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Offline Rickmann  
#1 Posted : 25 March 2021 12:59:48(UTC)
Rickmann

Portugal   
Joined: 22/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 48
Location: Guarda, Guarda
Hello World

I am considering buying an Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine. I have read several testemonies (or is it testimonials???) of people that clean their rolling material in Ultrasonic Jewel Cleaners. And they say wonders about it.

I have seen on Ebay, these machines with prices starting at 25€ to 30€ (Chinese made). It was a surprise, I thought they would be much more expensive.

However a still have some concerns:
1. Are these (Chinese) cleaning machines any good?
2. Is it that different (for better) to clean a locomotive in such a machine (when compared to hand cleaning)?
3. Is it safe to put our "rolling jewels" in there?
4. What is the importance of the power of the machine? I have seen machines that are set to 20W, 30W, 50W, etc, etc?
5. These machines work with a special cleaning liquid?

If there is anyone with experience in this subject please let me know.

All help is appreciated.

Best Regards and Stay Safe
Ricardo
Offline Zme  
#2 Posted : 25 March 2021 17:49:59(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 348
Location: West Texas
Hello Ricardo, hope all is well.

This is one machine which really works on cleaning, frames, wheel trucks, axles, wheel sets, etc. it cleans better than any hand cleaning could because it cleans everywhere, no spot is missed. When I drop in a brush contact, it cleans it to like new. Copper wheel contacts actually look shiny and clean. I don’t use it for motors, I still clean these by hand. I would not put in a body shell either.

When I was considering buying one I asked on this forum too. It can get very technical and I am certain this is what you discovered also. They can be very expensive, large and have a multitude of features. Several years ago, I purchased a cheaper, orient made unit which is smaller but not the smallest because I wanted to be sure the parts would fit it in. It has a stainless tub with a plastic cage insert, to catch the parts. I found our parts were so small, they would slip thru the cage, so I put a glass into the cage. I add all the parts together and clean them all at one time. I add distilled water to the tank, then more to the glass and a few shots of the cleaner. I add the parts into the glass. I found it helpful to use a tweezer with a magnetic end to retrieve the parts from the glass. This retrieval process can increase the potential to drop or lose a part, so be careful.

I suppose this multiple setup might take a bit longer for it to work, but with these small parts, cleaning is not a long drawn out process. I add a light spray cleaning liquid like Simply Green or something similar. They do provide a sample of their cleaning liquid and when comparing the results against the Simply Green, I could not see a difference. Simply green is not being used full strength here. You probably don’t want a heavy corrosive cleaner, just a light cleaner. Let the machine do the work. I always fresh cleaning liquids each time, dumping out the tub after I am finished. I have noticed, some parts like the frame or lower gear cover, lose some of their burnish color if left in the cleaner to long and be certain to put a small bit of oil into the screw holes to avoid rust in these areas. I don’t leave these parts in the cleaner very long, perhaps one cycle only for this reason.

My cleaner is a basic one and cleans in a countdown cycle which are nine minutes each. If the part is not clean, I have to repeat the cycle several times. I have never had it clean enough in one cycle, it always takes more. If you think it is important to have longer cleaning cycles, you could look for a machine with this feature. Perhaps shorter cleaning cycles might be possible if the intensity could be adjusted. Perhaps a unit with this feature is available. I don’t mind how long it takes because I can be busy with another part like the motor. It might take 15 minutes or more to get the parts clean enough but I may be a bit over fussy. Anyway this will vary depending on the machine you buy.

When the parts has been cleaned, I usually drop them in isopropyl alcohol (99%) for a moment to clean the liquid off and then use compressed air to dry it. Never just leave the cleaning liquid on the part or let the part sit in the alcohol for extended periods as it might affect the finish.

I decided on an entry level machine which cost $50 or less just to decide for myself if they work. I quick discovered they in fact do. It is much easier to clean a locomotive with it. I clean wheelsets from the wagons and they look nearly new when finished. Now I drop in an entire truck assembly from a loco and don’t even disassemble it. Just be certain to douse it in the alcohol bath and blow it dry with your compressed air. It cleans up this way, no problem. You can even clean jewelry when you want to or other family items.

