How Do Ultrasonic Cleaners Work?
An ultrasonic cleaner is a device that uses ultrasound to remove the dirt from your jewelry.
The items are placed in a tank filled with a cleaning solution.
After the cleaner is turned on, its motor produces ultrasonic vibrations through the liquid.
These vibrations break down the dirt particles accumulated on the surface of your jewelry.
The good thing about ultrasonic cleaners is that they can clean the parts of your jewelry that are otherwise unreachable when using more conventional methods.
What Cleaning Solution Should Be Used?
One option you have for the cleaning solution is a jewelry cleaner that you can buy at the store — check out this popular brand, which can be used in an ultrasonic cleaner.
The alternative is to prepare a cleaning liquid yourself.
If you choose to make a homemade cleaning solution, just fill the tank of your cleaner with water, and add a tablespoon of ammonia.
Then add some dishwashing liquid and you’re done – it’s that simple.
You might want to turn the machine on and let it run without any items for 5-10 minutes so that the solution gets mixed well.
Remember to Heat It Up
One of the common mistakes people make when using an ultrasonic cleaner is to put cold water in the tank. For the cleaning solution to work best, it needs to be hot.
There are ultrasonic cleaners that have a built-in heater to ensure that the solution is heated up. However, these models can be much more expensive than the regular ones.
All you need to do is just heat the water up before you put it in the tank (do not bring the water to a boil, though). Then you can mix in the ammonia and the dishwashing liquid.
The Cleaning Process
After you have filled the tank with hot water and poured the cleaning liquid, you can put your jewelry inside. Don’t put in too many pieces at once, though, so as not to scratch your jewelry.
Turn the device on and let it run for as long as needed until you jewelry is clean. (Depending on how dirty the items are, this time usually varies from 1 to 20 minutes.)
After the cleaning is done, switch the cleaner off and leave your jewelry inside for another 5-10 minutes so that the dirt particles that were knocked off your pieces by the sound waves can fall to the bottom of the tank.
After you take your jewelry out, you can clean it briefly with a soft brush to make sure that any residual dirt is removed, especially from the mountings of your rings.
Rinse the items to wash off any remaining detergent, and dry them with a soft cloth.
How Often Should You Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner?
The frequency of using an ultrasonic cleaner will depend on how quickly your jewelry gets dirty.
In general, you can clean your jewelry with ultrasound every couple of weeks.
If you wear you pieces every day and they accumulate dirt more quickly, you can clean them every week.
As long as your jewelry is made of materials that can take ultrasound, cleaning your items more often will not hurt them.
What You Should Not Put in an Ultrasonic Cleaner
Not all jewelry should be cleaned with an ultrasonic device.
Many gemstones can be easily damaged by ultrasound. Do not put in softer gemstones such as opals, lapis lazuli, emeralds, turquoise, etc.
Organic jewelry such as pearls, coral pieces, or amber can also be damaged.
Also, do not put inside your ultrasonic cleaner gemstones whose color has been enhanced through heat treatment.