One of the most effective ways to get all the street grease and grime off bike parts is to use an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaners are used in a wide range of industries from industrial to medical and can handle most heavy duty cleaning jobs. Not only can they assist with cleaning bike parts, but they can help lubricate parts as well.
How Ultrasonics Works
To clean a part using an ultrasonic cleaner, you submerge it into a liquid bath. The bath is made of a solution that typically consists of a mild solvent or can even be as simple as plain water. The bath is then excited by a high frequency generator. The generator creates an effect called cavitation.
Cavitation is the creation of very tiny bubbles in the water that collapse over and over again, creating tiny pressure pockets. The pressure works on dirt, grime and debris to loosen it and carry it away from the part you are cleaning. The bath then breaks the undesirable particles up so small that they float on the top of the bath and cannot reattach to your parts.
Cleaning Bike Parts
Ultrasonic cleaners come in all shapes and sizes, but wouldn’t typically be used to clean the frame of a bike. What you would focus on when using an ultrasonic cleaner for bike cleaning are the drive train parts. Items like the chain, the derailleur, cranks, even pedals could be cleaned using an ultrasonic system.
To get started, remove the parts from the frame and give them a quick wipe down to remove any excessive dirt. Fill the tank of the ultrasonic cleaner with your cleaning solution. Start with milder cleaners and work up to stronger ones if you find the parts are not coming clean.
Once the tank is full, place the parts in the basket and submerge into the tank. Most devices come with a timer, so set the timer for five minutes. When the timer goes off, your parts will be clean. If you notice that they are not as clean as you would like, you can always set the timer for longer, or place less parts into the bath at one time.
Finally, dry your parts off and then air dry them thoroughly. Once they are completely dry, use the lubricating pan to finish cleaning the parts and lubricate them properly. Again, set the timer for five minutes. Once the cycle is complete, use compressed air to blow off excess lubricant and you are ready to go.
What Ultrasonic Cleaners Are Best
You are going to want to choose your cleaner by the size of the tank. Two Omegasonics models are excellent for bike cleaning. The Quantum 7950 has a 7.75 gallon tank and is a bench-top-sized model. If you are looking for something a little larger, check out the 1420 BT, it sports a 14 gallon tank for tackling more than one bike at a time!
If you have any questions, please give us a call or send a message. We are happy to help you choose the right model for your ultrasonic bike cleaning needs.