ICAN/ATEX: What are the basics of dilution ratios?

Many cleaning professionals visit the International Custodial Advisers Network (ICAN) Ask the Experts page for insight and, every business day, we deliver advice to better help you perform your job.

Tuesday’s Question:ICANATEX Logo

I’ve been working for the Post Office for over 10 years as a truck driver and now I am a custodian learning to strip and refinish floors.

I have done a couple of jobs and I feel proud that they came out well since I am new at this.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get much training in cleaning, so I need info as far as mixing the stripper with water.

What does it mean to mix in parts? For example, 1:3 or one part product and two parts water?

Tuesday’s Answer:

mixingNormally, the mix ratio is given in parts (units) of undiluted product to parts (units) of water.

So, if the label ratio shows mixing 1:3, it means measuring 1 part of stripper to 3 parts of water.

If you were mixing up a gallon of stripper solution you would add 1 quart of stripper to 3 quarts of water.

Likewise, if the label shows mixing 1:6, you would have 1 quart of stripper to 6 quarts of water.

Keep in mind that, as long as the ratio is maintained, you can use any part or unit of measurement, pints, quarts, gallons, liters, even tablespoons.

Most mop buckets have quart calibrations marked on the inside of the bucket. So you might see 4 quarts, 8 quarts, 16 quarts, and so on. For a large job, you would consult the … - Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean Corporation

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Posted On January 8, 2013

Gary Clipperton

President of National Pro Clean Corp. and Pro Clean College

Gary Clipperton, a 40-year industry veteran, is president of National Pro Clean Corp. and Pro Clean College. He has authored several books for cleaning supervisors and produced leading software for the cleaning industry. His company provides on-site and online training for carpet and floor care. Clipperton can be reached at (719) 598-5112 or

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