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What ultrasonic chain cleaner do you guys recommend?

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What ultrasonic chain cleaner do you guys recommend?

Old 07-12-23, 08:37 AM
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What ultrasonic chain cleaner do you guys recommend?

Looking to pick up an ultrasonic chain/cassette cleaner sometime today as Amazon has some good sales on their prime day. My buddy said I need a unit that is alt least 6L. What do you guys recommend?
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Old 07-12-23, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by HCB
My buddy said I need a unit that is alt least 6L. What do you guys recommend?
What brand and model does "buddy" have?
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Old 07-12-23, 10:07 AM
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I'm happy with this one so far.

VEVOR 6L Upgraded Ultrasonic Cleaner (400W Heater,180W Ultrasonic)
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Old 07-12-23, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HCB
Looking to pick up an ultrasonic chain/cassette cleaner sometime today as Amazon has some good sales on their prime day. My buddy said I need a unit that is alt least 6L. What do you guys recommend?
Short answer is that you don't need this. Professional mechanics rarely use one, and some of us old-timers have successfully maintained chains for hundreds of thousands of miles without an US cleaner. That said, all you need is something large enough to hold the folded up chain.
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Old 07-12-23, 11:09 AM
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Ultrasonic cleaning sounds like a good method. For me I just remove the chain and soak it in a jar of Charcoal Lighter Fluid then re-lube and reinstall. Not to be disrespectful but lately I have come to consider chains as just another expendable item when worn dirty or not.

The old ChiCom Harbor Freight ultra sonic cleaner is good enough for chains and other parts. You might want to consider other alternatives for cleaning like you washing machine or dish washer...

Clean Parts In Your Washer
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Old 07-12-23, 12:11 PM
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I have an ultrasonic cleaner and I've not found it to be magic. Just like sloshing a chain around in a jar, no matter how many times I run a chain through a US cleaner, the cleaning solution (water with de-greaser) still clouds up. Sure a bit less each time, but I don't feel the US cleaner does anything dramatic with a chain.
And as for other parts, like cassette cogs, I can scrub with a small brush and or wipe them clean very quickly.

I'm not saying a US cleaner is a waste of time and money, and maybe mine just sucks, but I've not found it to be a game changer and I could easily live without it.
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Old 07-12-23, 12:42 PM
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We mainly use ours for the worst shifters, some derailleurs--never chains. Dealing with the dirty fluid is difficult for us.
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Old 07-12-23, 01:12 PM
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My homeopathic method consists of putting the chain in an empty quart paint can with mineral spirits and set it on top of the washer and dryer and do a few loads of clothing. You'd be surprised how much grit and junk that will knock off a chain.
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Old 07-12-23, 04:41 PM
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This Harbor Freight has been great for me for all kinds of cleaning, including chains

https://www.harborfreight.com/25-lit...ner-63256.html
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Old 07-12-23, 05:18 PM
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I wax my chain so that I never have to deal with this.

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 07-12-23 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 07-12-23, 09:05 PM
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There is no one-way to clean all. It depends on the task.

Often I use a combination of US, gasoline soak, concentrate degreaser, evaporust.

I won't go into trade details, but there's a specific order where they all help the next cleaning do better and faster.

For example, I don't throw in a chunky caked up greasy cassette into the US. It'll be much faster if I brush it with degreaser first, and pressure wash that.

The more clean the part going into the US, the faster the US works.
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Old 07-13-23, 01:01 AM
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I have an ultrasonic cleaner and still don’t use it for chains. I prefer St. Sheldon’s method of plastic coke bottle, solvent, replace cap and shake it vigorously. I prefer diluted simple green. Repeat as often as needed with clean solvent. The US can be used for final finishing, but dammit Jim, it’s a chain not a...
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Old 07-13-23, 10:48 AM
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I use the Vevor 2L Ultrasonic Cleaner. It is large enough for my 11 speed chain, and it cleans it well.

Last edited by hrdknox1; 07-13-23 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 07-13-23, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
...Often I use a combination of US, gasoline soak, concentrate degreaser, evaporust.
Finally... Someone with the cojones to mention the all powerful, economical, holy grail, of parts cleaning... "The Gasoline Soak".

