FAQ’s for using an ultrasonic cleaner
How to get the best results from your ultrasonic cleaner.
Q. Is ultrasonic cleaning aggressive or abrasive?
No. An ultrasonic cleaner is not a replacement for a wire brush or emery cloth.
Q. How do I get the best out of my ultrasonic cleaner?
- Ensure the component being cleaned is fully submerged in the fluid.
- The should not touch the tank sides or base to allow maximum cleaning (use the basket).
- Check the cleaning solution is at the correct temperature.
- Check the cleaning fluid is mixed in the correct ratio.
If you live in a hard water area, we recommend using de-ionised, de-mineralised or distilled water as calcium carbonate and other impurities in tap water can reduce the cleaning properties of the solutions and produce undesirable side effects such as lime scale deposits. If you live in a soft water area, tap water should be OK.
Q. Can I use solvents or other cleaning liquids in my ultrasonic tank?
Yes, but use with caution. Liquids and chemicals not specifically designed for use with ultrasonic cleaners may cause a health hazard if subjected to heat and ultrasonic agitation, as well as potentially damaging the tank. In extreme cases, some flammable cleaning solvents can become unstable spontaneously combust. If in doubt, check with your chemical supplier.
Q. What cleaning solution or fluid should I use?
We sell a wide range of cleaning fluids suitable for most applications. Please visit: www.bestultrasonic.co.uk . Always check that the fluid you are using is suitable for the component you are cleaning. The chemical composition of each solution is stated on it’s data sheet.
Q. What ratio of water to cleaning fluid should I use?
Always use the manufacturers recommended ratio for whatever cleaning fluid you are using. Fluids purchased from us have the mix ratio displayed on the label. Normally this is 10:1 but for heavy contamination, this can be reduced to 7:1 for a stronger solution. More info HERE
Q. What is ‘Degassing’ and how do I do it?
Degassing removes any gasses present in the cleaning fluid. You should do this whenever you use your ultrasonic cleaner as it will aid the cleaning process. You can degas your fluid by raising the temperature and switching on the ultrasonic power. Degassing is complete when bubbles stop rising and there are only ripples on the surface. Some of our ultrasonic cleaners have a degassing function built-in. However, if left for a few hours, air will always rise to the surface naturally. This is more relevant for the larger tanks (22 Ltr and above).
Q. Can I put my hand in the tank while the unit is running?
Not really. Avoid putting hands in the cleaning solution, particularly if the ultrasonic is in operation. Not only do most cleaning solutions contain chemicals likely to cause skin irritation, but the action of ultrasonic energy in water can be harmful to human tissue.
Q. Why do I need to use a basket in my cleaner?
Placing items directly in the tank causes them to come into contact with the base of the tank, which over time will damage the stainless steel and transducers which are attached at the underside of the unit. This will disrupt the ultrasonic generation and if the items are heavy can actually damage the electronics. Although using a basket will marginally reduce the effectiveness of the ultrasonic action slightly, this is not normally significant. An alternative method, particularly for large items is to suspend them in the fluid using a cross-bar (welding rod or knitting needles) and wires to dangle them in the liquid which prevents your item sitting on then bottom of the tank.
Q. Why is it important to use my tank at the correct temperature?
Heating the tank will give better results to cleaning and also speed up the process – most solutions will need to be heated to perform as designed. The optimum temperature setting for the cleaning fluid should be indicated on the label on the bottle. The fluids we sell work between 50 – 80 degrees centigrade.
Q. How often should I change the cleaning fluid in my tank?
The cleaning fluid in the tank should be changed whenever it becomes visibly too contaminated, or when the cleaning process is not as effective. If you can’t see the bottom of the tank, its time to change the fluid!
Q. What is the cycle time of my ultrasonic cleaner?
Most things clean in a few minutes. 5-10 minutes is sufficient for jewellery, whilst carburettors need about 20 minutes depending on how contaminated the components are.
Q. What is the ‘foil test’?
If you feel cavitation (cleaning) is not occurring properly you should perform the ‘foil test.
Set your tank to its correct operating temperature and add any solution and degas the fluid. Suspend a piece of baking foil in the tank and switch on the ultrasonic power. After around 1 minute, inspect the foil. If the cleaner is operating correctly the foil should be perforated.
Q. Do I need to fill the tank to the top?
Two thirds is OK as a minimum fill. Half filling the tank with fluid is acceptable for small cycles, but you must ensure the heating element is not switched on.
Q. Do l need the lid on the tank whist cleaning?
No, it’s not essential, but the lid prevents any gasses from the cleaning solution produced by the heating and ultrasonic process from escaping and it keeps the heat in the fluid, and so saving power consumption.
Q. Can I clean heavy or dense items?
Heavy or dense items can be cleaned but they should not be placed on the bottom of the tank as this could damage the transducers. Instead they should be suspended in the bath by basket or other means such a wires.
Q. When the cleaning cycle is finished do my items need rinsing?
Yes they do. Rinsing removes the residues of the cleaning fluid and any dirt or contaminants which may have been worked loose by the cleaning. Parts rinsed in de-ionised water will dry clear of water spots.
Q. Small parts will fall through the mesh of the basket – how do I clean them?
If the objects you wish to clean are too small for the basket place them in a glass beaker which is also filled with cleaning solution. Then place that small beaker in the cleaner. The ultrasonic waves are unaffected by glass and pass through it, cleaning the items inside. Do not place the beaker directly on the bottom of the tank though as this will effect the operation of the ultrasonic emitters either suspend it in the solution, or place it within the wire basket. More info click HERE
Q. Will the cleaner damage rubber seals in my carburettor?
No, provided that the rubber has not begun to perish.
Q. Do I need to dismantle a carburettor before cleaning?
Yes. The more internal areas the cleaning fluid can get to, the better the clean will be. If you don’t remove float bowls and jets etc, you will only clean the outside casting.
Confused about which model you need?
5 thoughts on “How to use an Ultrasonic Cleaner – a guide and FAQ’s”
Do I need to disassemble a carb to put it in an ultrasonic cleaner, or can I just put it in whole?
You will need to remove as many parts as you can such as float bowls and jets. If you don’t dismantle the carburettor, only the outside will be cleaned and really, it’s the inside that’s important.
If you need any more help, drop me a line.
Tel: 01706 950112
Hi, re the ‘foil test’?
“Suspend a piece of baking foil in the tank and switch on the ultrasonic power. After around 1 minute, inspect the foil. If the cleaner is operating correctly the foil should be perforated.
I don’t understand, if it perforates the foil, will it not damage the vinyl record. Thanks. Les.
can i use distilled water with electrolyes in a hornady sonis cleaner
Great article. By your all question and answer the new people know about the ultrasonic cleaner for the first time, they will surely get help. And your provided video also seems helpful and beneficial! However, an ultrasonic really can clean all kinds of staff??