Ultrasonic Cleaner

Everything you need to know about ultrasonic cleaners

There are so many ultrasonic cleaners available that you may not know which, but choosing the right one is essential to cleaning medical parts properly. Having a general knowledge of available solutions can get you into the right ballpark from there it’s important to know what the parts are made of and what the contaminants are  being removed before you make your final decision. Not all contaminants are removed by all detergents even in an ultrasonic cleaner. The  type of part also factors into which solution can be used otherwise we would just use the most powerful ultrasonic cleaner we can get our hands on. Usually most ultrasonic cleaners using 70% sulfuric acid remove and clean medical tools easily, but this consistency can also eat into carbon and steel a compromise must be made between removing the contaminant and protecting the part.

Here is a some tips on how to use the ultrasonic cleaner properly.

More and more people are buying ultrasonic cleaners these days. These devices are used both by professionals and regular people. Many people choose ultrasonic cleaners because recently the price of these devices has gone down dramatically. These devices help clean all kinds of medical equipment.

Ultrasonic cleaners use very special technology to clean medical and non-medical devices and other items such as jewelry. The process of cleaning with ultrasonic cleaners uses sound wave frequency  that’s above the upper limit of human limit. Ultrasonic waves are around 20 Kilohertz and most people can’s hear them.

The ultrasonic waves in the cleaner create cavity bubbles that destroy the cavity and bacteria sitting on the surfaces of the used medical devices. Since ultrasonic cleaners use microscopic cavity bubbles they really reach every part of the items. Ultrasonic waves cause the water molecules to vibrate rapidly creating alternative waves of compression and expansion. So when there is a vibration created in the ultrasonic cleaner it creates little cavity bubbles and because of these vibrations the bubbles stretch and cause expansion and refraction which destroys all residue sitting inside the depths of the used medical devices. Just because these bubbles are extremely small the process is very effective yet very gentle. When buying ultrasonic cleaners it’s very important to pay attention to the quality and the brand of these devices. Since cheap ultrasonic cleaners can cos you in terms of electricity costs, excessive detergent usage, replacement parts not to mention the time and energy.

Below we will share few characteristics that can vary a lot between makers of these devices.

There are hundreds of ultrasonic cleaning systems on the market today made by dozens of manufacturers and they all are competing for your money. Before you choose one particular brand of ultrasonic cleaner based on cost make sure you consider these technical specifications of this cleaner.

Tank Size - All things being equal smaller ultrasonic cleaning devices will cost less than some bigger units, but depending on what your trying to clean  a small tank may crowd the parts to prevent the ultrasonic waves from properly penetrating them, leaving behind the contaminants and forcing you to run the unit longer, which will increase the cost of electricity usage and the detergent. The tank must be properly sized to allow enough space around the medical devices being cleaned for proper ultrasonic cleaning to occur.

Tank Wall Thickness - We cannot stress enough about how important the tank thickness is with ultrasonic cleaners. Most ultrasonic cleaning devices are made with stainless steel holding tanks and stainless steel is very expensive. Some ultrasonic cleaning makers cut costs by reducing the thickness of the tank wall. Initially this may not be a problem but the higher frequency vibrations of the transducers tend to stress the stainless steel over time and thinner gauge material will actually start to crack and then leak. The stainless near the transducers is usually subject to developing cavity erosion and thinner wall tanks may quickly develop pinhole leakage or worse  when this occurs.

Number of Transducers -The more ultrasonic cleaners have transducers that work with the fluid in the tank the more thorough the cleaning process is. The sound waves will reach the parts from all angle ensuring deep cleaning of every possible surface. Lower cost ultrasonic cleaners usually have less transducers which keeps the costs down. With these devices you will either have keep cleaning the parts or deal with partially cleaned medical devices. 

Temperature Control - If the solution temperature in the tank is slightly elevated from around 100 degrees to 150 degrees Fahrenheit the ultrasonic cleaning usually happens faster and thorough. Cheaper ultrasonic cleaning devices might have an cheap controller units that do not maintain a constant temperature or it may not have the heating mechanism at all. In either case the cleaning times from one batch to another will vary a lot as solution heats and cools or you will have to run the unit longer all the time to ensure proper cleaning. A faulty thermostat that overheats the cleaning solution may actually damage some of the parts inside the cleaner.

Circulation and Filtration Mechanism - During ultrasonic cleaning contaminants that are removed from the medical devices will fall on the bottom of the cleaning tank or even float in the cleaning solution or float to the top of the cleaning solution like oil and greases., Eventually these contaminants will build up and start affecting the ability of the cleaning detergent to do its job, that will lead to  frequently  changed detergent. An ultrasonic cleaning device with a built-in recirculating filtration system can pass solution to the filters and will remove these contaminants, that will help the solution to be used much longer between change-outs. It is extremely important that ultrasonic cleaners have this feature.

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