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 can (or should) you put mineral spirits in an ultrasonic cleaner???
slap_shot  [Team Member]
9/6/2008 1:38:15 PM
i found a neat little ultrasonic cleaner that i wanted to use Quibs odorless mineral spirits and CLP mixture in, but i am not sure if its safe to put a flammable substance in something you plug into an electrical outlet. i am not familiar with ultrasonic cleaning but it seemed like it would work like a charm on the bolt, carrier, etc. Will it blow up in my face, or is it safe to use?

here is a link to the cleaner

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=3305
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slap_shot  [Team Member]
9/6/2008 2:53:59 PM
i may have answered my own question by looking at wikipedia. it appears the ultrasonic cleaner i found is a toy compared to what it would really take to clean the grime off of the bolt. looks like this would be just for delicate jewelry. but i am still interested on using the mineral spirits and CLP. what say you??
SoloTwo  [Team Member]
9/6/2008 3:08:56 PM
We need a Ultrasonic thread, kinda becoming interested in one.

Anyone have one thats the best bang for the buck? Would be really nice to just throw the bolt and carrier in there along with pistol barrels.
JTinIN  [Member]
9/6/2008 7:33:35 PM
There are several issues at play including:

Will fluid you select actually clean by "cavitation" when exposed to the energy level and frequency of the ultrasonic you are using. Some fluids don't easily make bubbles and thus do not provide much additional cleaning effect over a solvent tank.

In the past when cleaning lab equipment and samples for failure analysis we would often use alcohol, which cleaned well - however - is not longer approved. When running an ultrasonic cleaner the ultrasonic energy will raise the temperature of the bath (some units also have a heater), which for an flammable fluids could end up with a risk of fire (combination of warm fluids, more vapor, ignition source from the electronics or spot concentration of envergy or a spark). Thus now days the answer is "no flammable fluids".

There are low flash point mineral spirits (over 140F) labeled for solvent tank use, however,t these tend to be mostly replaced by water based cleaners due to safty, disposal and cost (the solvent based are $8+ a gallon compared to much less for paint grade mineral spirits). However, even these will burn if ignited and are not recommended for ultrasonics.

A medium powerful ultrasonic will do a good job of cleaning and removing any marginal paint or finish (even a lot that you did not know was marginal ;-) with a water based cleaner (except for cost, MPro-7 is great), which you follow up with a ultrasonic rinse using a bath with a little oil.