[Beginners' Corner] Ultrasonic cleaners

Hello, An elementary question from a rank amateur: What is used
in an ultrasonic cleaner?

I picked up a little gadget at a garage sale that is labeled
’'Gem Sonic" It is made of blue plastic and holds about a cup
and a half. It purrs nicely and gets warm. I am wondering how
useful it is in a home lapidary shop? It did a good job of
cleaning up beads with liquid dishwashing soap, but did not get
metal marks off the carnelian beads where they had been wired.
My gut feeling is, that for general jewelry cleaning a little
ammonia added to the soapy water would probably work OK. Will
it work in a small shop? What kind of solutions do you folks
use? Thanks in Advance, Rose Alene McArthur

This is my first reply as a orchid member but I’ve worked in a
jewelry store for 12 years and I’ve found the best jewelry
cleaner to be 1 part “MR. CLEAN” to 2 parts water with 1 cap of
amonia. This is great for all types of jewelry except silver. We
even use it for pearls and opals not to soak just dip and rinse
in warm water and dry gently but for harder stones or gold that
has hand creme or hairspray or stuff in it soak away then scrub
with a med-soft toothbrush and rinse. It will look as if you used a steam cleaner.

Orville & Rose Arlene: There are several combinations you can
use. A good general purpose cleaner is to take an empty 1 gallon
water jug and use the following . 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Dawn, or Joy
dish washing liquid. !/2 cup to 3/4 cup of household Ammonia
(Dutch Girl???) and you can add about cup of 70 Percent
isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol from Walgreens, Osco, or some
such source). Fill with water. The Ammonia and Alcohol will “out
gas” over a period of a day or so of use. It is best to use a
fresh solution as soon as the stuff in the ultrasonic gets dirty.
Filter the solution incase you "loose " anything in the machine.
Another good cleaner is available from Sam’s Club, that is NOW!
good stuff just follow the directions or use about 2 parts water
and 1 part NOW. Mr. Clean also makes a nice cleaner at about 1
part to 3 parts water.

Mike Fritz
Lone Star Technical Services
(The ultrasonic repair guy)

PS The rubbing alcohol is NOT necessary in the above witches
brew but can be added if necessary.

MiKe :slight_smile:

Using ammonia in the ultrasonic cleaner is badly for your
health. However ammonia free cleaners are rather expensive. But
with some experimenting cheap cleaners can be found. The
ultrasonic cleaner needs two types of additives; one for
contacting and improving the implosion effect of the water, and
some soap for decreasing. I found that household cleaner like
blue wonder or swipe is very good for degassing and as an contact
fluid. Beside this some degreaser or non foaming soap should be
addet for the solving grease and dirt. This was more difficult to
find, but the waterbased decreaser painters use for decreasing
without ammonia works very well. Approx. 2% blue wonder and 3-5%

Martin Niemeijer

Not to worry, I purchased the same ten years ago and still use
it. It’s net industrial grade but it stills cleans my jewelry
like a bigger unit. The only complaint I have is the noise. I
change the solution regularly and clean it with a sponge and
soap. Never dunk in water.

Alan & Jeanette Wood
A & J Jewelers
Quality Jewelry
P.O. Box 963
Winder, Ga 30680
AlanNett@worldnet.att.net mailto:AlanNett@worldnet.att.net