I am sure there must be an equivalent that we can buy in
quantity at the hardware store for a fraction of the price (my
buddy Noah recommended TSP). I imagine I can substitute a good
quality dish soap for the liquid soap that comes with the unit....
I’d bet every mfg uses a different formulation. You’re quite right,
good old dishwashing detergent (get a low sudsing variety) or plain
old rubbing alcohol will do.
I saw a demo of a magnetic finisher where the demonstrator had just
filled the tub with tap water, dropped in the pins & turned the unit
on. The action was rediculous, the pins just sat there. Then he
added a few drops of Jet Dri (the same stuff that’s added to
diswashers to keep the glasses from spotting)& the transformation
was amazing. Everything took off like it was supposed to. He
indicated he’d tried soap, rubbing alcohol & detergent, but Jet Dri
(Dry?)seemed to work the best for him. His demo unit was a small
(about 1 quart) unit.
All that’s needed is a good wetting agent to make the water