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Ultrasonic Cleaning of Atomizers - The VERY BEST way !!!!

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by texanandproud, Mar 16, 2011.

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  1. texanandproud

    texanandproud Full Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    Mountain City Texas

    Hi Everybody,

    I just wanted to share a little of my expertise with all of you. I am a
    retired graduate Electrical Engineer who has spent my entire career with Texas
    Instruments and Motorola working in a variety of Electro-Mechanical manufacturing
    areas in which we used many types of ultrasonic cleaning equipment. I have been
    responsible for purchasing many different ultrasonic cleaners some costing in
    the ten's of thousands of dollars.

    So when I made the journey that led me to switching over to vaping
    E-Cigarette's as a substitute for my 45 year smoking habit I ran into the same
    problems as all of you, particularly on how to clean and maintain my atomizers.

    I had all kinds of trouble with the reliability of these things and have
    revitalized many a "tired" atomizer by cleaning. Right from the start
    I knew that immersing these dirty atomizers in an ultrasonic bath would
    probably be the most ideal method of cleaning and after getting tired of
    purchasing so many replacement atomizers for my EGO batteries I went out and
    purchased a very inexpensive ultrasonic battery powered cleaner and it works
    just GREAT!

    As far as choosing a unit to clean these small
    light weight atomizers I knew that different cleaning requirements require
    different ultrasonic frequencies. Lower ultrasonic frequency means larger
    cavitation bubbles and more intense cavitation implosions. At higher
    frequencies, the cavitation bubbles are smaller, and although the cavitation
    implosions are individually less intense there are more of them. Frequencies
    below 80 kHz are commonly used for industrial cleaning applications where
    contaminants are relatively heavy and the parts being cleaned are robust.
    Frequencies above 80 kHz are more frequently used to clean extremely delicate
    parts that require a higher degree of cleanliness and typically these type
    cleaning requires more time. I was looking for the very cheapest ultrasonic
    cleaner that I could find that hopefully cleaned at a frequency of around 40-50
    thousand waves per second.

    And I found a bargain that all of you can buy locally. It's the Haier HU335W
    Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner-

    Some of the features I liked about it other than being so cheap! Was the
    fact that it had a stainless steel tank and cleaned at just about the frequency
    that I thought best. I bought mine at Walmart for just over $20 and it works
    VERY WELL and makes cleaning atomizers a BREEZE!

    With this unit I went to the liquor store and bought the cheapest bottle of
    Vodka that I could buy as a cleaning medium. Grain alcohol would also work
    well. I save up my atomizers and place them in a bowl whenever their
    performance degrades and when I'm down to having about 1 or 2 clean atomizers left
    I clean the dirty ones by immersing them and clean them for 3 three minute
    cycles for a total of nine minutes - This unit has an automatic 3 minute
    cleaning cycle that I use 3 times. After clean (And they will be!!) I just blow
    them out thru the cartridge end and then clog the cartridge end with my finger
    and suck on the battery end and "pop off my finger", doing this
    several times to remove the last few drops of vodka. And that's it! No need at
    all to do a water rinse which takes longer to dry and is not necessary at all.

    Let them sit and dry naturally for about a day before using but if you need
    to use one right away you can by "dry burning" the atomizer for about
    6-7 seconds a couple of times to help dry it out and then prime the atomizer
    and use a well saturated filler in your cartridge. It might take a minute or
    two to get it vaping perfectly but if you are in a hurry like this it will
    take off and vape like perfectly new with just a very short bit of use.

    I hope this helps some of you. This method cleans better than any other
    method and also has the advantage of being very "easy" on your
    atomizers and helps contribute to their longevity.

    Thanks Much,

    Melvin - "texanandproud"

  2. Para

    Para Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 15, 2010
    Great post....

    I've been using an ultrasonic for months and ditto how well it works. Thanks for the having the technical savvy to help folks get the right one at the right price.
  3. Beez

    Beez Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 16, 2011
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Great post, thanks for that info (except for the eye-crossing the particle talk caused! :D Will try to find one of these units!
  4. Brewlady

    Brewlady Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Thank you for posting this. I have wondered how well a jewelry cleaner would work, and now I can really justify it. I'll have clean jewelry AND clean atomizers.

  5. billo

    billo Super Member ECF Veteran

    May 1, 2009
    Wesley Chapel, FL

    I also have used a $20 ultrasonic cleaner with a stainless steel tank. It is a different brand than yours, but looks the same and is probably the same thing. A few questions ---

    Is there any preferred way to put them in the tank ? On their side ? On end ? In a plastic container off the bottom ?

