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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ultrasonic Cleaner ... as Paint Bottle Shaker

Yesterday I bought a small Ultrasonic cleaner with 35 watts power and 16 fluid oz. capacity. It is normally used for cleaning jewelry and other fine metals and I believe railway enthusiasts use it to clean etched brass frets and metal train parts. I recall that I read somewhere that it can also be used to shake up paint bottles, which seemed to me a good enough reason to pick one up.

I filled the cleaner with tap water and began to place handfuls of 17ml Vallejo paint bottles into it.  Most of my Vallejo bottles are several years old and have not been stirred/shaken very often since I purchased them. Even the metal pellets I put into some of them had become impossible to shake loose due to settled pigments. 

I put each batch of bottles through one to two 3-min cycles (auto-timed default for the model I have). I then took the bottles out and towel dried them. The result was better than I expected. After the ultrasonic treatment, a quick shake was all it took to re-integrate the pigments with the medium/carrying fluids.

So I am quite happy with this purchase and can't wait to see what else I may be able to use this machine for. Perhaps I will even use it to clean something some day...


  1. Good tip. I´ll try it myself.

  2. Don´t put metal pellets in the bottles. All my bottles that I did it, are now hardened, and dry.

  3. Don´t put metal pellets in the bottles. All my bottles that I did it, are now hardened, and dry.

  4. Thanks for the tip, infact I was wondering if I could use an ultrasonic bath to mix paint. Also, when when tried to use metal BBs to mix paint, as found somewhere else, resulted in a complete mess as all pigments became hardened, fortunatley I tried it in some mixed paint leftover!

  5. Richard, I just found your post on mixing paint with a "jewelry cleaner", and I'm elated to have found it! I have been searching for a very long time to see if there was anyone out there, who has tried it, and there you were! It was worth the wait. I see this was posted two years ago, but just had to comment on it.



  6. to me, doing it with TAMIYA paints, (glass bottles) had no results. Is it only good for plastic bottles ?

  7. I am trying this now with Branson unit and several old bottles of Aero Gloss Fuel Proof dope that have been settling for years. I will post my results.