Too much cleaning! Ultrasonic cleaner? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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GasTurbine
11-13-2012, 07:38
Okay, heres the deal. I have a lot of guns. I also have a lot of friends which dont get to shoot much, so when I have a large project to do, I "hire" them to help, then pay them with shooting time/ammo which they are happy to receive. (I live on 2.5 acres in the country, and have ranges set up in my back yard)

Problem is cleaning. I spent about 4 hours cleaning about 8 handguns last night, and went through a good amount of cleaning supplies as well.

My wife says to make my friends help out with the cleaning as part of the deal, but I am very anal and specific about detailing/lubricating my guns, and just prefer to do it myself.

With that said, Im thinking a ultra sonic cleaner might be the answer. I could put multiple slides/barrels/frames in it, and basically walk away during the clean time. I also read that alcohol is a good medium to clean firearm in one of these cleaners...anybody have any advice/comments/recommendations/experience on the matter?

Thanks!

SJ 40
11-13-2012, 07:51
I too would be interested in the replies. SJ 40

Made in Austria
11-13-2012, 08:13
Ultra sonic cleaners work great and fast. But, I would make sure to disassemble everything before you put it in the bath. You have to fully detail strip the slide and other assemblies. Wipe/blow everything completely dry after the bath. You don't don't want any water left inside the slide, dual recoil spring (if it has one), and other parts. Not even a Glock is 100% corrosion resistant.

samuse
11-13-2012, 08:16
Might be easier to come to terms with reality and quit cleaning the guns so much.

GasTurbine
11-13-2012, 08:29
You don't don't want any water left inside the slide, dual recoil spring (if it has one), and other parts.

I wouldnt use water as the medium. Alcohol, solvent, or another non-water soluble solution would be in order methinks.

GasTurbine
11-13-2012, 08:39
Might be easier to come to terms with reality and quit cleaning the guns so much.

Not sure I follow this one.

Are you assuming Im over cleaning? I can assure you, I am not. They probably tossed over 300 rounds just in one of my 1911s. Besides, certain gunpowder residues can harm (pit/corrode) the inside of your barrel if left in place over time.

Made in Austria
11-13-2012, 08:42
Alcohol contains water, so as some solvents. Strong solvents might attack plastic parts like the firing pin chanel liner, if they contain Ammoniak and other chemicals.

Wake_jumper
11-13-2012, 08:53
Ultrasonic cleaners should only use water and soap as the cleaning solution. Using a flammable solution is quite dangerous.

You will spend more time disassembling and drying out than you will save. They do work well for cleaning barrels though.

GasTurbine
11-13-2012, 08:59
Alcohol contains water, so as some solvents. Strong solvents might attack plastic parts like the firing pin chanel liner, if they contain Ammoniak and other chemicals.

Polyhydric alcohols may have some water in them, but Monohydrics do not.

Ive used brake cleaner with great success, and it does not attack plastics. Neither does Hoppes solvents, and Im sure their are others.

GasTurbine
11-13-2012, 09:06
Ultrasonic cleaners should only use water and soap as the cleaning solution.

I found MANY ultrasonic company who offer non-water based solvents/chemical solutions to run in their machines.

Using a flammable solution is quite dangerous.

Hoppes is flammable.

You will spend more time disassembling and drying out than you will save.

Im not sure how you came to this conclusion. I have to disassemble/dry anyway. Instead of scrubbing and cleaning, I can be doing other things while the parts are in the cleaner.

Made in Austria
11-13-2012, 09:21
Well, it seems like you know everything about ultra sonic cleaners, cleaning, and chemicals! Why did you start an thread asking for advice on ultra sonic cleaners on a gun forum where 98% of the guys don't even have an ultra sonic cleaner? A ultra sonic cleaner forum might be a better source for getting good advices on ultra sonic cleaners.

GasTurbine
11-13-2012, 09:45
Well, it seems like you know everything about ultra sonic cleaners, cleaning, and chemicals!

I wouldnt say that, but I am smart enough to do research.

