Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    128

    Default Ultrasonic Gun cleaning

    I posted this on the Workbench forum but got no responses. I guess not many people saw it. I know more will see it here:

    This may have been discussed before but I missed it.

    Has anyone tried ultrasonic gun cleaning, and if so , how does it work?

    Can you clean an entire gun (pistol) in, say, Hoppes #9 or some other solution that would be gun friendly? Or are there some parts on a gun that should never be cleaned that well?

    I suppose it would clean smaller parts well as long as you used the right cleaners and oiled properly.

    Here is a link to ultrasonic brass cleaning: http://www.6mmbr.com/ultrasonic.html

    This is the article that got me thinking about this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Georgetown, Texas
    Posts
    46

    Default Ultrasonic cleaning

    Back in the late '60s when I worked in Aerospace, all parts that came in contact with liquid oxygen were cleaned in a sonic cleaner to remove all trace of hydrocarbons. I don't know what cleaning agent was added to the water in the tank, but I remember that everything came out squeaky clean and shiny. The vibration causes the liquid to cavitate (air bubbles) which forces out particles in small places. You should always add some wetting agent (dish soap works) to allow the liquid to penetrate to all the nooks and crannies and get behind dirt particles.

    SOB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    1,390

    Default

    I have an L&R ultrasonic which I use to clean antique watches (my other hobby). I think one of these machines would do a fine job cleaning pistols or any other fine instrument. But it seems like a needless expense given that handgun parts are so much larger than watch parts. Why not save the cost of the ultrasonic and buy some more ammo?

    Hoppes No.9 is rather expensive, I would suggest some other solvent, maybe an automotive parts cleaner.

    Best regards,
    Greg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    between my keyboard and chair
    Posts
    314

    Default

    i got my ultrasonic cleaner on eBay for $60 broken, fixed it (im an electrical engineer) and it cleans everything in places i could not reach.

    they can clean any metal you want with amazing results. you do not want to put any wood or plastic items in one as they will erode and be destroyed.

    another point to remember, NEVER use any flammable liquids in a ultrasonic cleaner. the ultrasonic waves heat the water and can cause flammable liquids to reach their "flash point" very quickly; it is never a good idea. usually water with a strong or mild dish detergent works surprisingly well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I thought this might be a great way to clean all those hard to get to internal areas of a Mosin bolt, or any other hard to clean parts.

    Some of the small units are not that expensive.

  6. #6
    USMCsean's Avatar
    USMCsean is offline Super Moderator / Silver Bullet member/ Rocket Scientist
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Buckeye country
    Posts
    104,049

    Default

    I cleaned some Suomi bolts in an ultra sonic cleaner and they looked brand new when I pulled them out. It was interesting to see them in the bottom and as soon as I turned it on, a cloud of crud could be seen in the solution pooring out of the small hole in the back of the bolt.
    Semper Fi,
    Sean



    Check out the newest forum on Gunboards! The Brass Exchange. Where reloaders can come and find the brass that they need. http://forums.gunboards.com/forumdis...Brass-Exchange

    Please add your info for the Tikka 91/30 Survey at: http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...=3975#post3975

    We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth-freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious-our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines-to safeguard that gift and
    guarantee no force on this earth can every steal it away. It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.
    Nov 13, 2010 Lt General John Kelly, USMC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    873

    Default

    I have a ultrasonic cleaner at the office and I have done everything from bolts to whole revolvers. It works like a charm. We use the water soluble solvent from BPI. It does not hurt the blueing.

    I had a older woman come in for an exam, when she dropped her purse on the floor and a revolver rolled out. It was filthy, makeup and hair and stuff covering it, the ammo was green. . . she did not know how to clean it. Twenty minutes in the ultasonic cleaner allowed me to take the side plate off and give it a proper cleaning. I even reloaded it with 5 new shells from my carry piece. She was thrilled with the result.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Weston, WV
    Posts
    2,957

    Default

    As far as I know water and water soluble detergents made for use in ulrasonic cleaners are all you can use in them. They are expensive and I have only seen small ones so small parts and as stated not wood are all that can be cleaned in them. In the experience I had with them at work they seem to break very easily and do not appear to be very durable in constant use. I use rubber gloves and Wal-mart automotive cleaner at about $1.19 a can to clean mosin bolts thoroughly with compressed air. At the rate I go through the stuff it would take many years to justify the cost of an ultrasound cleaner and its apparent finicky nature. As you said the parts do come out squeaky clean but then they do this way I use too. The choice will be all yours to make. Bill
    zeebill live from the hills of West Virginia!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    South Dakota, U.S.A.
    Posts
    180

    Default

    I was allowed to bring home a small, unused industrial ultrasonic cleaner from work. I use it just as described in the 6mmbr article to clean brass.

    It's also worked well to clean smaller parts, Mosin bolts included. A drop of dish detergent in tap water is what I used, worked great.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zeebill View Post
    As far as I know water and water soluble detergents made for use in ulrasonic cleaners are all you can use in them. They are expensive and I have only seen small ones so small parts and as stated not wood are all that can be cleaned in them. In the experience I had with them at work they seem to break very easily and do not appear to be very durable in constant use. I use rubber gloves and Wal-mart automotive cleaner at about $1.19 a can to clean mosin bolts thoroughly with compressed air. At the rate I go through the stuff it would take many years to justify the cost of an ultrasound cleaner and its apparent finicky nature. As you said the parts do come out squeaky clean but then they do this way I use too. The choice will be all yours to make. Bill
    The article states that a 50/50 mixture with white vinegar and water with a little baking soda to neutralize the vinegar was the best solution to use (for brass).

    Would vinegar have any effect on blueing?
    Last edited by Nagantnirvana; 08-06-2008 at 09:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    South Dakota, U.S.A.
    Posts
    180

    Default

    You don't need the vinegar to clean guns or gun parts. The vinegar in the 6mmbr article is used as an aid to remove tarnish from the brass.

    Simple detergent will work fine.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default

    to properly use ultrasonics you have to immerse in lube after cleaning ultrasonically or steel parts will rust quickly because there is no oil left on them. on my set up there are 2 tanks. the bottom one is a water based, heated gun cleaner/ degreaser. then the smaller top tray sits on top and in the cleaning solution so the ultrasonic energy and heat is transferred to the top tray. this way the lube gets into all the nooks and cranies. both solutions are non toxic. after the thin lube is wiped off i still apply slide-glide to all the slides and rails, and high wear areas. dont let anyone ultrasonically clean your gun with out ultrasonically lubing it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    338

    Default

    I bought a nice ultrasonic cleaner at Harbor Freight that is large enough to take a bolt. I run it with WD-40 and it does a great job on small parts. I clean all of my bolts and parts smaller than that in the ultrasonic cleaner. It has a heater in it that use sometimes for the more stubborn cosmoline. As stated above you need to keep an eye on temperature if you use volatile solvents. The run time on these is limited to 3 minutes at a crack otherwise the electronics will cook themselves. It has a built in timer that can be set from 180 seconds or less.

    Vern

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Swilltown
    Posts
    1,317

    Default

    I have a heated crest ultrasonic it holds almost 8 gallons of water.I use simple green as a solvent about 1/4 gallon in the 8 gallons really cleans stuff well.especially brass bolts and triggerguards.it will run up to 45 min on the timer.It also cleans hard to reach carbon/sludge deposits in side turbo bearing housings that the glass bead cant always reach.personally I would never use a a flamabe liquid your asking for a fire.also these are generally designed to use water as the frequency they workk at is right for the physical properties of water
    Turbo charger rebuilder and waste veg oil burner

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •