1. What detergents should I use in my ultrasonic
This will vary depending on your application. Medical
devices should be cleaned using a pH neutral detergent. Industrial
cleaning can incorporate more alkali or in some cases more acidic
detergents. Special consideration should be made when cleaning
aluminium or other soft metals which are more susceptible to
pitting when subjected to ultrasonic cavitation.
For information on which detergent you require for your cleaning
process please contact Grant on +44 (0) 1763 260 811 .
2. How long do I need to clean my components for?
Cleaning time varies depending on the performance of your
ultrasonic bath and the level of contamination present. Different
conditions (temperature, ultrasonic power, detergent and detergent
dose) will all have an effect on the length of time required to
clean a component.
3. How much can I load into my ultrasonic cleaner?
The more instruments placed into an ultrasonic bath, the
less effective the cleaning cycle is going to be. It is not
advisable to place instruments in the basket so that they overlap
as a more effective clean will be generated if all surface areas
are openly exposed to the cleaning solution. However, filling a
basket so that there is clear space between instruments should lead
to an effective cleaning cycle.
4. What service options are available for my ultrasonic
Grant Instruments can provide tailored service contracts
to suit your specific needs. For more information on the options
available, please contact the Grant service department on +44 (0)
1763 260 811 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Why do I need to degas my ultrasonic cleaner before use?
Gases are present in tap water. To allow optimum
ultrasonic activity to occur within the bath these gases need to be
removed. Activating the ultrasonics, prior to initiating a cleaning
cycle will remove these gases from the fluid. The period taken to
degas the fluid can vary depending on the size of the bath and the
hardness of the water.
6. How often do I need to change the cleaning
This will vary depending on the cleaning application and
the frequency with which the bath is used. When cleaning medical
instruments, it is recommended that new solution is added to the
bath twice a day - based on an 8 hour day i.e. once every 4 hours.
Depending on the convenience and application, industrial ultrasonic
tanks may require a fluid change more or less regularly. The
cleaning results and fluid in the bath should be monitored for
contamination after cleaning and judgment made by the operator on
how often the fluid needs to be changed. Please contact Grant for
guidance on this.
7. Can I remove items from the ultrasonic tank while it is
Items should not be removed from the bath during a cycle.
To ensure the cleaning process is complete, items should remain in
the bath until the cycle has completed. Placing hands in the
ultrasonic bath while running a cycle should also be avoided.
8. Should the lid be on my ultrasonic cleaner when in
The lid should be kept on the ultrasonic cleaner while in
operation. The lid is for the protection of the operator and in
medical applications the patients also. It prevents aerosols
generated during the cavitation process from dispersing and
contaminating the reprocessing environment. In addition, the lid
reduces the noise levels created during the ultrasonic cycle and
helps to maintain the heat of the cleaning fluid in the tank.
9. How can I test the level of ultrasonic activity within
There are a number of recommended tests for establishing
levels of ultrasonic activity in the bath. The foil test involves
suspending a strip of foil into various locations around the tank.
The foil should not touch the base of the tank and should be held
in position for around 1 minute. It should then be removed and
there should be an even distribution of perforations and small
holes on the surface of the foil. Another test requires the use of
Brownes soil test strips. These are plastic strips which have been
contaminated to simulate the contamination which might affect
surgical instruments. After running an ultrasonic cycle the strips
should be taken from the bath and all contamination should have
been removed. An ultrasonic energy meter can also be used to test
the level of ultrasonic activity within the tank.
Please contact Grant for more information on ultrasonic activity
10. Why do I need to use a basket in my ultrasonic
A basket should be used in order to protect the base of
the ultrasonic tanks from damage. Placing items directly into the
tank so that they are in contact with the base can cause damage to
the bath. When instruments are in direct contact with the bath, the
action of generating ultrasonic activity can cause excessive wear
to the base of the tank. Using a Grant ultrasonic bath without a
basket will invalidate your warranty. Items should be placed in a
stainless steel, mesh basket so that the ultrasonic activity is not
11. What is a piezo ceramic transducer?
The transducer is used to generate the ultrasonic waves in
the fluid. Electrical energy is passed through the transducer which
is then converted into ultrasonic energy. When bonded to a tank
full of liquid, this ultrasonic energy creates the cavitation
process within the bath.
12. Is it important for the liquid to have a low surface
Yes it is. Low surface tension promotes the cavitational
activity. Detergents act as surfactants and reduce the surface
tension of the liquid in the bath. Surface tension will also reduce
as the temperature of the cleaning fluid increases.
13. What temperature is best for ultrasonic cleaning?
This will vary depending on the application but in general
higher temperatures lead to better cleaning results.
For industrial cleaning higher temperatures will aid the cleaning
process up to around 70oC. Tests have shown that the most effective
cleaning occurs between 55 and 65oC. Medical instrument
decontamination should not be carried out above 40 degrees C as
this can cause proteins and bioburden to coagulate and bake onto
14. What is the resonant frequency of an ultrasonic
The resonant frequency is the frequency at which the
transducer will operate most efficiently. Depending on the type of
transducer, this is typically between 30 to 45 kHz.
15. When should a glass beaker be used?
A glass beaker should be placed in a basket and used to
hold the items when very small items are being cleaned. Ultrasonic
activity will pass through the glass into the liquid within the
beaker, meaning that small items placed therein can still be
16. Will small or delicate items become damaged in an
In general ultrasonic cleaning is a very gentle process.
If damage occurs, it is more likely to be caused by the detergent
used rather than the action itself. Please contact us for
information on detergent selection.
17. Should I put my hands in the fluid when the ultrasonic
cleaner is activated?
It is advised that no part of the operator's body be
submerged into the fluid during operation of the bath. Ultrasonic
energy can cause damage to joint tissue, create discomfort and skin
irritation and even lead to long-term arthritic conditions.
18. Can I use water alone in my ultrasonic bath?
Ultrasonic cleaning produces significantly better results
when a detergent is used. We do not advise that water alone is used
within the bath. The correct detergent aids in the breakdown of
decontamination while also reducing the surface tension of the bath
and increasing ultrasonic activity.
19. What should I expect to see when I turn on my
ultrasonic bath for the first time?
There will be a small amount of surface ripples across the
liquid. No foaming will occur as ultrasonic detergents are
formulated not to foam. The noise will be higher pitched than
normal and will fluctuate until the liquid is degassed. Once this
occurs, the noise will reduce and remain at a consistent
20. How should I clean large, dense metal objects in my
When cleaning large, dense objects it is important that if
at all possible they are submerged in the ultrasonic tank at an
oblique angle. This allows the energy developed to rebound around
the ultrasonic tank maximising the full potential of the cleaner.
This is particularly important if the ultrasonic tank has only one
radiating face, i.e. the base of the tank.