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Folks
How does ultrasonic cleaning of model parts to remove old paint actually work?
I've noted a 2.5-liter ultrasonic cleaning machine is on sale at Harbor Freight for about $70 and I'm tempted to get it. I looked up videos online which deal almost exclusively with using the cleaner for automobile parts. To do this, they use gasoline or some other substance. Some parts were put into closed plastic bottles and then placed in plain water in the machine.
Some of these also noted used heat to warm up the water or the cleaner.
I'd be concerned the heat could warp plastic parts -- or worse.
I'd appreciate some thoughtful insight on what to do.

Thanks

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Folks
How does ultrasonic cleaning of model parts to remove old paint actually work?
I've noted a 2.5-liter ultrasonic cleaning machine is on sale at Harbor Freight for about $70 and I'm tempted to get it. I looked up videos online which deal almost exclusively with using the cleaner for automobile parts. To do this, they use gasoline or some other substance. Some parts were put into closed plastic bottles and then placed in plain water in the machine.
Some of these also noted used heat to warm up the water or the cleaner.
I'd be concerned the heat could warp plastic parts -- or worse.
I'd appreciate some thoughtful insight on what to do.

Thanks

Jeff
Obviously I meant "Ultrasonic" cleaning in the header, not ultrasound
 

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I use one to clean slot car parts.
specifically ancient Aurora HO chassis.
chrome plate comes off the wheels if you leave them on, so it might remove paint too.
haven't tried it to remove paint from bodies though.
spray oven cleaner works well on the plastic bodies for the HO slot cars, but I am not sure if they are the same styrene as model cars.
brake fluid works well on styrene.
 

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Obviously I meant "Ultrasonic" cleaning in the header, not ultrasound
Fixed! 🤙

BTW I use Purple Power as a paint stripper on Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars - both metal and plastic bodies. Soaking them over night is usually long enough to remove all paint, chrome, tampos and decals. (y)
 

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As far as I know an ultrasonic cleaner will not remove old paint, just loose paint.
The ultrasonic transducer vibrates the water that results in a micro 'scrubbing' type effect so any loose material, like dirt, is dislodged. The water you put in the cleaner does not have to be HOT. Warm water is fine. Just like when you give new styrene parts a good wash in warm water, with a drop or two of dish washing liquid, to get rid of any mold release agents.
My wife has a small ultrasonic cleaner (About 1 litre) that she uses to clean her jewellery. If I put my stainless steel watch band in it, I am usually grossed out by the amount of crud that comes off it... And it looked pretty clean before it went in.
They are really effective cleaners.
But I agree with the other posts. Use Purple Power or Easy Off oven cleaner to strip your old paint.
You could use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean off the resultant stripped paint, but a small scrubbing brush and some warm soapy water will do the job equally as well.
Save your money to buy new models!!
Or buy an ultrasonic cleaner 'for your wife or girlfriend' <nudge nudge> to clean her jewellery and you can use it on the odd occasion.
 
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