How to clean small parts (bearings) in an ultrasonic cleaner

How to clean small components in an ultrasonic cleaner

Cleaning big components in an ultrasonic cleaner is easy. Simply please the large part in the wire basket and turn the machine on. However, if you need to clean something smaller in a large tank, there is a simple solution.

One of our customers found this work-around by placing the small bearing in a glass jar filled with cleaning fluid and then placing the jar in the ultrasonic tank that is also filled with water. The vibrations then travel through the large tank and into the glass jar that is holding the bearing.

cleaning bearings in an ultrasonic cleaner

The thinner the sides are on the glass jar, the better the cleaning action. But for cleaning small fiddly components, this is a great way to keep them in one place.


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Can I Use Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) in an Ultrasonic Cleaner?

Can I Use Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) in an Ultrasonic Cleaner? The answer is NO, unless you want to invest in a blast proof ultrasonic tank. Using this highly flammable chemical in an ultrasonic tank of any size is dangerous.

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is used for cleaning electrical components such as PCB’s (printed circuit boards) because it evaporates quickly without leaving a residue. It expels water from mobile phones that have been exposed to moisture. Also it removes specific greasy deposits.

 

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Why not use IPA?

The main reason to not use IPA in an ultrasonic cleaner is because it can become unstable and has a low flash point. A “flash point” is the temperature at which a fluid gives off sufficient vapour to ignite in open air when given an ignition source, very similar to petrol. A single spark will ignite petrol without actually touching it because the vapours rising from the petrol fumes are flammable.

The process of ultrasonic cleaning naturally increases the temperature of fluid in the tank. It will increase by simply by turning the machine on. Even with the heater turned off, the fluid temperature will increase. IPA will start to evaporate and the remaining concentrated fumes will build up over the tank. A spark of static electricity will ignite the fumes to create a fire ball in a split second.

Safety precautions:

Some companies who use Isopropyl alcohol in ultrasonic cleaners have fume extraction systems fitted. These prevent the build up of flammable vapours in the area above and near the machine.

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Best Ultrasonic Cleaner customers

We sell a lot of ultrasonic cleaners to smaller businesses and end users who make up a very large part of our customer base. However, we also sell to some of the larger companies and organisations in the UK. Below is a selection of some Best Ultrasonic Cleaner customers we pleased and proud to have supplied.

 

 


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HTM 01-05 and ultrasonic cleaners

Ultrasonic cleaners have played a part in the ever increasing awareness of hygiene in dental surgeries. Now we have publication of the weighty document known as HTM 01-05 (decontamination in primary care dental practices).

Summary of HTM 01-05.

The whole document is quite lengthy and so I have only copied the section relating to ultrasonic cleaners. At first glance the procedures looks quite complicated and time consuming. However, the bulk of the text outlines  common sense routines and best practises that most dental surgeries will already have in place.

The full publication is 98 pages long and if you can’t get to sleep one evening, read it HERE and I’m sure you will be fast asleep in no time at all.

image of 3 dental instrumentsDisclaimer:

The extract shown below was taken from the main publication that might have an addendum or update since the time of copying. For a definitive version of HTM 01-05, please check the UK Government website for the latest version.


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Ultrasonic cleaning.

3.25 Evidence on the effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning gives support to its use in dentistry. However, it is important to ensure that the water/fluid is maintained, cleaned and changed at suitable intervals (see paragraph 3.30k).

The bath should also be kept free of dirt released in the cleaning process. Good maintenance is also essential. The appearance of instruments following ultrasonic cleaning should be checked to ensure that the process is operating effectively (see also Section 3).

3.26 Ultrasonic cleaning in a well-maintained machine enhances removal of debris. Thus, although a washer-disinfector is preferred and should be incorporated into new plans or upgrades, an ultrasonic cleaner can be used as a cleaning method – including being used as an extra cleaning stage prior to an automated washer-disinfector process. This may be particularly helpful for instruments with hinges and/or intricate parts.

3.27 To enable consistent cleaning of instruments, follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions and ensure that all staff use a specified and documented operating procedure. Details on validating ultrasonic cleaners are supplied in Section 3.

3.28 The use of ultrasonic cleaners to clean dental hand-pieces should not be undertaken without confirmation from the manufacturer that the devices are compatible.

