I did without an ultrasonic for a long time. How to best remove
polishing compound relates to the nature of the compound. Soap and
water will work, but is tedious.
There are a couple compounds advertised as removable with dish soap
and water, and they do clean off more easily. However, the usual
compounds are better removed by soaking in an ammonia-based liquid,
followed by scrubbing with an old toothbrush. I've used straight
ammonia (which can damage some stones), but the fumes are obnoxious.
"409", "Mean Green", "Awesome" are tradenames for cleaners that have
been good removers for me. As noted previously, some stones are
sensitive to ammonia, so keep turquiose, lapis, pearls, etc. out of
those liquids with ammonia.
Ultrasonics are a very nice thing to have, so plan to save your
loose change and buy a good one eventually. Maybe put it on your wish
list for your birthday or special event. My hubby hates to buy me
tools, but that's my favorite gift.
Hope this helps,
Judy in Kansas, where we'll hopefully see some thunderstorms today! I
finished putting in my spring bulbs, so timing is perfect.