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Ultrasonic Cleaner - Before And After

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Pillar of the Community
Canada
2805 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  1:21 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add nalaberong to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Recently I remembered to take a scan of a coin before putting it in my ultrasonic cleaner, so I was able to make some animated before/after comparisons. I'm very happy with the results.

So, an ultrasonic cleaner involves a little bowl that you fill with water and whatever you want cleaned. When you turn it on it starts vibrating at high speed. This shakes off dirt and other nasty things but it does not affect the patina or toning at all because it uses motion, not chemicals (however, your coins must be submerged so if a coin is affected by long exposure to water it'll be affected by a long ultrasonic clean).

On many coins, dirt and toning are indistinguishable, until the ultrasonic removes the dirt and leaves nothing but toning behind. Then you'll find out that the dirt protected the areas underneath from being toned, and without the dirt your coin has inconsistent toning.

Anyway, here are the results:



This copper-nickel coin had some green gunk on it, which was basically perfectly removed. I bought it for cheap because of the gunk, because I guessed the ultrasonic would get rid of it (and it did!).



Here's an example of a coin with un-toned areas hiding underneath the dirt - this is not a desirable outcome but at least it's no longer dirty. Maybe in a few months I'll check how much it's re-toned.



Here's a subtle improvement I wouldn't really have noticed without seeing the scans.



Some coins are not hugely improved.



Finally, this Iraqi coin turned out amazingly well.
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United States
564 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  1:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Arael to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That actually looks really promising, I'm curious to see more.
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Learn More...
United States
5828 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  1:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ChildOfTheWheat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This looks like a promising method! Cant wait to see more!
Rest in Peace
United States
7075 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  2:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Buddy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


Thanks for documenting the experiment.
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Canada
1118 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  3:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Harmonica to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
How do you suspend the coins in the solution with out them getting a bunch of hair lines scratches from vibration? I might have some junk voyager dollars that will no longer be junky.
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Canada
2805 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  3:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nalaberong to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A coin just doesn't weigh enough to get scratched by being vibrated on a metal plate. However, unless you take extreme care to place coins in the cleaner, the edges will take a couple very minor scrapes as they drop onto the metal. This is most noticeable on toned copper coins. But if you have real equipment (coin tongs!) and raise/lower your coins very, very gently, this problem shouldn't occur.

Other ultrasonic cleaners have beds made out of wire mesh - these will probably be best for avoiding this edge damage.

Anyway, I have a couple coins in the cleaner right now. If people find these animations interesting, I will try to document all the dirty coins I put through the ultrasonic cleaner from now on.
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655 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  3:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NJ Bob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Did you use tap water or distilled water?

I wonder if this method could be used with acetone instead of water.
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Canada
2805 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  3:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nalaberong to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So far, I've had no problems using my tap water, even though it's pretty hard. Distilled water would probably work better, but I haven't bothered with it yet.

You could probably try acetone, but it's volatile so you'd have to be a lot more careful (not sure how well the cleaner's lid fits on). Again I haven't bothered with this because I'm worried about the fumes and I haven't seen a need for it.
Valued Member
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 Posted 01/04/2015  3:48 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Krusti-Koin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I worked as a jeweler, we used wire mesh that was rubber coated to protect the jewelry. The rubber coated grids that are used to hang things on a wall will suffice. You can fashion a small basket from them.
Also: I would not use acetone in any device that ran on electricity. I would think it is too dangerous.
Edited by Krusti-Koin
01/04/2015 3:53 pm
Valued Member
United States
59 Posts
 Posted 01/04/2015  5:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thetracer to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Most new small cleaners now have little plastic screens you can put objects into. Perfect for coins.
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 Posted 01/04/2015  5:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NJ Bob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Krusti-Koin, you're probably right about using acetone.
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 Posted 01/05/2015  12:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BamaBlue to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You can use acetone in an ultrasonic cleaner, but you MUST be careful. Do not put acetone directly into the ultrasonic cleaner tub. Instead, submerge a coin in acetone in a small UNCOVERED glass jar (baby food jars work great just take off the labels). Only a 1/4 inch or so of acetone is needed; the idea is to cover the coin, not fill the jar. Fill your ultrasonic cleaner with a few inches of water. Put the glass jar with coin/acetone into the basin of your ultrasonic cleaner. The water level should be above the level of the acetone, but not at the lip of the glass jar. Run the ultrasonic cleaner through a normal cycle. Remove the coin from the acetone and perform your normal post dip routine (e.g., gently scrape with a toothpick, rinse in distilled water, pat dry).
Edited by BamaBlue
01/05/2015 12:30 pm
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937 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2015  2:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Tryna to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Have you ever gotten one of these coins graded? Just wondering what the pro graders are calling them.
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648 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2015  2:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add schmidty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If people find these animations interesting, I will try to document all the dirty coins I put through the ultrasonic cleaner from now on.


I find this very interesting. Thank you for what you have posted and I look forward to seeing more. I would be very interested to see the results (if you have any) of zinc coins with that white corrosion they get.

One question: which cleaner do you have? I am going to have to look into this more.
Edited by schmidty
01/05/2015 2:55 pm
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1925 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2015  4:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Pertinax to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
These animations are an interesting way of comparing but for me they are too quick to see the difference. Would it be possible to increase the time between the animations to say 15 seconds ?
Life Fellow, Royal Numismatic Society

My wants list: http://goccf.com/t/283145
Pillar of the Community
United States
648 Posts
 Posted 01/05/2015  4:50 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add schmidty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree and disagree...they are a little fast right now. But I think 15 seconds may be too long. IMO, somewhere in the 3-5 second range would be better.
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