I've been asked numerous questions about the short video of my Crest Ultrasonic cleaner that I posted on YouTube a while back, so I figured that I'd post some info about it and some things that I learned using it.
This single piece of equiptment has made probably the biggest difference in my productivity. It allows for me to essentially "work" on two bikes at once. I can get a start on one bike by removing the drivetrain components, which typically include the cassette, chain, front and rear derailleurs as well as the crankset, while I continue to work on the bike that's on stand #1. Gone are the days of taking those said components to the parts cleaner and scrubbing away with a brush.
Does a Dang Good Job.
I'm not going to get into the science behind how ultrasonic cleaners work beyond the fact high frequency sound waves cause "tiny explosions" or cavication bubbles on the surface of the item that's being cleaned. Bottom line is that it works (better if you use the right solution and temperature).
I've tried alot of different solutions in my ultrasonic cleaner at different concentrations and at different temps. Some definitely work better than others. Temperature certainly makes a difference in the end result as well as the time required to clean the item. After trying everything from off the shelf Simple Green to even a few products that are ultrasonic cleaner specific, I have come to really like Extreme Simple Green Aircraft & Precision Cleaner. This stuff really works. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to obtain than the regular Simple Green product is, and it also costs more. I get mine from Simple Green Guy. As far as the concentration, this is powerful stuff. Don't be fooled. A little goes a long way. I typically use a 1:4 or 1:5 concentration and add more solution or water as necessary.
If you can afford one, get one. You're going to wonder why you waited so long...