What Can You Clean with an Ultrasonic Cleaner, Part III—The Last of the List

This is our third post in a series on exactly what you can clean with ultrasonic cleaners. In the first, we looked at why ultrasonic cleaning covers so many possible items and contaminants, while in the second, we took a look at an example list of items and elaborated on some of the applications for industrial environments.

Let’s dive back into the categories of items you can clean.

Tools and equipment from your plant

Whether it’s carbide cutting tools, food packaging machine parts, piping from inside an oil refinery or just standard-issue tools with contaminant on them, an ultrasonic cleaner can be an asset that keeps your own equipment spotless. Moreover, you’ll save time and money, because ultrasonic cleaning reaches every part of the item being cleaned and does so in less time than an employee would.

Glass, ceramics and other fragile items

After years of media portrayals of high frequency sound shattering glass into bits, it may seem like a very bad idea to clean items like beakers, cannulae and precision lenses with powerful sound waves above the human hearing range. But ultrasonic cleaning is perfectly safe for these items, and can actually save you money in the long run because they will experience less handling and therefore fewer opportunities for scratches or other damage.

Molds, blocks and other large items

Our ultrasonic cleaners come in a wide variety of sizes, so if you’re cleaning such large items the main consideration may be the operating frequency of your unit. Industrial molds and engine parts are often coated with contaminants that are thick and tenacious. They also tend to be extremely durable, don’t need to have a perfectly smooth finish, and often don’t have a complex geometry with narrow crevices and depressions.

A 25kHz unit may be perfect for cleaning these items. These relatively low-frequency ultrasonic waves (just above the upper range of human hearing, which is 18kHz) are “the big guns,” blasting away the most resistant grime. However, if the object has narrow areas, a 40kHz unit with Vibra-bar® Simultaneous Multi-Frequency® will be a better fit.

For more on the role of frequency in effective ultrasonic cleaning, see our recent post Finding The Balance.

Medical equipment and other superclean items

We covered some of these items under glass and ceramics above, but we want to note here that if you’re manufacturing items such as medical instruments and implants, you need them to be perfectly clean, and there’s no cleaning technology quite like ultrasonic cleaning. In addition, when there’s less human handling, there’s less chance of human contamination and other human error. You may want to review the information on 132kHz and higher options in Finding The Balance.

However, we do want to note again that ultrasonic cleaners do not sterilize; spores and viruses are not removed by this type of cleaning.

Being sure

Ultrasonic cleaning offers unparalleled versatility and effectiveness and is used to clean everything from golf clubs and dusty blinds to surgical instruments and nuclear waste cleaning robots. But that doesn’t mean it can clean absolutely anything. Don’t forget that we offer free test cleaning. You can arrange to submit a typical item from your facility and our staff will test clean it, providing you with detailed results.

Need more information on how some of our customers used these highly reliable machines in an industrial environment to reduce costs and deliver a cleaner product? Click here to learn about Ushers Machine and Tool or here to download Ultrasonics to the Rescue, a case study of the results seen by Componex.

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