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How to Make a Clock Cleaning Solution

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are dedicated to horology, or the art and science of timekeeping, keeping your clocks clean is an important part of the job. Although there are many cleaning solutions on the market for cleaning both older and newer clocks, it is possible to mix your own cleaner at home to use in your ultrasonic cleaner. Clock cleaner, even homemade, is extremely flammable, so use caution when preparing the mixture. Once mixed, use this effective cleaner to keep your clocks running beautifully.

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  1. Fill a bucket of water with 1/2 gallon of purified water. Work outdoors or in an area with plenty of ventilation.

  2. Add 113gr. of commercial acetone, found in hardware stores, and 118ml. oleic acid, which you can purchase from a chemical supply house. Mix the solution well.

  3. Add 118ml. mild dish soap to the solution and mix well.

  4. Pour the ammonia in slowly, mixing while pouring, until all 236ml. is mixed into the solution. Transfer the solution to a plastic container with a lid and store in a cool, dry place.

  5. Tip

    When you are ready to use the cleaner in your ultrasonic cleaner, mix equal parts cleaner and purified water.


    Use extreme caution when handling oleic acid and ammonia. Wear rubber gloves and protective goggles at all times.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Bucket
  • Purified water
  • 113gr. commercial acetone
  • 118ml. oleic acid
  • Mixing stick
  • 113gr. mild dish soap
  • 227gr. household cleaning ammonia
  • Plastic container with lid

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