Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. If you were to blast the super-cold material — it’s nearly minus-110 degrees F — through a pressurized hose, it can actually clean surfaces. It’s akin to media blasting without abrasive materials such as glass beads or silicone dioxide.
That feeds pressurized dry ice through a hose. The single hose setup allows for consistent pressure, despite hose length. Pristine Auto Spa Dry Ice Services in the Indianapolis area gave us an up-close look at how it works.
The reason dry-ice particles work so well as a cleaning agent for restorations is that the carbon-dioxide particles sublimate — meaning it turns from a solid into a gas without first becoming a liquid — when they hit the surface. It’s not the impact of the particles that removes dirt, rust, and other debris. The magic happens when the carbon-dioxide particles turn back into gas. Unlike the chiseling effect from a process such as sandblasting, dry-ice blasting removes the gunk, oil, and decades worth of soot without removing the car’s steel, aluminum, or other metals.
Want more magic? Part of dry-ice cleaning’s attraction is that it won’t take off any paint since material with a strong bond to the surface will remain, while the undesirable bits will be removed.