We studied the effects of two types of ultrasonic waves, shear waves and longitudinal waves, using two nonlinear optical techniques, second-harmonic generation and hyper-Rayleigh scattering. Since shear waves hardly propagate in liquids, their influence on molecules at the interface between a surface and a liquid was studied using second-harmonic generation. Longitudinal waves propagate easily in solution, thus we used hyper-Rayleigh scattering to probe the ultrasonic effects on chromophores in solution. While we did not find shear waves to alter the second-harmonic generation from chromophores at the liquid/surface interface, the longitudinal waves caused effects comparable to our earlier observations. Longitudinal ultrasound caused a strong intensity modulation of the nonlinear optical signal according to a wave-pattern.