Let’s Talk About The Magic of Cavitation (plus an animation!) – Update #011

visonic dome cavitation ultrasonic cleaner
In this quick post, I hope to show you why ultrasonic cleaning is so special. And then, hopefully, you'll understand why a *sonic* contact lens cleaner is a waste of your money. And why that other company is full of 🤫...

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Ultrasonic Cleaning
Cavitation on Demand

When you see an ultrasonic cleaner do its thing, it’s easy to get the wrong idea about how it works.

The solution in the chamber vibrates. The liquid ripples like a thousand stones are skipping across the surface. It’s like there’s a mini earthquake going on in there. It’s wild.

So it’s easy to understand why most people assume that ultrasonic cleaners work by shaking the dirt away. Especially when lesser “sonic” cleaning devices don’t do much more than that.

In reality, intense vibrations are only the beginning of what makes an ultrasonic cleaner work.

The secret sauce, the thing that makes an ultrasonic cleaner so different than everything else, is a phenomenon called “cavitation.”

What is ultrasonic sound?

Ultrasonic cleaners work by creating ultrasonic sound waves that vibrate a cleaning solution at an ultrasonic frequency. Makes sense, right?

An ultrasonic frequency is one that’s literally too fast (too highpitched) for human ears to hear.

Here’s an example most people are familiar with: a dog whistle.

Normal whistles work by vibrating the air around us. Our eardrums sense those vibrations and then we hear them as sounds. But dog whistles vibrate air molecules so fast that the resulting sound is super high-pitched. The air is still vibrating (just ask Spot, he’ll tell you what’s up), but we can’t hear it.

retro wave frequency
Frequency means the number of sound waves in a certain amount of time. High-frequency means very fast sound waves. Ultrasonic means sound waves with a frequency too high to hear.

This is a subject I’ve already written about before – pretty extensively, too. You can read all about ultrasonic vibrations by clicking here.

The reason I’m bringing it up again is because I stumbled across a device online that claims to clean contact lenses with sonic vibrations alone. They also claim that ultrasonic cleaning isn’t effective. I don’t believe either of those things is true. And neither should you.

In this quick post, I hope to show you why ultrasonic cleaning is so special. And then, hopefully, you’ll understand why a sub-ultrasonic contact lens cleaner is a waste of your money. And also why that other company is full of 🤫

What’s the deal with cavitation?

Cavitation occurs when you force ultrasonic sound waves through a liquid (like water or a cleaning solution). The sound waves cause water molecules to physically move – up and down, back and forth, over and over. As the molecules squeeze together and stretch apart, there’s a rapid change in pressure.

When the molecules move apart and pressure decreases, it creates millions of tiny pockets of vapor – cavities.

And once the pressure swings the other way and becomes too great, those new bubbles implode – cavitation.

The result is massive amounts of energy on a microscopic scale.

It’s like little tiny bombs going off around your contact lenses. Every time the bubbles collapse, they shoot off supersonic jets of hyperheated gas.

It’s those supersonic jets that blast away all the dirt and grime that’s covering your contact lenses. It’s the microscopic bubbles that clean your contacts and make them more comfortable – not the sound vibrations!

Ultimately, cavitation is what sets an ultrasonic cleaner apart from its weaker cousin, the sonic cleaner. Sonic cleaners don’t vibrate at a frequency that’s fast enough to create those gas bubbles. All they do is shake the solution around.

No implosions.
No cleaning.

Sonic cleaners are (probably) no good liars.

Now that you understand that sound waves are just the first step of cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner, it’s easy to see why cavitation is so important.

And why any device that stops short of creating cavitation is a waste of your time (and money).

There’s only one device (that I know of) on the market today that claims to clean contact lenses with sonic vibrations alone.

They also claim to have clinical tests showing the efficacy of their device.

Strangely, I couldn’t find a link to their clinical test results anywhere on their website. It would’ve been interesting to see. Too bad.

On their site, this other product goes on to claim that ultrasonic cleaning is “costly and ineffective.”

They say that ultrasonic cleaning is “even inferior to manual rubbing” and that it “cannot remove tough residue or prevent protein redeposition.”

If sonic cleaners are as good – or better – than ultrasonic cleaners, let’s see the proof. Show us the clinical trial data.

But unlike their product, the Visonic Dome’s clinical test results are easy to find (just click here). And independent clinical tests show that Visonic Dome is not only superior to manual ‘Rub & Rinse’ cleaning, it also removes protein deposits as well as enzymatic cleaning chemicals – without all the extra time, cost, and effort of those chemicals.

Furthermore, medical labs around the world trust ultrasonic cleaners to sterilize their delicate equipment on a daily basis. None of them use sonic frequencies to clean their equipment, as far as I know.

So they’re wrong.

And by joining our Email Notification, you can get your Visonic Dome for 30% cheaper than their weaker, sonic cleaner, too. (sign up form below.)

So they’re double wrong.

And the animation I promised…

visonic dome ultrasonic cavitation animation

Above is an animation about ultrasonic cleaning and cavitation that my friend Meng Cruz (@crzmeng on Instagram) made for my YouTube video.

I hope it helps you better understand just how ultrasonic cleaning works.

And I think it looks pretty cool, too.

Until next time!

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