3.29 The ultrasonic cleaner should be tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions or, in the absence of these, quarterly (see Section 3, Chapter 14). Ultrasonic cleaning procedure

3.30 The following procedures should be followed:

    1. Instruments should be briefly immersed in cold water (with detergent) to remove some of the blood and other visible soil before ultrasonic cleaning. Care should be taken to minimise aerosol production in this process and to safeguard against inoculation injury. The use of a purpose-designed container with sealing lid is recommended.
    2. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the safe operating procedure of the ultrasonic cleaner and follow the points outlined below regarding loading and unloading the cleaner.
  • Ensure that joints or hinges are opened fully and instruments that need taking apart are fully disassembled before they are immersed in the solution.
  1. Place instruments in a suspended basket and fully immerse in the cleaning solution, ensuring that all surfaces are in contact with the solution. The solution should be made up in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Do not overload the basket or overlap instruments, because this results in poor cleaning and can cause wear to the instruments.
  3. Do not place instruments on the floor of the ultrasonic cleaner, because this results in poor cleaning and excessive instrument movement, which can damage the instruments.
  4. To avoid damage to delicate instruments, a modified basket or tray system might also be necessary depending on operational requirements.
  5. Set the timer to the correct setting as per the ultrasonic cleaner manufacturer’s instructions. Close the lid and do not open until the cycle is complete.
  6. After the cycle is complete, drain the basket of instruments before rinsing.
  7. Change the solution when it becomes heavily contaminated or otherwise at the end of every clinical session, because the build-up of debris will reduce the effectiveness of cleaning. Ensure that staff are aware of the need to assess when a change of solution is necessary as advised in the operational requirements.
  8. After ultrasonic cleaning, rinse and inspect instruments for cleanliness, and where possible check for any wear or damage before sterilisation.

3.31 Instruments cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner (or by hand) should be rinsed thoroughly to remove residual soil and detergents. A dedicated sink or bowl (separate from the one used for the original wash) should be used, and the instruments immersed in satisfactory potable water or, where this is not available, in RO or distilled water. Wash hand basins should not be used. (This step may be omitted if the local policy and procedure involves the use of a washer-disinfector as the next stage in the decontamination process.) Note Hard-water contamination of wet instruments, which then go on to sterilisation, can compromise the proper function of a small steam steriliser. Advice should be sought from the manufacturers. When potable water is used, a water softener device may be needed (see paragraphs 17.8–17.10).

3.32 Instruments should be sterilised as soon as possible after cleaning to avoid air-drying (which can result in corrosion and/or microbial growth). For instruments processed in a vacuum steriliser, before being wrapped, instruments should be dried using a disposable non-linting cloth. Manual cleaning

3.33 In principle, manual cleaning is the simplest method to set up, but it is hard to validate because it is difficult to ensure that it is carried out effectively on each occasion.

3.34 Compared with other cleaning methods, manual cleaning presents a greater risk of inoculation injury to staff. However, despite the limitations of manual cleaning, it is important for each practice to have the facilities, documented procedures and trained staff to carry out manual cleaning as a backup for when other methods are not appropriate.

3.35 For dental services that are working to the best practice requirements outlined in this document, manual cleaning (acceptable under the essential quality requirements) should only be used for equipment that cannot be cleaned by automated methods.

3.36 This method should have systems in place to avoid re-contamination of clean instruments. 3.37 An effective system for manual cleaning should be put in place, as outlined in Section 3, and all staff should follow an agreed written procedure. A visual inspection for cleanliness, wear and damage should be carried out.

3.38 Consider routinely using an automated method (for example a washer-disinfector). Aim to phase in instruments that can be cleaned in a washer / disinfector.

Avoiding instrument damage.

3.39 Most dental instruments are made of high-quality materials designed to minimise corrosion if reprocessed correctly. The corrosion resistance is based on their alloy composition and structure, which forms a protective passivation layer on the surface. The ability of the instruments to resist corrosion depends on the quality and thickness of this layer.

3.40 It is important to avoid damage to the passivation layer during cleaning. Accordingly, methods such as the use of wire brushes, which may give rise to surface abrasion, should be avoided.

3.41 Any instruments that have rust spots should be removed. Cleaning procedure summary

3.42 Effective cleaning of dental instruments before sterilisation is of the utmost importance to reduce the risk of transmission of infectious agents.

3.43 Research suggests that instruments cleaned as soon as possible after use are more easily cleaned than those left for a number of hours before reprocessing.

3.44 Instruments should be transferred from the point of use to the decontamination areas as soon as is practical to ensure that processing takes place as soon as possible after use. Evidence indicates that keeping instruments moist after use and prior to decontamination improves protein removal and overall decontamination outcomes.

3.45 It should be noted that certain solutions are corrosive to stainless steel instruments and will cause pitting and then rusting if allowed to remain on instruments for any length of time. Dental Decontamination: Health Technical Memorandum 01-05 – Decontamination in primary care dental practices (2013 edition) 3 Cleaning instruments 20 21 professionals should consult with the suppliers/ manufacturers of decontamination agents to ensure that the products used are appropriate and unlikely to cause significant long-term corrosion (refer to COSHH for further advice).

