A common question regarding ultrasonic cleaners is: what is degassing?
Explained simply, degassing is the removal of microscopic air bubbles from the cleaning fluid in an ultrasonic tank. This is achieved by running the machine through a specific on / off sequence. On for 5 minutes and the off for 3 minutes etc.
Fluid gets “gassed” when a tank is filled with water. It’s like filling a bath at home. The action of water coming out of the tap draws air down into the body of the water in the bath itself. Obviously large visible bubbles surface immediately. But smaller bubbles remain suspended in the fluid. It is these microscopic bubble that need removing.
Degas fluid whenever it is changed. This quickly removes air from the liquid that in turn, makes the cleaning process more effective. This is especially useful when cleaning carburettors and anything with small holes or bores.
The great thing about degassed fluid is its increased ability to clean blind holes. The water inside a hole (cavity) in the item that you’re cleaning is just as efficient as the water outside it, thus leading to a very thorough cleaning action.
Ultrasonic cleaners with a degassing function tend to have digital controls. This also makes them a bit more expensive to buy that an analogue (dial control) model. However, with digital control comes extended cleaning times which can be useful when cleaning old carburettors.
A customer who purchased a 9 litre touch screen control ultrasonic cleaner sent us “before and after” photographs shown below. They show part of a rocker shaft assembly from a 50 year old Triumph TR6 engine during a major rebuild.
The difference between before and after being placed in the ultrasonic bath is significant. The ultrasonic cleaning fluid used is formulated specifically for cleaning and alloy engine components and can safely be used on most engine parts. The running for the ultrasonic tank was around 20 minutes and the fluid was heated to 60 degrees centigrade.
One of our customers kindly sent some photographs of his Honda CB350 / 4 carburettors before and after cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner.
One of our customers kindly emailed some photographs of his Honda CB350/4 carburettor before and after being cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. The text below is from his email.
“I Just used my 6 Ltr ultrasonic bath for the first time on some old carbs. The carbs are from a 1972 Honda CB350/4 and they were all quite badly gummed up. I used the carb cleaning solution diluted as instructed (10:1) and heated the water to 65 centigrade. I cleaned them (the bike has 4) one at a time for just 20 minutes each. Please find attached 5 before and 5 after pictures of the dirtiest carburettor. Regards, Peter“. Honda CB350/4 carburettor cleaning.
The model Peter bought was a 6 Ltr ultrasonic cleaner with a simple dial adjustment for the time and temperature control. The carburettor cleaning fluid was included free.
Ultrasonic carburettor cleaning fluid in 1 Ltr and 5Ltr bottles.
Our ultrasonic carburettor cleaning fluid is perfect for cleaning carbs, valves, fuel injectors and engine parts etc. The carb cleaner safely and quickly removes contaminants including general soiling and dulling, oxidation, carbon, petrol residue and grease etc.
The fluid works very well with alloy and aluminium castings by removing physical dirt. Also it cosmetically removes the dulling that occurs over long periods of time. It won’t make a component look the same as when it was new, but results are very impressive. The cleaning process won’t damage, corrode or darken metal components. It is safe for brass, aluminium and other sensitive metals and rubber O rings.
Using the concentrated fluid
Mix the concentrated fluid 1 part solution to 10 parts water. (1 Ltr bottle will make 10 Ltr of working solution). Keep using the fluid until it looks dirty. There’s no rule about when to change it, however an ultrasonic cleaner is for deep cleaning. When the solution looks like pea soup, it’s time for a new mix.
Mix the concentrated carburettor cleaning fluid with water at a ratio of 10:1 (10 parts water to 10 parts cleaning fluid). For heavily soiled components, the ratio can be strengthened to 7:1. The working temperature on the ultrasonic cleaner should be between 50 – 80 degrees centigrade. After cleaning, rinse the parts with clean water and leave to dry.
For more detail on mixing the carburettor cleaner click HERE
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.
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.
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.
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”.
submerged in the tank
after ultrasonic cleaning
dirt removed by the cleaner
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 more thorough 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 22 litre digital model will be the best size for you.
The analogue adjustment ultrasonic carburettor cleaner has a simple knob / dial to set the cleaning time (0-20 minutes) and another dial for the temperature adjustment (20 – 80 degrees C). There is no LED display.
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.
The cleaning fluid
Picking the correct ultrasonic cleaning fluid is as important as the machine itself. The fluids we sell are specifically formulated to work well in an ultrasonic tank. Specifically, the carburettor cleaning fluid is made to work with alloys and alloy castings. It removes petrol residue and brightens dull castings. More information (and you can also purchase) on the fluid HERE.
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 & 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.
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 very small 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 22 Ltr size as a minimum.
So, you’ve now spent your money and got a shiny new ultrasonic tank. Don’t penny pinch on the cleaning fluid. It’s very important. Buy some proper carburettor cleaning fluid because an ultrasonic cleaner simply 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.