How to Calculate the Chemical Ratio without a Titration Chart - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

How to Calculate the Chemical Ratio without a Titration Chart

Ever need to know the dilution strength of your presoak or wheel cleaner?


Ever need to know the dilution strength of your presoak or wheel cleaner? Ever want to have that information but the titration kit on your shelf doesn't match the product you are running in the bay?

When needing to figure out a dilution ratio of a cleaning product that can be titrated and you don't have access to the proper titration kits or dilution charts, you get the information by using the "known ratio" method with any "like" titration kit (ie. an alkaline kit with an alkaline product) and a simple formula to extrapolate the approximate ratio for your specific product application. If you have "an" alkaline titration kit, even if it isn't "the" titration kit needed for the product. Here are the instructions to titrate a "known ratio" and then mathematically calculate your own product applications' dilution ratio.

Titration of a "Known Ratio":

  1. Fill a 500 ml graduated cylinder to the 500 ml line with the highest quality water available (RO or soft water).
  2. Add 10 ml of undiluted solution to be tested (raw product).
  3. Mix vigorously ensuring that no product spills out.
  4. The "known ratio" of the product to be tested at 50:1.
  5. Titrate the diluted product with the appropriate kit (alkaline or acidic) and record the number of drops.
  6. Conduct a water blank test (titrate the water) on the water source you used to make your "known ratio" and record the number of drops.
  7. Subtract the water blank test result drops from the diluted product test results drops.
  8. Your results represent the titration number for this product, at the ratio of 50:1, using this kit.

Titration of your application:

  • Titrate your product at the application (arch) using the same titration kit and compensate (subtract) for the water blank.

Calculate your applications' dilution ratio:

  • Use this formula below to extrapolate the ratio at the application:
    • Titration number for "known ratio" /
      • Titration number at the arch x
        • The "known ratio" =
          • Application Ratio
  • Example:
    1. Say our "known ratio" of the 50:1 test is at 12 drops using our alkaline test kit and our water blank is 4 drops. That leaves the number of drops of our "known ratio" at 8.
    2. We then tested the application at the arch and figured 10 drops, which would equal 6 drops after subtracting the water blank.
    3. We then use the formula to the approximate application ratio:
      8 / 6 x 50 = 67 or 67:1 is our application ratio.

Understanding the "known ratio" method can be an important skill to have. It can benefit you when limited resources are available and help you ensure you are providing your customers with clean, shiny, dry cars.

From the Lustra Team – Keep Shining

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