3.46 Always check packaging for the single-use symbol before use and note that it might be difficult to see.

Rinsing of instruments after cleaning and or disinfection.

3.47 Instruments cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner (or in addition by hand) should be rinsed thoroughly in a dedicated sink or bowl (separate from the one used for the original wash) using satisfactory potable water, or freshly prepared RO water or distilled water in order to remove residual soil and detergents with minimum risk of salt deposition. Note This step may be omitted if the local policy and procedure involves the use of a washer-disinfector as the next stage in the decontamination process.

3.48 Instruments should be sterilised as soon as possible after cleaning to avoid air-drying (which can result in corrosion and/or microbial growth). However, where instruments are to be wrapped prior to vacuum sterilisation, the instruments should be dried.

HTM 01-05


 

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Carburettor ultrasonic cleaning fluid – how to mix it.

Ultrasonic Carburettor cleaning fluid – how to mix it in the correct ratio using a coffee mug.

It might sound simple to suggest how to calculate the correct amount of ultrasonic carburettor cleaning fluid to mix with water, but it’s an important aspect of the ultrasonic cleaning process and worth a few lines explaining how to get it right.

The carburettor cleaning solution is a concentrated solution and needs to be diluted (mixed) with water in a ratio of 10:1. That means for every ten parts of water, you need to add 1 part of concentrated solution. Applying that formula into the real world we need to know how many glugs of fluid to add to an ultrasonic tank and that of course will vary with the tank size.

a coffee mug with the words "leave me alone, I'm working on my motorbike today"

How to mix carburettor cleaning fluid.

Let’s look at different size ultrasonic tanks and calculate how much cleaning solution to mix with water for each size of tank.

NOTE: Don’t fill the tank to the very top because when you put your carburettor in the fluid, the displacement (over spill) will run over your worktop.

3 Litre ultrasonic tank

3 litre = 3,000 ml. Mixing the fluid at 10:1 means you need 300 ml of cleaning fluid. And the easiest way to measure 300 ml is you use a normal coffee mug. A coffee mug holds 300 ml. Perfect! Add one full mug of carburettor cleaning fluid to your 3 Ltr ultrasonic cleaner and then fill the tank with water to the fill line which is about 20 mm from the top of the tank. Done. Simple as that.

 

6 litre ultrasonic tank

6 litre = 6,000 ml. Mixing the carburettor cleaning fluid at 10:1 ratio means that you need 600 ml of cleaning fluid. A coffee mug holds 300 ml. Add 2 x mugs of carburettor cleaning fluid to your 6 Ltr ultrasonic cleaner and then fill the tank with water up to the fill line which is about 20 mm from the top of the tank.

9 litre ultrasonic tank

9 litre = 9,000 ml. Mixing the fluid at 10:1 means that you need 900 ml of cleaning fluid. A coffee mug holds 300 ml. Add 3 x mugs of carburettor cleaning fluid to your 9 Ltr ultrasonic cleaner and then fill the tank with water up to the fill line which is about 20 mm from the top of the tank.

13 litre ultrasonic tank

13 litre = 13,000 ml. Mixing the fluid at 10:1 means that you need 1300 ml of cleaning fluid. A coffee mug holds 300 ml. Add 4.5 x mugs of carburettor cleaning fluid to your 13 Ltr ultrasonic cleaner and fill the tank with water up to the fill line which is about 20 mm from the top of the tank.

20 litre ultrasonic tank

20 litre = 20,000 ml. Mixing the fluid at 10:1 means that you need 2000 ml of cleaning fluid. A coffee mug holds 300 ml. Add 6.5 x mugs of carburettor cleaning fluid to your 20 Ltr ultrasonic cleaner and then fill the tank with water up to the fill line which is about 20 mm from the top of the tank.

Its not vital that the mix is accurate and if you have a heavily soiled carb, you might want to add an extra half a mug of cleaning fluid to a smaller ultrasonic cleaner (3 & 6 litre) and another couple of mugs full to a 20 litre machine.

And finally, the obligatory health and safety note. As much as I love the fluids that we sell, I wouldn’t want to digest it. If you intend to drink from the coffee mug used for measuring, pleas wash it first.

 


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How to clean very small components (bearings) in an ultrasonic cleaner

How to clean small components in an ultrasonic cleaner

Cleaning big components in an ultrasonic cleaner is easy. Simply please the large part in the wire basket and turn the machine on. However, if you need to clean something smaller in a large tank, there is a simple solution.

One of our customers found this work-around by placing the small bearing in a glass jar filled with cleaning fluid and then placing the jar in the ultrasonic tank that is also filled with water. The vibrations then travel through the large tank and into the glass jar that is holding the bearing.

cleaning bearings in an ultrasonic cleaner

The thinner the sides are on the glass jar, the better the cleaning action. But for cleaning small fiddly components, this is a great way to keep them in one place.


