If you were looking for an environment-friendly, cost-effective alternative to sandblasting for a job a pressure washer can’t handle, then a dry ice power washer may be the solution. Dry ice power washing is a form of media pressure blasting like a sandblaster, soda blaster or pebble blaster. Instead of using plastic or sand as a medium, dry ice is used.
The dry ice is made from recycled carbon dioxide. There are no additional greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere or inhaling chemical gasses.
How Does A Dry Ice Power Washer Work?
Pressurized air forces dry ice pellets through a nozzle at a tremendous speed. In contrast to the surface being cleaned, the dry ice temperature is -109 degrees. The impact of the temperature difference between the surface and the dry ice causes a microscopic thermal shock wave when the solid ice turns into gas.
The dry ice cleaning action cracks the dirty top layer and removes the bond between the surface and the particles. Dry particles split off in small pieces that can be vacuumed. Fluids like oil and grease are removed in a similar fashion as a water pressure washer would except that the cleaned surface is dry.
How Is A Dry Ice Blaster Different From “Regular” Power Washing?
- The greatest difference is no water required; the dry ice blaster uses gases. After cleaning with a regular power washer, you need to dry the wet, cleaned surface. A dry ice washer requires less cleaning up afterward. The surface is dry and clean.
- Dry ice blasting is safer to use with electric equipment. The transformation from ice to gas is so quick that the surface is left dry. Water pressure washing may damage the electrical parts of equipment.
- Boat hulls are cleaned more effectively because algae, mussels, and slime don’t attach so easily after dry ice blasting.
- It saves time. Dry ice blasting is faster. There’s no need to cover the surrounding area before pressure washing to avoid accidental water damage or the objects being soaked.
- The dry ice pressure washer is more cost effective because you don’t need to purchase additional soaps and chemicals. It is also less labor intensive. No chemicals mean odorless cleaning and no inhalation of toxic particles.
- Of course, you CAN’T use a dry ice blaster on a delicate surface. If you are worried about damaging the surface, start with a regular power washer on a lower PSI/wider angle tip setting.
When Would You Use A Dry Ice Pressure Washer?
The dry ice is softer than other media which avoids unnecessary scratching of the surface. The non-abrasive technique is used to clean delicate surface, for example, medical devices, historical objects, and electrical equipment.
In an industrial setup, plastic molds, for example, can be cleaned with dry ice blasters without shutting the machine down and de-assembling and re-assembling the machine. Production continues while the machine is pressure washed.
Dry ice pressure washers clean all types of surfaces removing contaminants safely. It will remove