Hope this helps you decide. You can choose your cost ceiling, but even the cheap ones work, and keep working for more than several years. Perhaps when this one wears out, I could get a bit more expensive one, but don’t see a reason to go overboard. You might consider a similar approach.

Take good care.

Dwight
thanks 5 users liked this useful post by Zme
Offline husafreak  
#3 Posted : 25 March 2021 18:20:22(UTC)
husafreak

United States   
Joined: 09/04/2019(UTC)
Posts: 329
Location: California, Bay Area
That's great Zme. I also have a very simple one with an on off switch, very old, originally bought for cleaning RC car bearings (or jewelry depending on who you ask) when I raced them in an Air Force club in the 80's. Still works. I have read many use them also for cleaning plastic parts like 3D printed shells before painting. The plastic trays they come with are definitely sized for rings and jewelry.I just bought my wife some "loose tea strainers" like this:
https://www.amazon.com/g...02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Which might work well for small parts but might rattle a bit too much.
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Offline katz1002  
#4 Posted : 25 March 2021 21:40:05(UTC)
katz1002

Australia   
Joined: 01/05/2011(UTC)
Posts: 22
Location: Sydney
Hi Ricardo

I have access to a industrial mid-size cleaner and also use a small Chinese one at home bought to clean the wife and daughters jewellery (that's how I got the finance ministers approval to purchase).

The small Chinese cleaner cost around $50 and does remarkably well. It has a timer to control how long to run and this is useful as per Dwight's comments on the time left in the bath/solution.

I clean almost all of the moving parts in the home cleaner and am very satisfied (especially the wheelsets).

Surprisingly I have found that using the industrial cleaner and cleaning the plastic building kits, etc makes gluing and painting so much better.

Hope this helps.

Regards
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Offline Rickmann  
#5 Posted : 26 March 2021 13:28:09(UTC)
Rickmann

Portugal   
Joined: 22/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 48
Location: Guarda, Guarda
Hello Everybody

First of all I wish to thank all the prompt responses I received, you guys are amazing. Thank you all.

So, it seams that this is a sound investment. I am really considering this.

What about the liquid you dive the pieces in?

Is it a proper Ultrasonic cleaning fluid? Destiled Water?

Dwight mentioned that after the cleaning he would rinse the pieces in alcohol, so I assume that the cleaning fluid must be something special.

This alcohol is the blue one, correct?

Sorry for all the questions. I hope one day I'll be able to provide help as you guys are providing me.

Best Regards and stay safe

Ricardo
Offline zscalehobo  
#6 Posted : 26 March 2021 15:31:15(UTC)
zscalehobo

United States   
Joined: 22/01/2014(UTC)
Posts: 153
Location: CALIFORNIA, Irvine
I use a local degreaser called Simple Green but it's also diluted a bit just with water. As Dwight mentioned above - never let the cleaning fluid sit long on the parts - as soon as U/S bath is complete - rinse immediately, blow dry with compressed air and then immediately lube with Labelle 108.
Frank Daniels
Owner - z.scale.hobo
A Noch "Top Dealer"
Marklin Dealer and Z Locomotive Service
Irvine, California, USA
www.zscalehobo.com
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Offline bph  
#7 Posted : 26 March 2021 16:36:47(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 364
An interesting topic.
has anyone tried this cleaner in the ultrasonic bath?, it's listed as "ideal for use with ultrasonic devices"
https://www.novadur.de/produkte/outdoor-hobby/fur-die-modelleisenbahn/steam-clean-reinigungsdestillat.html
Märklin is listed as a partner on the modellbahnprofi.com site.
https://www.novadur.de/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/800x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/s/t/steam-_-clean-reinigungsdestillat-5-liter-freigestellt.gif

Abit more info: https://www.modellbahnprofi.com/gutachten/

(PS: they also sell smoke oil)
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Zme
Offline Zme  
#8 Posted : 26 March 2021 17:18:49(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 348
Location: West Texas
Hello, this is an interesting topic, thanks for your contribution.

I was not aware of this product.

I wonder if this liquid is similar to the SR24 product? It might be.