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Bike (cycle) ultrasonic cassette & chain cleaner

Cleaning your bike chain and gear cassette with an Ultrasonic Cleaner

When it comes to cleaning your cycle chain and gears, one thorough method is with an Ultrasonic Cleaner. We recently sold one of our professional machines to a customer who kindly sent us some “before and after” photographs. Cycle cassette cleaning is new to me but I’m sure there are lots of cyclists out there who will find the photos below of great interest.

close up of dirty cycle gears

cycle cassette and gears before ultrasonic cleaning

cycle cassette and gears after ultrasonic cleaningcycle cassette and gears in an ultrasonic cleaner

 

How to clean your cycle parts

The addition of cleaning suitable solution helps breakdown oil and grease. The cleaning time is around 10 – 15 minutes. The machine used was a 6 Ltr ultrasonic cleaning tank with a digital readout for the cleaning cycle time and the water temperature, however, you might get away with a smaller 3  Ltr machine. You don’t need an all singing & dancing machine with lights and LED readouts. A simple tank with dials on the front will do the job just as well.

More details can be found on our website: Best Ultrasonic Cleaners.

 


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ultrasonic cleaner £20 cashback

£20 cashback for your photos of our ultrasonic cleaners

u£20 note sticking out of a rear jeans pocket

 

How to get £20 cashback for your ultrasonic cleaner

It couldn’t be easier to get £20 cashback back into your wallet. All it takes is 5 minutes of your time. We want photos of our ultrasonic cleaners being used by you. You might be cleaning jewellery, dental instruments, car parts, scuba diving equipment, motorbike carburettors or whatever. It could be in the workshop, garage or your kitchen. The more unusual the better!

If you can take a “before & after” photo, that would be fantastic.

carburettors before and after cleaning

Email two or three (more if possible) good photos that we can add to our blog or website showing what you are doing with the cleaner. In return you’ll get £20 refunded within 24 hrs.

Most mobile phones take excellent photographs and so you don’t need to turn your home into a photographic studio. Just a few rules:

1). Submit photos within 30 days of receiving your delivery.

2). Photos to be of good enough quality to add to a website.

3. This offer applies to purchases of Ultrasonic Cleaning machines (not cleaning fluid).

 

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Clean resin from woodworking blades, routers and tools in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

How to clean resin from woodworking tools such as routers, blades, profile cutters.

Cleaning woodworking tools the old way.

Cleaning resin from woodworking tooling such as routers, blades, profile cutter CNC machine tools is an essential but time consuming process. This  chore can be reduced to just a few minutes with an Ultrasonic Cleaner. It’s a low cost investment saving time and money.

Build up of resin from machining Pine, MDF and other wood materials  reduces the efficiency of a tool because the additional friction created by the resin generates heat. The heat then dulls the cutting edge of the tool thus making a rougher cut.

There are several cleaning fluids for woodworking tools available, but these require the tool to be soaked before plenty of elbow grease is needed to brush, scrape and wipe resin from the router or saw blade. Each tool takes 10-15 minutes to clean by hand. Even the smallest of woodworking businesses can have enough tools that require several hours in cleaning each week.

Cleaning tools with an ultrasonic cleaner

The smart way to clean woodworking tools is with an Ultrasonic cleaner and a cleaning solvent (non toxic). The ultrasonic machine does all the work in a matter of minutes whilst you are free to carry on with other things.

Before Ultrasonic Cleaning.

After Ultrasonic Cleaning (5 minute cycle).

The Ultrasonic Cleaning process

 

Place the tools in the tank and fill with fluid. Turn the ultrasonic tank on. Remove the tooling after 5 minutes and wipe with a dry cloth. Done. Simple. And whilst the machine is cleaning, you are free to carry on earning money.

The tools shown above were placed in the ultrasonic cleaner for 5 minutes without any heating. The cleaning solution is non-toxic, has a citrus content and smells a little like oranges. Use it neat and change when dirty. The bottle on the left hand side of the photo has been used several times. The bottle on the right is new.

Lowering woodworking tooling into the ultrasonic tank

Woodworking tool cleaning – a case study

I went to visit a customer based in Sheffield, Designer Woodwork Services (DWS Ltd) who purchased one of our Ultrasonic Cleaners to see how the machine was performing. Dan, who very kindly took time out of his busy day to demonstrate how he has quite literally, saved many hours every month cleaning machine tools. And as Dan, a true Yorkshireman says, “time is money”.

Dan runs a small but busy business manufacturing bespoke joinery products. The machine tools range from 100 years old (and still in use every  day) to a modern planer / profiler costing £38,000. A planing tool can cost around £6000 and keeping it free from resin build-up is essential. DSW Ltd purchased a 6 Ltr Ultrasonic Cleaner, large enough to hold most of his tooling.

