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Ultrasonic cleaner with alcohol?

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  • Ultrasonic cleaner with alcohol?

    My cell phone is loaded full of dirt and crap.
    It is so bad that I can hardly hear
    I am thinking of pulling the battery and card and giving it a cycle in the ultrasonic full of alcohol.

    Other than the obvious fire hazard, what could go wrong?

  • #2
    I'm not sure your phone will like the alcohol bath. And being hummered by ultrasonic vibrations shouldn't be healthy for the connections , display, etc.


    • #3
      Yeah, that's not a good idea.

      Take it apart and clean it out. You will need some small torx, most likely.

      The speaker may be covered in metal fines or something. It may also just be bad.


      • #4
        Sometimes a sticky tape like masking tape can do a cleaning job better than any other way. If the thing you're cleaning is fragile, you can stick the tape to your finger a few times to lessen the sticking power.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


        • #5
          I have cleaned a lot of electronics. Once had to salvage a professional camcorder that had been dunked in a Florida swamp. The cameraman only wanted the tape saved, not the $15,000+ camcorder. I actually saved both of them. Things like circuit boards can be dunked in an ultrasonic bath, but I would not recommend alcohol.

          Modern consumer electronics utilize construction techniques like membrane switches, connectors that use conductive rubber, and others that are not easy to dry out after being submerged. Submerging conventional switches, relays, and other electro-mechanical parts often washes more dirt into them than out of them. I have personal experience with this. I do not recommend ultrasonic for them.

          Take it apart and clean each element with an appropriate means. Perhaps the circuit board(s) can be cleaned in the ultrasonic and perhaps not. Membrane switches often can be taken apart and cleaned layer by layer. I strongly recommend only wiping with a dry, clean rag for any connectors or switches that use conductive rubber.

          All in all, proceed with caution. Oh, and about that alcohol thing. There are much better solvents for the ultrasonic cleaners for cleaning electronics. You can purchase them from places like McMaster and other industrial suppliers. Most of them are water based and this is not a problem. Actually, a weak solution of ordinary liquid detergent in water would be OK. All parts cleaned with them are rinsed with plain tap water immediately after cleaning, before they dry. Yes, tap water: it does no harm to most electronic parts if they are allowed to completely dry before use. And that final rinse removes any contaminants that were dissolved in the cleaning solution instead of letting them dry on the parts and causing later problems.
          Paul A.

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


          • #6
            I've cleaned lots of circuit boards using warm soapy water and a little brush like a toothbrush. Rinse well and dry- I usually blow them out with air, getting under the ICs where possible, then put them in a warmer than normal place for some time.

            A big enemy for electronics that get wet is voltage. Corrosion and other damage can happen very quickly, so the first thing I do if something gets wet is remove the power source.

            I've fixed a ton of remotes by washing the circuit board and the rubber contact layer. Sometimes it takes more than soapy water to restore a conductive contact- I've used acetone and rubber-renew with good results, but you do have to be very careful that you don't remove the conductive coating. Usually if the problem is bad enough, it's a last resort kind of thing anyway, so if you fix it, great- if not, well you haven't lost anything.
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


            • #7
              Try this

              could be expensive!

              I have tools I don't know how to use!!