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Thread: Possibly a silly question, but…

  1. #1
    Master
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    Possibly a silly question, but…

    Can I put safely put a complete and working watch in a sonic bath for cleaning?


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  2. #2
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    I don’t think so.



    Ref: https://millenarywatches.com/best-ul...aners-watches/
    “The issue with putting your whole watch in an ultrasonic cleaner, even if it is water-proof is that the vibrations and effect of the ultrasonic cleaner can cause damage to the movement but also cause premature wear on things like the rubber gaskets that are meant to keep the watch protected against water. The ultrasonic waves that are used in a cleaner are not good for the movement“
    Last edited by MartynJC (UK); 11th May 2024 at 11:47.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by berin View Post
    Can I put safely put a complete and working watch in a sonic bath for cleaning?
    Uninformed opinion: don't do it.

  4. #4
    Of course you can safely put a watch into a sonic bath, just don't expect it to work afterwards.....

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  5. #5
    Master
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    I thought so too, but I saw an ad for a sonic bath the other day showing a watch in it, so thought I’d ask in case any of the watch engineers on here have experience.


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  6. #6
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amcneill View Post
    Of course you can safely put a watch into a sonic bath, just don't expect it to work afterwards.....

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  7. #7
    Grand Master
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    I wouldn't, here's why:

    Apart from the obvious water-ingress concerns, think about how the ultrasonic vibration will affect the lubrication in the movement. Likely effect is that the oil, applied in tiny quantities to the jewel cups, will migrate away. Ultrasonic causes vibration at high frequency and that's what creates the cleaning effect, this is not what you want in an assembled running watch.

    I use an ultrasonic bath for cleaning stripped-down watch movements, immersing the parts in watch cleaning fluid contained in a small jar which is immersed in the ultrasonic bath, it's great fun watching the parts vibrate and generally get agitated, it's a very effective way of cleaning the parts too.

    Best way to clean a watch is using a warm strong detergent solution and a toothbrush, after checking the watch isn`t going to leak.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by berin View Post
    Can I put safely put a complete and working watch in a sonic bath for cleaning?
    I'm very glad you asked it as I was wondering the exact same thing!

  9. #9
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    ..
    Best way to clean a watch is using a warm strong detergent solution and a toothbrush, after checking the watch isn`t going to leak.
    Wear it in a hot bath and give it a good going over with the loofa while you're at it! Works very time
    “ Ford... you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.” HHGTTG

  10. #10
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Only removed bracelets and occasional steaks - go in the U/S tank................

    Bodies go in the lyme bath.

  11. #11
    no but they are the only way to really deep clean a bracelet

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by berin View Post
    I thought so too, but I saw an ad for a sonic bath the other day showing a watch in it
    What you see advertised isn't always correct though, it simply makes for a better shot that represents what they're showing. How many people outside of here would necessarily easily recognise a watch bracelet in an ultrasonic cleaner? Mind you, how many people outside of here would be browsing ultrasonic cleaners to clean their watches?

    In a similar vein, it's always amused me to see the Timpson's board advertising battery changes - using a Seiko SKX007 as the example picture!

    Last edited by andy100; 11th May 2024 at 18:59.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy100 View Post
    In a similar vein, it's always amused me to see the Timpson's board advertising battery changes - using a Seiko SKX007 as the example picture!

    I'd certainly never expect to pay for a battery again, or even once for that matter.

  14. #14
    Grand Master
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    Why I would like to know.

    Warm soapy water with a toothbrush will surely sort anything.What more would you expect after doing this.


  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev-O View Post
    no but they are the only way to really deep clean a bracelet
    Image1715673983.062588.jpg

    I’ve just used Steradent for the integrated bracelet on an Omega Seamaster. Fair amount of muck and I guess human debris accumulated at the bottom of the glass.



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  16. #16
    Grand Master Passenger's Avatar
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    Once while visiting the outlaws at their Fla place, after a swim I hopped in the jacuzzi at the communal pool area. American chap across from me was wearing one of those large Italian frog man watches, oh dear I thought to myself this could gang agley.

  17. #17
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy100 View Post
    What you see advertised isn't always correct though, it simply makes for a better shot that represents what they're showing. How many people outside of here would necessarily easily recognise a watch bracelet in an ultrasonic cleaner? Mind you, how many people outside of here would be browsing ultrasonic cleaners to clean their watches?

    In a similar vein, it's always amused me to see the Timpson's board advertising battery changes - using a Seiko SKX007 as the example picture!

    The Timpsons outside our local supermarket has that poster. It always disappointed me that the watch also clearly has an issue with the day changeover too - looks awful.

  18. #18
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweets View Post
    The Timpsons outside our local supermarket has that poster. It always disappointed me that the watch also clearly has an issue with the day changeover too - looks awful.
    I only spotted that for the first time when searching out the image to post here.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gyp View Post
    I'm very glad you asked it as I was wondering the exact same thing!
    Well at least I wasn’t the only one!

    Thanks to everyone that replied. I’ll be taking the metal bracelets off and doing those in the ultrasonic, and a manual clean of the watch head!


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  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    I wouldn't, here's why:

    Apart from the obvious water-ingress concerns, think about how the ultrasonic vibration will affect the lubrication in the movement. Likely effect is that the oil, applied in tiny quantities to the jewel cups, will migrate away. Ultrasonic causes vibration at high frequency and that's what creates the cleaning effect, this is not what you want in an assembled running watch.

    I use an ultrasonic bath for cleaning stripped-down watch movements, immersing the parts in watch cleaning fluid contained in a small jar which is immersed in the ultrasonic bath, it's great fun watching the parts vibrate and generally get agitated, it's a very effective way of cleaning the parts too.

    Best way to clean a watch is using a warm strong detergent solution and a toothbrush, after checking the watch isn`t going to leak.
    Thanks for the advice


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  21. #21
    Craftsman Cornholio's Avatar
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    Just as a random aside:

    My old man's Mu-Du (he's been dead for 53 years, so watch must be quite old) stopped running.

    Figured it was time to chuck it away, so thought I'd clean it in the ultrasonic and take a few pictures before heaving it into the bin.

    Not only did it come out clean, it came out running.

    It had also leaked a little bit.

    This is not a recommendation for putting watches into ultrasonic cleaners. It is just to point out that the vibrations do get into the mechanism.

    Dad's watch has now been dried and at some point will go to see about getting it serviced.

    I won't be putting a working watch in there...

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