Choosing an ultrasonic cleaner is nowhere near to being an easy task, especially if you aren’t very knowledgeable about the product. If you try to get one without doing much research, chances are that you will either end up picking the wrong one, or waste way too much money than you actually needed to.
However, you can prevent this from happening by simply doing some research about how to go about choosing the right ultrasonic cleaner for you. So without further ado, let us mention some of the most important factors involved while choosing an ultrasonic cleaner.
What would you be using it for?
Though this is actually just common sense, it’s quite important to not overlook it. You need to keep in mind the things you plan to use your ultrasonic cleaner for, as it helps you narrow your search and find products that may turn out to be some of the better choices for you.
Some of the common things you may want to do (depending on what you’re into) with your ultrasonic cleaner include cleaning parts, preparing lab samples, and so on.
Something you need to note if would use it for getting different parts cleaned
If you intend to use the cleaner to get different type of parts cleaned, you may want to be sure about the dimensions of the largest part you would need to get cleaned. You then need to match with the dimensions of the basket that you can place in the cleaner, in order to find out whether you would be able to get the largest part cleaned with the cleaner or not.
However, while doing this, don’t confuse yourself with the dimensions of the tank, as some tanks may be large enough but they won’t allow a slightly smaller sized basket in.
Similarly, you may also want to be sure about the working depth, which refers to the distance from the bottom of the basket to the surface of the tank which is going to be filled with the liquid. This is usually not mentioned in the specifications, so you may even have to resort to taking help from a technical expert.
This step will allow you to get an idea about the size of cleaner that you should get, which would be just large enough to clean even the largest of parts you may need to get cleaned.
Considering a parts basket for your Ultrasonic Cleaner
Depending on whether you have got some alternatives or not, you may want to consider getting a parts basket. This is simply because it’s not really recommended to place the parts on the bottom of the cleaner, as during the process, the bottom of the cleaner vibrates for some time.
This vibration can lead to the parts acting as a drill on the bottom surface, especially if they are metal ones. This may eventually result in damaging your cleaner in some way.
Similarly, as the part of the items that is in contact with the surface may not be properly exposed, the cleaning efficiency may also turn out to be much lower than what it otherwise could have been.
Some also use a stand to keep their parts off the bottom of the cleaner, and it works just fine too. So if you have got such effective alternatives, you can consider those too.
What about a heater?
Some prefer to use a heater with their cleaner to improve the effectiveness of the ultrasonic cleaning process. While this may work for cleaning items that need to be cleaned of contaminants like grease and oil, it surely won’t for those that need to be removed of blood and other such contaminants.
Hence, it probably comes down to the type of contaminants you are dealing with.
Do you need a sweep mode in your Ultrasonic Cleaner?
Again, it depends. Firstly, let’s understand what the sweep mode exactly is.
To put simply, sweep mode simply refers to the variation of the ultrasonic frequency during the ultrasonic cleaning process. It’s usually around a central value.
If the frequency remains the same throughout the process, it may result in three undesirable things, which are:
- Hot spots
- Dead zones
- Harmonic vibrations
Hot spots refer to the stronger ultrasonic effects due to the fixed frequency. They may result in causing damage to the parts being cleaned, especially if they are a little delicate, such as soft metals, polished surfaces, and so on.
Dead zones are almost the exact opposite of hot spots, meaning that they may result in no cleaning at all for some time during the process. This may turn out to be a little problematic especially while cleaning surgical instruments and other such items, as they may need a thorough cleaning.
Lastly, harmonic vibrations are believed to be resulting in part resonance, which means that the items being cleaned get damaged if they are sensitive ones such as fine wires or crystals. The sweep mode is highly recommended if you intend to clean electronic components in your cleaner.
What’s the ideal frequency?
Usually, the frequency range of 35 kHz to 45 kHz may turn out to be ideal for cleaning most items. However, there do seem to be some exceptions to it, and we will be going through some of the common ones below.
- While coarse cleaning for items with a rough surface, you may want to go for a lower frequency of around 25 kHz
- For cleaning the more delicate items out there such as jewelry, electrical components, and more, the desired frequency will probably be around as high as 130 kHz
Some other factors
Though the above given factors may be some of the most important ones you would want to look out for while choosing an ultrasonic cleaner, you may also want to keep a note of the factors being mentioned below.
- If you need the cleaner to prepare laboratory samples, you may want to go for one that has both the sweep and normal mode
- If the tank is on the bigger side, it’s recommended to have a drain valve as well for ensuring efficient drainage
- If you would be degassing solvents, getting a cleaner with either a Degas mode or a Pulse mode may be a better idea
- Under-filling the tank of your cleaner isn’t recommended, as it may decrease effectiveness and end up causing damage to it over the long term
- Don’t overuse the power (watts/liter) to avoid damaging the items being cleaned