    I realize that ultrasonic bounces around a lot, but where does the sound originate ? On the bottom ? On the side ?
    Or maybe I shouldn't care ?

    Also, is isopropyl alcohol OK instead of Vodka ?
  6. Vaporblind

    Vaporblind Full Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    I am interested. Does this also remove the caramelized gunk on the atty coil like a dry burn does?
  7. BellaBast

    BellaBast Full Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Thanks for the detailed cleaning method, Melvin! I've been wondering how well an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner would, I know :) I have, I just need to get some vodka tomorrow at the liquor store and find the cleaner and will start cleaning my attys! take care!
  8. BellaBast

    BellaBast Full Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    billo - i've some heard scary things here on ecf about iso alcohol being used...i think it's much safer if you use vodka :)
  9. IOU

    IOU Resting In Peace ECF Veteran

    This is awesome information!
    Thanks for the link too.
  10. BellaBast

    BellaBast Full Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    billo - i've some heard scary things here on ecf about iso alcohol being used...i think it's much safer if you use vodka.
    sry about the double post...wanted to reply with quote..I'm a newbie ;)
  11. texanandproud

    texanandproud Full Member

    Jan 31, 2011
    Mountain City Texas
    To answer some of the questions I used vodka because it's not near as strong as Isopropyl Alcohol and to be honest just using H2O would probably work. In many of the industrial strength ultrasonic cleaners that I used during my career some of the transducers were of such a size that the friction of the molecules would often heat what ever liquid media was used to sometimes far in excess of 100 degrees above room temperature after 10 or 15 minutes of the ultrasonic action. This little unit might raise the temperature about 10 degrees after not too long.

    As far as placing your atomizers in the little tank place them horizontally just sitting on the bottom of the tank or basket floating FREELY on the bottom. The things to avoid (especially with a small tank or unit like mine) is to not stack atomizers on top of each other weight them down with anything at all as for the ultrasonic action to work the atomizers must be able to move freely in the solution in very small microscopic pulses in response to the transducers sound waves. If they can be placed either in a basket or in the tank so that they are not wedged or piled on top of each other the cleaning action will be enhanced. Casual touching as they creep slowly at the bottom of the basket or tank is just fine though.

    An inexpensive ultrasonic cleaner used this way is an ideal way to clean your atomizers. I'm sure you will be very pleased with this method. Thanks Again, Melvin - texanandproud
  12. Para

    Para Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 15, 2010
    Careful about using can remove the paint and loosen any adhesive inside the atty. I stick mine on a rack that suspends them and each one is separate. A plastic tray works well too; just make sure they can't "walk" around and bunch up against each other
  13. El Dee

    El Dee Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Thanks Melvin this is a great post full of very useful information....Where in Wally World would this cleaner be located...The Jewelery Department?????
  14. billo

    billo Super Member ECF Veteran

    May 1, 2009
    Wesley Chapel, FL
    Thanks for all the answers to my questions. Yes, I can see that glue might not like alcohol, but others have recommended it.

    By the way, the most useful ordinary thing my ultrasonic cleaner does is clean my electric shaver head. No, don't put the entire shaver in the water, just the head. You can't close the top of the cleaner, but this is OK. This is almost like getting a new shaver, and it's so easy to do. Beats trying to take it apart and trying to get every last hair out !
  15. Shantia

    Shantia Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 9, 2011
    Fredericksburg, VA
    I couldnt find an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner on the walmart website. Are there any other walk in stores that might carry something like this? i could use one for my wedding ring and my atties!
  16. Chingas

    Chingas Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2010
    Billings, MT
    I like the cleaner I got from Harbor Freight. It looks just like the Haier the OP linked to. Works really well.
  17. Andyhrn

    Andyhrn Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2011
  18. dspin

    dspin Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 2, 2010
    I should pull ours out. Have one laying around for last 5 yrs unused somewhere as I recall
  19. Levitas

    Levitas Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 2, 2011
    Saint Louis
    Awesome thread! I wish I would've found this before I made another thread in the General forums.

    I will definitely STOP using isopropyl alcohol and go buy some cheapy vodka. Excellent thread!
  20. Rykk

    Rykk Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    Hi - I didn't see an answer to one person's question and it's the same thing I'm wondering about: Does this method actually succeed in removing the hardened/carmelized build-up on the Nichrome HEATER COIL of the atomizers? Or does it just make the atties really clean and germ-free?

    If so, it should work just as well on m-series or 306 type atomizers too, right?

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