Author Topic: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?  (Read 1138 times)

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« on: 16 April, 2021, 12:24:25 am »
They look like they are magic, and magic equipment is always welcome here.

So, are they worth getting, and if so, what size and make does the panel recommend?
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #1 on: 16 April, 2021, 06:37:02 am »
Yes. I got a reasonable size jewellery one and it is great for chains cassettes and other bits and pieces.

robgul

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #2 on: 16 April, 2021, 07:34:34 am »
Yep - better than magic - BUT you need one with a tank that takes more than a pair of earrings!

This is the one I bought in 2014 - IIRC it was about £75?   https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00E8K45S6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1   - currently unavailable at Amazon but something akin to to should be easy to find.   I would not get anything smaller. 

See  https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=ultrasonic+cleaner&ref=nb_sb_noss  (beware of the pictures and actual sizes - some are not much bigger than a coffee mug!) - mine appears to be listed at £80

Mine has been used for all manner of things related to bikes as well as items of jewellery, the filter bowls from the "beaks" on our coffee machine (suitably cleaned and sterilised!), various tools and bits and pieces  - i'ts really great for cleaning mechs getting all the crap out of the nooks and crannies.   

For bike stuff I run it with water plus about 2/3 of cup of Screwfix No Nonsense Degreaser.  The time on mine runs for about 40 minutes, a mech usually needs two sessions. 

If you were a bit closer you could borrow it to check out
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Mrs Pingu

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #3 on: 16 April, 2021, 07:37:02 am »
Also, if you wear glasses, there's nothing more riveting and disgusting in equal measure than watching all the spoo come off your nose pieces in a sonic bath.
Do not clench. It only makes it worse.

Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #4 on: 16 April, 2021, 07:57:47 am »
I bought one with a 2l capacity in around 2008/2010. That's a large enough cage to (just about)  accommodate a chain and set of sprockets. I wasn't impressed with its ability to clean the above. To the extent that I gave it to a forum member a couple of years ago. I never attempted to use it for cleaning anything other than chains and sprockets.

Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #5 on: 16 April, 2021, 08:46:00 am »
Also, if you wear glasses, there's nothing more riveting and disgusting in equal measure than watching all the spoo come off your nose pieces in a sonic bath.

Similarly watch straps.
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ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #6 on: 16 April, 2021, 09:31:41 am »
Can you get one big enough for a human to sit in? Asking for a friend.
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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #7 on: 16 April, 2021, 10:42:45 am »
Well, I'm looking around for a good one and a deal and I found this on a comparison site, so these ones might do humans...  ;D

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #8 on: 16 April, 2021, 10:43:59 am »
Heart rate, calories burned?

Woofage

  • Ain't no hooves on my bike.
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #9 on: 16 April, 2021, 12:56:18 pm »
s/h Ultrawave. These are pro grade tools and worth their higher price. I have the small one that is used daily and I can't afford for it to break on me. The cheap ones (eg from various alleged tax-dodging websites) just fail after a while, so don't bother.
Pen Pusher

Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #10 on: 16 April, 2021, 02:09:54 pm »
I bought one with a 2l capacity in around 2008/2010. That's a large enough cage to (just about)  accommodate a chain and set of sprockets. I wasn't impressed with its ability to clean the above. To the extent that I gave it to a forum member a couple of years ago. I never attempted to use it for cleaning anything other than chains and sprockets.

 :thumbsup:

Since when it has been in regular use, works well for other than sprockets.

Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #11 on: 16 April, 2021, 02:31:01 pm »
The thing I worked out (duh) recently is that it does help to crank the temperature up.
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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #12 on: 20 April, 2021, 08:38:26 am »
So, all great info, thanks.

What size does the panel recommend...?
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robgul

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #13 on: 20 April, 2021, 10:51:30 am »
So, all great info, thanks.

What size does the panel recommend...?

err, what are you wanting to clean - a pair of earrings or a car gearbox ?? . . . makes a difference.

The one referred to in my post is about as big as a small kitchen deep fat fryer . . .  it does everything I've needed bike related (although chainrings/chainsets need to be done a couple of times as you can't submerge the whole of the big ring) - as well as lots of other small parts, tools, used fixings etc.
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Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #14 on: 20 April, 2021, 11:02:16 am »
Ah, yes, about 3l or so.