Dan said, “the purchase was £190 well spent”. He explained that he now cleans all his machining tools in the ultrasonic tank.

More information on Ultrasonic Cleaners can be found on our website.


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How to use an Ultrasonic Cleaner – a guide and FAQ’s

FAQ guide on how to get the best results from an ultrasonic cleaner.

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 (20 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.


 

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A bikers guide to buying an ultrasonic cleaner for carburettors

A bikers guide how to clean a carburettor with an ultrasonic cleaner. Which size and model to buy?

ultrasonic carburettor cleaning

This is a bikers guide to buying an ultrasonic cleaner for carburettors, explaining how to select the best model for you. A grain of sand in a carburettor can stop the most powerful of motorbike engines. In the World of carburettors, cleanliness is king.

Carburettor cleaning back in the day.

I have owned motorcycles for more years than I like to admit and have rebuilt a few engines including a vintage BSA Bantam (D2), Norton Commando 750 (fastback) and a Ducati (250 Desmo). Back in the day I would soak the carburettor in a bucket of Jizer type degreasing solution for an hour or two, rinse with water and finally blow it off with an air gun. Simple, but not really very effective carb cleaning.

carburettors before and after ultrasonic cleaning

Ultrasonic carb cleaning today.

Technology has advanced over the last few decades. As a result when it comes to cleaning a motorbike carburettor and engine components, the best practice is with an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaners have a component called a transducer. This is the part that generates ultrasonic sound waves. The sound waves produce microscopic bubbles that very effectively dislodge dirt, grime and petrol residue from the intricate parts of a carburettor that would otherwise be difficult to get to.

 

Which size ultrasonic cleaner?

Price is always a factor and when deciding which ultrasonic cleaner to buy, but I have a mantra about the selection process – SIZE MATTERS. I can’t say that often or loud enough, so I will repeat it, SIZE MATTERS.

measuring tools for a carburettor

Measure your carb twice, purchase once.

Several customers purchase a machine after guessing or estimating their carb will fit into a particular size ultrasonic cleaner. As a result when delivered, they discover it’s too small and want to exchange it. That isn’t a problem, but it costs the customer money to return it and it’s a bit of faffing around. The golden rule: measure twice, purchase once.

 

Ultrasonic carb cleaning

 

Try and get it right first time by measuring the overall dimensions of your carburettor. However this isn’t always possible especially if the carbs are still bolted to the engine. In this situation it’s a “best guesstimate”. As you will be removing some of the carb parts such as float bowls, slides, jets etc the overall size of required tank might be smaller.

If you can afford it, select an ultrasonic carburettor cleaner a bit bigger than you estimate. Trying to shoehorn a large carb into a small tank results in the cleaning being less efficient.  By placing the carb into a larger tank it allows the ultrasonic waves to travel more evenly and easily. As the saying goes, “what will hold more will hold less”.

 

Which functions do I need?

There are three versions for most sizes of ultrasonic cleaner. In summary, the more money you pay, the greater the control over the cleaning process.

The “manual” (dial adjustment) has limited control. The “digital” range gives you full control over all aspects of the cleaning operation and importantly, you have an LED display showing the temperature of the water (it helps stop the operator plunging their hand into hot water). In addition  the degassing model can give a deeper clean.

At the heart of any ultrasonic cleaner is a transducer. This is the component that produces the ultrasonic cleaning waves. The more transducers fitted to an ultrasonic bath, the better the cleaning will be. If you want to clean a bank of 4 carburettors off a motorbike but don’t want to separate them, the 20 litre model will be the best size for you.

Manual adjustment

The analogue adjustment ultrasonic carburettor cleaner has a simple knob / dial to set the cleaning time (0-20 minutes) and another knob for the temperature adjustment (20 – 80 degrees C). There is no LED display.

Digital adjustment

These models have a push button to set the cleaning time (0-99 minutes) and temperature (0 – 80 degrees C) with an LED display. The cleaning can be stopped mid-cycle and the temperature shows both the target temperature and actual water in the tank. In a workplace environment and working with hot water, there might be a health and safety implication that requires the tank temperature to be visible to prevent scalding to an employee.

Digital adjustment with degassing

Degassing is an addition function which after a change a cleaning solution, quickly removes air from the liquid. It makes the cleaning process more effective and is especially useful when cleaning motorbike carburettors. With some degassing models the cleaning power can be reduced by 50%. This is so that delicate products can be cleaned gently. However, for ultrasonic carb cleaning, the lower power function isn’t needed.

Using the ultrasonic carb cleaner.

