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Ultra Sonic Cleaner Solutions

JSWithers

Active member
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

If you clicked on the link provided by jake you'll have seen a lot of opinions on what to use. The best advice is that it is the ultrasonic action that is most important. They work by creating little bubbles that explode against the part your cleaning. Kinda like the bubbles in champagne or even the bubbles in your soda. Since it is heated you need to be careful of the types of solutions you use in here and you are creating dangerous vapors with some solutions. So an aqueous solution would be best but start with the weakest solution and work your way up. If you get the solution to "heavy" it won't bubble properly. Approximately a 5-10% solution would be right. So at 5% that would be 1 qt in 5 gals. The nicest thing about ultrasonics is the bubbles are very small and do a very good job of getting into the smallest areas. And remember your manufacturer should have provided recommendations with the unit. I know these things because the the company I work for sells these and I set them up and service them. We have a very good solution but it is for commercial use and I have no way to sell it to the general public.
 

carbking

New member
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

We use Dawn dishwater soap in ours. Works great.

Jon.

---------- Post added at 01:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:40 PM ----------

One thing to remember:

A cleaner that may work great on one metal may be deadly on another. This is NOT a "one size fits all" question.

I don't think the Dawn becomes deadly with any metal, but some cleaners that are completely safe for cast iron will create noxious fumes with zinc alloy (pot metal) or aluminum. READ THE LABEL ON ANY OF THE EXOTIC STUFF BEFORE USING!

Jon.
 

I like oldstuff

Subscriber
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

There are lots of videos on the subject on You Tube I found this one interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99kGy8-bGXs

I have a decent sized ~3 gallon China made unit which works fairly well. The ultrasonic action of bubbles impinging on a surface and bursting apart is what provides the cleaning action. Having said that I find that if a part has grease and dirt buildup on it such as an engine part, the sonic won't dig through it.
 

Dave Otto

New member
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

I don't measure it but probably about 10-20%. I mix it 50% for the spray bottle and use it around the shop. This is by far the best general purpose cleaner that I have found. It will clean circles around Simple Green and that other purple stuff. Also it is pretty easy on paint; I use it to clean my Machine tools with out any problems.

I used to buy it at Costco but they seem to have quit carrying it, so I just order it from Amazon. Sometimes I can get the 4gal case with free shipping, and that will last me a year or two.

I have cleaned a lot of stuff with it but never a carb; I don't see why it wouldn't work just fine though.

Dave
 

sqm1

Subscriber
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

Thanks Dave that stuff works great . I found it at tractor supply . Will also be using it around the shop
Joe
 

gvasale

New member
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

What ever happened to Gunk or NAPPA carb cleaner? They are good cleaners, but can cause skin burns because of the methylene chloride. Rinse in water or kero when done, Ultrasonic with mild detergent afterward. I've got an ulreasonic, but have only done an old Ford T or A carb in it, not any newer ones.
 

carbking

New member
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

The ultrasonic works very well on newer carburetors as well.

After a good friend and competitor praised his, I was moved to buy one of the offshore produced ones from ebay for about $600. It lasted about 2 hours! No warranty, so I was out my $600. (I love offshore products ;) ). But while it worked, the cleaning was phenomenal. So I invested about $5K in one made in the USA. That was several years ago, and it still works great.

Mine is large enough to clean an entire modern 4-barrel before disassembly.

I tried doing an initial cleaning on a really grungy one before disassembly, and to my surprise and elation; not only did most of the outer grunge disappear, the carb was very easy to disassemble. So I then started doing an initial on all carbs prior to disassembly. The time savings in disassembly and the unbroken parts paid for the unit in a few months!

Play with different solvents. I think you will like the cleaner. On the newer carbs, you can actually clean the carb WITHOUT removing the protective chromate coating (the greenish gold color) on zinc alloy castings that the old harsh chemicals would remove.

Jon.
 

