Last November, PHC started using Ultrasonic equipment to clean contents from both fire and water damage restoration projects.  Ultrasonic cleaning uses high-frequency sound waves through the water to remove smoke residue, mold, heat scale, oxides, and even microscopic dust and soot from tiny crevices that are unreachable by hand.  The use of this equipment now makes it possible for us to clean items that were once considered unable to be cleaned and that would have been thrown away.

I catch myself walking by the Contents Processing Area a little more than usual when the Cleaning crew has the machines running just to see what they are cleaning and what the finished product looks like.  I am constantly amazed so much so that I decided to ask the Cleaning Crew what they thought of the new equipment, and this is what they had to say…

Our cleaning of items has become much quicker.  Items such as etched glass vases that would have taken 20 minutes by hand with the use of a toothbrush to clean now take less than 5 minutes to both clean and dry.  We are now able to clean groups of items together in only a fraction of the time that it would have taken to clean each one individually.

When asked what items that they cleaned impressed them the most, I received the following answers:

  • A truck winch was recovered from a garage fire.  It was covered in rust, soot, and grease.  This item would have taken hours for one person to clean each individual link with no guarantee of removing all the grease and rust.  But after a pre-soak and then cleaning in the ultrasonic machine, the rust, soot, and grease were gone.
  • Folding tailgate/bag chair that was covered in soot and debris from fire and had molded.  After a wash in the Ultrasonic machine, all the debris, rust, and mold from the chair fabric was gone.
  • Lampshades—we’ve always sponge-cleaned lampshades and have been able to remove the top layer of soot but soot that had penetrated the fabric would leave a slight variation.  Ultrasonic cleaning removes the soot, dust, and dirt from the lampshades and makes them look as good as new.

Take a look for yourself at some of the Contents cleaned by our cleaning crew in our Contents Cleaning Gallery.