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What is Citrus Pre Wash?

Written by: Sam Fallows



Time to read 5 min

Introduction to what is Citrus Pre Wash?

The right cleaning products and techniques make all the difference when maintaining your vehicle's pristine condition. One such product essential for detailing and car care is Citrus Pre Wash. At Duel Autocare, we offer only the best for your vehicle, so we're excited to delve into what is Citrus Pre Wash and makes it an essential part of your car care arsenal.

What exactly is Citrus Pre-Wash, And What Is Its Purpose?

Citrus Pre Wash is a specially formulated cleaning solution that harnesses the natural cleaning power of citrus extracts. Designed to be used as a preliminary step before the main wash, it effectively loosens and removes dirt, grime, and other contaminants from your vehicle's exterior. This product is especially effective for tackling stubborn road grime, bugs, bird droppings, and other challenging residues that can cling to your car's surface that can not be shifted by pressure rinsing with water alone. Our recommended Citrus Pre-Wash is Nitty Gritty Pre-Wash & Degreaser. The process of applying and using a Citrus Pre Wash makes it easier to rinse away contaminants without aggressive scrubbing, which can damage your vehicle's paintwork and clearcoat, causing those unsightly swirl marks and scratches. This encapsulates the whole essence of detailing and car care. We aim to get the vehicle as clean as possible before we make contact with our wash mitt and car shampoo. Citrus Pre-Wash is the first and most important thing we use to start this process.

How is it made?

Have you ever wondered why these pre-wash products are often labelled 'Citrus' pre-wash? Let us explain

The secret behind Citrus Pre Wash lies in its unique formulation. Citrus oils are known for their powerful degreasing properties. These oils penetrate and break down dirt and grease when combined with surfactants and other cleaning agents. One such chemical derived from these citrus oils is D-Limonene. D-Limonene is a naturally occurring chemical found in the rinds of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits like grapefruits. It is a type of terpene, a large and diverse class of organic compounds produced by various plants. D-Limonene is known for its strong but pleasant citrus scent and is widely used in multiple industries, including automotive cleaning chemicals, due to its versatile properties.

D-Limonene contains powerful degreasing properties

Reasons Why You Should Use Citrus Pre-Wash?

1. Effective Dirt Removal
Citrus Pre Wash excels at breaking down and removing various types of dirt and grime. Whether it's mud, dirt, gritty residues from wet roads or stubborn road grime. Nitty Gritty Pre-Wash easily handles it. Its powerful formula ensures that even the toughest dirt is loosened, making the subsequent rinse with a pressure washer entirely more effective.

2. Safe for All Surfaces
One of the standout features of Citrus Pre Wash is its versatility. It's safe for all vehicle exterior surfaces, including paint, glass, plastic, and rubber. This makes it an ideal choice for a comprehensive pre-wash treatment without worrying about potential damage to different surfaces or the need for multiple products. The degreasing ability of a good quality citrus pre-wash also means it's the perfect product for engine bay cleaning, door shuts, or anywhere grease or oil residues may be found.

3. Time-Saving
Applying Citrus Pre Wash significantly reduces the effort and time required for the main contact wash with your wash mitt and shampoo. Because we have already removed the majority of that dirt and grime during the pre-wash stage, there is less dirt to be removed and less effort required, meaning you spend less time worrying about rubbing road dirt and grime into your vehicle surfaces and more time enjoying your time cleaning the vehicle.

4. Environmentally Friendly
Many Citrus Pre-Wash products, including those we offer at Duel Autocare, are designed with environmental safety in mind. They use biodegradable ingredients that minimise the environmental impact, allowing you to clean your car with a clear conscience.

5. Value For Money

A good-quality pre-wash will be supplied in a concentrated form, requiring diluting before use. Let's break down the cost when diluted of our Citrus Pre-Wash, Nitty Gritty.

500ml bottle - RRP £9.45
Dilute for Pre-wash purposes 1:10
90.1ml of Nitty Gritty is required 
Cost to make 1 Litre of diluted product is £1.70
A 500ml bottle of Nitty Gritty will make 5.5 litres of diluted and ready Pre-Wash at a ratio of 1:10.

You can increase the value for money by purchasing the larger sizes of Nitty Gritty, which will result in further savings when diluted.

Duel Autocare Citrus pre wash Nitty Gritty dilution rate

How to Use Citrus Pre-Wash

Using Citrus Pre Wash is a straightforward process, but following the correct steps ensures you get the best results:

  1. Initial Rinse: Start by giving your vehicle a quick rinse with water to remove loose dirt and debris. This step helps the Citrus pre-wash penetrate and work on the more stubborn contaminants.
  2. Application: Dilute to the appropriate dilution rates; your chosen product should have the recommended dilution ratios marked on the product information.
  3. Apply the diluted pre-wash with a Duel Professional Dilution Bottle & Trigger or a pump sprayer. Make sure to cover all the exterior surfaces.
  4. Dwell Time: Allow the product to dwell on the surface for a few minutes. This gives the active ingredients time to break down the dirt and grime. However, avoid letting it dry on the surface and take extra care in warmer weather. Applying in direct sunlight is not advisable.
  5. Rinse Off: After the dwell time, thoroughly rinse off the Citrus Pre Wash with a pressure washer. Ensure all the product and loosened contaminants are washed away.
  6. Proceed with the rest of your wash routine. Now that most of the dirt has been removed, you can move on to your contact wash.

Choosing the Right Citrus Pre-Wash Product

Not all Citrus Pre Wash products are created equal. Here are some tips for choosing the best one for your needs:

  1. Concentration: Look for a product with a high concentration of active ingredients. As we discussed above, concentrated formulas can often be diluted to suit different levels of cleaning, providing better value for money.
  2. Reviews and Recommendations: Check out reviews and recommendations from other users. Products that other car enthusiasts highly rate and professionals are often a safe bet.
Cirtrus Pre Wash before and after


In car care and detailing, Citrus Pre Wash is a versatile, effective, and environmentally friendly solution for keeping your vehicle in top condition. Its ability to effortlessly tackle tough dirt and grime while being safe for all surfaces makes it an essential step in any pre-washing car cleaning routine, meaning you can move onto your contact wash safe in the knowledge that you have done everything in your power to ensure the vehicle is as clean as possible beforehand. At Duel Autocare, we're proud to offer a high-quality Citrus Pre-Wash product, Nitty Gritty, that helps you achieve an excellent pre-wash process while being very cost-effective.

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