How Does Dry Ice Blasting Work?


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.

More Questions

How did Dry Ice Blasting Originate?

The origin of the Dry-ice cleaning method can be traced back to the aviation industry, and the evidence suggests that the United States Navy experimented with Dry Ice as a…

How effective is dry ice blasting?

Dry ice blasters can be used to remove layers of grease, oils, stains, tar, bitumen, resin, ink, adhesives, varnishes, wax, silicone, paint droplets, rubber residues, chewing gum, and a wide…