1 Shampoo & Snow Foam

Simoniz 2 in 1

Price £5.72
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.carparts4less.co.uk
Capacity 2000ml (2 litres)

Many of the snow foams here can be diluted in a bucket for conventional sponge shampooing, but this Carnauba Wax rich formulation shouts its dual usage louder than most. Our advice? Stick to shampoo use only. At Simoniz’s suggested dilution, the resulting foam coverage is too thin and short-lived to be effective against even mild grime, although stronger mixes might work better. Price wise, if the potency is doubled or even quadrupled, this is still a serious bargain choice.

What Car? says 2/5


11. Meguiar’s Ultimate Snow Foam

Meguiar's ultimate snow foam

Price £32
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.halfords.com
Capacity 1890ml (1.89 litres)

Sometimes a basically good product slips through our points criteria, which is exactly what's happened here. The foam produced is dense, clingy, cleans brilliantly and is pleasingly easy to rinse away. So far, so good – but this is also a pricey brew, despite the 80-plus litres of foam it potentially creates, and it’s purely a pre-wash, not a shampoo or finishing wash. Its attempt at a pleasant sweet aroma is a little too much like cough mixture for our taste, too.

What Car? says 3/5


10. Autoglym Polar Wash

AutoGlym Polar Wash

Price £11.99
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.halfords.com
Capacity 2500ml (2.5 litres)

Polar Wash is part two of a three-stage treatment plan. Polar Blast is a pre-cleaner for really filthy vehicles and Polar Seal (number three in the set) adds long-term protection. The seemingly keen price for the quantity is slightly offset by a reasonably high recommended dilution – up to half and half with water in a typical foamer bottle. This equates to a solution of nearly 7%, yet in our tests we found just 4% gave great usability and cleaning results.

What Car? says 3/5


9. Karcher Ultra Foam Cleaner

Karcher Ultra Foam Cleaner

Price £8.50
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk
Capacity 1000ml (one litre)

This product's big plus point is convenience: forget messing around with dilutions, it comes ready to go. In fact, if you have Karcher foaming equipment, the bottle simply screws on to it. Alternatively, tip its contents into another foamer gun. In use, the cleaner is an effective and easy-to-use performer. That ease of use is also a weak point, though, because you’re paying a premium price for a product which only creates around 7.5 litres of cleaning foam.

What Car? says 3/5


8. Bilt-Hamber Touch-Less

Bilt-Hamber Touch-Less

Price £19.95
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.bilthamber.com
Capacity 5000ml (five litres)

Here's a cleaner that breaks all the rules but, oddly enough, is all the better for doing so. Its innovative sugar-based formula is kind to paintwork, even if our pH tests flagged up higher alkalinity than expected. Traditionally, high alkalinity often indicated excessive caustic content, which is best avoided, but that’s not the case here. The foam produced is thinner than expected but it's an amazing dirt-shifter and a doddle to work with. A final bonus is the massive 125 litres of foam this bottle potentially creates.

What Car? says 3/5


7. Nilfisk 3 Step Premium Car Cleaning Kit

Nilfisk 3-step car cleaning kit

Price £32.75
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk
Capacity 500ml x3

Like Autoglym, Nilfisk has taken a three-step approach with its snow foams: heavy duty pre-wash, shampoo and sealer (or magic wax, as Nilfisk calls it). The difference here is that you get all three in the same box set, which is supposedly good for around 20 full treatments. We like the foolproof "add a capful to your foamer bottle and top up with water" approach to dilution, and cleaning results were pretty good – if not quite up to the standard set by Bilt-Hamber's excellent Touch-Less.

What Car? says 4/5


6. Diamondbrite Ceramic Blast Ceramic Snow Foam

DiamondBrite Ceramic Blast

Price £9.95
Buy from www.jewelultra.com
Capacity 500ml

In contrast to the approach taken by some rivals, Diamondbrite's Ceramic Blast is a three-in-one product that melts away muck, cleans and even leaves behind 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. It unseated grime in our tests just as well as most of the pre-wash-only formulations, and overall cleaning and the resulting shine were as impressive as the shampoo foams.

What Car? says 4/5


5. Autoglym Polar Blast

AutoGlym Polar Blast

Price £14.49
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.halfords.com
Capacity 2500ml (2.5 litres)

Polar Blast is Autoglym's heavy duty pre-cleaner, and you don't have to use it for long to see why it already has an enviable reputation. In terms of usability and cleaning power alone, it's hard to choose between this and the pricier Bilt-Hamber's Touch-Less, but Polar Blast's greater dilution ratio offsets its smaller bottle. Something as trivial as the Autoglym product’s rather nasty chemical whiff may become the deciding factor for buyers.

What Car? says 4/5


4. Bilt-Hamber Auto-Foam - BEST BUDGET BUY

Bilt-Hamber Auto Foam

Price £16.95
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.bilthamber.com
Capacity 5000ml (five litres)

Used at the 4% dilution suggested, Auto-Foam works out to be the best-value snow foam here. On frequently washed cars, where weaker dilutions will normally be possible, that five-litre bottle will last a very long time. Some rivals have the edge when it comes to all-out cleaning power, but the difference is so marginal that this is the one we’d choose on a budget.

What Car? says 4/5

 


3. Chemical Guys HydroSuds - RECOMMENDED

Guys HydroSuds

Price £17.99
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.chemicalguys.co.uk
Capacity 473ml

Nearly £20 for less than half a litre of cleaner may seem steep, but this stuff is uber-concentrated. We got great results from a miserly 0.9% solution, which is what using 2oz of the product in a foamer bottle of water, as the label suggests, gives you. As well as being good value and a joy to use, HydroSuds is a one-stop shop, tackling tough grime while leaving a protective ceramic coating.

What Car? says 4/5


2. Farécla G3 Pro Snow Foam - RECOMMENDED

Farecla G3 Pro Snow Foam

Price £7.99
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk
Capacity 500ml

G3 Pro Snow Foam neatly undercuts its competitors, which is great news considering what a good all-rounder it is. Technically, it's a pre-wash, but it's also very much a shampoo as well, and can even be sponge applied. It's not a complete treatment like Ceramic Blast or Hydro Suds – Farécla recommends applying a separate sealer or wax periodically for full paintwork protection – but if you want a fast, very effective and pH-neutral foaming shampoo, this is tough to beat.

What Car? says 4/5


1. Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II - WINNER

Chemical Guys Maxi Suds II

Price £7.95
Buy from www.amazon.co.uk or www.cleanyourcar.co.uk
Capacity 473ml

Chemical Guys does a wide range of snow foams – with strong scents as diverse as Beer, Watermelon and Honeydew available – but this hybrid shampoo/foam is something else. We could enthuse about its ease of use, great cleaning power, mouth-watering strawberry aroma and perfect pH neutrality. What amazed us most, though, was how much cleaning power the tiniest heavily diluted drop provided. This modest bottle, with a very modest price tag, produces up to 120 litres of highly effective foam. In our tests, it was a clear winner.

What Car? says 5/5


For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more product tests >>