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I recently purchased a Crest Ultrasonic cleaning kit for my guns. It came with gun cleaner, lube, baskets and has a built in heater.

I have zero experience using these. I wanted to know what other people's experiences were with them.

How long do you leave the gun in for both the cleaner and lube stages?

How hot do you set it at?

Do you field strip first?

Any tricks to keep guns from getting scratched up?

Thanks in advance for allowing me to lean on this forum countless times for educated opinions. I appreciate hour response.
 

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How long do you leave the gun in for both the cleaner and lube stages?

What does the instruction book say?

How hot do you set it at?

Doesn't matter, but I wouldn't even go to warm to the touch.

Do you field strip first?
Of course, how else are you going to scub it? You will still need to do some light scubbing.

Any tricks to keep guns from getting scratched up?

Don't pile up the parts. Keep them away from each other. You don't need to vibrate the parts all over the place.

Once again, what does the instructions say?

Bob
 

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I fix clocks for a living and use my ultrasonic all the time.They are a great device for cleaning parts but like anything else in your shop you have to be careful.Here are a few suggestions I hope will help you.
1.Use the manufactures recommended cleaning solution.You can't go wrong.I use ammoniated clock cleaner for my movements.You stick a blued slide in that stuff you can kiss your finish goodbye.One other thing while we are talking about solutions,use the amount the manufacturer recommends.I don't know if your solution is water based but believe me a little goes a long way.You should be able to clean at least 3 or 4 guns with one batch.
2.Crank up the heat.Let your ultrasonic run for about a half hour to warm up the solution and then place your parts in the ujtrasonic.Turn your unit on while it is warming up.That will accelerate the heating process.Dont, forget to turn the heater off when you call it a day
3. Forget about the lube solution.I don,t know of any watchsmith or clock guy who cares for that stuff.Go old school and manually lube your pcs..
4.Don;t put your slides,frames,or any other external parts in a basket.Cut yourself a pc. of wood or square stock long enough to rest on both sides of your unit and rig your external pcs with a pc of good string and let your pcs hang in a suspended state in the solution rather than resting in a basket.Small parts,use your basket for them.
5.Wash your pcs thoroughly when you remove them from your unit.Remember it's a cleaning process not a coating process.You;ll want to remove all that cleaning solution from your parts and you will also want to thoroughly dry them.I'm thinking a hair dryer might be ideal for you.
6.Keep your ultrasonic clean,all that residue will lay in the bottom of your unit and needs to be hosed out occasionally.
Well CD I don't if this will help you in your pursuit of all things spotless but I think you made a great investment.Enjoy it.
Bob
 

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Ultrasonic cleaning is really only one part of a mutli-step process. At work, we have to clean stainless steel and brass components to a fully oil free and particle free state as they carry ultra high vacuum and ultra high purity gases and any contamination can result in a $100K instrument not performing to specification.

1. Components are wiped down and things like holes and bores are scrubbed with brushes and pipe cleaners.
2. We use a detergent cleaner called Microline 90 to remove oils and contaminants. It is a very good surfactant and easily removes small stuck particles, even carbon!!! Solution is heated to around 140 deg F.
3. Hot water rinse follows.
4. Back in the ultrasound for a dunk in isopropyl alcohol. This removes any traces of the cleaning solution.
5. Into an oven at 100 deg C for about 1/2 hour. Tubing and manifolds with passages get Argon flowed through them. Probably not needed for gun parts.
6. Components from this time on are handled with white cotton gloves to keep fingerprints from etching the surfaces. Almost all parts are placed in zip lock bags back filled with dry nitrogen.
7. At this point, it will be essential to quickly lube gun parts to keep atmospheric humidity and pollutants away from the pristine surfaces.
8. Assemble gun at this point using plenty of lube and handling as little as possible with bare hands.

Your gun never left the factory that clean.
 

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My guns stay pretty clean under my care but I have bought some filthy old heaps that needed a bath. So I have used a SonicCare electric toothbrush to good effect on small parts. It vibrates the gack out of the nooks very easily. If you have one you may want to try this.

But it makes it taste funny.

----Kidding! Use an old brush-head.
 

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I fix clocks for a living and use my ultrasonic all the time.They are a great device for cleaning parts but like anything else in your shop you have to be careful.Here are a few suggestions I hope will help you.
1.Use the manufactures recommended cleaning solution.You can't go wrong.I use ammoniated clock cleaner for my movements.You stick a blued slide in that stuff you can kiss your finish goodbye.One other thing while we are talking about solutions,use the amount the manufacturer recommends.I don't know if your solution is water based but believe me a little goes a long way.You should be able to clean at least 3 or 4 guns with one batch.
2.Crank up the heat.Let your ultrasonic run for about a half hour to warm up the solution and then place your parts in the ujtrasonic.Turn your unit on while it is warming up.That will accelerate the heating process.Dont, forget to turn the heater off when you call it a day
3. Forget about the lube solution.I don,t know of any watchsmith or clock guy who cares for that stuff.Go old school and manually lube your pcs..
4.Don;t put your slides,frames,or any other external parts in a basket.Cut yourself a pc. of wood or square stock long enough to rest on both sides of your unit and rig your external pcs with a pc of good string and let your pcs hang in a suspended state in the solution rather than resting in a basket.Small parts,use your basket for them.
5.Wash your pcs thoroughly when you remove them from your unit.Remember it's a cleaning process not a coating process.You;ll want to remove all that cleaning solution from your parts and you will also want to thoroughly dry them.I'm thinking a hair dryer might be ideal for you.
6.Keep your ultrasonic clean,all that residue will lay in the bottom of your unit and needs to be hosed out occasionally.
Well CD I don't if this will help you in your pursuit of all things spotless but I think you made a great investment.Enjoy it.
Bob
What fluid do you use, do you have a recipe for a home brew fluid or you buy a ready to use out of the bottle fluid?
 

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An ultrasonic cleaner will strip all grease and oil from parts or assemblies, except from enclosed spaces. If all lubricant is not removed by the cleaner, what remains is probably contaminated by the solvent and may fail its function. When it's all over, you have to relubricate anyway, which usually requires some degree of disassembly.

My RCBS tank is the best device imagineable for the bolt carrier group of an AR. The carbon just pours out of the orifices once the cleaner is started. I strip it down completely, even the extractor, dry everything with compressed air and relube for reassembly.

It's also great for pistol barrels and parts that are hard to scrub, like the locking block in SIG pistols. I wouldn't think of immersing assembled parts of a pistol, or any part of a revolver. Revolvers have springs and parts Santa's elves couldn't assemble without an apprenticeship.

For solvent, I use a capful of a commercial product (RCBS, etc) for gun parts, or Simple Green for stripping grease and oil.
 

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As for preventing from scratching your guns in an ultrasonic cleaner, you want to make sure that you always use the plastic (sometimes metal) baskets that come with your unit, and also ensure that none of the parts being cleaned are in contact with one another. Also avoid prolonged exposure of your guns within your solutions. Although most metals are safe for use in solutions, prolonged exposure may cause surface wear.
 

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Hello CD Burner, The Crest system you purchased should have come with detailed instructions as to how to mix the chemicals , durations, temp and the entire clean and lube process. Did you buy a Crest gun cleaning system or just a crest tank, chemicals and accessories?
 
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