Dry Ice or Alternative Media Cleaning: Why Dry Ice Blasting Is Your Best Choice

Dry ice blasting is fast becoming the preferred environmentally-friendly alternative to sandblasting. It works much like sandblasting or high pressure water blasting, but with better results, less mess and fewer disruptions to the surrounding environment.

Here at Great Bay Facility Services Inc. in Rochester & Dover, NH, we have invested in the latest dry ice blasting technology to offer businesses and homeowners an eco-friendly choice for removing accumulations of materials like paint, oil, grease, asphalt, tar, decals, soot, dirt, resins and adhesives from brickwork, equipment, walls, you name it.

How Does Dry Ice Blasting Work?

Our dry ice blasting system uses rice-sized solid CO2 pellets of dry ice that are propelled from a blasting jet nozzle at a hyper-velocity with compressed air to impact and clean a surface.

The micro-thermal shock, caused by the dry ice temperature of -79 degrees C, works along with the kinetic energy of dry ice pellets and the air pressure to break the bond between the coating and the substrate. The dry ice sublimates to a CO2 gas expanding to 400 times its original volume and expanding behind the material to aid in its removal.

What Are the Advantages of Dry Ice Blasting or Cleaning?

Dry Ice Blasting Versus Sandblasting

Dry ice blasting is preferable to sandblasting because the dry ice is soft enough not to pit or damage the underlying surface.

Dry ice blasting does not erode or wear away the targeted service, preserving surface integrity and critical tolerances. That means equipment won't have to be replaced due to erosion common with sand, glass beads, wire brushes and other abrasive media.

Dry ice blasting also eliminates the potential for equipment to be damaged while in transition to a dedicated cleaning area, as is required with other cleaning methods. With dry ice blasting, most equipment and machinery can be cleaned while in place.

Another advantage of the dry ice blasting system is that only the removed material must be disposed of, unlike the debris left behind by sandblasting.

Dry Ice Blasting Versus Steam or Water Blasting

  • Dry ice blasting has several advantages when compared with steam and water blasting.
  • Electrical parts and generators can be put back into service immediately without waiting to dry.
  • Radioactive contaminate removal doesn't require large storage containers for contaminated water.
  • Mildew and mold removal are more complete with less chance of regeneration because of water vapor or moisture.
  • Dry ice blasting removes more algae, sea slime and mussels when cleaning boat hulls than water blasting, which allows the organic matter to reattach sooner.

Dry Ice Blasting or Cleaning Versus Solvents

Dry ice blasting is a great alternative to many environmentally damaging solvents. These chemicals include trichlorethane, methylene chloride, perchiorethane, orthodichlorobenzene, cresylic acid and caustic solutions.

Since dry ice evaporates completely as a gas it leaves no wastes. The only material that needs to be disposed of is the material being removed.

When dry ice cleaning replaces hazardous chemical cleaners it eliminates the disposal cost of the chemicals.

Dry Ice Blasting: The Perfect Solution

Dry ice blasting addresses many of the issues of general maintenance cleaning including:

  • Best for Preventive Maintenance - Dry ice blasting cleans faster and more thoroughly than traditional methods, allowing maintenance departments to clean more regularly. It also effectively cleans parts and equipment coated in adhesives, resins and polymers, oil, grease and petroleum and tar.
  • Reduces Labor Hours - The dynamics of cleaning with dry ice can dramatically reduce cleaning time requirements. Manual cleaning can be reduced, if not eliminated, for a variety of general cleaning tasks.
  • Cuts Downtime - Dry ice blasting promotes cleaning in place (CIP). Parts and tools normally cleaned in blasting rooms can be cleaned on-line.
  • Less Equipment Damage - Since it is non-abrasive, dry ice blasting will not damage critical equipment. Instead it will preserve surface integrity. And since dry ice disappears on contacts, there are no grit issues.
  • Reduced Liability - Eliminates expense and hazards of chemical cleaning and avoids costly environmental cleanup. Removes the risk of product contamination from wire brush bristles.
  • Non-Conductive - Can be used around electrical components where water may pose a serious risk.
  • Cost Savings - Dry ice blasting can significantly reduce cleaning labor costs, equipment downtime and damage and waste disposal costs. Reduced costs can secure a very quick return.

Dry Ice Blasting Uses


Dry ice blasting easily removes adhesives in comparison to alternative methods. In fact, many companies are blast cleaning old labels off containers that are being reused.

Fire Remediation

Dry ice cleaning is extremely effective in removing toxic residues, soot and associated odors after a fire.

Use In Hospitals and Food Facilities

Dry ice cleaning of the surface of products and instruments is not toxic and will stop the growth of mold, mildew and other fungi, as well as stopping odors at the source by elimination of the bacterial host environment, not as a masking agent or cover-up.


  • Electronic/Electrical Control Panels
  • Cable trays Motors/Stators
  • Armatures/Coils/Windings
  • Generators
  • Printed Circuit Boards
  • Semi-Conductors
  • Transformers
  • Switch Gear
  • Robotic Equipment
  • Relays
  • Turbines
  • Insulators
  • Sub-Stations


  • Buildings Exterior/Interior
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Hotels
  • Residential Structures
  • Heating/Cooling Systems
  • Bricks
  • Wood
  • Remediation/Restoration
  • Graffiti Decal Removal

Food Sources

  • Ovens
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Processing Equipment
  • Equipment Ceilings
  • Conveyors
  • Bake-Off trays
  • Packaging Areas and Equipment


  • Molding Equipment
  • Butt Welders
  • Process Equipment
  • Manufacturing Equipment
  • Piping
  • Tanks
  • Ship Hulls
  • Automobile Interiors
  • Printing Presses
  • Pulp/Paper Equipment
  • Oil Field Equipment
  • Boiler Tubes
  • Aircraft


  • Cigarette/Cigar Smoke
  • Formaldehyde
  • Beauty Salons
  • Waste Containers
  • Nuclear Decontamination
  • Fire Restoration