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How Long Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Take? Find the Answer Here

This guide will tell you how long does ultrasonic cleaning take when use the ultrasonic cleaning machine, so that can perform a better cleaning effect.

Andy Samuel  |   2023-06-03  |   Industry News


When you bought an ultrasonic cleaning machine and were about to clean your items with great enthusiasm, you suddenly thought: how long does ultrasonic cleaning take? Many people bought an ultrasonic cleaner but did not know how to set the cleaning time because it was the first time to use it. In fact, there is no exact time that cover all situations. Cleaning time of ultrasonic cleaner varies and depends on many factors. However, you'll be able to clean most items between 2-10 minutes of cleaning, and 20 minutes or more for particularly dirty items. Today we will discuss in this article how to correctly set the ultrasonic cleaning time.

Four Determinants of how Long to Run Ultrasonic Cleaner

1) Ultrasonic Power

When the ultrasonic power is stronger, the cleaning time can be cleaned with less time. When the ultrasonic power is too weak, it is not a matter of the length of cleaning time, it is likely that the cleaning is not clean.

2) Ultrasonic Frequency

The frequency of ultrasonic, measured in thousands of cycles per second, is one of the determinants of cavitation bubble size. High frequencies of 100kHz and above create small air bubbles that provide a gentle cleaning action, which means longer cleaning times are required. Low frequencies such as 20 KHz -40 KHz will generate relatively large bubbles, which can provide fast and effective powerful cleaning.

High frequencies are used for delicate components such as semiconductors, which can be damaged if the ultrasonic cleaning action is too strong. Low frequencies are used for tough items such as metal car parts with hard surfaces that can withstand the aggressive cleaning action. Therefore, parts with soft surfaces or sensitive structures may take longer to clean than hard metal parts.

3) The type of dirt and the size of the items to be cleaned

The time of ultrasonic cleaning has a lot to do with the dirt of the object itself, with heavier dirt usually taking longer to clean than shallow dirt. In addition, it should be noted that the longer the cleaning time no better. If the cleaning cycle is too long, consider whether you have chosen the wrong cleaning equipment or method.

4) Selection of Ultrasonic Cleaner Solution

The length of cleaning time is also related to the cleaner solution. For some chemical dirt, it is necessary to add a cleaner solution to produce a chemical reaction in order to achieve thorough cleaning. If the cleaner solution is not selected correctly, the ultrasonic cleaner will not be able to clean it. Therefore, unclean cleaning is generally not the fault of the machine. After all, the ultrasonic machine cleaner only plays the role of physical cleaning.

Cleaning Time Reference When Use Ultrasonic Cleaner

1) Cleaning Household Small Items

For cleaning some slightly dirty and non-fragile items, such as glasses, necklaces, bracelets, watches, jewelry and other small household items, the object to be cleaned is dust, oil stains and other dirt, and it usually takes 3-5 minutes. It is recommended starting with 2-3 minutes of cleaning and re-evaluate after that. If it is still dirty, put it back for another 2-3 minutes, and so on.

2) The objects to be cleaned are larger and heavier

Such as hardware, metal parts, etc., are widely used in railway industry, aerospace, shipbuilding, automobile and other industries, and the parts in these industries are often dirty, grease heavy, and rough in appearance, so that need strong low-frequency transducers, generally cleaning time around 20-30 minutes.

3) The cleaned objects are more precise and meticulous

In laboratories, medical research and other places, the objects to be cleaned are more precise and detailed, and the vibration intensity should not be too high. Generally, an ultrasonic cleaning machine with a frequency above 40KHz is used, and the cleaning time is generally 5-30 minutes.

Here are some suggested cleaning times in relation to specific products that can be used as a guide when cleaning, but actual times will depend on the condition of the item.

Items to be cleaned / Contaminants to be removed
Suggested Cleaning Time

Printed Circuit Boards/ solder flux
3 -10 minutes

Highly Finished Parts/ buffing compounds
10 minutes

Firearms/oils, powder residues, lead deposits
10-12 minutes

Carburetors/varnish, grease and other deposits
20 minutes

Rusty Tools / rust
15-30 minutes

Injection Molds / burned on residues, oil, flashings
10-15 minutes,longer for complex molds

Dental Instruments/blood
15 minutes


The cleaning time of ultrasonic cleaning should not be too long! During the long-term use of the ultrasonic cleaning machine, it is not only easy to cause damage to the cleaning items, but also damage the machine.

Attention Of Using the Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine for a Continuous Long Time

1) Different types of ultrasonic cleaner have different continuous working hours

The continuous working time of the industrial ultrasonic cleaner shall not exceed 4 hours

If the continuous working time is too long: turn the ultrasonic adjustment knob to the "0" position, and let the cooling fan continue to work, and continue to dissipate heat in the ultrasonic control cabinet for at least 2 minutes when the ultrasonic cleaning. For the machine that has been running for a long time, the power knob should be adjusted to zero before stopping, and the fan should be used for another 3-6 minutes before shutting down to ensure that the heat inside the power supply is dissipated.

The continuous working time of the small ultrasonic cleaner shall not exceed 30 minutes

Small ultrasonic cleaning generally refers to commercial and household ultrasonic cleaner, which are often used in laboratories, homes and shops. When using, please pay attention to put water or detergent in about 2/3 of the position, and be careful not to turn on the machine without liquid, otherwise the machine may be damaged. Usually, this type of machine is designed with a timing function, such as 1-30 minutes adjustable, which means that the continuous use time of the ultrasonic cleaner is up to 30 minutes. After reaching the set maximum time value, the machine must be given a rest, and it can be used again after 3 to 5 minutes.

2) The cleaner solution should be precipitated, filtered or replaced in time to ensure the cleaning effect

The ultrasonic generator generates high frequency and high voltage, which is transmitted to the transducer through the cable connection line. The transducer and the vibration plate generate high frequency resonance together. The ultrasonic cleaner is mainly composed of an ultrasonic cleaning tank and an ultrasonic generator. The ultrasonic cleaning tank is made of strong, elastic and corrosion-resistant high-quality stainless steel with an ultrasonic transducer vibrator installed at the bottom, so that the solvent in the cleaning tank is subjected to ultrasonic waves to clean the dirt.

Final Word

When using an ultrasonic cleaning machine to clean items, you will know how long does ultrasonic cleaning take according to the time reference of the ultrasonic cleaning machine, which can not only make the cleaned items have an efficient cleaning effect but also better extend the life of the machine.

Andy Samuel

An expert in ultrasonic cleaning, focusing on the field of ultrasonic research for more than 10 years, has unique insights into ultrasonic cleaning.

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