Why did you start an thread asking for advice on ultra sonic cleaners on a gun forum where 98% of the guys don't even have an ultra sonic cleaner?

How on earth would I know that!? The EXACT reason I posted here was to find out if any gun owners were using them, sheesh.

A ultra sonic cleaner forum might be a better source for getting good advices on ultra sonic cleaners.

LOL! Ill look for one right away, in the meantime, please dont tear down peoples ideas if YOU dont have any experience in the subject.

Regards.

125K9
11-13-2012, 11:38
Well, it seems like you know everything about ultra sonic cleaners, cleaning, and chemicals! Why did you start an thread asking for advice on ultra sonic cleaners on a gun forum where 98% of the guys don't even have an ultra sonic cleaner? A ultra sonic cleaner forum might be a better source for getting good advices on ultra sonic cleaners.

+1:yawn:

curlysir
11-13-2012, 11:52
Well, it seems like you know everything about ultra sonic cleaners, cleaning, and chemicals! Why did you start an thread asking for advice on ultra sonic cleaners on a gun forum where 98% of the guys don't even have an ultra sonic cleaner? A ultra sonic cleaner forum might be a better source for getting good advices on ultra sonic cleaners.

I have one so I guess I am a 2% er. I see nothing wrong with him asking questions. I too would like to know the answer. I bought mine primarily to clean brass for my 5.7 but have also considered using it for cleaning my guns and parts.

scccdoc
11-13-2012, 11:53
I ultrasonic clean my brass. my guns get special attention. DOC

janice6
11-13-2012, 12:25
Sometimes I use my Ultrasonic cleaner with Mineral Spirits, and sometimes I clean the guns by hand using the common solvents. I do all my cleaning in the garage.

Both seem to work well and I don't smell any significant vapors, except when I use aerosol cleaners by hand (like gunscruber). I have never use water. I have used Alconox Detergent (very strong) in Clean-room work for vacuum deposition glassware. Very good.

I do like to inspect the gun parts during cleaning, so I do more by hand.

It is not difficult to find low volatility solvents for Ultrasonic cleaners. Just do a search on the Internet. It also helps to use the cover if you wish to minimize vapors.

Beanie-Bean
11-13-2012, 12:27
I am considering using mine to do the same. It's currently only used to clean brass before I load it up on the bench.

Based on your original post, it seems like you'll be saving some time with the cleaning g chores.

I use a Hornady ultrasonic cleaner with the solution for cleaning brass. They do offer one specific for cleaning gun parts. I will try some during the winter break coming up for us shortly.

Hope that helps

Dave.1
11-13-2012, 13:50
I use M-Pro 7 for regular cleaning and I do know someone that uses it diluted in an ultrasonic cleaner. They to tell you to immerse the guns in their LPX gun oil afterward to remove all the water.
http://www.mpro7.com/is-the-cleaner-water-based-can-it-be-used-in-an-ultrasonic-tank-and-be-diluted-with-water.html

I think having many firearms to clean at once is one good reason for an ultrasonic cleaner.

Dave

mj9mm
11-13-2012, 14:04
i've had good results with "simple green" diluted with water

SJ 40
11-13-2012, 15:15
I have heard of using Ballistol 1 to 10 with water, A poster on a black powder board I frequent takes off his wood grips off and his pistols go into the ultrasonic cleaner.
One thing I know for sure a gun won't rust as long as their is Ballistol in the water and it's a great cleaner to boot. SJ 40

Photoman642
11-13-2012, 16:29
Not sure I follow this one.

Are you assuming Im over cleaning? I can assure you, I am not. They probably tossed over 300 rounds just in one of my 1911s. Besides, certain gunpowder residues can harm (pit/corrode) the inside of your barrel if left in place over time.


It shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes to clean a 1911 that's had 300 rounds through it. A Glock with 300 rounds through it doesn't even need to be cleaned unless you're shooting corrosive ammo.

mike28w
11-13-2012, 17:48
Well, here's just another opinion.... I've had my ultrasonic cleaner for a couple of years now. Bought it from Harbor Freight. A lot cheaper. It can warm the solution. I think that helps.
I bought two different solutions from Brownells. A water soluble cleaner and a thin bodied ( penetrating oil)...

