Best type of detergent for aqueous ultrasonic cleaner?

Discussion in 'Highly Technical' started by NeoPTLD, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. NeoPTLD

    NeoPTLD Platinum Member

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    Instructions call for household dish soap and currently, I use Clorox brand free and clear dish soap.

    What works the best? Dish detergent, laundry detergent, carpet cleaning solution or something else? The instruction is probably just naming something that is readily available, rather than most effective.
     
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  3. CycloWizard

    CycloWizard Lifer

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    Cleaning what? The right surfactant/solvent for the job depends on what material you're cleaning, what the "soil" is, et cetera.
     
  4. NeoPTLD

    NeoPTLD Platinum Member

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    The combination will be limited to aqueous solvent with surfactant. Cleaning will be mostly light oil and non-soluble particles. (jewelry, electronic components). Although, it would be nice to be able to do full degreasing too (small mechanical parts from R/C engine and such), however this being a consumer grade cleaner, I'm hesitant in using organic solvent, except for Freon 113, which is no longer available.
     
  5. CycloWizard

    CycloWizard Lifer

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    Yes, Freon was the bomb. When I was a USAF contracted researcher in oils and greases, that was what we'd use to get rid of the really messy stuff. But, without that, getting rid of oils and greases in any quantity pretty much requires an organic solvent. However, as long as you're dealing with small proportions, a surfactant will do and, as the directions indicated originally, dish soap is just about the best thing out there (Dawn, specifically). There are specialized techniques for cleaning metals, but none of them are really applicable to ultrasonic cleaning as far as I know.
     
  6. NeoPTLD

    NeoPTLD Platinum Member

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    I think the ultrasonic cleaner would withstand heptane just fine, but since it is not designed for it, I just think fire hazard is too significant. Volatility is just about right, and when it gets dirty, it can easily be reclaimed via distillation.

    I think that suspended matter mixed in with oil-miscible sludge (i.e. bicycle chains, automotive valve parts, etc) works better with organics, not just because of miscibility, but the lower surface tension and better penetration.
     
  7. silverpig

    silverpig Lifer

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    When I used ultrasonics at work it'd just have plain water in them, then we'd put a beaker in it with various organic solvents.
     
  8. eli2k

    eli2k Member

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    We use Branson ultrasonic machines in the lab for cleaning glassware, and I think we used their brand of ultrasonic cleaning detergent, too. They are sold at Fisher Scientific, but I don't know if the general public can just order from them.
     
  9. gsellis

    gsellis Diamond Member

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    I use Dawn Ultra (the blue one) in my jewelry tumbler (stainless steel shot) on the recommendation from Gene Sheridan. Gene had tried other combinations and says that Dawn Ultra works the best of any he tried. Cleans coins like nobodies business. I use that to finish wire wrappings.

    As other cleaners, ammonia is a common recommendation for ultrasonics.

    And as a bonus

    Amodex will get pen and Sharpe out of clothing, rugs, etc. If you have Sharpes and a 2 year old, you want to take that down as a note - recommended by Sharpe.

    Goop and Go-Jo are great for many stains in clothing. The combination of Amodex and Goop completely removed roller ball pen stains (designed to be unwashable from checks).

    Your own saliva removes your blood from fabric better than about anything.