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Thread: Ultrasonic Cleaner and Autoclave

  1. #1

    Default Ultrasonic Cleaner and Autoclave

    Hi everybody,

    I have a friend who works at a dentist's office who uses both an ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave daily to clean dental equipment. Now, I just bought a 1962 Gillette Slim Adjustable off of eBay, so if she were allowed to clean the razor, would there be any harm in cleaning the razor with that equipment? I'm not sure what metals dental equipment is made of or what they use specifically in the ultrasonic cleaner, hopefully one of you could shed some light on this. Also, should I do any disassembly prior to cleaning? If I would, I would greatly appreciate some information on that, and also how to reassemble and lubricate it after cleaning.

    Thanks a bunch!

  2. #2
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    Not needed and not worth the risk.
    The most robust of pathogens can't live longer than 10-14 days outside of a host body.

    As long as it is "dishwasher clean", through a simple application of "scrubbing bubbles" (don't let it soak!), and a dip in alcohol to dry, it's good to go.
    Vintage razors are plated, a variety of base metals, and may not react well with the ultrasonic cleaner.
    A pure steam autoclave may be okay, but there is always the issue of corrosion. Medical equipment is stainless.

    A gas sterilizer would likely be safe, but again, completely overkill.
    - Rich
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  3. #3
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    Sterilization is not needed, and razors have been damaged (even killed) in the quest to complicate a problem that is so simple to remedy.

    You can't beat good old-fashioned Dawn dish soap, very hot water, an old toothbrush, and elbow grease. A shot of Scrubbing Bubbles works well on softening soap scum and anything the Dawn might miss. Lather, rinse, repeat until clean. A mild application of MAAS or Simichrome will bring out a little more shine if the finish is dull. A final wash after polishing, and a quick dip in 70% Isopropyl alcohol is all that is needed.

    Long soaks in anything stronger than dishwater can harm the plating (never use bleach . . . never!) and like Rich said (sort of) "cooties don't live that long" . . . or something like that!
    Brad - OGA
    You must be willing to do the things today others won't do . . .
    In order to have the things tomorrow others won't have. - Les Brown

  4. Default

    I ran across this little ultrasonic cleaner years ago at a garage sale or something. It's perfect for cleaning my razors.

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    And other things:

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  5. #5
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    I give it a spray with Lysol (it was explained here on B&B somewhere that there are NO germs that will live after that). Leave on for 10 minutes. Then soak in mild dish soap and warm water. Clean with a tooth brush and the dish soapy water, then the toothbrush with toothpaste as a cleaner and polish. I've used that on all my old razors, with no damage of any kind to any of them, with all of them sparkling afterwards.
    ~Bob - Member: TOFLAC-U, Order of Pinaud, Alliance of Merkur
    "I was born in the back seat of a Yellow Cab in a hospital loading zone and with the meter still running. I emerged needing a shave and shouted 'Time Square, and step on it!'"--Tom Waits

  6. #6
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    I use an ultrasonic cleaner with some hot water a squirt of dish detergent to clean my razors. After that, a quick rinse and a quick scrub with an old, soft toothbrush is all that I need to remove any gunk that's built up. As long as you aren't using any harsh chemicals in the ultrasonic cleaner, I don't believe it's possible to damage your razors - after all it's just vibrating soapy water.

  7. #7
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    I've cleaned 10 or 15 razors in an altrasonic cleaner in the lab, this is after I cleaned them with scrubbing bubbles and all that. I was amazed at all the crap that flew off the razors that were "clean" when i dropped them into the sonicator.
    As for autoclaving, the razors would probably survive but it's totally unnecessary, just dunk them in alcohol or barbicide. Also if the razor has any plastic parts or is coated in laquer the autoclave will melt it right off...

  8. #8
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    You can simulate the effect of an autoclave with a common pressure cooker, available anyplace small kitchen appliances are sold. These start at about $30 on up. And when you're not cleaning razors, you can cook in it, too.

    But this isn't really necessary. No matter what you do, razors don't need to be "sterile" like dental or medical instruments. Even when you buy a brand new razor, straight from the factory, its not sterile in a medical sense.

    The common methods and techniques will work just fine. Simple Green / Scrubbing Bubbles / Dawn dishwashing soap / etc. combined with patience and elbow grease are all that are necessary.
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  9. #9
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    No harm to the sonicator, but minimal benefit to the razor. The benefit of sonic cleaners are neglible compared to a toothbrush, microfiber cloth and Maas and/or Flix polish. I went out and bought a sonic cleaner and I do not use it anymore.
    Regards,
    Ted
    I ain't as good as I once was...but I'm as good once as I ever was.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quintar View Post
    I've cleaned 10 or 15 razors in an altrasonic cleaner in the lab, this is after I cleaned them with scrubbing bubbles and all that. I was amazed at all the crap that flew off the razors that were "clean" when i dropped them into the sonicator.
    Great advice, since many are simply nickel-plated.
    A woman is only a woman but a British Gillette Rocket is a shave.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by regularfella View Post
    I used an ultrasonic cleaner to clean my Slim and Fatboy. It cleaned them alright....but it also took the paint off the numbers and now the Fatboy shows brassing behind the adjuster. Proceed at your own risk. I wouldn't recommend it.
    +1 This is exactly why I wouldn't do it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubberHeels View Post
    Hi everybody,

    I have a friend who works at a dentist's office who uses both an ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave daily to clean dental equipment. Now, I just bought a 1962 Gillette Slim Adjustable off of eBay, so if she were allowed to clean the razor, would there be any harm in cleaning the razor with that equipment? I'm not sure what metals dental equipment is made of or what they use specifically in the ultrasonic cleaner, hopefully one of you could shed some light on this. Also, should I do any disassembly prior to cleaning? If I would, I would greatly appreciate some information on that, and also how to reassemble and lubricate it after cleaning.

    Thanks a bunch!
    I routinely clean razors in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Paid $40 for it on Amazon. I disassemble for cleaning. No lube. You use the reccomended cleaner or dish soap.

    Gus/BOTOC

  13. #13
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    I will echo what's been said here: there's absolutely NO need to autoclave. Seriously. Or pressure cook, for that matter, which does mimic a clave. By the time that thing's shipped to you, there's nothing left alive on it, so just wash it really well then spray it with the cleaner of your choice - or an alcohol dunk, etc. - and enjoy. No need to get carried away. If you're still hesitant, leave it sit another few days then repeat those steps. All good.
    - peace -

  14. #14
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    I use an ultrasonic cleaner sometimes. They can get the gunk out of an adjustable mechanism. But you have to be careful because they can also remove painted numbers.
    ~Jon~
    BBS Challenged

    Member of the B&B 2011 Rudy Vey custom Brush Buy
    I gave to Soap For Hope
    I survived the 2011 B&B Upgrade

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