Top critical review
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A bubble that needs bursting?
on 11 December 2014
Having used Meguiar's Hyperwash and Valet Pro pH Neutral snow foams, my next experiment was with Autobrite Magifoam and Chemical Guys No Touch. Of these two latter products, and in common with just about every report I've read from people who've used both, it was the Chemical Guys No Touch which I found to be the slightly better product.
Both were capable of achieving a similar level of cleaning - if a long dwell time could be achieved. However, if for any reason this wasn't possible, it was the Chemical Guys No Touch which seemed to give the slightly better results.
There is no doubt that these foams produce more stable foam than the first two products I tried. There is a downside to this, though: having washed and dried the car, it was annoying to lift the hatchback only to find a lot of very stable foam clustering around the hinges. There is also the well-documented annoyance of having very stable foam sitting on the driveway for the next 24 hours! It may annoy your neighbours too. Only you can decide whether this is a pro or a con!
The biggest revelation came upon reading, on Detailing World, a comparative review of four snow foams. The review started with a poll of peoples' expectations. Nearly half the respondents expected Magifoam to be the most effective. When the tests were completed, it actually turned out to be the least effective of the four. The product which proved most effective was Bilt Hamber Auto Foam.
Based on this test, I've switched to Bilt Hamber Auto Foam. There have been a number of surprises. The first is that the foam isn't of shaving foam thickness but it actually cleans more effectively than the thicker foams. The second (very pleasant) surprise is that a 5 litre bottle costs about £16 - a fraction of the cost of the Magifoam advertised here. And finally, it breaks up quickly after rinsing - so I'm not looking at snowy residues for hours afterwards.
Nowadays, I'm tending to apply the Bilt Hamber Auto Foam by spray bottle. This means I have more control over the dilution ratio (aiming for about 5%). Often I will restrict use to just the lower half of the car - or whatever panels are dirtiest. Sometimes, before the spray can dry, I will snow foam the whole vehicle to extend the dwell time.
If you can let go of the need for foams of shaving foam thickness, there are products which are both cheaper and more effective.