Ultrasonic Cleaners


February 22, 2013, 11:10 AM
Does anyone use a Ultrasonic Cleaner to clean their guns? I was thinking about buying this cleaner with their gun solution. Any thoughts?


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February 22, 2013, 11:20 AM
I have one and made my own Ed's Red solution to clean it. With the exception of still having to scrub the barrel, they work great. I recommend blowing out the firing pin channel afterwards as well.

If you use a water-based solution, you're going to have to ensure that you get every last trace of moisture out of your gun - compressed air, degreaser, etc. and make sure to fully lube it afterwards.

February 22, 2013, 11:39 AM
I use one when I shoot several pistols in the same day. They will need to be lubed well, the solution seems to dry the finish out. A good wipe down with a silicon cloth helps too.

February 22, 2013, 11:58 AM
I have rubber decal grips on one pistol, and fiber optic sights on several.
Will an ultrasonic cleaner damage these? Particularly the rods in the sights?
I have a Harbor Freight cleaner I've never used on guns because I'm unsure if there'd be damage. If I try it I'd probably use the solution Hornady sells.

February 22, 2013, 12:29 PM
I leave anything rubber out, just in case, cuz the water does get pretty hot. Don't know if it would distort it or not.

I typically just do the slides and barrels. While those are cooking, I clean up the frames.

February 22, 2013, 01:04 PM
Harbor-Freight sells a couple inexpensive ultrasonic cleaners. I bought one to clean bicycle parts and it works ok. It doesn't work miracles, but it certainly loosens things up and makes them easier to thoroughly clean.

I use a mix of water and Simple Green, so I wouldn't stick an entire gun in the thing, but it might be useful for cleaning specific parts.

Pete D.
February 22, 2013, 01:24 PM
I use a Harbor Freight Ultrasonic for my 1911. I field strip the gun and put it all in a water based solution. The solution gets pretty darn dirty by the time it. Is all done. I blow the parts off and the frame and then give the frame a quick bath in pure alcohol (stove fuel) to displace any water then I let it dry and oil and lube it.
Been doing this for years. No rust.
A friend recommends using straight bulk wd40 as the cleaning medium. No heat. I have to try that.

February 22, 2013, 02:29 PM
A local rent-a-gun range got a big one which they use to do two or three handguns at a time. They use the water/degreaser mix for the ultrasonic cleaning, dunk in a tub of water to rinse and then do a dip n'drip dry with an "Ed's Red" like soup of solvent and oil afterwards to provide the lubrication and rust protection. The key spots are then futher oiled, the bore dry patched to remove any excess oil and the overall gun wiped down with a rag.

Grips are the only things removed for this as the wood grips would suffer from the water and degreasing detergent and the rubber or plastic grips would not like the solvent.

This method is good enough to keep their guns out on the line making them money.

February 22, 2013, 11:29 PM
I had a el-cheapo Harbor Freight one that was awesome.

February 22, 2013, 11:52 PM
I've got a cheap one from Amazon. I dunno about cleaning gun parts, but I'll never use Windex to clean my glasses again!

February 23, 2013, 12:32 AM
Cheapo Harbor Freight unit and aircraft-specific Simple Green that's safe for aluminum. I dump my Glock slide and frame in there and run two 480 second cycles. It's a cheap unit so the solvent doesn't start to get hot until the end of the first complete cycle. I do the same thing with my bolt carrier groups from my rifles. No more endless scrubbing! You can see black wisps of carbon crud float into solution the second it starts buzzing. It's a very satisfying sight.

February 23, 2013, 09:14 AM
I've use the big heated on from HF to clean my nasty CZ-75. Took off the grips and tossed it in. Used a 1:4 Simple Green to Water Solution. Got nastiness off that I wasn't able to blast off with brake cleaner. Simply rinsed it off with water, dried it, and re-oiled.

February 23, 2013, 11:57 AM
The nice thing about the heat is after you fling off excess solvent, just rinse it under some hot water and the parts will retain enough heat to evaporate whatever drops of water aren't left on there after a few minutes.

February 24, 2013, 09:51 PM
I used an ultrasonic cleaner to clean several WWI lugers. Crud that had not come off in 100 years floated off. I used 709 solution, rinsed, treated again with Slip 2000 as the ultrasonic soln. A little messy to wipe down, but you are sure that every crevice is oiled. It has been several years and no corrosion on any of the Lugers. The cleaners also work well to clean brass if you reload.

Peter M. Eick
February 28, 2013, 04:34 PM
I have a big StullerSonic commercial grade unit. Guns come out surgically clean. I only do it once in a while because it is a slow process of about 30 minutes per gun (15 minutes mpro7, 15 minutes L&R gun oil) but when I am done the guns are near perfectly clean. Definitely worth the money.

March 16, 2013, 09:37 AM
I'm like all the above, I clean the bore's before I put them in the HF Ultra Sonic with Hornaday's cleaner, or simple green and when they are done I take and blow dry with the shop air hose. Then I put them in a tub of G66 gun treatment, [ i think most people have G96 now] for a couple minute's, take them out, blow dry again, then lightly oil where needed.

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