If I used this, until I was completely familiar with it, I would continue to follow the precautions of cleaning the residue of this liquid off of the parts. Just to be certain there is no damage.

Sometimes this type of product will not be shipped to the US, or is very expensive to ship.

Thanks again. Take good care.

Dwight
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#9 Posted : 26 March 2021 18:57:24(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,152
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Use very carefully though.

I tried looking for a COSH leaflet but they don't have one on the web page.

Run the manufacturers web page through Google translate and you get this ...

Mandatory information
images / health hazard.gifdanger
H-phrases
Can be fatal if swallowed and enters airways.
P-phrases
If medical advice is needed, have container or label ready.
Keep out of the reach of children.
IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER / doctor.
DO NOT induce vomiting.
Store locked up.
Use Steam & Clean cleaning distillate carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.

The Steam distillate caries the same health warning ... Scared Scared Scared - and you want to use it in a train room ... Scared Scared Scared Scared Scared Scared Scared

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Offline Zme  
#10 Posted : 27 March 2021 01:59:56(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 348
Location: West Texas
Hi. Yes that is also a consideration.

Care must be taken when handling these cleaners. I always get a bit nervous when I work with the isopropyl alcohol too.

I bet it is pretty toxic and could trigger a fire. I am aware of this and use it carefully, storing it away safely. Like many things, some risks are just unavoidable.

I checked Simple Green and it says it is considered non toxic by some standard and that is good news.

Take good care

Dwight

Offline bph  
#11 Posted : 28 March 2021 23:21:33(UTC)
bph

Norway   
Joined: 04/08/2018(UTC)
Posts: 364
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Use very carefully though.

I tried looking for a COSH leaflet but they don't have one on the web page.

Run the manufacturers web page through Google translate and you get this ...

Mandatory information
images / health hazard.gifdanger
H-phrases
Can be fatal if swallowed and enters airways.
P-phrases
If medical advice is needed, have container or label ready.
Keep out of the reach of children.
IF SWALLOWED: Immediately call a POISON CENTER / doctor.
DO NOT induce vomiting.
Store locked up.
Use Steam & Clean cleaning distillate carefully. Always read the label and product information before use.

The Steam distillate caries the same health warning ... Scared Scared Scared - and you want to use it in a train room ... Scared Scared Scared Scared Scared Scared Scared



Well, the question was not if it was safe to drink, but if someone had tested it in an ultrasonic bath. Smile
It's absolutely very important to read the product information before use, but it's also important to put it into the right perspective. Even normal freshwater can be deadly if you drink too much too fast.

And if you use steam generators, you probably have this stuff already in your train room, as the Marklin (Seuthe) smoke fluid has the same ingredients and warnings. 02420 safety data sheet

Here is the Steam & Clean cleaning distillate safety data sheet (auto translated) ST_CD safety data sheet.pdf (473kb) downloaded 6 time(s).
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by bph
Offline Rickmann  
#12 Posted : 29 March 2021 13:14:01(UTC)
Rickmann

Portugal   
Joined: 22/10/2020(UTC)
Posts: 48
Location: Guarda, Guarda
Hello Again

Now it is official, my mind as suffered a system crash, brain fart, etc, etc

I ordered the machine, it is on it's way, so I started looking for the cleaning liquid.

You have it in "all colors and flavours":
  • Alkaline
    Acid
    Surfactant
    Neutral
    Paint Stripper (considered very aggressive)


Help!!!!!

Thank you

Offline Zme  
#13 Posted : 29 March 2021 17:21:35(UTC)
Zme

United States   
Joined: 02/10/2013(UTC)
Posts: 348
Location: West Texas
Hi Great to have decided, I hope you are not disappointed.

As I mentioned earlier, let the machine do the work. I bet it comes with a sample liquid, you could use it.

If this is not satisfactory, I would use the mildest agent you have on your list. A household cleaner of some sort, I don't know what you have access to. If you can find Simple Green, use it. I never use these full strength anyway, I always cut it with distilled.

As long as you clean and dry the part after taking it out of the tank, you should be good.

Best wishes.

Dwight
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