Introductory Guide to Ultrasonic Cleaning

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ddrfraser1

07 Dec 2020, 16:55

Glad this thread popped up again, I'm about to clean some SKCC tall creams. Question, should I dump all the parts in at once or a little at a time? Are there parts I shouldn't put in like the contact leaves?

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Scarpia

01 Feb 2021, 09:04

Ddrfraser1: from what I’ve read you’re better off cleaning 1/4 of a keyset at a time, to get better results. And as for metals I believe it depends on the cleaning solution; tap water can cause corrosion so maybe search around for alternatives; demineralized water might help? I really don’t know.

I just ordered an ultrasonic cleaner - 3L with an 120W transducer and a built in heater, for a very reasonable EUR 77 shipped. No idea if this is the same model recommended in the OP since those links are all dead now, but I’m hoping:

https://www.amazon.se/gp/aw/d/B08DNPLC3 ... UTF8&psc=1

Jan Pospisil

03 Feb 2021, 14:31

Scarpia wrote:
01 Feb 2021, 09:04
Ddrfraser1: from what I’ve read you’re better off cleaning 1/4 of a keyset at a time, to get better results. And as for metals I believe it depends on the cleaning solution; tap water can cause corrosion so maybe search around for alternatives; demineralized water might help? I really don’t know.

I just ordered an ultrasonic cleaner - 3L with an 120W transducer and a built in heater, for a very reasonable EUR 77 shipped. No idea if this is the same model recommended in the OP since those links are all dead now, but I’m hoping:

https://www.amazon.se/gp/aw/d/B08DNPLC3 ... UTF8&psc=1
Please, do share your experience when you get it.
Prices of these things vary so wildly, it's kinda hard to understand what I'm missing. (I saw machines with identical paper specs for twice the price, and they didn't seem much different visually. I wouldn't want something that'll burn my house down, but also it looks like there might be super heavy mark up by local sellers?)

User avatar
Scarpia

03 Feb 2021, 21:46

I got it :) ran a super grimy AEKII keyset (dyesub PBT) through it in three batches.

Spoiler alert: it works great.

A few observations:

First thing: the reservoir is much smaller than you’d think from the outer dimensions of the thing, though the spec isn’t lying; you could probably fit 3L in there if you filled it nearly to the brim. I used 1.55 L.

Second: the heater works, but it’s ridiculously slow. Taking the solution from 15 to 40 degrees C took so long (at 100W it should theoretically take 18 minutes if there were zero loss; it takes more like 25-30 minutes) that I’m probably going to pre-heat the solution in the future.

Third: when the ultrasonic transducer is on, it makes a loud, high pitched screetching noise. I figured it would be a quiet hum, but it’s really not.

For the solution, since I was just cleaning keycaps, I went with tap water and a commercial ultrasonic cleaning fluid. The fluid is just from a hardware store and is labeled as *not* suitable for cleaning jewelry or eyeglasses. It said to dilute it in water 1:10 to 1:20, but I went with 1:30 (50 ml to 1.5L of tap water) because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Oh, and I reused the same solution for the three batches. I am sure you can keep using one solution for many batches.

Temperature wise I went with 35-40 degrees C but I will try with different temperatures in the future.

Finally, I did experiment a bit with the duration, and 4 minutes seemed just right for the disgusting AEKII caps. I did stir the solution while it ran, and the results were almost perfect.

YMMV of course, and I would love to hear how others use theirs.

Before:
8020414C-534C-4812-BC56-FA279930DBB8.jpeg
8020414C-534C-4812-BC56-FA279930DBB8.jpeg (410.62 KiB) Viewed 82 times
After (note: I haven’t cleaned the case at all):
B07527F4-890A-43D2-8B8A-06E681F55876.jpeg
B07527F4-890A-43D2-8B8A-06E681F55876.jpeg (236.21 KiB) Viewed 82 times

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