Preferences for ultrasonic soap

Hi All

I’m writing to see if folks would share their preferences for
ultrasonic concentrate. I noticed I was low on that very thing, and
was wondering if their was a better/cheaper option? Who better to
ask than the Orchid community.

I’m using Stuller’s ultra-CR. It works very well at a low
concentration, (75ml to about 3.0L), but it is a bit pricey. I’ve
used quite a range of wacky mixes in the past. Years back I worked
for a fellow who swore by Wisk and ammonia. It was pretty good.

I clean an average of 30 pieces a day after repair, so I 'm a light
to moderate user. I’d sure like to hear from you folks.

Best to you all,
Robert Wise Studio

Years back I worked for a fellow who swore by Wisk and ammonia. It
was pretty good. 

We use the Otto Frei soap because we get it locally without shipping.
No doubt it’s like Stuller’s. No doubt people will answer with their
own preferences. Simple Green often pops up, as does ammonia. We buy
the commercial products because they are way more powerful and also
the #1 most important thing: They don’t smell.

Hi Bob;

Did a lot of experimentation with this. Once upon a time, we used
amonia and trisodium phosphate. Works well but the amonia smell, and
the pollution from the phosphate enclined us to keep trying. Tried
that organic Green cleaner (forgot the name) but it stunk too, like

We found an excellent cleaner which we can no longer get, it’s no
longer made (damn!). Now we use one we get from a restaurant supply
place called “Like Magic” (premium cleaner and degreaser) which works
pretty good and doesn’t smell bad. I’d stay away from anything with
amonia. Cleans well, but the fumes are surely not healthy to breath.
I’ve never tried powdered detergent for dish washing machines, but
you might want to experiment with that, as it’s low sudsing and

David L. Huffman

I use ZEP brand concrete floor stripper (in the blue one gallon jug
at Homo Depo).

Interestingly, ZEP makes an ultrasonic solution but I’ve never tried

Their floor stripper is a very base pH so it’s safe on pearls and
other stones.

Paf Dvorak

Simple Green has worked for me for 20 years. biodegradable too…

After a lot of experimentation with pretty much all of the solutions
recommended in this thread and others, I went back to using
Gesswein’s ultrasonic concentrate. An ultrasonic works by creating
and then exploding microscopic bubbles, hundreds if not thousands of
times per second. Solutions made to do this work better than
substitutes, at least that’s my experience. It’s considerably pricier
than the non-ultrasonic soap substitutes, but it’s worth the money if
getting the most effective cleaning from your ultrasonic is the

Dave Phelps

Simple Green, buy on special at big box by the gallon. The smell
doesn’t last long mix with water. If You pickle after solder what
else do you need? Also S. G. is great for degreaser for tripoli,
zam, etc… Audrita

Magic green is a top seller when we have it in store.

Regards Charles

Is this the power washer concentrate?


When working and instructing at GIA we used Oakite…a purple
cleaning solution. It just blows grease grime off of jewelry in a
heartbeat and is non toxic.

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Institute


Any way of finding out what Oakite’s ingredients are? I assume it is
not available in my country… Interested to know what blows grease
grime off but does not damage the tank…:-)…

Janet in Jerusalem

Janet, here is a link to some about Oakite BCR. buffing
compound remover. I don’t know if you have a distributor in your
area but companies will ship worldwide…

I personally have used this and it is very impressive.


Any way of finding out what Oakite's ingredients are? 

Just Google for the MSDS. [PDF file]

Al Balmer

Any way of finding out what Oakite's ingredients are? 

Short answer No, not with the originally provided. Some
people have made educated guesses, but in industrial health and
safety we don’t guess has given the range of products made by almost

Chemetall Oakite is a company that makes chemical products for

Their products range from glorified dish soap to de-rusting /
degreasing agents that will turn your hand to bones in almost no
time. To quote from the corporate website: " Chemetall Oakite offers
over 400 specialized products and systems for more than 30
industries, including aerospace, appliance, architectural,
automotive, coil coating, cold forming, general industries and other
surface treatment-related markets including food, pharmaceuticals and
pulp and paper."

I wish people would actually specify which product by its full name
/ catalog number that they are referring to rather than generic or
company names like "Ether"or"Oakite and in which country the product
is… Yes some of us really do not live in the center of the
universe (as many US citizens seem to believe it is) surprise
surprise… why which country, because the ‘same’ product by the
same manufacturer can and often does have different formulations in
different countries.


BCR original ultrasonic cleaning solution by oakite is a commonly
sold to the trade additive. Esslinger, the jewellery supply vendor
lists it in their catalogue as well as common Online Auction sites
that sell it, I believe many will ship it internationally too as it
is not a hazardous chemical. The US based company that manufactured
Oakite was bought out in the 90’s by a German concern and is now sold
by the Chemetall group an industrial supplier with International
Offices. You will have to search them yourself for a nearby location
to yours if you want to request a sample from them, otherwise try
online if you are set on Oakite (“BCR”, is the original US formula -
it is called “Oakite 100” internationally and the bulk of the
ingredients are proprietary unless you use the “way back machine” to
find an MSDS from the original manufacturer. It is based on a
Monoethanolamine and DSP (yes “D”- disodiumphosphate, sold as the
"phosphate free" alternative to TSP available at home stores)
formulae with the balance being trade secret surfactants, degreasers
and emulsifiers.

Esslinger sells it for $7.49 USD in the smallest size in the US. You
will have to research it in your area or have someone in the US that
you know ship it to you if you want it. There are many vendors that
sell similar formulas and many products that rival it (Simple Green
for instance is a similar formulation, but is more bio-friendly than
"Esscor/Esslinger’s Oakite made by Chemetall group GmBH)…

Karl Fischer Co. in Germany sells an ultrasonic cleaner that is safe
for all jewellery including pearls that they will ship
internationally called Semida Universal. It is a liquid, can be
disposed of down the sink and is quite effective. Many liquid
products cannot be shipped internationally by the vendors. You may
have to have a friend send them to you if there is a specific brand
you want that you cannot get in Israel. Most powdered products (to be
mixed with tap or distilled waters as the individual product will
specify) are more likely to be shippable. Karl Fischer makes an
excellent product “UltraCleaner U2000” that is for dissolving
compound and residues on metals (without pearl or coral) that can be
mailed internationally. It is inexpensive (before shipping options)
however Israeli jewellery suppliers have similar formulations that
you should be able to buy easily…

If you need assistance in getting any products feel free to contact
me off list. rer