by Frank Pedeflous
Musical instruments are delicate items. They can also be subjected to pretty punishing wear and tear as they are used. This can be particularly true of band instruments used in schools or rental instruments used by kids to learn on. While music styles change, the cleaning of musical instruments has not changed much over the years — until now. Ultrasonic cleaning has changed the way that musical instruments get cleaned, providing a way to get them cleaner than the old chemical processes ever did. Here’s how it works.
How Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Work?
Ultrasonic cleaning uses a process called cavitation in order to get things clean. Your musical instruments are submerged in a bath solution of water and a detergent. The ultrasonic cleaner is then turned on and a piezoelectric device generates sound waves in the tank.
The vibrations in the solution cause millions of tiny air pockets that hold an incredible amount of energy. That energy is expended when the bubbles bump into the surface of the musical instrument. The release of that energy will break loosen any dirt, scaling and lime that might be on the musical instrument. It further breaks up the contaminants and pulls them away from the instrument, leaving it clean.
Ultrasonic Cleaners are Perfect for Musical Instruments
Musical instruments are sometimes made up of very small parts. They are also usually the dirtiest in places that are very hard to clean, namely the inside. Ultrasonic cleaners are perfect in this regard for several reasons.
First, because the instrument is fully submerged into the liquid, you get the same cleaning action on both the inside and outside of the instrument. Any deposits you would never be able to reach using a brush and chemicals are a piece of cake for an ultrasonic cleaner.
Second, the nature of cavitation makes it ideal for cleaning out small valves, air holes and orifices. The bubbles that are created by the cavitation of the ultrasonic cleaner are so small they can get into any crack, corner or crevice of the instrument. This means that small air holes that would never be able to be cleaned by hand come completely clean in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Finally, an ultrasonic cleaner means that you are not stuck using the same harsh chemicals to clean your instruments. Many times, musical instruments are made from materials that can be easily damaged by the chemicals that are needed to properly remove the dirt. This means coming to a compromise of cleaning the instrument enough to make sure that it still functions but leaving some of the dirt there so as not to damage it. This isn’t necessary with an ultrasonic cleaner. You can make the solution as gentile as it needs to be to suit the material of the instrument.
Take a look at the wide variety of ultrasonic cleaners that Omegasonics has to offer and contact us today about including one in your music program.