My routine for cleaning a semi-auto is to field strip and remove any grip panels. I then toss everything into the warmed cleaning solution for about 2 minutes. Pull it out and take a toothbrush to any grime that is still present and then back into the cleaner for another minute. in my experience it's clean as a whistle. Absolutely no oil, though.

I then put the cleaner into a bottle ( to save) and put the oil into the ultrasonic tank. I put all of the parts into the tank and run for another 2 min. Take everything out and let drip for a while. I then lube/oil like I normally would.

I've never had any problems with this approach and the guns come out looking great !! The only warning that I would give is to avoid getting the cleaner or oil on fiberoptic or night sights. Supposedly this can cause them to loosen. In this case, I just hold the slide in the solution , just deep enough to avoid covering the sights...

I don't rountinely clean my guns with the Ultrasonic cleaner, but I do like to give them a thorough cleaning about once a year. Whenever I buy a used gun, it goes directly to the cleaner. Whenever I am going to sell a gun, it too, goes to the cleaner. It really does make them look a lot better !!

JMO.....mike

R*E
11-13-2012, 18:34
Polyhydric alcohols may have some water in them, but Monohydrics do not.

What?????? You have no idea what you're talking about.

GaryC
11-13-2012, 19:24
Do it this way with this stuff and you won't have any problems

http://www.mpro7.com/ultrasonic-cleaning-instructions.html

GasTurbine
11-14-2012, 12:00
Hey, thanks to everyone for their useful comments!

The last link with specific instructions was also very helpful!

Regards,
-Chris

R*E
11-14-2012, 19:25
You're welcome. :cool:

shotgunred
11-14-2012, 19:47
Gloicks do not need to be cleaned with just 300 rounds through them.

Personally I don't bother until I have fired a couple of K through one.

GasTurbine
11-15-2012, 05:01
Gloicks do not need to be cleaned with just 300 rounds through them.

It was my prized 1911 that had the 300. 1911s are rather finicky to begin with, so keeping them clean and lubed is always a good thing.

Personally I don't bother until I have fired a couple of K through one.

For plinking/paper shooting (which is what we were doing), I run cheap ammo, like Winchester White Box, which is absolutely filthy. True that a Glock might not mind it less than other makes, but I dont like putting away dirty guns.

Regards.

R*E
11-16-2012, 08:27
My 1911 is an STI. I go way beyond 300 rounds before cleaning it, I use cheap ammo and it works fine.

drcohen
11-17-2012, 06:23
Ultrasonic machines are very effective. However, you don't want a cleaning solution with solvent residue, which can be counterproductive to the lubricant treatment that needs to follow. And, ultrasonics can be overkill for the casual shooter. The stage 2 lubricating bath is probably not a good idea.

I believe in the C+LP concept. In my case, Mil-Comm MC25 cleaner + TW25B grease / MC2500 oil. The cleaner is pH neutral. This is an important feature since pH effects rust and corrosion. Following that up with a quality lubricant protectant with real anti-corrosion ingredients seals the deal.

No matter what you use, don't mix different company's products. There shouldn't be a need to.

scccdoc
11-19-2012, 07:09
Ultrasonic machines are very effective. However, you don't want a cleaning solution with solvent residue, which can be counterproductive to the lubricant treatment that needs to follow. And, ultrasonics can be overkill for the casual shooter. The stage 2 lubricating bath is probably not a good idea.

I believe in the C+LP concept. In my case, Mil-Comm MC25 cleaner + TW25B grease / MC2500 oil. The cleaner is pH neutral. This is an important feature since pH effects rust and corrosion. Following that up with a quality lubricant protectant with real anti-corrosion ingredients seals the deal.

No matter what you use, don't mix different company's products. There shouldn't be a need to.


