Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Razor cleaning

with 4 comments

Ultrasonic cleaner

I bought an ultrasonic cleaner to clean my razors, both secondhand ones that have just arrived and ones in use that could use a cleaning. Based on advice from a member of the shaving forum, I looked for one whose power was 50 Watts or more. (Most of the consumer ultrasonic cleaners are 30-35 Watts.) I found this one, at 60 Watts. I found it through a Google search, selling at a “sale” price of $132.50. The guy on the shaving forum suggested I check eBay, and I found the same model there for a “buy-it-now” price of $60. Big difference.

Today I got around to using it. [Update: description revised – LG] I use tepid water from the tap, a little dishwashing detergent, and some white vinegar (to take care of calcium deposits from hard water).

UPDATE 3: I learned from a med tech that it works much better to use a fluid designed specifically for use in ultrasonic cleaners rather than ad hoc combinations that can impede the action. So I got one of these—specifically, this one. You add some to the tepid water (1 part solution to 6 parts water). There is a wide variety of such solutions, depending on the purpose. If you want, you can pre-soak the razors in a 1:4 vinegar water solution for an hour or two to loosen hard-water deposits, but that is probably not necessary.

Before putting the razors in, I run the unit for a minute to force dissolved gas from the water. Then I run each batch of razors for 8 minutes.

They come out sparkling clean—and the bottom of the cleaning tank is coated with sticky sludge. Extremely nice. The Wife will use it for cleaning jewelry (except for opals, pearls, emeralds, or any stone that has a crack or a chip—these the ultrasonic cleaner can damage or destroy). She has read that a little ammonia also works well in the cleaning water, though watch out for reactions with some metals. (E.g., will it darken silver? I don’t know.).

That said, the cleaning doesn’t really leave the item polished. There were a few discolorations on silo doors, and the plain metal surfaces weren’t quite bright enough. But a soft cloth and a little work with Maas paste polish and the razors looked like new. Very nice. Once clean they seemed to need no lubrication—the mechanisms of the TTO razors worked smoothly—but even if they had, a few drops of mineral oil would have done the trick.

NOTE: Hot water is not recommended because in some units the heat will weaken the bond that attaches the ultrasonic transducer to the steel pan. So use tepid water.

UPDATE: Now I feel a proper Charlie for paying $60 plus shipping. Someone pointed out that this vendor’s 60W ultrasonic cleaners seem to go for low bids. He got his for $35 SHIPPED! So you might want to check this vendor if you’re in the market. I have the cleaner at the link, and it’s quite good and includes the option of an 8-minute cleaning cycle, which so far has been ample.

Here are the vendor’s current auctions.

UPDATE 2: Brush cleaning in the ultrasonic cleaner:

 Use a few drops of toilet cleaner or some vinegar in the water. Then dip the brush into the water and hold it by hand – you don’t want to put the whole brush including the knot into the water as some bristles COULD get loose doing so. I leave about 1 cm space between the handle and the surface of the water and turn the cleaner on for about 5 minutes.

UPDATE 3 25 Sept 2019: We continue to use the ultrasonic cleaner routinely, The Wife using it primarily for jewelry and most recently for a silver bracelet. After running the bracelet through the ultrasonic cleaner, she removed tarnish using the method I describe in the Guide (and that you can find with a search): put the item in a pan with some baking soda and a sheet of aluminum foil and pour over them boiling water to cover and then let sit.

Written by Leisureguy

8 June 2007 at 1:47 pm

Posted in Daily life, Shaving

4 Responses

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  1. Love your posts and just ordered an ultrasonic cleaner and some Maas paste polish but your posts combined with the amazon mobile app are awful for my savings account.



    5 January 2013 at 1:31 am

  2. LOL. I know exactly the feeling.



    5 January 2013 at 9:37 am

  3. […] usually had to run razors through at least twice).  Michael (“Leisureguy”) offers more detail: here is a link to a post he did a few years ago about ultrasonic […]


  4. I have a 35 watt unit that I bought at my local Good -Will for $8.00 new. I use warm water and a few drops of Dawn Ultra Free & Gentle dish soap,run for the 8 minute cycle, blow dry with a hair dryer, add a few drops of clipper oil to the moving parts,I have a
    like new razor!


    David Bergeron

    1 October 2019 at 5:05 am

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