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Product Review: Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner Plus D103


As usual, here’s the description of Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner Plus D103 (APC+) from the Detailed Image product page…

This all surface cleaner is perfect to have around for degreasing engine bays, wheel wells, tires, interiors, and much more. The concentrated formula works effectively even at a 10:1 dilution ratio and can be made stronger for stubborn stains. The low sudsing formula of the APC+ makes it a perfect match for carpet extractors. Mist the APC+ on the desired surface and let sit for about 45 seconds, then rinse thoroughly with water. For stubborn stains, use up to a 4:1 dilution ratio and agitate the stain with a medium bristled brush. The All Purpose Cleaner Plus is apart of the Meguiar’s Professional Detailer Brand, which offers tremendous value and functionality that every detailer can appreciate. This extremely versatile product should be in any detailers arsenal of products.

This product is, as the description states, definitely one that should be in any detailer’s arsenal.  Its value, versatility and effectiveness are unmatched by competing products, which is why I have been using it consistently over the past 6-7 years.


First off, it is extremely cheap for the quality and amount of product you get in one gallon.  It costs only $15.99 for the gallon, from which I can usually get anywhere between about 5 to 15 gallons of actual cleaning solution, depending on the dilution ratio.  That results in a gallon price of about $1.00 to $3.20, which is amazingly cheap.  To put it in perspective… I typically mix the cleaner in 32 oz. spray bottles armed with DI chemical resistant sprayers and on average I go through a 4:1 mixed bottle (that I use for wheel wells and tires) every 4-6 cars.  So in conclusion, out of my little $16 gallon of cleaner, I can easily take care of wheel wells and tires on more than 80 cars!  This is considering the 4:1 dilution ratio, so as you can imagine the lower dilution ratios for interiors make APC+ that much more valuable.


While I have a few different dilution ratios between 4:1 and 15:1, I typically use 4:1 for wheel wells and tires as stated above, 10:1 for more rugged interior surfaces like door sills and plastics and 15:1 for more delicate interior surfaces, such as leather, vinyl and rubber.  This allows it to be an all around cleaner simply by diluting it to a stronger or milder ratio.  Aside from the 4:1 mix for exterior use, the 15:1 works great on wiping down any light stains and spots on the entire interior, including carpets and upholstery, while the 10:1 mix takes care of any tougher stains usually found on the plastics under the seat or door sills.  While I have yet to use it with an extractor, I have heard great things from colleagues who have used it that way.  This makes it an extremely versatile product and very useful to have around the shop.


Last, but certainly not least, is the effectiveness of it.  As many who have tried it already know, Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner Plus D103 simply WORKS.  Whether diluted to the above mentioned 4:1 for cleaning wheels, or the 15:1 for interiors, it works safely and effectively.  The 4:1 (4 parts water to 1 part cleaner) does great work on breaking down the grime and dirt that collects on tires, inside wheel wells and under the sideskirts of vehicles.  For these, I prefer to spray on the 4:1 mix and let it sit on the surface for a minute or so, before either washing the grime off or spraying off with a high pressure rinse.  For interiors, I go against the manufacturer’s suggestion on the back, which say to spray and let the product sit on the surface for 30-45 seconds.  Instead, I find it best and safest to spray a small amount on a microfiber towel then wipe down the surface in question.  For stubborn stains usually found in cup holders and in the floor area, I typically use the 10:1 mix and spot treat the area in question with great results.

Bottom line, I simply refer back to my original statement.  Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner Plus D103  is a must have for any detailer due to the value, versatility and effectiveness it provides.  If you wish, you can even purchase a few APC+ Spray Bottles to easily identify the product between other spray bottles.


Ivan Rajic LUSTR Deatil
Ivan Rajic
LUSTR Detail
257 N Woodwork Lane
Palatine IL 60067
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8 comments on Product Review: Meguiar’s All Purpose Cleaner Plus D103

  1. Brent Collins says:

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been using it on the interior and agree that it works fantastic. So at 4 to one, we can spray it on the wheels and let it sit for a bit? Does it work as good as Sonax at removing built up brake dust?

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      Hi Brent,

      Glad to see it has been working great for you on the interior. As for the wheels, I think you misunderstood me. I typically use the 4:1 on wheel wells and tires, but I use a wheel cleaner (either P21S or Sonax) for the actual wheels. I don’t think there would be an issue with using it on wheels, but from my experience the Sonax and P21S wheel cleaners just do such a great job that I always use them. Hope that clears it up.

  2. Vinny.P says:

    Hi have you ever used it as a carwash to strip wax/sealant if so what ratio?

  3. Ivan Rajic says:

    Vinny and Kevin,

    I never used it that way before as I either use a different product like P21S Total Auto Wash or just a concentrated wash solution.

  4. Ken Allwine says:

    I love using this APC in 4:1 for exterior uses (engine/wheel arches) and 10:1 for interiors. I have used it in 4:1 on some stubborn dirt on carpets but I test it in a small spot first to make sure it isn’t too strong.

  5. James S says:

    When you were using a diluted amount of APC, did you notice that it would potentially damage or dry out leather? Also would it damage leather if the leather was repaired and or re-dyed?

    • Ivan Rajic says:

      I have never seen it damage leather James, but I also don’t ever recall using it on repaired or re-dyed leather, so I can’t say whether or not it would damage it. I would assume if it’s properly done it should be fine, but you never know with any sort of repairs like that.

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