I tend to keep things simple and inexpensive.For deprimed brass, I use about 1 cup water , 2 squirts Dawn, 1 tablespoon vinegar per 100 rds pistol brass in a sealed plastic container for about 1/2 hr. Rinse thoroughly, dry, place in vibratory polisher followed by a spray of "pledge" or cheaper furniture polish and let dry. Result is cleaner primer pockets, clean interiors, shiny brass and easily reloadable brass... I do not ultrasonic my firearms, if kept reasonably clean, I see no need............ DOC

W.E.G.
11-19-2012, 07:34
This ultrasonic cleaner sounds like something you would use to get a gun spotless before selling it.

I think you are WAY overdoing the cleaning routine.

For that many guns after some sort of "fam-fire," all they would get from me is an oily patch through the bore, wipe off the boltface, wipe off the exterior, and back in the safe.

Do all that detail cleaning some other time when you have time on your hands.

mike28w
11-20-2012, 17:33
........ The stage 2 lubricating bath is probably not a good idea........

Would you explain why you feel that a lubrication bath is not a good idea ?? I don't understand....

Thanks, mike

tnstaafl
10-14-2013, 20:23
Just curious about after I run my guns through the ultrasonic cleaner - it makes sense to run the gun through a lubrication bath cycle in the ultrasonic to make sure that all of the water from the cleaning cycle is gone - will this lubrication process cause any problems for Glocks, being that I've always read that certain areas like the firing pin channel need to be completely free of any lube?

tonyparson
10-14-2013, 20:38
It was my prized 1911 that had the 300. 1911s are rather finicky to begin with, so keeping them clean and lubed is always a good thing.



For plinking/paper shooting (which is what we were doing), I run cheap ammo, like Winchester White Box, which is absolutely filthy. True that a Glock might not mind it less than other makes, but I dont like putting away dirty guns.

Regards.

I'll clean my Glocks even if I just run a mag full through them. I can't stand a dirty gun.

tonyparson
10-14-2013, 20:40
Just curious about after I run my guns through the ultrasonic cleaner - it makes sense to run the gun through a lubrication bath cycle in the ultrasonic to make sure that all of the water from the cleaning cycle is gone - will this lubrication process cause any problems for Glocks, being that I've always read that certain areas like the firing pin channel need to be completely free of any lube?

I'll run a pipe cleaner through my firing pin channel. I keep changing the pipe cleaner out until it comes out dry and clean.

hunter1111
10-14-2013, 21:47
Sometimes I use my Ultrasonic cleaner with Mineral Spirits, and sometimes I clean the guns by hand using the common solvents. I do all my cleaning in the garage.

Both seem to work well and I don't smell any significant vapors, except when I use aerosol cleaners by hand (like gunscruber). I have never use water. I have used Alconox Detergent (very strong) in Clean-room work for vacuum deposition glassware. Very good.

I do like to inspect the gun parts during cleaning, so I do more by hand.

It is not difficult to find low volatility solvents for Ultrasonic cleaners. Just do a search on the Internet. It also helps to use the cover if you wish to minimize vapors.
Friend of mine also uses the mineral sprits and his home hasn't burnt down yet

boilergonzo
10-15-2013, 11:37
One should not use products prone to explosion. Sonicators create little microreactors that get incredibly hot, and can ignite flammable products. Think "mini-explosions".

I like my sonicator for barrels. I use (and re-use) a normal sonicator solution.

A few words of caution... products like Alconox can work great for some things, but absolutely destroy anodizing (don't put your cylinder from a 340PD or other ultralight alloy in the mix!).

To the original poster, after having my sonicator, I came to realize that it is probably fantastic for a gun shop that routinely needs to clean a lot of stripped down parts, but for me, I use it less often for routine cleaning, and really only use it for detailed work. By the time you tear down, clean, and then re-lube the parts, it doesn't save much time unless it was really filthy.

But having a sonicator around is handy for a lot of routine cleaning applications beyond firearms.

As for how much time it will save you, I think you will find the time savings don't pan out for a routine gun owner (like they would for a gunsmith or someone who electroplates guns, etc.). Having said that, I would still buy one just because it does have uses, and it can blast little nooks and crannies out that are otherwise challenging.

