Zep Citrus vs Simple Green?

Discussion in 'Pre Wash, Wash, Decon, Claying, Engine, Wheels, an' started by Emile, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    Hi Guys,

    I ran out of my gallon of Zep Citrus, which I love to use on wheel wells at 3:1 ratio. I went to Home Depot to pickup a replacement gallon and noticed Simple Green all over the shelves where the APC/Degreasers are. So I also picked up a 32oz bottle to try it out.

    How is Simple Green compared to Zep Citrus? I know that people here use Zep Citrus for cleaning wheel wells, tires, wheels, door jambs, and even as a pre-wash and/or LSP stripper. S what's wrong with Simple Green? It is exactly the same price per gallon, seems to offer better dilution ratios, and has a pH of 9.5 which is much less alkaline than Zep Citrus's 12.0 rating.

    Simple Green is approved for auto wheels, and even washing the entire vehicle at the correct ratios. I know there is some information out there that Simple Green is corrosive to uncoated aluminum over time, but I figure this doesn't apply to most wheels and brake calipers as they are almost always coated and cleared. And even if it still scares people, there is Simple Green Pro HD which is completely non-corrosive to bare aluminum and has a pH of 10.9, still lower than Zep Citrus.

    Anybody got any advice or experience? Why should I or shouldn't I switch to Simple Green?

  2. Mindflux

    Mindflux Welcome to Detailing

    Simple Green will eat up/stain aluminum, so be careful what you use it on. :)
  3. JC98

    JC98 Birth of a Detailer

    Will the zep citrus not do that?
  4. Reflect

    Reflect DB Forum Supporter

    Where did you find that Zep Citrus is that pH? I would think that it would be lower than 7 because citrus is acidic.
  5. Emile

    Emile Welcome to Detailing

    Reflect, sending you a PM now. Citrus cleaners use citrus oil, not citric acid. Citrus oil is a natural alkaline cleaner which gives Zep Citrus Degreaser a pH of 11.0 - 12.0 depending on dilution level.

    Mindflux, I don't think that statement is true unless you allow Simple Green to dry on the aluminum, or you do not thoroughly rinse it off.
  6. mikenap

    mikenap Jedi Nuba

    Emile, I work in the bicycle industry and I can tell you that Simple Green is hell on most aluminum parts. Many high-end bicycles run suspension knobs, hubs, brake calipers, and even frames made from anodized aluminum. Simple Green will kill the anodizing quickly so we've gotten away from using it completely. For us, there are better options. And from what I've heard, the SG HD is sometimes hard to find and pricey to the point of not being worth it. :2cents:
  7. Dust2Glory

    Dust2Glory Nuba Guru

    I've used the SG HD and was highly unimpressed with its cleaning ability all the way around! Used full strength on tires and wells and it didn't clean worth a crap.

    Now Zep citrus is a whole other story, this stuff is bomb!!
  8. BoostedMk6

    BoostedMk6 Jedi Nuba

    Is Zep citrus safe on wheels?
  9. Danny

    Danny Nuba Guru

    Yes I use it on mine Mustang Gt's Cobra R wheels at 4:1 you can also use that dilution for stripping old protection(use in a foam lance), carpets, engine bays, tires, wheel wells.
  10. richy

    richy Guest

    Emile, there are lots and lots of APC's out there. I use Zep Citrus b/c (1) It works and (2) It's cheap and (3) I don't have to pay shipping. You can also try Krud Kutter which is also available at Home Depot (usually in the paint dept) and it is also an amazing APC. It is great for removing stains from carpet and is also good for removing tar, although I have a 5 gal pail of Tarminator so I just use it. I keep both ZC and KK in stock at all times.
  11. Kaban

    Kaban Welcome to Detailing

    Is it safe to use Zep Citrus on the entire car (more like the lower half and the front) as a way of loosening bug splatter, tar, and other gunk that builds up?

    Basically is it clearcoat safe and safe on single-stage paints?

  12. richy

    richy Guest

    In one word "Yes". Use your head though. In other words, I would not spray it on a black car that has been in the sun all day and it's still 100° out. If the paint is cool to the touch and you're out of the sun, use it 1:4 (Zep:water) and let it dwell for a few minutes before power washing off. I use an ounce or two in my foam gun for stripping LSP too.
  13. Kaban

    Kaban Welcome to Detailing

    THANKS Richy,

    Do you really need a power wash to rinse this stuff off?

    And since we are on the question, what's a cost-effective, but good power washer to buy (preferably something that could be found locally unless it ships for free if bought online). I think I'm gonna need to buy one eventually, but for the meantime, do you think I can get away with rinsing off the degreaser without the powerwasher?
  14. cnut

    cnut DB Forum Supporter

    Your fine without the power washer. You can just do a regular wash. The pressure is always a good thing but you do good also without because of the power of the chemical.
  15. richy

    richy Guest

    cnut is correct. You do not need a power washer although personally I don't think I could live without mine. Other than flooding/sheeting the paint at the end, it is a very effective machine. I have a 1900 psi Karcher.
  16. astro_ng

    astro_ng Jedi Nuba

    Hey guys, great read on what Simple Green. I'll be avoiding that product this up coming season.
  17. daveinsweethome

    daveinsweethome DB Forum Supporter

    karcher 1800-1900 psi pressure washers are on sale at wal mar. 129 to $169 i just got a 1900 for door jams and engines . i have a killer gas one but it is a pain for small jobs.i agree with the site on simple green and aluminum but it took me years to learn.
  18. Kaban

    Kaban Welcome to Detailing

    Thanks my friends! I'm definitely going to look into that Karcher pressure washer.

    Dave, are you sure the walmart Karcher has a 1900 version? All I see on their site is the 1600 and 1800 models and the small model, but no 1900. All models out of stock.
  19. Kaban

    Kaban Welcome to Detailing

    I also wanted to ask,

    When you degrease a car with a citrus degreaser... do you first hose it down so that the car, wheels, tires, wheel wells are wet and you spray your degreaser on the wet surface? Or do you spray degreaser when the car is completely dry?

    Nobody can answer this simple question..... Cmon guys! I need your help lol! :)
  20. richy

    richy Guest

    If I'm trying to get rid of bugs on the front, then I spray it on dry. I only ever apply it all over if there is a really strong wax on there and then it is on a wet surface at 4:1 and allowed to dwell for a few minutes out of direct sunlight.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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