Using an motorbike carb cleaner requires no special knowledge or skill. All you need is water and a specific cleaning fluid to put into the tank. The cleaner is then plugged into a domestic power socket and the built-in heater raises the temperature of the water & cleaning solution mixture to around 60 degrees centigrade (maximum 80 degrees).

Honda CB350/4 carbs. Before and after cleaning.

 

Get it submerged.

After removing float bowls and jets, place your dismantled carb into the tank and turn on the ultrasonic control. Normally around 15-20 minutes is sufficient cleaning time. If the carb has not been used for many years you can leave the tank buzzing for up to 40 minutes. Leaving it in for longer will not damage it.

If parts of a carb will  protrude above the water level. This isn’t a problem. Many customers simply turn the carburetor through 180 degrees and turn it on again.

After ultrasonic cleaning.

Remove the carburettor, rinse and leave it to dry. The carb will now be deep cleaned internally and externally the casting should look bright and clean. NOTE: Some alloy castings were dull when new. The ultrasonic cleaning process can’t make an old carb look better than the day it was new.

TIP – HOW TO CLEAN SMALL PARTS.

Buying the right ultrasonic tank for you.

If you look through all the ultrasonic tanks we sell, the choice can be a little confusing. Below I have listed the most commonly purchased Ultrasonic Cleaners for cleaning motorbike carbs.

The 3 Ltr tanks are good for individual carburettors. A 6 or 9 litre tank will clean bigger individual carbs. If you need to clean a bank of 3 , 4 or 6 without splitting them, you’ll need a 20 Ltr size as a minimum.

The machines:

3 Ltr Ultrasonic Cleaner with dial adjustment – (suitable for individual small carbs).

3 ltr ultrasonic cleaner with dial adjustment

3 Ltr Ultrasonic Cleaner with digital adjustment – (suitable for individual small carbs).

 

3 ltr ultrasonic cleaner with digital adjustment

9 Ltr Ultrasonic Cleaner dial adjustment – suitable for medium size carbs.

 

9 ltr ultrasonic cleaner with dial adjustment

20 Ltr Ultrasonic Cleaner – suitable for a complete bank of 4 or 6 carbs .

 

20 ltr for ultrasonic carburettor cleaning

Carburettor cleaning fluid.

Finally buy some carburettor cleaning fluid because an ultrasonic cleaner filled with plain tap water won’t remove petrol or grease.

After you’ve cleaned the carb, you want it to look the part and by using cleaning solution will have the cosmetic “wow” factor.

Ultrasonic cleaning fluids can be found here.

What exactly is ultrasonic cleaning? – MORE INFORMATION.


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We sell to the best of the best.

Ultrasonic Cleaner model comparison chart

Ultrasonic Cleaners – a model size and specification comparison chart.

Choosing which model of Ultrasonic Cleaner to purchase can be a little confusing with so many models, options, functions and sizes. To make the decision process a little easier, I’ve put together a simple chart with the specification for each size and model from the “Professional” category on the Best Ultrasonic Cleaner website. In the left hand column is the size (capacity) of each Ultrasonic Cleaner, followed by the specification etc.

Ultrasonic cleaner model and features comparison chart

If you have any questions or need any help, please don’t hesitate to call: 01706 950112


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Free ultrasonic cleaning fluid, delivery & basket with a professional cleaner

When you buy any professional ultrasonic cleaner from us, you will get a free 1Ltr of cleaning solution.

 

Free cleaning fluid, UK delivery and basket with a professional ultrasonic cleaner

We have an amazing offer.

We supply everything so that you can use your new ultrasonic cleaner straight out of the box. Our prices include UK delivery, a stainless steel basket, lid and free ultrasonic cleaning fluid (1 Ltr). There is nothing more to pay.

Buy any “professional ultrasonic cleaner” and there are no hidden extras. The price you see is the price you pay. You get free ultrasonic cleaning fluid (1 Ltr) of your choice. Select the fluid from our range of specialist “Ultrasonic cleaning solutions” to use with your new machine.

FREE delivery

FREE stainless steel basket

FREE ultrasonic cleaning fluid

 

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How to get your free fluid

Simply add your chosen Ultrasonic Cleaner to the shopping basket then add any 1 Ltr bottle of ultrasonic cleaning solution. The cost will be deducted at the checkout. Easy peezy!

Different fluids to choose from.

We have ultrasonic cleaning solutions for  jewellery, carburettors, flux removal, oxidisation removal and sensitive metals. It’s your choice and it’s FREE.

 

 

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How to clean vinyl LP’s (records) in an Ultrasonic Cleaner

How to clean a vinyl record (LP) using an ultrasonic cleaner. Cleaning vinyl LP’s (records) without causing surface damage is now a breeze.

