The 10 Best Ultrasonic Cleaners

Updated December 24, 2017 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Ultrasonic Cleaners
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Sonic waves possess all kinds of useful properties, including the ability to scrub items thoroughly without chemicals. Our selection of ultrasonic cleaners includes industrial and consumer models of various shapes and sizes that are ideal for maintaining jewelry, dental equipment, tattoo needles, and even sensitive items like CDs and DVDs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best ultrasonic cleaner on Amazon.

10. iSonic Professional

Despite its name, the iSonic Professional is more suited for home use than satisfying commercial requirements. It incorporates myriad features that the average consumer will appreciate, like digital controls, a handy timer, and a sleek, compact body.
  • only draws 160 watts of power
  • impressively deep basket
  • instructions lack clarity
Brand iSonic
Model 4820WPB
Weight 6.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Magnasonic MGUC500

If it’s been a while since the last time you washed the grit and grime off of your jewelry or small metal tools, the Magnasonic MGUC500 will help restore them to their former beauty. Unlike hand washing, it’ll be able to access hard-to-reach areas with ease.
  • simple push-button operation
  • built with hard-wearing plastic
  • not the most capacious option
Brand Magnasonic
Model MGUC500
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Gemro Sparkle Spa

By utilizing strong ultrasonic sound waves, the Gemro Sparkle Spa scrubs stubborn dirt and debris off a variety of sensitive materials. It may not be ideal for professional applications, but it should be enough for most household needs.
  • bright digital display screen
  • uses regular tap water
  • may vibrate a lot while in use
Brand bestjewelrysupply
Model pending
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Famili Polisher

When you place your delicate items into the reliable basket of the Famili Polisher, you can be confident that they won’t come out damaged when it’s all said and done. Plus, it offers a useful digital display screen and an automatic shutoff feature.
  • 5 preset cleaning cycles
  • includes a watch holder
  • weighs just 2 pounds
Brand Famili
Model FM8000WW
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Aucma Digital

Thanks to its high-capacity tank, the Aucma Digital can accommodate plenty of items all at once, reducing the amount of time you have to spend running things like watches, knives, or even dental equipment through a cleaning cycle.
  • made with durable stainless steel
  • quiet while in operation
  • powerful heater
Model pending
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

5. Branson B200

The Branson B200 is an efficient, economical choice for those with limited cleaning needs. It works quite well for a variety of jewelry types, as long as you don't overload it at any one time. It’s also a solid choice for handling small electronic components.
  • quick 5-minute cleaning option
  • only 6 inches in height
  • can safely clean eyeglasses
Brand Branson Ultrasonics
Model 100-951-010
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Tek Motion Steel

Everything, from metal silverware to personal care equipment like razors and combs, gets dirty over time, which is why machines like the Tek Motion Steel exist. It’s designed to address every little crevice on each item, ensuring a thorough cleaning.
  • features a fuse protector
  • tank is very thick for durability
  • wide range of temperature settings
Brand Tek Motion
Model pending
Weight 20 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. RCBS Case

Powerful enough to clean brass parts and even firearm components, the RCBS Case is designed with a high-performance ceramic heater and an intuitive display screen that’s easy to program. It even includes a lid holder on the back of the unit.
  • comes with a 1-year warranty
  • has a 6-liter capacity
  • interior basket is stainless steel
Brand RCBS
Model 87056
Weight 20.4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

2. Water-Chestnut Commercial

Even items that seem impossible to clean — like intricate gold chains or highly detailed antique coins — are no match for the Water-Chestnut Commercial. Go with one of the large capacity units if you plan to use it for professional applications.
  • 1 to 99 minutes timer
  • convenient sleep mode
  • 6 size options available
Brand Water-chestnut
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. AW Pro

The AW Pro has a rotary knob to give you precise control over its settings. It can be used for everything from dental tools to tattoo equipment, and it comes with a long drain hose that makes removing the water easy when the cleaning is done.
  • 6 powerful built-in transducers
  • tight-fitting steel lid
  • rubber feet provide stability
Brand AW
Model 36UCN017-SS1.3L-T-11
Weight 20.8 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

How Ultrasonic Cleaners Work

Ultrasonic cleaners use ultrasound technology and either water or a specialized cleaning solution to clean and sanitize a variety of items ranging from jewelry to medical tools to electronic equipment. Most often they operate in frequencies ranging from 20 - 400 kHz. Depending on the efficiency of the transducer and the items being cleaned, cleaning can last anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes, with most cycles ranging from 3 to 6 minutes.

