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Ultrasonic cleaning of musical instruments and chemicals

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I am learning musical instrument repair as a hobby. I have a fairly large ultrasonic cleaner. I would like a homemade non-foaming cleaning solution that is safe on lacquer and silverplating. I also want to know why I am advised not to let anything touch bottom of ultrasonic unit. Do I hang the parts into the unit? A basket is impractical for my larger instruments. Thank you for responding.

Tim Sell
hobbyist - Huntington, Indiana, USA


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Dishwasher detergent is non-foaming, and the mildest would be best. Yes, you hang the parts. Without knowing your ultrasonic cleaning machine I'd guess that the ultrasonic transducer is on the bottom of the tank; you don't want anything to touch it, restricting its freedom to vibrate.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


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Try CIMCIM website-there you can find download free book about care and conservation of musical instruments(R.Barclay: The Care of Historic Musical Instruments).
Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia


May 30, 2009

I have just started with a heated ultrasonic cleaner, very mild. How much detergent to use per quart or gallon? Heat or no heat? How does one know if the machine is working properly?

Tim Sell
- Huntington, IN, USA

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