Ultrasonic Cleaning Watch Parts
 
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Thread: Ultrasonic Cleaning Watch Parts

  1. #1
    WTF Veteran Time2Fish's Avatar
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    Default Ultrasonic Cleaning Watch Parts

    I know this has been discussed many times before but after reading post after post, I need to ask a few questions.

    Presently, to clean watch parts, I have an inexpensive ultrasonic machine I purchased off ebay. I also purchased 3 small jars with baskets to hold the watch parts. I use L&R Cleaning and Rinse solutions which have come highly recommended. Presently, I put the parts to be cleaned in my #1 jar with cleaning solution and ultrasonically clean for 6 minutes. After that, I transfer the basket with the parts to jar #2 with L&N Rinsing Solution for 6 minutes. Following that, I transfer the basket with the parts to jar #3 with L&N Rinsing Solution for 6 minutes. After completing the 3 cycles, I place the cleaned parts on my L&N parts drier for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are dry and ready for assembly.

    My problem is that even though I rotate the rinsing solution jar #3 to position 2 quite often and add fresh rinsing solution to position 3, after cleaning 3 batches of parts or so, my parts are coming out with tiny oily droplets attached to the parts. You can clearly see them on the pillar plates. My thinking is that perhaps I am transferring too much solution going from Jar 1 to jar 2 to jar 3.

    I am not familiar with the Ultrasonic Cleaning Machines specifically made for watch parts nor familiar with the process you use to clean parts on those machines. Do you spin off the excess solution after each cycle so as to minimize contamination of the next container? So is it clean, spin, rinse, spin, rinse, spin, dry? Presently I am clean, rinse, rinse, dry and it is not working too well. Should I be drying after each cycle?

    Appreciate your thoughts.
    Last edited by Time2Fish; 04-23-2020 at 06:55 PM.

  2. #2
    WTF Full Member Chris Radek's Avatar


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    My machine spins off before moving to the next jar or the dryer position, yes. I think they all do this. The jars are half full, and it lifts up into the empty half of the jar and spins there for a while before fully lifting.

  3. #3
    WTF Veteran Time2Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Radek View Post
    My machine spins off before moving to the next jar or the dryer position, yes. I think they all do this. The jars are half full, and it lifts up into the empty half of the jar and spins there for a while before fully lifting.
    That is what I expected. A while back, I posted a topic where I was going through 2 cleaning cycles and 1 rinse cycle and had the droplets on my pillar plates. I changed based on the comments to 1 cleaning cycle and 2 rinse. This solved the problem for about 2 or 3 pillar plates then the droplets started showing up again. I think I am transferring too much cleaning or rinsing fluid from jar to jar. Those little steel sievesScreen Shot 2020-04-24 at 9.00.18 AM.jpg hold a lot of fluid when transferred. Wondering if drying between cycles would help. Sure would add a lot of time to the process though. With 6 minutes for each cycle and 6 minutes drying after each cycle, that would be 36 minutes to clean a sieve of parts.

  4. #4
    WTF Full Member Chris Radek's Avatar


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    I'm pretty sure you don't want to dry the cleaning solution on the parts unrinsed.

    Have you priced the old L&R manual machines? I had one long ago, gave it away to someone who was just starting. They are super simple machines, but will do the spin off for you. You could use your ultrasonic for the cleaning stage, and then transfer your basket to the manual machine to finish.

    Hmm... looks like hundreds of dollars for a complete one on ebay, and shipping a hunk of cast iron and glass jars together might be hard for someone to do adequately. Much better to pick one up at a nawcc mart ... if we can ever have events like that again.

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    WTF Veteran Rob B's Avatar


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    What power is your ultrasonic cleaner? Should be a minimum of 50 watts or they don't scrub properly.

    Rob

  6. #6
    WTF Veteran Time2Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    What power is your ultrasonic cleaner? Should be a minimum of 50 watts or they don't scrub properly.

    Rob
    The ultrasonic cleaner is listed as 70 watts ultrasonic power. When I have all fresh rinsing fluids, everything comes out looking great, however, after I put a few parts through the cleaning cycles, I get the droplets. I just might have to upgrade to a new official ultrasonic cleaner. Hard to justify but it keeps me away from the TV.
    watchabit likes this.

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