Pumping a pre-flush composition into a subterranean reservoir may contact at least a portion of non-polar material within a reservoir path. The pre- flush composition may have or include a polar fluid and at least one surfactant. The pre-flush composition may in situ form an in situ fluid in the reservoir path. The in situ formed fluid may include a portion of the non-polar material from the reservoir path, a polar phase from the polar fluid, and at least one surfactant. Pre-flushing the reservoir path may allow for greater hydrocarbon recovery when performing a subsequent operation as compared to an otherwise identical operation absent the pre-flushing the reservoir.