Ultrasonic Cleaners - What Fluids Should You Use In Them? Find Out Here!

October 26, 2020
Acacia Crossley

There is no doubt that ultrasonic cleaners are some of the best machines available to help deep clean items that would otherwise be difficult to clean.

The machines themselves function via sound frequencies, which force bubbles to impact your chosen object making the dirt fall off. However, in order to function properly, you need to use the correct fluid for your ultrasonic cleaners. But with so many available, what should you be looking for and which fluid will work best for your cleaner?

Can I Just Use Plain Water?

While it would not do your machine any harm to only use plain filtered water, you might as well just wash your items by hand as using plain water will not provide the desired deep cleaning effect that the machine is supposed to offer.

There are water-based solutions that are a step up from just using water if you wish to reduce the amount of cleaning chemicals in your house, however, you must keep in mind that the effectiveness of these water-based fluids is limited.

What Cleaning Fluids Are Available?

While there are countless brands on the market promising the best solutions for your deep cleaning ultrasonic cleaners, all of these products will fall into one of several types of specific cleaning solutions that are all useful in different ways, depending on what you want to clean.

Enzymatic Solutions

Being one of the more specialised solutions, an enzymatic based solution is best at de-contaminating glass, stainless steel and plastics. While it can clean the germs from these materials, these types of solutions are best at eliminating protein-based contaminants.

Alkaline Solutions

Like any other alkaline-based chemical, these solutions have a pH of above 10 as so are best at deep cleaning metals. Specifically:

  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Cast Iron
  • Brass
  • Tin
  • Zinc

However, while an alkaline solution may be best at deep cleaning these metals, there are likely to be some mineral-based stains that these types of solutions will not get rid of. For that, you will need an acidic solution.

Acidic Solutions

Acting as the opposite of alkaline solutions, acidic based cleaning solutions have a pH of below 5 and are therefore ideal for removing grime from metals.

By breaking down minerals deposited on the metals, an acidic solution is best for doing away with rust, scale and limescale making it the perfect choice for cleaning up kitchen appliances.

Keep in mind that some ultrasonic cleaners are not made to withstand the use of acidic solutions, so be sure to check the user manual to see if you are able to use these type of cleaning solutions.

Neutral Solution

Even though the pH base for these types of solutions lands in the middle of acidic and alkaline, it does not mean that it is a useless solution. In fact, this is the best base for cleaning what is classed as "organic dirt," such as dust and grease from your objects.

For this reason, many DIY enthusiasts and mechanics can benefit from a neutral solution when wanting to deep clean their tools.

Deionized water

Do not be fooled into thinking that this is anything like normal water. Deionized water-based solutions have received certain treatment that results in them being great at safely cleaning pretty much any material.

If you are looking for a standard cleaning solution to get you started with your ultrasonic cleaner then go for deionized water solutions as they are able effectively clean plastic and rubber, as well as fabrics and an array of metals.

While this type of cleaning solution may not be very good at specific material deep cleaning, if you have a few items that do not have years worth of build-up of dirt, then these types of solutions are perfect to use.

Other Options

Of course, much like with any type of machine, there are specialised cleaning fluids that you can buy for your ultrasonic cleaner that will have very specific functions.

Options are available for wax removal, smoke damage, and a whole range more, but there is no reason to worry about those until you need them for a specialised deep clean.

How To Know What Cleaning Solution You Need?

Considering the number of choices presented to you, it can be difficult to choose the right base for the cleaning solution that will suit you and the object you want to clean best. So how do you know which one to chose?

First, you need to assess the thing that you want to clean, as well as how it may be contaminated. There is no point in using a specialized cleaning solution for smoke damage if you want to clean a cast-iron skillet with a few rust marks.

You also need to figure out what the item is that you are cleaning. As you can see from the list above, different cleaning solutions are better for certain metals.

Once you know what you are dealing with and why you want to clean it, making a choice should be pretty easy from there on out.

About the author

Acacia works as a freelance content writer alongside getting their film degree. They enjoy writing about health, food and technology and keeps up to date with what is current and popular today.

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