Cleaner Dilution Supplies

Chemical dilution ratios can be confusing and tricky to understand at first glance. A ratio is a comparison of the size of two numbers, in our case two liquid quantities. Ratios can be expressed in three different ways: X to Y, X / Y, and X : Y. When diluting chemicals the ratio is normally expressed Chemical : Water. The smaller number will always be the amount of chemical and the larger number always the amount of water. The one exception is a 1 : 1 ratio of chemical to water, then they would both be equal parts. Let’s look at a few examples.

Dilution Examples:

Example 1: Ratio of 1 : 2. Total Solution 30 oz.

With ratios the sum of the parts always equals the whole. So when we add the two sides of the ratio together we get the sum. Then by dividing the sum of the ratio by the total amount of solution we desire (usually in ounces) we have a coefficient to multiply each part by, which will give us the total amount of chemical and water to reach our desired amount of solution.

Step 1:
Add the parts of the ratio together.
               1 + 2 = 3.

Step 2:
Divide the total from Step 1 by the total amount of solution you want to produce.
               30 / 3 = 10.

Step 3:
Multiply each side of the ratio by the quotient in Step 2 to give you the total amount of each part.
               1 x 10 = 10 oz.
               2 x 10 = 20 oz.
               10 oz + 20 oz = 30 oz total of solution.

In order to make 30 oz of cleaning solution with a dilution ratio of 1 : 2 we need 10 oz of your desired chemical and 20 oz of water.

Example 2: Ratio of 1 : 2. Total Solution 32 oz.

With ratios the sum of the parts always equals the whole. So when we add the two sides of the ratio together we get the sum. Then by dividing the sum of the ratio by the total amount of solution we desire (usually in ounces) we have a coefficient to multiply each part by, which will give us the total amount of chemical and water to reach our desired amount of solution.

Step 1:
Add the parts of the ratio together.
               1 + 2 = 3.

Step 2:
Divide the total from Step 1 by the total amount of solution you want to produce.
               32 / 3 = 10.7.
For the sake of the math I’m going to round down to 10.5.

Step 3:
Multiply each side of the ratio by the quotient in Step 2 to give you the total amount of each part.
               1 x 10.5 = 10.5 oz.
               2 x 10.5 = 21 oz.
               10.5 oz + 21 oz = 31.5 oz total of solution.

You can leave the solution at 31.5 oz, or top the rest off with water. The inaccuracy of slightly over diluting a product won’t hurt anything or reduce cleaning power.

Example 3: Ratio of 1 : 7. Total Solution 64 oz.

Step 1:
Add the parts of the ratio together.
               1 + 7 = 8.

Step 2:
Divide the total from Step 1 by the total amount of solution you want to produce.
               64 / 8 = 8.

Step 3:
Multiply each side of the ratio by the quotient in Step 2 to give you the total amount of each part.
               1 x 8 = 8 oz.
               7 x 8 = 56 oz.
               8 oz + 56 oz = 64 oz total of solution.

Dilution Chart:


Ratio 8 oz. 16 oz. 32 oz.
1:1 4 8 16
1:2 2.7 5.3 10.7
1:3 2 4 8
1:4 1.6 3.2 6.4
1:5 1.3 2.7 5.3
1:6 1.1 2.3 4.6
1:7 1 2 4
1:8 0.9 1.8 3.6
1:9 0.8 1.6 3.2
1:10 0.7 1.5 2.9
1:15 0.5 1 2

The number displayed under the ounces of total solution is the coefficient you use to figure out the total amount of chemical and water. For example, total 16 oz solution at a 1:7 ratio is 2 oz. So, 1 x 2 = 2 oz and 7 x 2 = 14 oz to give us a total of 16 oz of solution.

To make the math easier always round down. It's better to have less solution than the amount your container holds. If we would of rounded Example 2 up from 10.7 to 11 as our ratio coefficient then we would of ended up with 33 oz of solution but only a container that holds 32 oz.

Dilution Tips

  • When diluting a chemical use distilled water because it is free of minerals and pH neutral. At the very least use filtered water.
  • To reduce foam add water to your container before you add the chemical portion.
  • Shake your solution to thoroughly mix it before use.
  • Use a funnel when pouring to avoid spilling
  • Buy spray bottles with dilution guides molded to the surface. Makes everything easier.

If you have any questions or comments about dilution ratios or any other detailing topics please don’t hesitant to contact me via Facebook at Facebook.com/IncrediblyDetailed, Twitter at Twitter.com/IDAutoDetailing, E-mail at Scott@IncrediblyDetailed.com or leave a comment below.




-- By  Scott Race  |  Owner & Operator

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