NYresq
12-19-2013, 13:51
One of my fellow fed agencies has an ultrasonic cleaner at their range. They use a solution of simple green and water. It only gets used by the armorers who will strip the gun down to the frame. It gets it clean, but then they spend the next 30 minutes lubeing everything as they assemble it cause it pulls all the oil out of the pores of the metal, so when its clean, its also incredibly dry, like no oil whatso ever. Any metal surface needs some degree of protection, even stainless steel will rust if exposed to sweat and salt water. for really gummed up nasty dirty guns, the ultrasonic is nice to have, for 300 rounds don't bother, it takes longer to strip and reassemble then it does to do a normal cleaning.

300 rounds is a 10-15 minute cleaning if done right. 3000 rounds takes a little longer, but still should be less than 30 minutes if you have the right cleaning supplies.

ShallNotBeInfringed
12-24-2013, 14:45
A dipstick gun dealer labeled a gun new in box old stock, and sold it to me. It was clean, and I suspect cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.

mapwd1702
01-11-2014, 18:38
It shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes to clean a 1911 that's had 300 rounds through it. A Glock with 300 rounds through it doesn't even need to be cleaned unless you're shooting corrosive ammo.

Glad I don't allow you to maintain any of my guns!!!! I get my 1911s sanitary level clean, every time I shoot them! I carried my Glocks, so they got top level cleaning as well. I can spend over an hour on each gun, and they all are like new. I spend good money on my guns and keep them in top condition Every thing I have ever heard about gun maintenance is to clean them after each time at the range.

TerryI
02-06-2014, 13:25
Check out Small Arms Review, Vol. 18, No.1. Excellent in-depth article on ultrasonic cleaners & firearms.

tnstaafl
02-07-2014, 07:13
Some have mentioned that the untrasonic cleaning removes ALL oil from the gun - true - what I also got was some stuff from Cabellas called TurboLube - it's an extremely light oil - after the untrasonic cleaning, the gun gets an ultrasonic session with TurboLube - after the session with TurboLube, I hang the parts up and they "drip dry" - no oily feel to the gun at all. the only area where I could see this being a problem is in the striker channel with a Glock, where they advise no lubrication at all.

ERASER
02-07-2014, 19:03
Some have mentioned that the untrasonic cleaning removes ALL oil from the gun - true - what I also got was some stuff from Cabellas called TurboLube - it's an extremely light oil - after the untrasonic cleaning, the gun gets an ultrasonic session with TurboLube - after the session with TurboLube, I hang the parts up and they "drip dry" - no oily feel to the gun at all. the only area where I could see this being a problem is in the striker channel with a Glock, where they advise no lubrication at all.

Would a quick shot or two of automotive brake cleaner remove the oil from the firing pin channel followed by a quick swab with a Q-tip?

(I'm actually thinking of heading to Harbor Freight tomorrow anyway and they have one of their ultra-sonic cleaners on sale...)

fx77
02-07-2014, 19:36
For brass and handguns. Must take of grips for handguns..quick and thorough..many sizes available..works great


Amazon.com: Elma Elmasonic E15H 1.75 Liter Heated Ultrasonic Cleaner: Everything Else@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Fr6NCEplL.@@AMEPARAM@@31Fr6NCEplL

tnstaafl
02-07-2014, 19:40
I have the Harbor Freight model that's probably for sale - I'm happy with it.

I believe that your suggestion about the brake cleaner would work fine.

Dave.1
02-08-2014, 06:36
Would a quick shot or two of automotive brake cleaner remove the oil from the firing pin channel followed by a quick swab with a Q-tip?

Make sure to use the non-chlorinated type of brake cleaner. It will say it on the label. The chlorinated can be hard on finishes and parts.

Dave

AZson
02-08-2014, 06:42
After I pull my parts out of the sonic cleaner, I throw them in alcohol to get the water out pull them out and then set them in a towel, close it and shake them a few times, then let them dry on the towel.