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Dilution Ratios Explained – A Manufacturers Guide & Perspective

Dilution Ratios: a manufacturer’s guide to getting the best out of your product. They can seem daunting, but the math is simple

Instructions to diluting your product of choice can be conveyed in a multitude of ways. The common 3 are Dilution Ratios, Percentages and 1L Examples (i.e. 200ml of Product to 800ml of Water). In this blog, we are following on from our recent video ‘Dilution Ratios – What Are They?’ and will explain how to work out a ratio correctly.

You may have looked at a ratio before and had been utterly discouraged. Sadly information regarding this subject is sparse and for the most part incorrect, unless you dive deep. There are many online calculators that offer a quick & simple way to workout the measurements you need, but are for the most part incorrect! We are going to use our product Citrus Pre Wash as a primary example in the blog, with a Dilution Ratio of 1:8.

So, what is a ratio? In simple terms, this is an instruction that can be carried to a container with any volume, telling you how many parts of a product you should dilute with water. Once you know the calculation, a ratio is far simpler than other instructions of dilution that we outlined above. A ratio, such as 1:8, can be read as 1 to 8 – or 1 part to 8 parts. Below is how we work this out…

The Calculation

  1. As a rule, add the ratio numbers together.
    1. So our example is 1:8… 1+8 = 9
  2. Next, determine the size of the container the product will be diluted in. Your average Foam Lance & Trigger Bottle will be 1L, so we’ll use this as an example.
    1. Convert the volume into millilitres = 1000ml.
  3. Take your container volume and divide that by your added ratio.
    1. 1000 / 9 = 111ml.
      1. This is your PRODUCT measurement.
  4. Subtract your product measurement from your container size.
    1. 1000ml – 111ml = 889ml
      1. This is your WATER measurement.
  5. Mix the two together and voilà!

A few other examples

Classic All Purpose Cleaner – Dilute 1:10

Trigger Bottle: 1L

1 + 10 = 11

1000 / 11 = 90 (rounded down)

1000 – 90 = 910

Answer: 90ml of PRODUCT to 910ml of WATER.

Advanced Interior Cleaner – Dilute 1:20

Trigger Bottle: 1.5L

1 + 20 = 21

1500 / 21 = 71 (rounded down)

1500 – 71 = 1429

Answer: 71ml of PRODUCT to 1429ml of WATER

Enzyme Odour Eater – Dilute 1:5

Trigger Bottle: 950ml

1+5 = 6

950 / 6 = 158 (rounded down)

950 – 158 = 792

Answer: 158ml of PRODUCT to 792ml of WATER

More product isn’t always more! Take Snow Seal for example, one of our spray-on sealants that contains Silicone – LESS is actually MORE! Over applying this product can cause silicone spotting, creating more work in the long run. This particular example won’t damage your paintwork, in fact it’ll often wipe off with a quick detailer such as Citrus Bling. But there’s harsher products that may not be pH Neutral, such as our Alkaline Bilberry Wheel Cleaner; great for lacquered wheels, but for those that may be unlacquered, under-diluting Bilberry can damage the wheel significantly. As a general rule, if the product contains silicone or is not pH Neutral, stick to the manufacturers dilution guidelines for the best result. Otherwise, for those pH Neutral products you can generally get away with having a stronger dilution – sometimes, within reason, it can benefit you…

So, should I stick to the manufacturers dilution ratio ? Generally, as close as you can. We recommend these ratios based on performance & bang for buck. We don’t expect them to be followed to the ml , but around the recommendation is our advice – there is some leeway after all. However, ensure you know what you’re working with before you start diluting, purely so you don’t run into any of the above problems.

Haven’t seen our Introduction to Dilution Ratios Video? Click here

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