Sonic cleaner question


December 9, 2013, 08:18 AM
I'll have my ultrasonic cleaner in a few days time and I have a question I guess you'll have the answer for. It's about the cleaning "solutions". I know it has been discussed before but my question is somewhat specific.

I have available the Lyman sonic solution locally, but I have read a post in where the author uses a 50% whine vinegar+50% water+dish soap solution. Then he runs the cases through a water+baking soda solution to neutralize the vinegar's acids. I have been using the same method but "manually" (cases inside a big can with a lid and "shake it up" :rolleyes:) with good results. They don't come out shiny, but they do come out clean.

My question is regarding the ultrasonic cleaner's tank. I know they're stainless steel but it's still an acid solution what I will be putting inside it if I use this vinegar solution. Could it be harmful to the tank, in the medium or long term?. Any experiences?.

Inputs appreciated ;).

If you enjoyed reading about "Sonic cleaner question" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 9, 2013, 10:39 AM
It can rust the contact points between the basket and tank and if you forget the soda step you'll get some very dark, zinc-less ugly brass. Ditch the vinegar for brass and gun parts and run either commercial solution or a dishsoap mix. You'll be glad you did.

December 9, 2013, 04:07 PM
Thanks. Mr Baney, who happens to be the gentleman that carried out the test at the 6mmbr site, did not test any commercial product specifically formulated for use with ultrasonic cleaners. If the use of that vinegar solution can be harmful to my sonic cleaner, it's evident that its best avoided.

Those commercial products are to be used diluted. Do you know if the solution obtained after dilution if re-usable?.

December 9, 2013, 04:24 PM
Vinegar and the lead stearate found in primers can combine to create lead acetate which is water soluble and can be absorbed through the skin as well. Since you won't be boiling the vinegar, you are talking about such small quantities that it won't matter much but every little bit of exposure adds up.

December 9, 2013, 09:12 PM
I mix up a solution and clean probably 500 peices before I dump it. Keep two seperate containers, one with your brass solution and one with your parts solution just reuse them till they're nasty! The solution manufacturers say to dump after 1 use but I think this more is to sell more product than anything else.

December 10, 2013, 01:26 AM
Forget the acid. Just water will do almost everything. Water and Dawn will do it all. Dawn residue is not a big deal, and it rinses off easily.
Water rinse/soak gets rid of the acid. Don't need bicarb or anything.
People always make things more complicated than needed--like US cleaning of cases that only need to have the exterior wiped off for "peak" performance.
Vinegar is one of the last things I will treat my cases with and I am not that sure about citric acid. When RCBS first came out with their US case cleaner solution, I checked the MSDS and it had acetic acid in it. I wrote to them and asked if their metallurgists had verified that it wouldn't leach out zinc from the brass.
Latest MSDS I see no longer calls out acetic acid.

December 10, 2013, 04:39 PM
When you get your ultra sonic cleaner you will love it. Just don't use the heater if your model has one. Mine had a small short and set up electrolysis and then developed small holes in the stainless steel around the connection to the heater. Well then all of the cleaning solution drained out into the circuit board and my unit was no more. I soak my brass for an hour or so in water and soap and it was worked purty good. Gets all of the grit off before sizing.

If you enjoyed reading about "Sonic cleaner question" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!