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What can't you clean with ultrasonics


#1

hi all

i have a question about ultrasonics, i guess they are mainly used for
cleaning dirty items but what exactly can you clean off the jewelry
apart from normal daily build up of dirt and polishing compounds etc,
will it clean of things like the white stuff you get on the metal
after its been in the pickle pot, what about before you solder so the
metal is clean? what can you put in there and can you not? what can
you clean off and what cant you clean off, when can you use it to
clean and when should you not use them to clean

thanks in advance you any help and info you can give

regards
jason


#2

Jason

To get your items clean prior to soldering IS A GREAT IDEA…BUT don’t
drop anything straight from the pickle-pot, why? You will contaminate
the solution and this pickle residue will then get in contact with a
newer item…and the results will make you darn *&^% angry…:slight_smile: I’ll
let someone else answer the rest of your inquiry…gerry!


#3

Avoid Appetite!, Any glued in stone also. Tanzanite is susceptible
to Thermal shock which will break a stone. Any stone that is heavily
oiled such as emeralds.


#4

Jason,

Clean, clean, clean away! I use my small, but mighty, ultrasonic for
everything. Cleaning daily dirt, rinsing off boric acid residue and
removing those pesky polishing compounds.

Bear in mind, hot water is best (so do polishing later in the day,
after water has had a chance to heat), I use a commercially
available blue cleaning solution (from Stuller) and turn the
ultrasonic waves on. Be careful with fragile gems (when in doubt,
check gemstone durability resources before putting in cleaner) and
don’t leave silver in too long (it starts to etchand get frosty
looking). In fact mixing gold and silver can sometimes be chancey,
especially if you leave a silver piece in overnight.

But, in conclusion, the ultrasonic cleaner is an indespensible,
fantastic tool and can be used for cleaning almost anything.

Hope this helps.
Belinda


#5

emeralds, opal doublets and triplets or any assembled stones,
intarsia, turquoise jewelry with sawdust leveling the bezel, baroque
pearls- or any really valuable pearl that can’t be replaced-
particularly if you use any chemical additive to the water in the
ultrasonic unit. you can run it with just distilled water though.
dyed goods (garnets, etc) may fade in ultrasonics… rer


#6

Jason,

Go and buy one and experiment. Keep your fingers (and head) out and
learn. One of these silly things where I have forgotten almost as
much as ever learned, auto pilot mode kicks in. Even a cheap one is
a good starting point. Some stones are a real nono, but if you are
working with them you ought to know how to find out.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#7

I’m confused. Reading through the posts on what you can or cannot
clean in an ultrasonic cleaner, I have seen several references to
not putting fingers in the solution while the it is turned on. Why
not ? I can’t see that there would be any danger. After all,
hospitals use Ultrasound to look at unborn babies or inside livers
and things. Is there something I don’t know about ultrasonic cleaners
that I perhaps ought to.

John Bowling


#8

OK- a bit off the center for this particular group- but a question to
the minds in Orchid and for the ultrasonic-savvy from a newbie… I
am going to be doing some knife blades (1095 steel) and have had a
bother of a time in the past getting the last bit of scale or flux
scale off post forge-welding… From ABANA websites/forums and chats
I have learned and thru postings to swish the edge through the
solution to break the vapor barrier between the quench and the
metal… this agitation if done too soon though- hasproved to warp
several blades (and I have followed the tip-down, vertical plunge
methods fairly stringently)…

-OK- SO… my question is would the “quench” in an ultrasonic assist
in breaking the scale free and as well mobilize the vapor barrier
more efficiently than swishing the blade?

DATA- quench- fluid: Veternarian grade Mineral oil, Flux: Anhydrous
Borax powder, Quench bath: vertical drop into 8" dia 14" deep piece
of steel pipe.

Thanks ahead of time to the Ganoksin mind(s)!
KDuncan


#9

Dear John;

You will quickly find out if you have any arthritus in the joints of
your hands as solids deposited as granules in your joints will
vibrate against the joint surfaces causing pain. All this being said
I have done this for years provided the water is not too hot, thats
how I know.

John Hood


#10
I'm confused. Reading through the posts on what you can or cannot
clean in an ultrasonic cleaner, I have seen several references to
not putting fingers in the solution while the it is turned on. Why
not ? I can't see that there would be any danger. After all,
hospitals use Ultrasound to look at unborn babies or inside livers
and things. Is there something I don't know about ultrasonic
cleaners that I perhaps ought to. 

That is like saying that there is no difference between a laser used
for steel cutting and one used as a presentation pointer they are
both lasers right? But if you put your hand in the way of the laser
pointer no big deal but if you put it in the way of the laser cutter
your hand would explode. It is a difference in power and frequency.
The same can be said for ultrasonics The one used for medical
diagnostics is many times lower in power and higher in frequency than
the one in your ultrasonic cleaner.


#11

One of the tests for a properly working ultrasonic cleaner is to
suspend sheets of aluminum foil in the cleaner for 10 min and it
should be evenly wrinkled and perforated. The cavitation literally
will poke holes in the aluminum. The cavitation in many small
ultrasonics will not seriously hurt you from short immersion times
but it is causing damage. However some of the ones that are sold to
the jewelry industry are high enough power to be concerned about.

Jim


#12
I can't see that there would be any danger. After all, hospitals
use Ultrasound to look at unborn babies or inside livers and
things. 

The ultrasonics jewelers use are designed to produce cavitation in
fluids. Do you really think the ultrasound used in hospitals is
designed to do cause cavitation?


#13
Is there something I don't know about ultrasonic cleaners that I
perhaps ought to. 

YES! If I recall correctly, they damage or destroy white blood cells
whenever you stick your hands or fingers in them as they’re running.


#14

Thanks for the enlightenment. I tried the aluminium foil test on my
little Superbrite Mod Mini and was suitably impressed. Four minutes
to blow it full of holes!

John Bowling