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Ultrasonic cleaner and damage to aluminum foil

After reading that an ultrasonic should make holes in aluminum foil,
I tried putting foil into the little unit we have where I teach (It
says “Ultronic” on it, which makes me suspicious). It didn’t do
anything vivible to the foil, though it does get buffing compound
and general grime off of things. It has not gotten all the junk out
of the piercings and behind the half-point diamonds in my Tom Herman

So, do you think this is not really an ultrasonic unit?


Believe me I am no expert. But I have to say it again (a little
louder) : just because it isn’t visible, doesn’t mean it doesn’t
exist. What we need now is a true biophysical engineer to answer
this question once and for all: any takers out there?

Judy and All,

Common sense would I think suggest that any part of your body
vibrating at 42,000 cycles might not be what we were intended to
experience. How about someone trying to floss with their steamer and
report the results. Please consider that most of us who have long
term experience with equipment and chemicals used in jewelry making
have experience injury, short term or permanent from disregarding
advice, intuition. Unfortunately when we find out about
damage to our bodies, it is too late.

Richard Hart

Please notice what the heading of this post actually says-- damage
to aluminum foil. I really am asking about the test someone
suggested of holding a strip of foil in the ultrasonic, and seeing
how the ultrasound causes little holes in it. The little unit where
I teach doesn’t do this, though it cleans jewelry moderately well. I
asked whether the fact that it doesn’t seem to harm aluminum foil
means it isn’t really an ultrasonic, or not a good one. The
responses under this heading so far continue to flog that
ever-so-dead horse (imho) about hands. Anybody care to address a
different question? Thanks!


Years ago, I was taught by watchmakers that this test could be used
to indicate the dead areas of a UC. The waves while passing each
other build themselves up and cancel themselves out within the tank.
Hanging a aluminum foil in the tank would help find the more
productive areas.

These holes can be very small. Hold your foil up to the light. On
the other hand, maybe your cleaner is weak or isn’t working very
well, but you might remember, “if it works, don’t fix it”.

Which do you feel works better in a ultrasonic a metal rack or a
plastic rack?


Which do you feel works better in a ultrasonic a metal rack or a
plastic rack? 

No rack. I bend wire…stainless is best. Then hang the jewelry
off hooks made from the same wire. No interference and the pieces
don’t scratch. Hangers or any thick wire will do. I use the stainless
wires that are inside an old windshield wiper (to keep them stiff)
and bent them to shape. Hangers will tend to rust. Plastic coated
wire is pretty nice too…I chopped up one of those little garden hoop
fences for plastic coated hooks. (green or white) Ring bending
pliers will help you shape them.


    Which do you feel works better in a ultrasonic a metal rack or
a plastic rack? 

Hi Andy;

I don’t perticularly care for those rack. I take Romex, which is
copper wire used to wire houses, and strip off the outer coating.
This leaves some 12 gauge or so solid copper wire with plastic
coating. I bend lengths of it into zig-zags and string the articles
on it and hang the whole stip from edge to edge lengthwise on the
ultrasonic. Those who have seen this will be familiar with this
trick, other’s can email me and I’ll send a .jpg if they’d like.

David L. Huffman

Ultrasonic cleaner rack lining

I line the bottom of my ultrasonic cleaner rack with a piece of the
plastic mesh sheet that I buy in a craft supply store. It has
smaller holes than the steel basket, so small parts stay in better,
and I feel that it cushions the work better. This sheet is intended
for weaving yarn in & out of the holes to make crafty objects. But
it is kind of neat stuff! It has possibilities for display of
jewelry, since it comes in lots of colors, including black. I also
make baskets for my pickle pot with it, (though they melt if I let it
run dry). It is inexpensive, probably around a dollar for one
8.5X11-inch sheet.

– M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler

For shapes that do not hang well or a single piece, I use the little
nylon fish nets/scoops used to get fish out of aquariums. They come
in different sizes. The metal frame sits on the edge of the tank and
the basket hangs deep enough into the bath for most work.


If you could do me this great favor, I would like a picture of what
you are describing.

Best regards,
Alan Jaschkowitz

It is easy to describe: Just take a piece of aluminum foil. Hold it up
to the light, and make sure that it doesn’t have any pinholes in it.
Then, suspend it for a few minutes in your ultrasonic cleaner and
rinse it off. Hold it to the light again, and you will see that
pinholes have been created in it if ultrasonic is working properly.

If you’re REALLY a skeptic…do it AGAIN when the ultrasonic action
is not turned on, to be sure that it wasn’t the water, the chemicals,
the tank itself, or gremlins that did it.

If you INSIST on ‘a picture,’

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David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718

Alan, if you’re asking for a picture of the “plastic mesh sheet that
I buy in a craft supply store” that M’lou was describing, it’s
commonly referred to as plastic needlepoint canvas. You can see
various mesh sizes at if you search for “plastic


Since a lot of people are writing in about meshes of various
materials, I thought we might do well to note Ken Kotoski’s comment
in his most helpful paper of notes on ultrasonic cleaners:

“Anything you put into the ultrasonic that is not a rigid solid (for
example plastic or rubber) will greatly reduce the cleaning ability.
That is why glass beakers and steel trays and baskets are used.They
pass the ultrasonic wave right on thru without impeding them. Wire
mesh baskets are not as good as solid pans or beakers.20 The mesh
actually breaks the waves up into smaller waves and these smaller
waves are weaker and don’t clean as well as if a solid bottom pan or
beaker were used.”

I’m afraid the link I have to the article seems to be for a now
unavailable page.

Janet Berg