A regular car wash is the best way to keep your car, truck, or SUV looking great. Though many people opt for someone to wash their car or to run it through an automatic car wash, have you considered washing your own car? Before you grab a wash bucket and a wash mitt, check out this super easy guide to washing your car with a car wash shampoo, such as our Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam and a spray wax such as our Wax & Dry Spray Wax.


First, though, what is snow foam? Is snow foam car shampoo? Snow foam got its name from how it appears like a layer of fresh snow on your car. Unlike the cold stuff, snow foam leaves your car cleaner. Still, most snow foam products are not car shampoo. Snow foam is an essential pre-wash, improving car wash results and keeping your finish brighter for longer. 

Snow foam’s effectiveness as a pre-wash results from its consistency and its chemistry, both of which make it superior to a plain water rinse. Snow foam sticks to your vehicle longer, while plain water simply runs off. Snow foam even sticks to vertical and underhang surfaces for maximum effectiveness.

On a microscopic scale, pollen on a wash mitt is harmful to a car’s finish, resulting in swirls and scratches. As a pre-wash, snow foam lifts dirt and floats it away without rubbing it into the finish. Snow foam detergents encapsulate road grime, dirt, dust, and pollen, lifting it away from the surface of your vehicle. As snow foam suspends dirt from your car and runs off, advanced hydrophobic polymers ensure a streak-free rinse. Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam is also pH-balanced, so it won’t remove wax or affect paint, clear coat, chrome, aluminum, plastic, or rubber parts.

The best way to take advantage of snow foam’s pre-wash capabilities is to spray it onto your vehicle with a snow foam cannon or foam gun connected to a pressure washer. This ensures no physical contact with the vehicle surface, preventing scratches and swirls. Still, if you don’t have access to a pressure washer, you can take advantage of some of snow foam’s pre-wash characteristics with a microfiber wash mitt and a light touch.

how- to use snow foam car wash - turtle wax - ice snow foam in buckets


For the most effective car wash, using Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam and Turtle Wax Wax & Dry Spray Wax, gather your tools and supplies. You’ll need a pressure washer and snow foam cannon for pre-washing, two buckets and a microfiber car wash mitt for foaming and washing, and clean cotton or microfiber towels for drying. Park the vehicle out of direct sun and wait for the surface to cool to the touch before starting.

Step 1: Mix 1 to 3 oz Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam per 16 oz water in the snow foam gun supply bottle. Shake the bottle to mix thoroughly.

Step 2: Connect the foam gun to the pressure washer and cover the dry vehicle in snow foam. Keep the tip of the foam cannon about three feet from the surface of the car. Starting from the roof, work your way down the windows to the hood, doors, body panels, and grille. Apply a second layer of foam to dirtier areas, like rocker panels, bumpers, and wheels.

how to use snow foam car wash - turtle wax - prep your wash bottle


Step 3: Allow snow foam to run off the vehicle, but do not allow it to dry. Apply more snow foam to dry spots.

Step 4: After five to ten minutes, rinse the vehicle with plenty of plain water, starting again from the top.

Step 5: For a car with light dust or pollen, you may be able to skip right to the last step. Lightly soiled vehicles will need a good car shampoo to get the best results, though, which is where Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam’s hybrid formula shines, literally! If your car is really dirty, switch to a car shampoo like Turtle Wax Ice Wash & Wax.

Step 6: Mix 1 to 3 oz Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam car wash concentrate per gallon of water in the wash bucket, agitating vigorously with a strong stream of water. Fill the rinse bucket with clean water.

how to use snow foam car wash - turtle wax - snow foam spray


Step 7: Use a microfiber car wash mitt to clean the car, starting at the roof and working your way down. Be sure to rinse often in the rinse bucket before getting more car shampoo from the wash bucket.

Step 8: Once the entire vehicle has been washed, rinse with plain water, starting at the roof and working your way down.

Step 9: Finally, working one panel or section of the vehicle at a time, spray liberally with Turtle Wax Wax & Dry Spray Wax. Use cotton or microfiber towels to dry and shine at the same time.

Remember, for minor dust, pollen, and road grime, snow foam works as a pre-wash to lift surface contaminants and float them away. Many snow foam products work similarly, requiring a full car shampoo after rinsing, but Turtle Wax Ice Snow Foam is just as effective a mild car shampoo as a pre-wash foam. Still, you’ll need a car shampoo to cut through serious grime.

how to use snow foam car wash - turtle wax - use wash mitt


When applying snow foam to your vehicle, pay attention to the consistency of the foam. You may need to adjust the foam gun, water supply, or concentration to get it right. The foam should be thick enough to stick, but not so thick that it doesn’t run off. If it runs off too quickly or not at all, it won’t clean very well.

If this is your first time using a snow foam cannon or the foam gun on your pressure washer, it can be a challenge to get the right snow foam consistency. We recommend starting with a baseline mixture of 1:16, that is, 1 part concentrate to 16 parts water. Dirtier vehicles might benefit from 2:16 or 3:16 mixtures. Most snow foam consistency problems are related to the snow foam cannon or the water supply.

how to use snow foam car wash - turtle wax - foam ratio


  • Foam Gun Settings – The snow foam cannon mixes high pressure water, snow foam solution, and air to generate the foam. The adjustment knob varies snow foam consistency. Try different settings until you get the right consistency.
  • Water Supply – The pressure washer should be rated 1,800 psi to 3,200 psi and at least 1.75 gpm flow for optimal foam production and application. If the water supply is insufficient, it can starve the pressure washer, resulting in poor snow foam production. Be sure the supply hose isn’t kinked.
  • Post Cleaning – Always clean the foam gun with clear water when you’re done with it. Dried snow foam solution can clog the orifices and tubes, which can make the next snow foam job more difficult.
  • Foam Gun – Many pressure washers come with a foam gun accessory, more of an afterthought than a serious consideration. They typically don’t function well enough to generate the right snow foam consistency for serious car washing. Consider buying a purpose-built snow foam cannon.
how to use snow foam car wash - turtle wax - snow foam cannon tips


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