Once an item is inserted into the cleaning chamber and it is filled with a suitable liquid, generally a solvent, the device is powered on. An ultrasound generating transducer then creates ultrasonic waves by changing size in concert with an electrical signal, which is oscillating at an ultrasonic frequency. This causes thousands of minuscule compression waves in the liquid, which are essentially tearing the liquid apart and creating millions of microscopic vacuum bubbles in a process called cavitation.

Once formed, these bubbles are not stable and collapse in on themselves with enormous energy producing upwards of 20,000 lbs. of pressure per square inch and 5,000 kelvins of heat. These bubbles are small enough that they don't harm the item being cleaned, but have the power to remove surface dirt and other contaminants. The higher the frequency used to create these mini vacuums, the smaller the nodes between cavitation points and the further the cleaning power can reach into minute crevices.

Since ultrasonic cleaners are using the incredible power produced as a side effect of cavitation, they don't require the harsh cleaners often used in most industrial cleaning applications.

History Of Ultrasonic Cleaning

While the inception of ultrasonic cleaning goes back to the early 1930s, it wasn't pursued as a cleaning method until the 1950s. The technology was discovered by accident when one of RCA's labs used Freon to cool some internal components of a radio. They noticed that a wave action surrounded one of the crystals, which was operating at 300 kHz.

Later on, in the 1950s, companies began the development of ultrasonic cleaners in earnest and started to sell them for use in industrial cleaning applications. Most of the systems developed at this time operated in the 18 kHz to 40 kHz frequency range.

Despite the fact that we use ultrasonic cleaners that are able to create much higher frequencies now, the cleaning power created at even these low levels was astounding. In the mid to late 1970s, the technology used to create ultrasonic cleaners began to drop in price and lower cost models intended for home use appeared on the market.

Until the late 1980s, the majority of home and industrial ultrasonic cleaners continued to operate at 40 kHz or less. Over the last thirty plus years, advances in transducer technology has allowed companies to make incredibly powerful units that are still small in size, with the majority of the advances happening in the last ten years.

The most recent advances in ultrasonic cleaning have focused on creating a range of frequencies, either simultaneously or consecutively. This is because different frequencies have different cleaning properties. The lower the frequency, the better it works at removing larger particles, and vice versa for higher frequencies. Since particulate that needs to be cleaned is rarely ever all uniform in size, introducing a wider range of frequencies allows for the removal of more particulate and results in a cleaner item.

Things To Consider When Buying An Ultrasonic Cleaner

Before choosing your ultrasonic cleaner, you need to identify what you will be cleaning. This is one of the most important factors to consider before purchase as different cleaners will be better suited to certain tasks. The majority of ultrasonic cleaners operate in frequencies ranging from 35 to 45 Khz, which is well suited to a variety of cleaning tasks.

If you will be cleaning very delicate jewelry or electronics, you would be better of looking for a cleaner that can operate in a higher frequency range closer to 130 kHz. On the other hand, if you're cleaning more durable objects that need serious cleaning power to remove abrasives, you'll want to look for one capable of lower frequencies in the 25 kHz range.

Another important factor to take note of is the size of the tank and basket. You need to ensure that the objects you plan on cleaning can fit into the tank, otherwise it won't matter how powerful the unit is. When looking at the dimensions of your ultrasonic cleaner, make sure that you are comparing the size of the objects you need cleaned to the size of the basket, which is smaller than the tank. Also check the working depth of your cleaning solution. You cannot put cleaning solution all the way to the rim, so just because a tank is large enough, it doesn't mean the solution will be deep enough to fully cover your items.

If you are cleaning delicate items that need precision cleaning, you should keep an eye out for models that have a sweep mode. This is a small continuous variation in the frequency that prevents the creation of dead zones: areas with a minimal concentration of cavitation bubbles. As well as hot spots: areas with a high concentration of cavitation bubbles. Hot spots can damage delicate items, but if you are cleaning durable items where precision isn't a factor, you won't need a sweep mode.

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Last updated on December 24, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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