Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Cleaning jewelry with tap water


Does anyone have any experience with ultrasonic jewelry cleaners that just use tap water? I’d love to be good the environment and not use chemicals if I can. But I don’t want to buy something that doesn’t work and end up tossing into a landfill. Any advice would be appreciated.


If you mean just tap water and nothing else, I doubt that would be as effective as adding a cleaning agent to the water. I use Simple Green diluted about 50% with tap water. Works just fine.

Jerry in Kodiak


I tend to use plain water with a couple tablespoons of mild dish soap for most stuff. But I keep mine very hot! About 140F. If I am cleaning castings then I use commercial ultrasonic cleaner. But I will remember the simple green reply for sure. I think that will work quite well.
Gerald A. Livings
Livingston Jewelers


Hello Sandy,
Tap water varies from system to system. Hard water contains many minerals and could interfere with your cleaner. My public water supply is fairly soft (>100 mg/l) and I have had no trouble using it for any chemical solutions. Check with your water supply - call the office where you pay your bill - and ask for the most recent chemical analysis of hardness minerals. If you explain to the water treatment operator what you are doing, s/he can probably get answers for you. There are some water supplies with high levels of iron and manganese, either of which can interfere. Most likely, your public water supply will be fine for your needs.

Judy in Kansas, who spent decades working with water supplies.


If you have a fleet farm near you they have a product called jungle jake
which is a degreaser that is bio degradable. We use it in the stores
ultrasonic. Works great on buffing compound. I think it’s better than
simple green. I’ve tried both. Want impressed with the simple green.
With things like that also if you are using small amounts like we do you
can broadcast the spent stuff out on the lawn and the earth is amazing
filter. We run into trouble as a species when we concentrate all the bad
stuff in big pools and piles. If its little bits the earth could care less.


thank you
@jholtak @Gerald_Livings1 @Judy_in_Kansas @scavengerqr


I’ve always used simple detergent in ordinary tap water. Works fine IF HOT. The heat makes a BIG difference!

Since I often use the ultrasonic for a single item of jewelry, I keep my water/detergent in a heatproof drinking glass which I can stick in the microwave to heat up quickly. It fits into a wire ‘harness’ I made which rests across the top of the ultrasonic. Tripoli and rouge clean up in a minute max if the water is hot.