Ultrasonic cleaning SKCL green Alps

autoload -Uz

09 Mar 2019, 07:30

I've seen a lot of info out there on ultrasonic cleaning Alps, but not a lot of coherent info. I'm hoping to get a specific recommendation on my use case from the experts.

I have a batch of fairly clean SKCL green Alps. I don't know how much use they saw. They don't appear dirty at all inside, however I want to be sure they are clean and smooth for my build. So the plan is to ultrasonic clean, then re-lube with RO-59. But the devil is in the details...

Do I need to remove the switchplates from the bottom housings, or can I keep them together (there are solder blobs preventing full removal of the switchplates). Is it worth the effort of wicking solder off the legs to get them apart if there's no visible dust?

What should be in the ultrasonic bath? I've been hearing isopropyl alcohol, dish soap, denture tabs... how much of each? I have a 300 mL cleaner from Amazon, nothing industrial here.

Does it matter if the water is room-temperature, or does it need to be hot? I don't have a heated cleaner but I can microwave distilled water in a glass dish.

I'm sure these questions have all been answered before, but I haven't found those answers. Yes, I have read through old DT threads, asked around for advice, etc.

Lbibass

09 Mar 2019, 12:10

From my experience, IPA in an UC is the best for a quick, deep clean. You don't really need to UC the switch plates, you can do those by hand to clear the dust off, if there is any.

Menuhin

09 Mar 2019, 12:28

autoload -Uz wrote:
09 Mar 2019, 07:30
...
Does it matter if the water is room-temperature, or does it need to be hot? I don't have a heated cleaner but I can microwave distilled water in a glass dish.
...
Not warmer than 45°C, not so warm to start warping ABS or other plastic

autoload -Uz

09 Mar 2019, 17:32

Thanks. I got impatient last night and this is what I did (for 70 switches):

Top housings with 1 denture tab and a glob of unscented dish detergent, for around 6 minutes.

Sliders with a good amount of IPA in 300 mL water, for around 8 minutes.

Seems squeaky clean. Sliders look like they still have some residue from the stock lubricant but it looks like they have less. These were already pretty clean so honestly I'm not sure this cleaning did much. But it's nice to have an insurance policy against grinding dirt into my switches before I build.

Let me know if I should stick them in for longer before I lube and reassemble.

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