Bravo Soya!

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Old 07-13-23, 11:44 AM
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Here guys, this is the low rent fix. The only caveat I would add is to use some tape to make sure the lid does not unscrew itself, and if using solvent of any kind, do this outdoors, not inside.
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Old 07-13-23, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by drlogik
My homeopathic method consists of putting the chain in an empty quart paint can with mineral spirits and set it on top of the washer and dryer and do a few loads of clothing. You'd be surprised how much grit and junk that will knock off a chain.
The sonic method instead of ultrasonic?

How do you make sure it stays on top and doesn't fall down and leak during the spin cycle?
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Old 07-13-23, 12:45 PM
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How do you make sure it stays on top and doesn't fall down and leak during the spin cycle?
I put an old towel under the can. So far it's not moved that much. I have front-loaders and that may make a difference.
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Old 07-15-23, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by soyabean
There is no one-way to clean all. It depends on the task.

Often I use a combination of US, gasoline soak,...
Please do not use gasoline for anything except a motor fuel. It is highly flammable and creates explosive vapors which will travel a long way to an ignition source. It is toxic by vapor inhalation and skin absorption and has been associated with many kinds of cancer. There are much safer solvents.
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Old 07-15-23, 07:35 PM
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In order to keep my US cleaner fluid clean, I put parts in a zip lock bag with whatever cleaning agent (usually Pine-Sol, original formula) expel most of the air and zip the bag closed then leave the top of the bag hanging outside of the tank cover. Once in a while the bag fails and the water is contaminated but my method allows different cleaning agents without draining the tank every time.

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Old 07-15-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer
Here guys, this is the low rent fix. The only caveat I would add is to use some tape to make sure the lid does not unscrew itself, and if using solvent of any kind, do this outdoors, not inside.
kinda cool but you need a cheap ass sander that will Destroy your hand if you use it much. mines vibration is at a much lower level bummer
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Old 07-15-23, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie
kinda cool but you need a cheap ass sander that will Destroy your hand if you use it much. mines vibration is at a much lower level bummer
Garage sales! These are a dime dozen
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Old 07-15-23, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by etherhuffer
Garage sales! These are a dime dozen
you may need a dozen I doubt they last long.
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Old 07-15-23, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie
you may need a dozen I doubt they last long.
they are pretty robust. And orbital sanders are everywhere. Depends on how you value your time. And I have put some nasty parts in an ultrasonic unit only to regret the disgusting sludge that I created in the tank. I like the idea of not getting too technical and using something that someone is getting rid of. Also, method of choice is highly dependent on material and desired finish. Aluminum, steel, chrome, stainless all have different ways to clean them up. When I was younger and rather poor, I would steal tomato juice out of my mom's pantry to soak parts in. It cleans aluminum pretty well. It also cleans up sterling silver. Being older, smarter and having a few bucks I can now buy the right chemical for the job. But I still like the sander as ultrasonic part cleaner.
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Old 07-16-23, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr
Please do not use gasoline for anything except a motor fuel. It is highly flammable and creates explosive vapors which will travel a long way to an ignition source. It is toxic by vapor inhalation and skin absorption and has been associated with many kinds of cancer. There are much safer solvents.
Thank you for the PSA. That guy (and a few others) are lost causes, however. For those guys, I’d suggest using gasoline in the ultrasonicator at 90°F while smoking a cigarette and playing with a Bic lighter. They are headed towards a Darwin award anyway so why not go out in style?!


For the rest of the world, don’t do this!
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Old 07-16-23, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bmc5733946
In order to keep my US cleaner fluid clean, I put parts in a zip lock bag with whatever cleaning agent (usually Pine-Sol, original formula) expel most of the air and zip the bag closed then leave the top of the bag hanging outside of the tank cover. Once in a while the bag fails and the water is contaminated but my method allows different cleaning agents without draining the tank every time.

Brian
Instead of a Ziplock, use a jar or beaker. Glass works best. Much more robust and far less prone to leakage. Ziplock brand aren’t all that great at being sealed well. The knockoffs are even worse.

With a jar or beaker, make they are filled out the same level as the reservoir so that you get the proper effect from the sonicators.
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