Use an Ultrasonic Cleaner to Restore Carburetors

Choosing a Cleaning Solution for Carburetors

When looking for cleaning solutions for carburetors remember the adage “choose the right tool for the job.”  Many think “tool” is equipment such as a hammer, saw, or wrench, and “solution” as a liquid or an answer to a problem.  For this post tools are liquid solutions and equipment is an ultrasonic cleaner to do the job.

Here you will learn why using an ultrasonic parts cleaner and the right ultrasonic cleaning solution for carburetors will do the job faster, easier and more thoroughly than sprays, brushes and soaks in potentially dangerous solvents.   

First, Why Consider an Ultrasonic Cleaner?

Two key words: fast and thorough carburetor cleaning.

Ultrasonic cleaners are fast.  Cleaning can be accomplished in as little as 20 minutes.  On top of that, thorough cleaning is accomplished with minimal disassembly. 

How this is achieved is described next.  But these two key benefits explain why labor costs are substantially reduced and suggest that an ultrasonic cleaner for carburetors will soon pay for itself by increasing your productivity.

How Ultrasonic Action Delivers Quick Carburetor Cleaning

Benchtop ultrasonic cleaners such as the 3.5-gallon Elma EP120H available from Tovatech substitute the thorough cleaning of ultrasonic power in a biodegradable ultrasonic solution for the hit-or-miss results when using brushes and solvents.  

Equipment consists of a tank to hold the cleaning solution, a generator that drives ultrasonic transducers affixed to the bottom of the tank and intuitive controls. 

Dirty Carburetor

In the case of the EP120H the transducers vibrate at an ultrasonic frequency of 37,000 cycles per second (37 kHz).  This causes the bottom of the cleaning tank to vibrate as a membrane in turn producing millions of minute vacuum bubbles in the cleaning solution for carburetors.  These bubbles implode with tremendous force when they contact any wetted surface to quickly and safely blast and carry away any and all contaminants. 

The process is called cavitation.  Because the bubbles are so tiny they reach all carburetor parts immersed in the cleaning solution – including cracks, crevices and blind holes inaccessible with sprays, solvents, brushes and wash tanks. 

The EP120H is equipped with a heater, a timer, a dynamic mode combining sweep for cleaning uniformity with pulse to remove stubborn contaminants and degas fresh solutions. The unit’s microprocessor-controlled generator maintains constant ultrasonic power, sensing and adjusting for light or heavy loads in the tank. Digital operation ensures reproducible performance from run to run.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution for Carburetors

We have two recommendations, depending on the nature of contaminants.

1.  To remove dirt, grease and light carbon from carburetor components

We suggest biodegradable elma tec clean A4, a mildly alkaline concentrate that you dilute to 1 to 5% with water and available in 2.5, 10 and 25 liter containers.  

Partially fill the ultrasonic cleaner tank with water, add A4 in the required amount for a full tank then continue adding water to the fill line.

Turn on the unit and activate the dynamic mode to mix and degas the solution.   This removes cavitation inhibiting trapped air and it must be done each time you prepare fresh cleaning solution.

Elma tec clean A4 causes contaminants to dislodge from surfaces being cleaned, then float to the top of the solution where they can be skimmed off for disposal.  You can use this solution for carburetors over multiple carburetor cleaning cycles, making it an extremely economical choice. 

Water based elma tec clean A4 is biodegradable, but observe local regulations regarding proper disposal of spent solutions.

2.  To removing heavy carbon and shellac from carburetor components

We recommend Shellac-Buster CLN-SH RS75 Cleaner in one gallon containers.  This is used full strength but, as with elma tec clean A4 must be degassed prior to starting.

A Typical Carburetor Cleaning Cycle

When you’re ready to do the job, we suggest partial disassembly of carburetors so the cleaning solution reaches into the float chamber.   

Cleaning is enhanced when the solution is heated, so set the unit’s thermostat to 70˚C.  The EP120H heater control is equipped with a green LED that flashes during heating and remains on when the set temperature is reached.

Place carburetors into the basket (ordered separately), lower them into the cleaning solution and place the lid on the unit to conserve heat and minimize evaporation. 

 Set the timer for 20 minutes and push the start button to initiate cleaning.

Activate the dynamic mode to combine sweep and pulse, assuring a thorough cleansing cycle.


The EP120H will turn off at the end of the cleaning cycle.  With experience you will soon learn optimum cleaning times based on the condition of the carburetors. 

When the ultrasonic cleaner for carburetors cycle is completed remove traces of cleaning solution with a fresh water rinse.  Parts should be dried before reinstallation.

Contact the ultrasonic cleaning professionals at Tovatech for help in selecting the right cleaning solutions for carburetors, an ultrasonic parts cleaner sized right for your shop, and to provide guidance on its use.

About Rachel Kohn

So how did an MIT Ph.D. end up selling refrigerators? When I figured out that a lot more scientists buy lab refrigerators than innovative leading-edge instruments. I hope that my many years of lab experience will help you find the right equipment for your work. Before co-founding Tovatech I worked in business development and project management at Smiths Detection, Photon-X, Cardinal Health, and Hoechst Celanese. And before that I spent 12 years as an R&D chemist at Hoechst Celanese and Aventis working on advanced drug delivery systems, polymer films and membranes, optical disks, and polysaccharides. Some day, eventually, I’ll make enough money to develop an innovative technology that will change the world. Read More