Ultrasonic Cleaning

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by johnmeyer, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I recently bought a 9-liter ultrasonic cleaner (a Kendal). I'm still figuring out how best to use it and what cleaning solutions work best.

    I've now used it several times to clean up the metal shelves/racks on my MES 30. It removes the smoke and food residue in just a few seconds.

    I've also now used it to clean the big "disposable" aluminum pans that I use to catch drippings, hold ribs during the "1-2-3" cooking process. While the ultrasonics will perforate aluminum foil, the pans are thick enough that the ultrasonic waves do not perforate the surface. It takes only a few seconds to get the pans looking like new. The nifty thing about the cleaner is that it gets out the food and grease just as well from the little folds in the pan as it does from the flat areas.

    Today I thought I'd clean the MES vent and also the shelf/rack holders. I removed the shelf brackets and cleaned both racks, as well as the screws. One neat thing is that the ultrasonic waves easily reach down into the Philips head grooves in the screws and remove the grease.

    Here are the two shelf supports. One has been cleaned, and the other hasn't yet been touched. The slight blackness you see in certain areas on the right-hand picture are shadows; the dirt is 100% gone.

    These ultrasonic cleaners are not cheap (several hundred dollars), so it doesn't make sense to get one just for this chore. However, if you can find an excuse to get one, you'll love what it can do for smoker and BBQ parts.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
    jasdamo likes this.
  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    I'm going to get a smaller one for my rotisserie parts. 
  3. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    There's a  Food King 10 liter i've eyed off Amazon for like $185.      I soak my roti parts now but i'd love that thing....All the stainless steel parts back to shiny with no effort.

    $180 on Ebay
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  4. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Thanks for reminding me of this, Now i see what looks to be a good 10 liter for $115
  5. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    Oh yes, the rotisserie. Those parts were the first thing I cleaned, right after I first got the ultrasonic cleaner about six weeks ago. However, I was still finding out about which cleaning solutions work best, and as a result, I didn't get various parts as clean as I wanted. Today's work was done with a new solution, "Simple Green HD." I had been using Simple Green, but the "HD" formulation is almost 1.5 points more to the base side of neutral on the pH scale and seems to do a much better job on baked-on grease than did the Simple Green.

    Of course I could purchase some BBQ cleaner, which is basically oven cleaner, but that is pretty gnarly stuff, and I don't think I'd be comfortable having that splashing all over the place.

    If anyone has ideas for a better cleaning solution for ultrasonically cleaning baked-on grease, I'm all ears.
  6. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Well I'll tell you I have GREAT results with Mean Green, I'll just soak them for a few hours or overnight and I can almost rinse them clean and shiny.   I'm sure it would do incredible in an ultrasonic machine.
  7. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for that info! I just looked at their site:


    and they have a chart comparing Mean Green with other cleaners. According to their own tests, it looks like it performs almost the same as the  "Simple Green" I've been using. Simple Green has worked pretty well for some things, but the Simple Green HD, especially when used at high temperature (60 degrees C) seems to do significantly better with crud that has been baked on.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  8. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    No problem....Yep this is the stuff

    I get the stuff by the gallon..pretty cheap.  You do need to use it, What I use it on with my super heated grease baked on parts would blow your mind how it destroys it!


    My BBQ parts are cooked at a higher temp than the normal stuff too.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  9. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    Look up using ultrasound for cleaning and sanitizing fruits and vegetables.

  10. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I did run across that idea a few months ago, but haven't tried it. My immune system is pretty good, and I haven't puked since the early 1970s, so I don't worry too much about germs and such.

    One strange thing I did try just yesterday was using the ultrasonics to create an emulsion. I mixed some oil and vinegar, in the proportions one would use for salad dressing, put it into a custard cup, floated the cup on the surface of the ultrasonic bath (filled with nothing but clean water), and then watched to see if it would form an emulsion. It did indeed do just that, but the emulsion broke apart within a few minutes after I turned off the ultrasonics. I was hoping that, because of the intensity of the ultrasonic waves that the emulsion would be so good that it would remain indefinitely, like when you make mayonnaise. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

    So, it was a fun experiment, but not useful.
  11. dogman60

    dogman60 Fire Starter

    Somewhere in this post or on one of the other posts about cleaning the glass on a MES
    I chimed in with the ultimate
    Cleaner for any grill, smoker part , grease trap fitting , or any other really tough grease and dirt cutting job .
    Simple green and the like are
    Mouse milk cleaners that are time consuming and ineffective . The marine world has a cleaner that turns anything on or in your smoker to liquid in about 10 seconds . It is called Tuff Nuff and available at west marine . It was developed in the Florida Keys as a de greaser and stain remover for diesel and gas engines and has no acid and bio deg.
    It has no dyes or scent additives and there is nothing else like it on the market. They are very proud of the product as it costs a few bucks as a spray or gallon but last a long time.
    Probably would kick B in that ultrasonic thingy .
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  12. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    I hadn't heard about this stuff. I just Googled it and it looks like it is actually called Tuff Enuff. It's definitely promoted for use on boats, especially cleaning the bilge, something that is usually quite greasy from motor oil and gunk. I'll take a look the next time I'm down near our local wharf. Thanks!

    [edit] It looks like it contains isopropyl alcohol, potasium hydroxide, and something called dypropelene glycol methol ether, whatever that is.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  13. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    The tool holding this picnic is called "Octoforks"  and they are shiny polished 304 SS.  After this cook NOTHING would touch them., completely baked on..no regular cleaners, or scrubbing of any kind but after a soaking in the Mean Green it basically rinsed off.   I'm telling you it works!

    This is after...back to shiny

  14. dogman60

    dogman60 Fire Starter

    Looks great and so does the meat !!!
  15. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Smoking Fanatic

    Since that's exactly the stuff that I've had a hard time removing, I guess I'll try some Mean Green.
  16. john - good call on the immune system as the best line of defense. For the emulsion, try adding a 1/4 teaspoon of powdered mustard to the oil/vinegar next time and seeing if that helps keep it emulsified. Also, changing temperatures tends to make things separate, so keeping it at room temp may help as well.

    The ultrasonic machine is out of my league at the moment, but thanks for sharing a link to this thread over on my pan thread, because that thing looks awesome. Someday I'll have to check 'em out.
  17. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We have several big sonic tanks at my work (used to clean mechanical shaft seals) and we use a product called micro-90. The stuff is really good, but also might be a bit overkill for everyday home use. It's not the cheapest stuff out there, but we get seals that have asphalt baked onto them for over a year and after a few hours in the sonic tank they come out looking brand new. And yes I have taken my BBQ grates in and dipped them in the tanks at work - usually only takes 10-15 minutes and they come out brand new.

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