nblack

Member
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

Since I use these rascals very often and have for 17 years or so- thought I would share.
1. While heat is optional, most often it helps the cleaning action. (reference any use of a pressure steam cleaner VS a simple pressure washer )
2. Use either a metal or a glass container to hold your parts in (when working with itty-bitty items) to make sure that your cleaning action from the elements in the sonicator have most effective coupling to your second container holding your parts.
3. Definitely experiment with cleaning solutions. Some that I use for work often are: micro-90, Pure IPA, Lab grade Acetone. (note here: when using any flammables, do not use any extra heat, and maintain VERY GOOD ventilation ) Note on the micro-90. Very good stuff, biodegradeable, use in about a 5% solution, and it can really remove some hard deposits ( like tungsten plating, or greatly help in its removal) ( the IPA is used for a final bath to remove all deposits ). Since the time that I started using micro-90, I haven't used Acetone but maybe twice? (since it leaves a residue anyway).
4. If using micro-90- rinse after cleaning to halt any reaction as well. (like brass parts)
5. When cleaning carbs, There are a couple of different methods that I personnaly use.
A. Rinse the heavy crap off first with brake-clean, (or whatever solvent/ method of destruction-in-a-can you like, blast the loose stuff off then with air, allow to dry. then either choose to disassemble now and place in size appropriate containers (large bodies together, small parts in a can ) and sonicate for about 30-40 min. Or-
B. Similar to above.. clean big crud,blast, dissasemble, soak in B-22, THEN sonicate. Depends on level of cleaning required.
6. Testing your sonicator. (this is neat) fill to appropriate water line, suspend a piece of regular ordinary aluminum foil in the tank with the timer (if it has one) set to about 2 min. at the end of 2 min, remove the foil, and inspect it against a light source. there should now be MULTIPLE holes in the foil. If not, your sonicator is bad. if yes, and you are getting good results with your sonicator, it is not being used in an effective manner, and you need to alter your method.
7. Always maintain a good level of water in the main tank. this also helps the sonicator both work and cool the drivers that are mounted to the bottom of the tank (which is the second reason that the water WILL get warm/ hot)
8. If you are creative, you can make a little "holder" which will support your little parts beaker/can/jar/whatever to keep it from both tipping over thereby wasting your solution, and possibly dropping precious small parts ...
 

Robt.

Subscriber
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

This is a topic that will never expire, so my two cents:

Clean off the really filthy stuff with oven or BBQ cleaner first. Or set up a hot tank with a sodium hydroxide (lye) solution and a gas burner. Do it outside and well away from what the fumes might affect, like plated or painted metal surfaces!

Never put anything on the bottom of the tank. The transducers are bonded/glued to the tank bottom and the additional weight will cause the transducers to shatter or come unstuck from the tank bottom. Usually they shatter.

Make up a frame - or use something like an old hanging file frame - to suspend heavy objects in the solution. Avoid hanging them off the edge of the tank. I have a big Branson that has a perforated tray that sits on the edge of the tank - basically a slightly smaller version of the tank itself with a bunch of holes and two handles. It works OK, but the deadening effect on the vibratory action is noticeable. A little swinging gantry over the cleaner is probably ideal, if the wife doesn't mind one screwed to the spare bathroom wall.:O

To hang from the frame you can use strong, non-stretching cord with small hooks bent up out of wire, and on the other end tent guy line adjusters for quick and easy set up.

I've used all kinds of degreasers and HD janitorial soaps, usually at about 1:5 concentration. Most are pretty good, but some are downright nasty to breathe - volatiles - and the ultrasonic is constantly atomizing solution into the air around it, so an evacuation fan is good idea if used indoors.

For small jobs, glass jars etc. work fine, especially if you want to use say alcohol or vinegar to clean or de-rust some small parts. Just sit them on the tray or hang in the tank.

Be warned that that the more powerful units will strip off plating and old enamel finishes and sometimes that is a disaster. Some solutions will attack aluminum, zinc etc.

Wear eye protection, splashes are common. Gloves are a good idea too. Had bumps all over my hands once for a while due to some reaction to the solution.
 

Pat Barrett

Subscriber
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

I have one from Lyman, for cleaning cartridge brass. It does a good job. One thing I've contemplated cleaning is several sharpening rocks. Over time, the stones get clogged with cut matter. I've thought of trying some simple green with water and put the worst side down in the basket or have the stone on it's narrow edge and see if it takes out any of the spent abrasive. Anyone have any experience on this use?
 

Robt.

Subscriber
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

Did some stones off old hand grinders recently and they came out very well. Next time I would soak them in clean water first to keep the cleaning solution from being drawn too far into the stone. No need for that and you never know, it MIGHT have some effect on the bonding. For a stone that's going to be used under power, I would check with the manufacturer of the stone.
 

Pat Barrett

Subscriber
Re: Ultra sonic cleaner solutions

Thanks, these are hand held rocks for sharpening knives. After a point in time the oil applied to the whet stones allows the spent abrasive to sink into the stone, lessening the stone's cutting ability.
 
Simple Green with a 5%-10% concentration mix of solution and distilled water. This is a very safe process with no dangerous vapors.
Our ultrasonic cleaners are every size imaginable at my workplace (large medical manufacturing facility) having dozens of small bench top size cleaners to sofa length sizes and even a fully automated super-large size you could fit a small pickup truck through. They are in constant use 24/6. They do a perfect job for cleaning parts from our swiss machining & centerless grinding operations having cutting oils and water-soluble /oil mixtures.

Robt mentions many spot-on notes, and like Robt mentioned, NEVER place anything onto the floor of the sonicator chamber, it will be damaged! Parts are to be suspended inside a plastic or stainless steel mesh or perforated basket while being cleaned. The basket never touches the ultrasonic chamber. Typical cleaning cycle times can be from 15 minutes to 40 minutes depending of job size or cleaner size.
Your carburetors will look like jewelry when done.
 
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