Ultrasonic Cleaner - dont do this................

Discussion in 'Hints & Tips' started by campingstoveman, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. campingstoveman

    campingstoveman Active Member


    I have a small Ultrasonic cleaner which I find very useful and this morning I cleaned some magneto parts. As I wanted the cleaning to be a little more aggressive I put in some cleaner I use for cleaning stainless before applying silicon sealer at work, before my eyes I watched the plastic part basket dissolve and ended up dropping it in a bowl of hot water to nuetralise the reaction. Please check before using some compounds you may get as I did a bit of a shock.

    Martin P
  2. miley_bob

    miley_bob Member

    Re: dont do this................

    Reminds me of the time I emptied the petrol tank that came on my little witte engine. God knows what was in there but it managed to dissolve the container i put it into and started to brun my fingers when i splashed a bit on.
  3. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Have you heard of COSHH Martin?

  4. campingstoveman

    campingstoveman Active Member

    Well aware of COSHH and have the sheet for the liquid and nowhere does it mention that it melts plastic.

    Martin P
  5. Elden

    Elden New Member

    For the lack of a better term, I call an occurance like that an "Aw Shoot" (substitute your favorite four-letter expletive if desired). :lol:

    A few years back, I was rejuvenating a set of very old Edison nickle-iron storage batteries. The process involves dumping out the old electrolyte, flushing out the sediment with fresh water and then refilling the cells with a fresh saturated solution of sodium hydroxide and water.

    I finally located a source of the required quantity of said dry chemical.

    I knew that the reaction with water was exothermic......in other words, it got hot when the water was added. I just didn't realize how hot it got.

    To mix the solution, I used what we call a "drywall bucket" over here in the Colonies. A drywall bucket is a 5 gallon (19 liter) plastic container that is usually used for things like drywall (sheetrock) mud, grout, etc. I dutifully cleaned the bucket, placed it away from the house in the driveway, poured in the dry chemical and started to slowly add water.

    It got hotter than I thought it would and soon the bucket was developing a bulge as it began to melt. (Insert AW SHOOT! here) :eek:

    The day was saved when I grabbed a galvanized washtub, transferred the now very malleable drywall bucket to it and added cold water to the washtub. Luckily, the drywall bucket remained intact until the reaction settled down and I went ahead and finished restoring the batteries.

    I note that these batteries dated from somewhere before the First World War and still took and held a charge! They don't make 'em like that any more.

    Take care - Elden
  6. gvinrad

    gvinrad New Member

    more ultrasonic health & safety

    Dont know if you are all aware of this but Never be tempted to pick things out of the cleaner with your fingers when it is running, if you do then it seperates out the fat cell's in your fingers which will cause problems.

    Cheers, Gerry.
  7. matth

    matth New Member

    Re: more ultrasonic health & safety

    Im sure Im not the only one who could do with a few fat cells dissolving :D
  8. Bishopstock

    Bishopstock New Member


    This was where you went wrong! :D

    When dealing with potentially strong exothermic reactions such as this or the dilution of strong acids you should add the chemical to the water, not vice versa.

    Glad you got away with it, especially as burns caused by strong alkalis are nastier than those caused by most acids - they seem to cling better than acid solutions.

    All the best,
    Pete F
  9. picklesquirt

    picklesquirt Member

    Re: Re:

    Hi folks
    Can I totally agree with with Peter F. I still remember our "stinks" teacher stressing A toW acid ( or Alkali) to water . I like to think of it as the strong solution fighting over the water and generating lots of heat in the process. If you correctly add the strong solution to the water there is plenty of water to go round and no fighting as the solution gradually becomes more concentrated.

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