Cleaning in metal detecting is often associated with your finds, as most hobbyists are always looking for safe and effective ways to clean their finds, especially the most valuable ones to preserve them (By the way, I’ve written this helpful guide on how to clean your finds) …
However, most of hobbyists hardly pay any attention to their metal detector, whether it is clean or not, and what they should be doing to clean it regularly.
In this short article, I breakdown some simple tips that will help you keep your beloved machine clean, so you can help its durability and make look good at all times.
Cleaning your metal detector naturally …
Cleaning your metal detector on a regular basis will help prolong the life its life time. Using natural cleaners is one of the best ways to keep it working properly.
Two great natural cleaners include white vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar works as a natural disinfectant, and since it is acidic, it works great for getting rid of gummy buildup, rust, and even hard water stains…
You can remove such buildups from your metal detector. In fact, if you don’t have vinegar available, you can even use lemon juice in the same way.
The second natural cleaner that works wonders for metal detectors is baking soda. You only need to sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth and use it as a gentle surface cleaner on our metal detector.
At the same time, baking soda is also used to absorb odor, which is why it is used in garbage cans, litter boxes, and even diaper pails.
If you have been using your metal detector underwater regularly, baking soda can help you get rid of any odors from the detector.
Cleaning your detector using cleaning products …
If you don’t use natural cleaning products, or don’t have any at home, you can also clean your detector using cleaning products available in the market. Two such cleaners include:
For all-purpose cleaning, you can use the Seventh Generation Professional All-Purpose Cleaner Spray, which is very cheap.
This is an all-purpose, biodegradable cleaner that removes dirt, grease, and grime from all surfaces. This cleaner is perfect for those who don’t want to use the harsh ingredient as this cleaner is plant-based.
It is free of chlorine bleach and fragrance, so it won’t leave your detector smelling like chemicals.
You can also use the Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid dish soap (Check it Here at Amazon) for cleaning the parts of your detector. This is something that most households have. This versatile dish soap contains lauryl sulfate, which bonds well with grease and breaks it down. You can dilute the liquid soap with water and even add a few drops of essential oil.
In case your metal detector has some deep and tight parts that a simple clothes can’t reach which is full or dirt, you might consider using a keyboard cleaner/vacuum (Like this one) to help absorb that.
Metal detector parts that need cleaning the most?
It is usually the search coil and coil cover that tends to get dirty the most. In rainy weather, it is possible for these parts to get caked in mud, or if you are detecting on the beach, you may get sand inside the cover.
Also, the connections, nuts, and bolts tend to get dirty quite quickly.
If you have fully waterproof metal detector underwater (especially salt water), then you probably need to consider cleaning the whole parts including the control box from salt residue that can damage your detector surface if left on it.
In such a case, it is better to disassemble your machine before you start cleaning so you can reach all parts where salt may have reached.
Risks related to cleaning your metal detector
One of the biggest risks associated with cleaning your metal detector is if you get water in the non-waterproof control box.
This may cause your metal detector to malfunction. In this case you need to use a slightly we clothe to clean the control box. Just wet enough to clean the dirt.
Also, make sure while cleaning to not touch the batteries as this can cause some rust and damage them over time. This could even cause damaging your whole machine!
How often should clean your metal detector?
You should ideally clean your metal detector after every hunt. After coming back from the search, take a damp cloth and wipe down the coil, and other parts of the metal detector, except the control housing.
This should be the case if you go out detecting like once a week or once every other week. However, if you go out detecting 3 times a week or even everyday, then I don’t really believe it is necessary to clean your detector after each hunt as this could not be very convenient as you would probably come back pretty tired. In this case, cleaning your detector once a week is ideal in my opinion!
Remember that the control housing usually contains the electronics and LCD screen, and it is not waterproof. So to clean this part, just use a dry rag to dust it off this part.
You should also remove all the covers of your control house and give time for the unit to dry completely. This is especially true if you were caught in a rainstorm or you were detecting in humid conditions.
Final Thoughts …
Please keep in mind that if you don’t clean your metal detector at all, it is more likely to start giving you false signals after some time.
As the grime builds up on the detector, the ability of the search coil to detect properly will go down, and you may end up missing certain signals while detecting.
That’s why consider doing so. Again once a week is more than enough to get the job done, not to mention that the cleaning process should take more than 10 minutes from you time.