If you have a collection of old or new vinyl records, you will understand the  importance of keeping them clean and dust free. Even a budget record  deck fitted with a mid-range stylus, playback quality can be greatly improved by cleaning your vinyl. No matter how carefully you put a record away, over time dust somehow finds it’s way into the inner sleeve. Each time the record is played, this dust will damage the grooves if not removed. The question is how do you clean vinyl records safely without damaging the record surface? The answer is with an ultrasonic record cleaner.

                            ultrasonic vinyl cleaning                    ultrasonic vinyl cleaning

 

Problems cleaning records.

Liquid solutions can leave a deposit in the grooves. A weak soap and water solution leaves a slight covering when it dries.  A carbon fibre brush can be used before & after playing. Or a specialist cleaning cloth. But either of these record cleaning methods involve touching the record surface. A non-contact method of dust removal is by a vacuum cleaner, but that won’t clean to the very base of the record groove.

As any self-respecting audiophile knows, the less physical contact anything has with the face of the disc, the better but most cleaning methods require some kind of rubbing or brushing. In an ideal World, the only item to ever touch the surface of a record should be a stylus.

The ultrasonic way to clean vinyl.

The new method is the use of an ultrasonic record cleaner. This ticks all the boxes with regards to non-contact with the surface of the record and they can be cleaned very thoroughly without chemicals. Microscopic dust particles are cleaned from the very bottom of the record groove.

cleaning vinyl records with an ultrasonic cleaner

What is an Ultrasonic Cleaner?

Without going into too much technical detail, ultrasonic cleaning is achieved by producing millions of microscopic air bubbles in a tank of water, generated by a transducer that transmits the ultrasonic sound through the liquid. These tiny bubbles reach breaking point and implode giving incredible cleaning results by dislodging the build-up of dirt and grime that is normally impossible to remove by hand. The most popular use for an Ultrasonic Cleaner is for jewellery, although the range of other applications is extensive.  Ultrasonic cleaners are often used by Dentists, Vets, Tattoo studios etc, for cleaning instruments after use. Garages use them for cleaning carburettors. More on ultrasonic cleaning here.

How use the machines with vinyl.

For the best ultrasonic cleaning results with vinyl records, the water should be warm (not hot). As you can see from the photograph sent by our customer, the LP is suspended over the tank so that the faces of the disc pass through the water. It’s a little “Heath Robinson” in this case, but the principal works very well and the residue of dirt and silt in the bottom of the tank clearly shows that Ultrasonic Cleaning is one of the best ways to keep vinyl LP’s clean.

Customer case study.

One of our customers kindly sent these photos on how he has “lashed up” a simple jig to hold the records. Importantly, the photographs show how much dirt came out of the grooves after the traditional vacuum  method.

Ultrasonic vinyl LP record cleaning

“I’ve just done a temporary lash-up with wood, a couple of halved rubber washers and BluTak. I’ll make something a little less flimsy in the next few days” – Robin, Hull.

dirt in the bottom of an ultrasonic cleaner after record cleaning

“The photo shows the deposit in the tank after cleaning 27 records. I’m really surprised there’s so much as all the records had been cleaned by a vacuum record cleaner previously”.

Which ultrasonic record cleaner is best?

The machine purchased by Robin is a 6 Ltr model.  This size is the smallest model with the required tank depth to be able to submerge the face of the disc under water. Also this model has a degassing function that gives maximum ultrasonic cleaning.

 

Case study update (Feb 2016).

I contacted the customer to ask how he was getting on with the cleaner after 1 year. Below is the reply from Robin:

Hi Bill,

My support / spindle is still very basic but improved sufficiently for me to leave it at this (example photo attached); I’m not going to try motorising the spindle.

I usually put five records in at a time, the maximum with these separators – balsa circles with rubber ‘O’ rings glued on which protect the record labels from getting wet – soak the vinyl for quarter of an hour or more while the cleaning fluid warms up to 33 degrees centigrade and then turn the spindle one fifth of a revolution every minute for fifteen minutes on the gentler cleaning setting. Then I suck the records dry using my old vacuum record cleaning machine, without any rinsing. This process means it takes half an hour plus the soak to complete the five records. The fluid I use is L’Art du Son solution plus some Kodak Photo-flo to wet the vinyl properly.

ultrasonic vinyl record cleaning

The improvement over just using the vacuum cleaner is very noticeable and I am completely sold on the value of the ultrasonic tank for the listening experience. The improved sound demonstrates a remarkably thorough cleaning, far better than anything else I have experienced and it’s reassuring to be able to see the muck accumulating at the bottom of the tank. I wouldn’t be without the ultrasonic.

Thanks for your enquiry. I’m well and truly satisfied.

Kind regards,

Robin”

For information and current pricing on ultrasonic cleaners, please visit our

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useful advise on Ultrasonic Cleaning

How to get the best result from an ultrasonic cleaner.

