Soda Blasting Overview

Hi Everybody!  This is my first blog posting about soda blasting, the environmentally friendly cleaning method that uses a form of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in place of other non-environmentally friendly, and health hazardous blasting medias like sand.

What is soda blasting?

Soda blasting uses a form of ecofriendly sodium bicarbonate to remove most types of coatings and soils including paint, carbon, mold, oil, dirt and more, from almost any surface.  The soda blast media is a large, jagged, irregular shaped crystal of sodium bicarbonate.  It is this crystal size and shape, which is responsible for soda blasting’s unique cleaning properties.  When delivered under pressure, through a soda blaster, the crystal shatters upon impact with the item being cleaned.  The shattered crystals are reduced to a fine powder once used.  As a result, soda blast media is a one-time use media.  It cannot be reclaimed and reused.  The soda residue is water soluble.

Since it is a one-time use media, it is very important that soda blast media be used through a soda blaster designed to maximize the cost efficient use of the media.  Sand blasters and most multi-media type blasters are not designed to do this efficiently.

Soda blast media is a relatively soft crystal, and when used properly, is very gentle to the underlying substrate material being cleaned.  It is non-sparking, and the process produces very little heat.  As a result, soda blasting will not warp thin metal panels, and will not change dimensional or surface characteristics of metal parts, since it does not remove any of the underlying material.  Soda blasting leaves a fresh looking surface on metals, and does not harm chrome, glass, bearings or rubber seals.  By using a soda blaster, equipped with an adjustable pressure regulator, soft materials like wood and fiberglass can also be soda blasted.

Some popular uses for soda blasting  include auto, truck, boat, motorcycle and various equipment restoration; mold and fire damage remediation; engine and transmission rebuilding; rapid prototype cleanup; pump and electric motor refurbishing; graffiti removal; furniture restoration; pool, statue and concrete cleanup, and much, much more!

In coming posts, I’ll discuss various soda blasting applications in detail, along with tips and ideas to help you with your cleaning project or business.  Thanks for reading!

The Sodablasting Guy

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5 thoughts on “Soda Blasting Overview

  1. Thanks for writing this great, informative blog.
    I’ve a lot of stripping to do: in old buildings…many doors & beams.
    So far, have got the compressor (Scheppach H50 ; 8Bar; 160l/m output) which seems to be up to the job, but not over-specified.
    Now to source the soda??? I live in France, but expect to find it more easily in England.
    Any suggestions of preferable media (what criteria?)for this purpose would be appreciated.
    Thanks again: your work’s much appreciated.

    • Thank you J.S.! I appreciate the feedback. Soda blasting is such a great technology. I’m glad to be helpful.

      You should be able to source soda blast media in England for sure. Armex and Natrium are the two biggest brands in the USA. I have heard of some other soda blast medias, which are available in Europe, but I can’t recall their names. Just make sure that you use “soda blast media” and not sodium bicarbonate….same chemistry, different crystal size and shape.

      If you are stripping any type of paint or coatings, I recommend Armex Flow XL or Maintenance Formula XL. You can get the specifications on their website. If you are just cleaning away dirt, grime, mildew and other types of environmental aging, I would recommend Armex Flow M or Maintenance Formula. If you visit their website, you can get the specifications, and see if you can find anything similar in Europe.

      I hope I have been able to help you!

  2. Great blog!
    I have a quick question for you, how do you estimate how much soda you would need for a job? Contemplating on doing the bottom of my 23 foot boat, just not sure how much material I would need.

    • Thank you, Joe! Estimating how much soda is required to do any job requires some basic information. The condition of the paint, the number of coats of paint, the type of soda blaster used, the nozzle size, the cfm output of the compressor, the blasting pressure, the type of soda used, for example, all have a bearing on giving a good estimate. Having said that, I’d ballpark it at roughly 500# to 900#. That’s a big range, but without actually seeing the boat in person, that’s the best I can do. Hope that helps and thanks again for reading my blog. -The Soda Blasting Guy

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