Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

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LT USN (Ret.)
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Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:24 pm

I've been reading WAY too much lately about ultrasonic cleaners for firearms and in particular, polymer frames.

After much internal debate with the voices in my head, one was snoring the whole time, I bought the Harbor Freight cleaner with the 20% coupon for Father's Day. $76 with shipping & taxes.

For the solution to clean in I bought Hornady One Shot Clean Solution, Gun Parts Formula, 32 fl oz from Brownells.

So what are your experiences with ultrasonic cleaners?
Do you have comments/concerns about using it on polymer frames?
Do you have a home brew cleaning solution? ☠
Any hints or cool ideas on how to make this method more better?
Do you walk to work or carry a lunch? 🤡
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by TL1000RSquid » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:44 pm

Well I have one but mines a small one I use for parts meant for jewelry really so its long and narrow, G42 frame barely fits in it and only did it a couple times no issues. A friend of mine however has been using one for years on everything including polymer frames he's not had any problems come up either. I'd not use it after every range trip but if frames fit in mine I would occassionally put them in when I do my thorough cleanings and break it down beyond field strip. I use Hornady as well.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by Badgerboy » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:31 pm

Ultrasonic cleaning of parts is definitely more thorough...not needed too often, but when you want to get down to the bare bones and into the nooks and crannies. You can't go wrong with Hornady. Don't toss your wife's jewelry in at the same time though...that may not go over well.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by onlyoldiron4me » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:08 pm

Hmm, have never used mine on a firearm, but many hundreds of lawnmower, small engine and motorcycle carbs thru the years, Jungle Jake or the green stuff!
I would imagine if you used anything that would clean grease, MAJOR lubing or metal treatment would be needed!!
I would love to know of a concoction that would clean and lube at the same time!
Ultrasonic cleaning is awesome, but will strip EVERYTHING with the wrong recipe!
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by DWARREN123 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:09 pm

Never seen the need but some folks like it.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by Eternal_sir » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:53 pm

not on frames themselves, but on parts i have. I mainly use my for cleaning brass. I got an old dental ultrasonic cleaner, thing is a beast and do about 1k 9mm brass at a time
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:52 pm

I use a large ultrasonic cleaner at work, surgical instruments and such. Works great on a number of materials. I can talk for at least an hour on how it works with micro bubbles and detergents. As long as you rinse after what ever you use should be just fine.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:57 pm

C wordLover wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:52 pm
I can talk for at least an hour on how it works with micro bubbles and detergents.
YES!
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:58 pm

Let me know if you have any specific questions
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:26 am

What do you add to the water?

I've read a lot about the micro bubbles and how you make the bubble "harder". I have a waste treatment system vice sewer and I am concerned about dumping anything caustic into it. So I've used Simple Green so far.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:22 pm

Alconox, tergazyme is what I use in my lab. Alcojet would be the best bet your gun cleaning. Works well with polymers and metals. USDA approved. Both are powders, high dilution. After a good rinse everything comes out looking good, softer metals can’t be left to sit in the solution or they build crystals.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:34 pm

C wordLover wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:22 pm
Alconox, tergazyme is what I use in my lab
Lab? Oh please go on.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:23 pm

I work in a research lab. We do things that keep all you old timers around
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by Badgerboy » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:41 pm

C wordLover wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:23 pm
We do things that keep all you old timers around
So, you make Viagra? (C'mon, someone had to say it...) X_X
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:09 pm

I don’t do pharmacology, but you’re getting warmer. Mainly devices and procedural stuff. ECMO for example
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by Badgerboy » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:30 pm

Sorry man...a bad joke. My son is a Physical Therapist working with the elderly...he has some wonderful stories of their progress. Pretty powerful stuff and I'm sure you have similar stories.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:04 pm

No worries on the joke. I don’t see the stuff once it moves to human trials. I do the work to get it there.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by smokee » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:53 pm

So far I've only used the HF ultrasonic cleaner to clean AR bolt carriers/bolts. I mix warm water with about 20% Simple Green. Seems to work well.
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by GlennSFX » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:20 pm

I was debating getting one of these to thoroughly clean the SFX frame. Plan was to take it down as if swapping the trigger, removing the "Locking Block", "Trigger/Bar Assembly" and the "Ejector Block" with the sear components, and cleaning them separately in the ultrasonic cleaner. Once clean, remove them and rinse with clean water. Then blow dry with compressed air, and heat gun on low to ensure all the water is removed and everything is dry.

One question...Does anyone "lube" the sear components, or is it best to just keep them "dry" like the firing pin? Would spraying with Ballistol and wiping/blowing out any excess seem reasonable :?:
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Re: Ultrasonic cleaning of firearms

Post by C wordLover » Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:51 pm

GlennSFX wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:20 pm
I was debating getting one of these to thoroughly clean the SFX frame. Plan was to take it down as if swapping the trigger, removing the "Locking Block", "Trigger/Bar Assembly" and the "Ejector Block" with the sear components, and cleaning them separately in the ultrasonic cleaner. Once clean, remove them and rinse with clean water. Then blow dry with compressed air, and heat gun on low to ensure all the water is removed and everything is dry.

One question...Does anyone "lube" the sear components, or is it best to just keep them "dry" like the firing pin? Would spraying with Ballistol and wiping/blowing out any excess seem reasonable :?:
Rather than the lengthy process to remove the water. After you rinse you could drop them in oil. That seems much more efficient
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