The 10 Best Ultrasonic Cleaners

Updated August 01, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Ultrasonic Cleaners
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Sonic waves have all kinds of handy properties, including the ability to clean items without chemicals. Our selection of ultrasonic cleaners includes industrial and consumer models ideal for maintaining jewelry, medical equipment, tattoo needles, and even 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 P4820-WPB

The iSonic P4820-WPB is better suited to home consumer use than business needs and, with that in mind, they seem to have incorporated a lot of features that the average consumer will appreciate, like digital controls and a sleek, compact body.
  • only draws 160w of power
  • budget-friendly price point
  • cannot use it continuously
Brand iSonic
Model 4820WPB
Weight 6.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Kendal HB-36MHT

The Kendal HB-36MHT has a generous six liter capacity, making it ideal for cleaning large equipment. Its all stainless construction means it will last for years and won't rust or deteriorate, even with heavy use in a demanding environment.
  • powerful 200w heating element
  • easy flow control drain valve
  • extremely loud when cleaning
Brand Kendal
Model pending
Weight 16.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. GemOro 1787

Curious individuals who like to see their ultrasonic cleaner in action will appreciate the clear glass lid of the GemOro 1787. It is powerful enough to send out 42,000 ultrasonic waves per second, so it can clean nearly anything as long as it fits in the small tank.
  • digital heater control
  • lightweight at just 5 pounds
  • max cleaning time is just 8 minutes
Brand Gemoro
Model 1787
Weight 6.6 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Branson Model B200

The Branson Model B200 is a small and economical choice for those with limited cleaning needs. It works quite well for a variety of jewelry types, so long as you don't overload the unit at any one time, which is easy to do as its small 15 oz. tank won't hold a lot.
  • quick 5-minute cleaning option
  • doesn't damage sensitive items
  • made with mostly plastic components
Brand Branson Ultrasonics
Model 100-951-010
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. SRA TruPower UC-20D

The small footprint and unique upright design of the SRA TruPower UC-20D make it useful for small offices, shops, or laboratories where space is at a premium. This unit won't win any beauty contests, but it's a trusty cleaning machine.
  • 1 to 30 minute digital timer
  • includes free rapidex cleaner sample
  • strainer basket for small items
Brand TruPower
Model UC-20D
Weight 6.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. AW Pro

The AW Pro has a rotary knob for precision control, and can be used for everything from dental tools to tattoo equipment. It comes with a long 3.2-foot drain hose that makes removing the water easy when the cleaning is done.
  • six powerful built-in transducers
  • ce fcc and rohs approved
  • tight fitting steel lid
Brand AW
Model 36UCN017-SS1.3L-T-11
Weight 20.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Gemro Sparkle Spa Pro

The Gemro Sparkle Spa Pro uses powerful ultrasonic scrubbing sound waves to clean off stubborn dirt and particles. It is not a professional-grade machine but, with its low price point and attractive housing, it's a perfect choice for DIY jewelry cleaning.
  • bright digital display
  • uses regular tap water
  • safe for delicate items
Brand bestjewelrysupply
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. iSonic P4862-IT

The iSonic P4862-IT is built to handle industrial strength cleaning needs, but you'll be glad to note it has an attractive enough look for offices where patients might see it or for jewelry shop counters. Its power cord can be stored inside the unit.
  • touch sense control panel
  • includes an indirect cleaning tank
  • 5 heater temperature settings
Brand iSonic
Model P4862-IT
Weight 21.7 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Angel Canada

The Angel Canada is suitable for business or home use. It offers powerful cleaning capabilities and comes in a sleek housing, plus its digital control panel makes it easy for anybody to use, no matter their prior experience with such a device.
  • 6 liter tank capacity
  • programmable cleaning duration
  • see-through lid
Brand Angel Canada
Model pending
Weight 15.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Crest CP500D

Just set the timer and walk away while the Crest CP500D does the dirty work for you. It features a simple on/off switch and boasts industrial-grade performance, without hotspots, that effectively cleans any item thanks to constant frequency sweeps.
  • includes a lifetime heater warranty
  • digital thermostat
  • continuous operation capabilities
Brand Unknown
Model CP230HT
Weight 12.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 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 August 01, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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