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Dry Ice Blasting: How does your current cleaning process compare?

Dry ice blasting is the superior alternative to Media Blasting, Solvents, Water, Steam, Hand Cleaning, Chemicals and Abrasives

Read about dry ice blasting in your industry »

If you are experiencing prolonged downtime, high costs for secondary waste disposal or costly wear and tear on equipment it's time to evaluate your cleaning process and measure it against the dry ice blasting process.

Dry ice blasting is an environmentally-, employee- and equipment-friendly alternative to most conventional surface preparation and cleaning methods. Compare your current cleaning process to the dry ice blast cleaning process and see how it can add value to your business through improved productivity, reduced waste and lower costs.

Top 10 Reasons Dry Ice Blasting is superior:

  1. Superior clean: Fewer cleaning cycles = Less downtime

  2. Machines can be cleaned in place: Dry ice blasting is a dry process and requires no disassembly or reassembly, which means much less downtime

  3. Quicker clean: Less resource = More runtime = More profits

  4. Non-abrasive, nonflammable and nonconductive: Dry ice blasting won't damage most substrates and can be used safely on electrical components

  5. No secondary waste clean up: This not only saves additional cleanup labor and expense, but also means temporary containment areas can possibly be reused, which is an additional cost savings

  6. Can get into tight spaces that many other methods can not

  7. Environmentally friendly: Meets USDA, FDA and EPA guidelines

  8. Operator safety: No exposure to chemicals or grit media

  9. Operator efficiency: Not as labor intensive as traditional cleaning methods

  10. Clean enough for the food industry, strong enough(1) for everything else


(1) It's important to remember that dry ice blasting doesn't use abrasion to clean. See the details in: What is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry Ice Blasting vs the others:

Abrasive Blasting


This process results in some level of cleanliness and roughness with sand being the most common blasting media. Like all open blasting, sandblasting creates fugitive dust, which is usually toxic. This dust is also a nuisance, creates a mess and dramatically shortens the life of all nearby moving parts through wear.


Dry ice blasting uses non-abrasive dry ice that won't wear away the surface being cleaned and won't create additional waste for disposal. You can also transport the dry ice blasting system to your equipment - cleaning it in place, without risky and time-consuming material handling. Dry ice blasting is the logical choice when no surface roughness is desired.

Sandblasting vs Dry ice blasting comparison:

Soda Blasting

Soda Blasting is generally an effective cleaning method; however, soda blasting – like all open blasting – creates a great deal of secondary waste. Often, the time spent blasting is matched, if not doubled, by the time it takes to clean up the extra waste soda blasting creates. In fact, the residue and waste left behind by soda blasting can adhere to wood and other substrates being blasted.

Dry ice blasting uses non-abrasive dry ice that often surpasses the clean left behind by soda, but does so without leaving any secondary waste to dispose of. There is also some debate as to the effects soda blasting can have on the pH levels of the soil it comes into contact with after blasting. Because dry ice blasting leaves no secondary waste to attend to, the entire project time and the secondary mess are drastically reduced.

(Ultra-)High Pressure Water Blasting

While it is among the fastest methods of cleaning, water blasting has limited applications. For example, on steel surfaces, it cannot create any specific surface profile, which is a key parameter in paint performance. Also, the use of water induces flash rusting, making paint or coating application more difficult and risky. Furthermore, the use of water blasting on production equipment – including automated welding lines, presses, motors and machine tools – can result in severe electrical problems. Many customers tell us that water blasting is the quickest way to burn up a motor.

Dry ice blasting can be used on any variety of materials as well as on or near electrical equipment. Because dry ice sublimates quickly, equipment stays clean and dry. Waste streams are also minimized as no additional waste (such as wastewater) results from the cleaning process.


Solvent Cleaning

Most solvent cleaning processes involve substances that are detrimental to the environment and worker safety. When solvents are used to dissolve unwanted surface materials, a subsequent flushing, rinsing or hand tool operation is frequently required to remove the dissolved materials. Equipment must often be disassembled or extensively prepared prior to solvent cleaning to protect sensitive portions. Solvent management and disposal are also costly issues for businesses.


Dry ice blasting dissolves and blasts away unwanted material in one step. Like solvent baths, the dry ice blasting process can simultaneously clean numerous objects with differing, complex geometries. In addition, dry ice blasting systems provide safe, thorough, in-place cleaning for components, subassemblies and complete machines. The dry ice evaporates on contact with the surface, preventing the creation of any secondary waste stream for cleanup.


Power Tool Cleaning

Power tool cleaning can provide a quick solution for flat, simple geometries but it can also damage or wear down surfaces.

Dry ice blasting provides the benefits of power tool cleaning without added "wear" on expensive molds and other production tooling. This, combined with an increased cleaning rate, is the reason dry ice blasting is rapidly replacing power tool cleaning in these operations.


Hand Tool Cleaning

Quick, easy tasks that would take too long to set up for more mechanized approaches are often accomplished by employees who clean only defined areas and use specified hand tools that may end up damaging your equipment.

Dry ice blasting is the ideal tool for these "easy" jobs. When performed by trained employees using specific nozzles and according to various other parameters, the dry ice blast cleaning process results in 10 to 20 times less labor hours required for cleaning.


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