For best results:-

  • Ensure the component being cleaned is fully submerged in a suitable cleaning fluid
  • The component does not touch the tank to allow maximum cleaning.
  • Check the cleaning solution is at the correct temperature
  • Check the cleaning fluid in the tank has been properly degassed.

We also recommend using de-ionised, demineralised 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.

Can I use solvents or other cleaning liquids in my ultrasonic tank?

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 cleaning solvents can spontaneously combust. Always check with your chemical supplier.

What solution should I use?

We sell a wide range of cleaning fluids suitable for most applications. Please check: 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 detailed on its data sheet.

stack of 3 ultrasonic cleaners

What ratio of water to cleaning fluid should I use?

Always use the manufacturer recommended ratio for whatever cleaning fluid you are using. Fluids purchased from us have the mix ratio clearly displayed on the label. Typically this is 10:1

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.

Can I put my hand in the tank while the unit is running?

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.

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 transducers which are attached at the bottom 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 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 and wires to dangle them in the liquid.

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 unit should be indicated on the solution packaging.

How often should I change the cleaning fluid? 

The cleaning fluid in the tank should be changed whenever it becomes visibly too contaminated, or when the cleaning process is not as effective.

What is the cycle time of my ultrasonic cleaner? 

For most cleaners we recommend a 50% duty cycle. Cycles should last 10-20 minutes depending on how contaminated the components are. EG after a 10 minute cycle, allow the device to rest for 10 minutes before running it again.

What is the ‘foil test’? 

If you feel cavitation 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 and wrinkled.

Can I half fill my tank?

Half filling the tank with fluid is acceptable for small cycles, but you must ensure the heating element is not switched on.

Do l need the lid on the tank whist cleaning?

Yes, the lid prevents any gasses from the cleaning solution produced by the heating and ultrasonic process from escaping.

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.

When the cleaning 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.

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 filled which is also filled with cleaning solution. The cavitations are unaffected by glass so will pass through and act upon 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.

Confused about which model you need?

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How Ultrasonic Cleaning works

What is ultrasonic cleaning?

Ultrasonic is sound generated above human audible level. In real life, high pitch sound is created by high frequency and alternatively the low and base tone is created by low frequency. Frequencies above 16 kHz in general are being considered as ultrasonic. Typical ultrasonic frequencies used for cleaning purposes are from 20 kHz to 80 kHz.

How sound can clean?

A physical effect called cavitations, is generated in liquid by an ultrasonic transducer and is responsible for the cleaning process. Cavitations are formed when ultrasonic travels through liquid. When a sound wave travels through water it stretches and compresses the water medium to transmit sound. When the amplitude of such sound wave increases to a level when water cannot hold the stretch, the sound literally tears the water apart and millions of vacuumed bubbles are formed under such negative pressure. The sizes of the vacuumed bubbles increase until their equilibrium are reached, they are rapidly compress by water and create millions of tiny liquid jets. The jet actions release tremendous amount of energy stored within vacuumed bubbles. Each bubble is estimated to have a temperature of more than 5000°C and a pressure of more than 10,000 PSI at molecular level when such implosion takes place. The huge amount of pressure releases at each bubble provides an ideal physical phenomenon responsible for the effective cleaning action ultrasonic cleaner offers.

Can ultrasonic clean inside cracks?

Yes, the cavitations take place everywhere liquid can reach. During the cleaning process the article being cleaned is submerged into water or cleaning solution, millions of micro sized bubbles created by ultrasonic are capable of reaching into fine trends or cracks to clean. This phenomenon is especially useful for efficient cleaning of intricate patterns on, for example, fine jewellery.

Is ultrasonic cleaning environmentally friendly?

Yes as the main ingredient is tap water, we believe our range of patented ultrasonic cleaners is environmentally friendly with top quality cleaning results. No longer will home users need to use environmentally unfriendly chemical based cleaning products which in most cases do not truly clean. It is only now that the ultrasonic technology has been developed in such a way it is affordable for home use.

What cleaning solutions do I need?

Normally, the only cleaning solution required is warm tap water for all our ultrasonic cleaners. Sometimes users add a small amount of washing up liquid to help hold the dirt in the water. However, for the best results, use a cleaning solution (we sell SeaClean, a natural cleaning fluid) to give sparkle to your jewellery or precious metals.

What maintenance does an ultrasonic cleaner require?

All that is required is that after use you empty the tank of water and wipe clean. Because of the power of the cleaner if you were not to empty and wipe the tank then tiny metal particles will build up and over time could pierce a hole in the stainless steel water tank rendering the ultrasonic cleaner useless.

What can I clean using ultrasonic technology?

This list is almost endless. Provided the product is non porous and can normally be immersed in water almost anything can be thoroughly cleaned.