FAQ - ultrasonic cleaning

FAQ image for ultrasonic cleaners

When buying an ultrasonic cleaner, there are several things to consider. The single most important aspect to look at, above the actual price of the goods, is the size of tank you need. If the machine you order is too small and your item won't fit in the tank, you'll be on the phone asking to change it for something bigger. Guessing if your item will fit into a particular size of ultrasonic cleaner is not a good idea. Get the tape measure out and double check. Measure twice, purchase once.

It's the basket size that matters. We get some customers who measure their item and say they can get it in the basket with 5mm spare all round. OK, technically this item will fit in the tank, but isn't going to be as good as having more space around it. If budgets allow, it's preferable to have a slightly bigger ultrasonic tank than squeezing a big item into a smaller tank.

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. 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 and speed up the process – most fluids require heating to perform efficiently. The optimum temperature for the cleaning fluid will be indicated on the label on the bottle. Most ultrasonic 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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