I recently wrote a Best Snow Foam Buyer’s Guide here which goes through the best snow foam to get (in my opinion) whether you’re just getting into detailing or have been doing it for a while. After all, the car detailing industry is the same as any other where new products are being released all of the time.
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There are two types of products we’re going to look at today; a Snow Foam Gun/Lance and Cannon.
What is the difference between a Snow Foam Gun/Lance and Cannon? Should I pick a Snow Foam Cannon or Snow Foam Gun?
The main difference is a snow foam gun/lance requires a pressure washer to produce the snow foam. Whereas a cannon is usually used with a hosepipe attached. Therefore the snow foam gun/lance is what can actually produce ‘proper’ snow foam whilst the cannon mimics it and is more of a ‘soap’ mixture on the car versus a thick shaving foam that can be left to dwell. As the names alternate at times, you will need to check the fitting they’re using – this will tell you whether it’s for a hose pipe or pressure washer.
So it really depends on;
a) whether you’ve got a pressure washer
b) how you want to wash your car – (snow foam, dwell time) or application of soap and clean with a wash mitt.
Let us be honest and realistic here. There are times where you have the luxury of spending a good few hours on your car over the weekend or on a day off work. There are also occasions where you look at your car after a long week at work and you just want a clean car but don’t have hours to dump into washing your car – even if it is your pride and joy. My advice would choose the most obvious and beneficial thing for you and your circumstances.
Personally I have the snow foam lance and a foam cannon so that I can switch between the two. There are even times when I just skip using both and just wash the car using a two bucket wash. Let’s be honest here, I’m human. Whilst this is a detailing website and I could quite easily pretend I spend 6 hours every Sunday thoroughly cleaning my car, I don’t. I think it’s important I am honest with you guys and girls because there is far too much nonsense on the internet!
Snow Foam Cannon Explained: How does a foam cannon work? What are the Foam Cannon Benefits? How much soap for a Foam Cannon?
A foam cannon works very similarly to a foam lance/gun the difference is the pressure. It’ll mix the shampoo with the water from the water source (in this case, a hosepipe) and apply it to the car. The lower pressure means that it will not produce the thicker shaving foam you typically see. It’ll be very similar to pouring your bucket over the car – only it’s coming directly from the hose. The main benefit to a snow foam cannon is that you can attach it to your hosepipe and away you go. You don’t need to get out the pressure washer in addition which can save some time. In terms of dilution ratio, bottles usually come with either instructions or a marker on the bottle itself to tell you how much shampoo you’ll need to put in. As you use it, you’ll gain experience of how much shampoo you need to put in for your desired effect as well as the dilution ratio control that is usually at the top which will determine the concentration.
Snow Foam Gun/Lance Explained
It works similar to the snow foam cannon, with the exception that it uses a pressure washer as its water source. This increase in pressure helps the water and shampoo/snow foam produce a thick foam (like shaving foam) that exits the lance and is layered onto your car. Due to its thickness, it allows for dwell time where it’ll cling onto the car and enabling it to soften any dust/dirt making it easier to pressure wash off.
What is the wash method for a Snow Foam Gun/Lance or Snow Foam Cannon?
Exactly the same, just one produces thicker foam than the other. That’s all. So you might not let the cannon have any dwell time and use your wash mitt immediately. You would still use the two bucket method and rinse after etc. I’ve had some people even ask me if the snow foam vs two bucket method – that isn’t even a question! It is not a replacement for the two bucket method or any method for that matter. It compliments it.
On the surface, all foam gun/lances and cannons look the same. Some can be quite expensive and others can be cheap. Find a happy medium, because the quality of a cheaper version will obviously not be anywhere near as good as an expensive one but at the same time some of these foam cannon guns can cost a lot of money – and if it’s just a hobby it really isn’t necessary.
Anyway, onto the products and we can take a look at them in a bit more detail.
Best Snow Foam Lance/Gun: Autoglym Snow Foam Lance
- Well known brand within the car washing/detailing industry so quality control and research is excellent.
- Adjustable concentration/dilution.
- Adjustable spray pattern (width of spray)
- High quality snow foam bottle.
- Quick release mechanism.
- Only ships with Karcher fittings.
The Autoglym Snow Foam Lance is hassle-free to use, thanks to its quick-release mechanism. The snow foam lance allows for the adjusting of dilution so you could quite easily snow foam two cars if you increased the amount of snow foam/shampoo you put in before you began using it. The adjustable width is excellent when you want to get under the arches and great to adjust wide when you want to cover the whole car top to bottom in one passing. The high-quality plastic also means that threading won’t occur and it isn’t brittle meaning it should last you a substantial amount of time. The slightly frustrating point about this is that it only ships with Karcher fittings and it’d be nice to include some other pressure washer fittings such as Nilfisk. I guess that Karcher is one of the most commonly used pressure washers but it would’ve been nice to offer more than just one.
Best Snow Foam Cannon: Lemonbest Foam Cannon
- Eliminates the need for a pressure washer.
- Large capacity, 900ml giving you great flexibility.
- Adjustable ratio dilution.
- Adjustable spray width.
- Use without any shampoo flow at all.
- Length of the foam cannon.
- Capacity of the foam cannon.
Having a somewhat equivalent to snow foam, the fact that this eliminates the need for your pressure washer can either be a great time saver or money saver if you haven’t got one. The large capacity comes in really handy as you feel like you can really soak the car with diluted shampoo and not worry about having to refill it mid wash. If you find an area that looks a bit dirtier than somewhere else, you can increase the dilution of shampoo to water and really soak an area. Width adjustment is also excellent allowing you to flexibly do the entire car and under the arches. Unlike the Snow Foam Lance mentioned above, you can actually turn off the dilution completely meaning you don’t need to switch away from this to something else. You can rinse the car down using this so it saves the need for either removing this or using a hosepipe attachment. The downsides I find personally with something like this is the length of the cannon and the capacity. It can weigh it down and because it’s quite long can ache your arm/wrist after a while. I am being picky, but its just something that I have found and something to consider. In contrast, you don’t encounter this with the Snow Foam Lance because it only has one use case – applying the snow foam. So you’re not using it long enough to notice really.
What snow foam would you recommend?
I’d recommend you take a read of the article I mentioned at the beginning, the Best Snow Foam Buyer’s Guide. It includes a full roundup with information re the best to select. In a nutshell, it depends, but I’d highly recommend the Bilt Hamber Auto Foam if going for the Snow Foam Lance or perhaps even Autoglyms own Polar Blast. If you’re going for the Snow Foam Cannon you could look at using Adam’s Car Shampoo or any shampoo you already have.