Ultrasonic Cleaning question - what "solution" do they/you use?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Osren, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Osren

    Osren Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 17, 2010
    Mesa, Az
    I've been considering purchasing an Ultrasonic Cleaner... and I was curious what solution (and to what ratio) people are using to clean trumpets / cornets.

    I've heard White Vinegar and Simple Green, anyone out there have an Ultrasonic Cleaner that they use on trumpet parts? If so, let me know what you are mixing in the water to get those babies nice and clean.

  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    There are a bunch of things people use. One of the companies who makes UC cleaners sells a solution with a name that is a number and a letter that is formulated for musical instruments.
    Others use a bit of soap and water. Some add vinegar to that.
    A repair tech named Ken Skitch sells some of his own mix of UC chem as well.
  3. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I use the solution that Ultrasonic Power Corp sells. It's way more effective than any "homebrew" I tried.
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I use 50/50 water/white vinegar with a couple of drops of dish detergent added. My cleaner is only large enough for slides and valves. It does an excellent job though.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    What brand do you use? I can't justify the big 39g. unit, but slides and valves would be good and I would just snake the horn.
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    When I try home brew I can't remember the questionROFL

    I use the UPC solution as well - it costs more for freight than product!
  7. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    Ultrasonic cleaning works best when the surface tension of the water is reduced. 2 common methods are (1) detergent and(2) heat to reduce the surface tension. I bought 4 ultrasonics for Corning when I was their process engineer. They work by creating millions of microscopic air bubbles that explode in the water to scrub. A common way of testing the power of the action is to leave a sheet of aluminum foil in the bath for 30 seconds and seeing how much the foil is worn. Test your soaps solutions or heat this way to see which works best. Don't put your hands in the ultrasonic because it ruptures your cells. A few drops of detergent per gallon of water should work fine. There are different ultrasonic wave lengths used by different manufacturers. The really nice ones use a sweeping wave length that incorporates a few different wavelengths throughout the cleaning cycle. You could make your own ultrasonic cleaner by just buying the transducers and power supply and attaching them to the bottom of a stainless steel pan. You can file this comment under " More than anyone needs to know about ultrasonic cleaning ".
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Here is a stupid question... Is there any proven evidence that ultrasonic cleaning is any better (outcome measure) than conventional cleaning?:dontknow:
  9. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    It is less aggressive because the chemical doesn't remove the zinc from the alloy like the Phosphoric acid solutions commonly used.
    UC machine set up for musical instrument cleaning aren't strong enough to rupture cells. I have had my hand in one more than a few times with no damage, although I didn't make a habit of it when I had access to one.
    The horn also has to be pre-cleaned because UC is best for getting out the crud that normal chemical baths can't get to, such as left over red rouge.

    The process that UC cleaners use is called Cavitation. Cavitation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Could one convert an old parts cleaner or is the steel tub the wrong kind of metal? :think::think:

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