FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Please use the following as a reference and contact us if your questions remain unanswered.
- What is ultrasonics and how does it work?
- What is the purpose of the unit heater?
- Why do I need to degas the fluid prior to the cleaning process?
- What solutions should I use for surgical and dental instruments?
- What cleaning solutions should be avoided?
- How long do I need to clean the surgical instruments?
- Is rinsing required after cleaning cycles?
- How often do I need to change water?
- Can I put my hands into the water when my ultrasonic cleaner is activated?
- Do I have to operate my ultrasonic cleaner with lid closed?
- How do I test the ultrasonic efficiency of my ultrasonic cleaner?
- Why should I use a basket/tray?
- How do I clean my ultrasonic cleaner?
- What is the warranty?
If your question is not listed, please contact us.
Ultrasound is sound energy whose frequency is above the normal human hearing range. In an ultrasonic cleaner, ultrasonic energy is transmitted to the cleaning solution via a bank of transducers attached to the machine's tank. At sufficient ultrasonic power levels, tiny regions of vacuum often called cavitation bubbles form in the liquid as the peak sound wave expansion passes. These bubbles implode almost immediately, creating localised microscopic high-pressure jets and shock waves within the liquid which can dislodge foreign particles from the surface of any articles placed in the tank.
The primary purpose of the unit heater is to maintain a solution temperature between cleaning cycles. The tremendous energy released by cavitation will generate the heat for cleaning.
After filling the tank with water (not temperature critical) and adding a measured amount of recommended detergent, then switch on your machine for a few minutes in order to expel dissolved air bubbles as these bubbles will affect the cleaning effectiveness. You will notice a change in sound and hear a high pitch "hissing" sound when degassing process is completed. When loading each time, place the basket/tray inside the tank gently to avoid re-introducing air into the fluid. Degassing time will vary depending on type of chemical used (e.g. aqueous or solvent), temperature, viscosity etc.
Use only a neutral or low alkaline detergent. It must be low foaming as there is a risk that foam may settle on the instruments when being removed from the machine. Do not use detergents containing chlorides or any corrosive chemicals that will corrode the tank. Be aware that excess amounts of certain chemical additives will not support ultrasonic cavitations. Check with your manufacturer or supplier if in doubt.
Flammables or solutions with low flash points should never be used. Acids, bleach and bleach by-products should generally be avoided, but may be used with indirect cleaning in a proper indirect cleaning container, such as a glass beaker, and appropriate care. Acid and bleach will damage stainless steel tanks, and/or create hazardous conditions.
It should take 3-5 minutes. Extended times are likely to re-deposit the soil removed back onto the instruments. Generally, it is difficult to establish guidelines due to the several factors need to be considered as follows:
- Wide variety of sizes, weights etc.
- Using appropriate cleaning solution.
- Overload the machine with unnecessary mass.
It is therefore wiser to start with a few parts so that they can be cleaned quickly and thoroughly. You can add additional parts and check to ensure the same cleaning results.
Rinsing is recommended to remove any chemical residue, which could be harmful to the part. Parts can be rinsed in an ultrasonic cleaner, using a clean water bath, or in a separate bath using tap, distilled or deionized water.
When the water is heavily contaminated or visibly clouded, it should be immediately replaced. Replacement of the cleaning solution is necessary at least daily (where the machine is used daily) or more frequently, depending on how many what types of parts are being cleaned in your ultrasonic cleaner. If the solution is excessively contaminated, it will cause a loss of ultrasonic cleaning power and possible damage to your machine.
As part of the occupational health and safety, no part of the operator's body should be submerged into the water during operation as the ultrasonic energy is enough to cause damage to joint tissues and result in long-term arthritic conditions.
Your machine should be operated with lid closed in order to prevent excess emission of noise and aerosols.
We recommend the aluminium foil test. After the fluid is degassed, the aluminium foil test can be carried out as follows:
- Suspend a strip of thin aluminium foil approximately the width of the tank and double the depth.
- Lower the foil into the operating tank vertically until almost touching the bottom and hold for 10 seconds.
- Remove the foil from the tank and observe the even distribution of perforations and small pin prick holes.
- The indentations should be fine and evenly distributed.
Some detergents and detergent concentrations will not support ultrasonic cavitation and therefore will give poor or misleading foil test results. We cannot be held responsible for poor foil test results due to use of detergents or concentrations not approved and validated by Soniclean's production and service team. If in doubt, please contact us.
For more information on the above foil test procedures, please see these documents for download and print: Foil Test Validation Procedure.
Dropping in heavy/sharp/hard parts into the tank can damage your ultrasonic cleaner.You should use a basket/tray in order to prevent damage to the transducers and also protect the tank from scratching. Do not use baskets, trays, racks etc. fabricated from heavy and dense material (including soft material e.g. rubber, wood and fabric) as they will absorb ultrasonic energy and affect the cleaning effectiveness.
Use an appropriate suitable stainless steel cleaning powder if the tank is stained with marks. If the outer sealing compound is marked, wipe over with general purpose cleaner. If a scratch has occurred in the tank, use the finest available sandpaper and carefully polish out the scratch. Clean the tank regularly. After use, rinse out the tank and wipe dry.
Soniclean digital benchtop ultrasonic cleaners are guaranteed for a period of two (2) years from date of purchase. All new digital models come in a kit, with essential accessories to ensure ease and effectiveness of use. Additional accessories are also available for purchase. All other Soniclean products come with a one (1) year warranty from the date of purchase.