From Richard Ticktin, Chemist & CEO of SynergyLabsTM
Something has been bothering me for a while now. It’s the total misrepresentation I see everywhere regarding concentrated shampoo and their dilution ratios. The only way to know how much you can dilute a shampoo is to know what percent of the shampoo is solids. ‘Solids’ are the active ingredients that provide the results the groomer wants to achieve, whether it’s wanting the animal’s coat to shine more, be cleaner, or smell better.
In simplicity, solids are everything inside the product formula that is not water. In the science of manufacturing shampoo, solids are mixed (diluted) with water. There’s a huge difference between buying a shampoo that’s 60 parts water versus one that’s 95 parts water. The more water that’s used in the shampoo formulation, the less dilutable the shampoo will be because it’s already been diluted by the manufacturer.
Let’s consider the difference in solids between a consumer product and a professional product. Store-bought consumer home use shampoos contain 12% – 5% solids, meaning they are 88% – 95% water. The higher the solids (the less water) the more you can dilute the product in your grooming salon. The highest number of solids possible in a shampoo is the subject of a patent-pending formulation I have been developing which is between 40 – 42%. So, by definition, shampoo must contain more than zero and less than 42% solids.
Now that I’ve addressed the concept of solids we can talk about the exaggerated misrepresentations on “professional” shampoo labels. The only concept I want you to understand is that if you don’t have enough solids in your shampoo it won’t clean. Period. If you overdilute your shampoo, you won’t have enough solids, the pet will not be clean. If under dilute your shampoo, you will cause dry itchy skin, rashes, dermatitis and probably even damage your own skin on your hands. In my opinion, if you dilute your shampoo below 4% solids, you are wasting your time, money, and energy. You are also sending a dirty dog home or you are shampooing multiple times unnecessarily.
Let’s do some simple math. If 4% is the minimum solids content to have an effective shampoo, then how much solids do you need before you dilute a 10:1 shampoo and still have 4% after you dilute it? In a 10:1 shampoo (diagram below), would give you a total of 11 parts: one part shampoo (44% solids) and ten parts water. If you dilute the shampoo 10:1, you end up with a total of 4% solids in your ready-to-use shampoo.
But here’s the problem. I already mentioned that the highest concentrated shampoo is 42%. There’s no such thing as a 44% solids shampoo. And if there’s no such thing as 44% solids shampoo, then there’s no such thing as a 10:1 shampoo concentration. And if there’s no such thing as a 10:1 concentration then what on earth is a 50:1 concentration? It’s mathematically impossible to have a 50:1, a 30:1, 20:1, etc. They still probably make bubbles.
Then what is the right amount of dilution? I believe it depends on groomer and lather preference. You should experiment and will probably end up anywhere from 2:1 to 6:1, depending on the shampoo. And make sure you dilute concentrated shampoos or you could experience “defatting,” meaning the concentrated shampoo could pull the natural body oils from your skin.
Transparency matters. That’s why SynergyLabsTM has launched #TRUESOLIDS – because we are on a mission. A mission to tell the TRUTH about products and ingredients. And this is just the beginning because there’s so much “miss information” in the marketplace. I want to strip out confusion and provide facts. And take it from a chemist who has been making animal products for over 21 years – I do care about the ingredients and performance of the products we make. I have owned pets my entire life and they are members of my family which is why our company tagline is “Because they are more than just petsTM.”
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