Doing larger bits a couple of times - that's good to know.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #15 on: 20 April, 2021, 02:48:03 pm »
The cheap ones (eg from various alleged tax-dodging websites) just fail after a while, so don't bother.

The key is timing the moment you lose interest in it to match. Then you can send it to the tip instead of having it fester in a cupboard for all eternity.

Adam

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #16 on: 20 April, 2021, 09:09:29 pm »
For bike stuff I run it with water plus about 2/3 of cup of Screwfix No Nonsense Degreaser.  The time on mine runs for about 40 minutes, a mech usually needs two sessions. 

An hour & 20 mins?!!

I'd just do it by hand to be honest.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein

Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #17 on: 21 April, 2021, 05:36:22 am »
I can understand chains as they don't last that long anyway. But how often can you do longer life items, like chainsets or mechs, without shortening their life?

robgul

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #18 on: 21 April, 2021, 07:30:37 am »
For bike stuff I run it with water plus about 2/3 of cup of Screwfix No Nonsense Degreaser.  The time on mine runs for about 40 minutes, a mech usually needs two sessions. 

An hour & 20 mins?!!

I'd just do it by hand to be honest.

As an example - a rear mech will come out looking like new - how well can you get all the muck out of the intricate parts by hand?
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robgul

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #19 on: 21 April, 2021, 07:38:51 am »
I can understand chains as they don't last that long anyway. But how often can you do longer life items, like chainsets or mechs, without shortening their life?

Have to say I seldom clean chains in the ultrasonic bath as every scrap of lube will be removed - and replacing it by soaking or whatever is never that effective.  I just clean the chains in situ with the Fenwicks "shaving cream" fairly frequently.

I can see no reason that any components would degrade/wear if subjected to the ultrasonic bath - the water/degreaser is doing the vibrating, not the item.

When I was running an LBS if I had a really, really bad item with a solid crust of crap I'd usually leave it in the bath* of strongish degreaser (Screwfix No Nonsense and water about 50/50) overnight before rinsing and running in the ultrasonic  [The ultrasonic was at home]

* I had a plastic click and lock type storage box, about 11 litres that was under the bench - every once in while I had to empty the accumulated sludge  :sick:
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #20 on: 21 April, 2021, 08:20:47 am »
As an example - a rear mech will come out looking like new - how well can you get all the muck out of the intricate parts by hand?

Surely the more important question is how well can you get grease back in to the moving parts?

(This is why degreasing your chain thrice weekly doesn’t make them last any longer)

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #21 on: 21 April, 2021, 09:54:14 am »
I've never cleaned a chain. Are you supposed to? I thought they were like cats. It sounds dirty work. I might wipe off excess grunk when I put even more oil on.
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LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #22 on: 21 April, 2021, 10:01:24 am »
Softer materials, like aluminium soft-anodisation and plastics, can be damaged by cavitation. Limiting the duration of ultrasonic cleaning is probably a good idea.

Lubrication penetration can be enhanced by suspending a metal dish of lubricant in an ultrasonic parts cleaner filled with clean water.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #23 on: 22 April, 2021, 06:06:50 am »
This is what I had read recently:

The other thing about ultrasound cleaners is their way of working. Basically they explode bubbles of oxygen on the surface being cleaned, which creates very slight erosion of the part. How much? Stihl (chainsaw and brushcutter makers) in their tech doc advised that carburetters should be cleaned in ultrasound a maximum of three times in their lifespan. The fourth time was likely to have eroded the part beyond its working tolerances. Following this advice one would be foolish to repeatedly clean things like rear mech parts in ultrasound because of the risk of creating play in pivots



tonycollinet

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Re: Ultrasonic cleaner - yes? no?
« Reply #24 on: 23 April, 2021, 08:38:20 am »
Depends on the tolerance of carburetter components compared to that of mech pivots.

EG if carb is +/1 0.01 and mech pivot 0.1, then with the same rule, you can clean a mech 30 times.