Ultrasonic Cleaner Buying Guide

A Guide to Buying an Ultrasonic Cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaners are proven to be one of the best forms of precision cleaning across industries. It has many uses and can be used to clean a wide variety of parts. This, however, doesn’t mean it’s a one-size-fits-all solution. Choosing the right ultrasonic machine is important to ensure you get the best cleaning results for what you need, as not every machine is the best for the job.

This guide gives you an indication of the features and attributes you should consider when looking to purchase an ultrasonic cleaner. There are a number of factors to think about to ensure the ultrasonic cleaner you buy is the best for your needs.

It is only a guide, however, and we would advise to get in touch for a free consultation on what Ultrasonic solution would be the best for you.

The Size of the Ultrasonic Cleaner

Does size matter? Are you struggling to know what size Ultrasonic cleaning tank you require?

One of the most important things to consider is the size of the tank. The size can determine a lot about what you will need to provide ultrasonic power and heating-wise. You must consider the largest component you will be cleaning, the number of components you will be cleaning at a time, and how you will be placing the components in the tank.

If the tank is too small, the component will not fit properly and will therefore be compromised in how well it cleans. Similarly, if the tank is too large for what you will be cleaning most often, you may end up spending more money in the long run purchasing solution to fill it to the correct capacity to operate.

The Application and its Uses

What can I use my ultrasonic cleaner for?

This will determine the features you need, as well as the size and power requirements. As ultrasonic cleaners have applications in a number of different industries, the specifications of the machines are individual to their uses. You will need to consider what you will be cleaning in your ultrasonic machine to ensure you purchase one with the correct abilities and requirements.

For example, a benchtop ultrasonic cleaner is best for small parts, instruments, and jewellery cleaning. These systems have a small footprint and are often used in retail environments. However, if your machine will be used in a factory, workshop, or garage setting, then you will require an industrial ultrasonic cleaner as it is more robust, reacts better to harsh chemicals, and has a larger tank size. This is an important part of your buying guide, as it determines your budget, space, and practicality.

Frequency and Power

What frequency and power should I be looking for?

There are many frequencies used in ultrasonic cleaning, each of which has its own uses. When purchasing an ultrasonic cleaning machine, ensure that it has the ability to emit the frequency you need. The standard frequency is 40 kHz, which is compatible with most materials and removes most contaminants. The most powerful is 25 kHz, which is commonly used in industrial applications to remove carbon and other strong pollutions destructively.

As for power, the higher the outage, the higher the number of bubbles produced, therefore resulting in a better clean. Most tanks operate at a standard 50-100 watts per gallon. Beyond this, you are not only wasting energy but risk damaging the parts of the tank. By ensuring your tank supplies the correct power and frequency for your needs, you can ensure the best clean and longevity.

Transducer Quality

What is a transducer and what does it do?

The Ultrasonic transducer is what produces the sound waves in your tank. Because of this, the quality of your transducer and how it is bonded to your tank are key components of effective cleaning. A poor-quality transducer can damage the tank more quickly and can fail without warning, as well as reducing the quality of cleaning.

EJ Ultrasonics’ knowledge in ultrasonic cleaning has enabled us to source, test and develop not only the best transducer for your tank, but also a high-grade aircraft specification bonding material to ensure that transducers are fixed in the correct position and won’t fall off. Our transducers are proven to last longer, with a better cleaning action. This ensures that your machine is of high quality and has lasting reliability.

Wave Sweep Ability

What is wave sweep ability and why should I consider it?

Most ultrasonic systems use a single frequency to create cavitations that clean your parts. This is effective in theory, but dead spots are created because of the space between standing waves. Owing to this, you must consider purchasing a tank that has a sweep ability.

Ultrasonic sweeping is when a tank uses multiple frequencies in a sweeping motion. This movement minimises the empty areas between standing waves and therefore dead spots, resulting in a more effective clean. Every space in the tank now benefits from the cavitations, offering the most optimal cleaning experience. Buying an ultrasonic cleaner without this ability can minimise the effectiveness of the clean, so be sure to take it into consideration.


What temperature do I need for the best Ultrasonic clean?

The temperature of the cleaning solution is essential in some cleaning applications.  Some fluids require heat to ensure cleaning is effective whereas other chemicals may have an adverse reaction to heat. In most circumstances, your ultrasonic cleaning temperature should be between around 50 to 75 degrees similar to when you wash your dishes this gives a good cleaning action. However above 80°C can make ultrasonic cleaning ineffective.

Having accurate temperature controls is essential to an ultrasonic and preventing the burnout of heaters keeps your machine going for longer. It can also be vital to have good heating so your operator isn’t wasting time waiting for a cleaning system to heat before they start work. EJ provides a range of controllable heated options with safety cut-out systems this ensures you have full control of your ultrasonic heating. Please contact us for a consultation if you would like to get the best heating options for your tank.

Timing and Control

How long do I need to clean my component in an ultrasonic cleaning tank?

That question can only really be answered by you, but being in control of your ultrasonic is important as you don’t want to be standing over your machine and waiting for it to finish the process. All EJ Ultrasonics machines come with variable timers and the automated units have specific cycle programs. EJ Ultrasonics are happy to provide consultancy and trials to establish your cleaning times and ensure your tank is fit for purpose.

The level of control of an ultrasonic can vary from a simple to use analogue system to an advanced control digital driven system. Some companies specify analogue control with large knobs to make the machine easy to use for an operator who is wearing gloves.
The amount of control needed is dependent on the application and you can have different systems which give you control of time, heating, and the type of ultrasonics as well as many other features.

Component Handling

How will I mount my component in an ultrasonic cleaner?

It is important when choosing an ultrasonic cleaning system that you know how you will be placing the components to clean. Some of the common reasons for tank wear and damage is users of ultrasonics leaving components on the bottom of an ultrasonic tank.  This is detrimental to a tank as the debris can literally shot blast the tank away and also reduce the efficiency of the unit. Customers should always use a basket or a jig to mount components into an ultrasonic.

During the consultation, EJ Ultrasonics can help recommend the best way to mount your product in the ultrasonic cleaning tank.

Tank Material

What material should my ultrasonic cleaning tank be made from?

This is important for durability and resistance to corrosion. Plastics and other soft materials absorb ultrasonic energy and therefore prevent the energy from reaching the fluid and items. If these materials are used, the ultrasonic power must be increased so enough energy can make its way through the tank to the item, which can be wasteful.

It will be difficult to find ultrasonic tanks made of these materials for this reason; always opt for a tank made of stainless steel. It is durable, resilient and the best material to withstand high ultrasonic cleaner frequencies. At EJ Ultrasonics, our ultrasonic cleaners are manufactured from robust stainless steel to provide reliable, efficient and quick cleaning.

Chemicals and Solutions

Can I use a solvent in my Ultrasonic cleaner?

What Chemical you use in your Ultrasonic cleaning tank is an important factor when purchasing a cleaner. Whether it’s water, an acid or alkaline-based solution, or a dangerous chemical – you must consider what measures must be put in place to enable it to work with your Ultrasonic unit. A  chemical can vastly improve the performance of an Ultrasonic cleaner or cause damage tank or a component. Some solvents have low flash points so must have extra safety measures and sometimes no heating at all.

EJ Ultrasonics will do a full consultation with you to ensure you are using the right chemical for your ultrasonic cleaner and its application.

EJ Ultrasonics are happy to provide a consultation to help you decide which ultrasonic cleaner is the best suited for your needs.

Get in touch today or browse our wide product range for more information.