Soda Blasting How-To

Soda blasting is similar to sandblasting in that both are forms of abrasive blasting. Instead of sand, soda blasting uses bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).

Soda blasting was developed in the 1980s as a method for cleaning the interior and exterior of the Statue of Liberty. Baking soda is ideal for gentle cleaning without causing damage. Unlike other abrasive media, soda blasting does not cause objects to warp due to the heat generated by the process. It eliminates the mess and hazards that come with using chemical strippers along with the time consuming and labor intensive nature of hand sanding.

What makes soda blasting better than other forms of abrasive blasting?

Soda blasting restores metal surfaces to as-good-as-new condition.

Soda blasting can be used on multiple materials that include metal, rubber and glass along with chrome and fiberglass.

Use soda blasting to clean and degrease; it strips paint without causing damage or warping to metal.

The film left by soda blasting can protect metal surfaces from rust for as long as three weeks.

There is no need to take protective measures when using soda blasting on or around glass or chrome.

It environmentally safe.

A garden hose is all that is necessary for cleanup.

Common Applications for Soda Blasting

Soda is a versatile blasting media with a variety of uses. Auto restorers use it to remove paint from car bodies made of metal or fiberglass. They can use it without having to remove trim, glass or rubber and it works without causing any damage to them. Other uses for it include mold and fire damage cleanup and the removal of stains from concrete surfaces. It can also be used to clean the patina from copper and brass. Soda blasting does not cause damage to metal, which means that it can be used to safely clean and degrease transmissions, rear axles and other complex assemblies. It is often used to clean under the hood without the need to remove components since it will not cause damage.

Cleaning and Degreasing Parts

Usually, a degreasing solvent will be used to degrease intricate components like carburetors and transmissions. Brushing along with (or instead of) pressure washing may also be necessary. Not only do these methods take a lot of time, they can be messy as well. It may be even more challenging to remove carbon and combustion deposits from internal components.

Soda blasting is perfect for these tasks since it is effective and does not cause damage. It can strip away grease and fuel buildup as well as carbon and paint without affecting adjacent wiring, seals and electrical parts. It causes no damage to pistons, intake manifolds and other aluminum components.

Chemical-free stripping and cleaning!

Soda blasting can make any surface look like it did before it was painted. The film left on the surface after soda blasting allows the metal part to be stored in a dry setting with no danger of flash rust for three weeks.

Restoration After a Fire

Up until soda blasting became an option, the only way to remove the charred surfaces of otherwise sound wooden structural components was to scrape it away. Even with the blackened surfaces removed, the smell would remain. Soda blasting allows for the burned surfaces to be stripped down to bare wood with no damage to exposed wiring or plumbing. As an added benefit, the baking soda blasting media absorbs any odors.

Removing Mold

The most widely used methods for removing mold from the interiors of buildings call for the use of wet vacuuming equipment. Not only is this an expensive solution, it is labor intensive in addition to requiring the use of harsh chemicals. Furthermore, this approach to mold remediation requires moisture. Moisture is the main factor in mold growth.

Soda blasting can be used to remove mold from any surface, including porous ones like wood. It does so without any harm to wiring, plumbing or fixtures. It is also beneficial for removing moisture and odor.

Removing Graffiti

The easiest solution for getting rid of graffiti is simply to paint over it; however, this is not always possible or desirable. The other solutions include abrasive blasting, but silica and other media can cause damage to the surfaces being treated. Graffiti may be removed with chemicals, but this method tends to be messy and the chemicals potentially dangerous.

Soda blasting is the gentlest and fastest method as it allows spray painted graffiti to be stripped away with no damage to the underlying surface. It causes no damage to brick or plaster surfaces and is equally safe when used on wood, glass and aluminum.

Removing Stains on Concrete

Wire brushing is a common method for removing stains on concrete, but it is extremely labor intensive. Caustic chemicals or sandblasting are also used. The drawbacks of these methods include hazards to the worker and the introduction of pollutants into the environment.

Soda blasting cleans up stained concrete effectively and gently. It can be used on patios, walkways and swimming pools.

Other Ways to Use Soda Blasting

Graffiti and grime removal from brick, granite and limestone surfaces.

Paint stripping and corrosion cleanup.

Mold and mildew cleanup on cement, tile and stucco surfaces.

Stripping paint from airplane aluminum surfaces and the surfaces of other vehicles.

Grease removal from engines and floors.

Preparing Soda Blasted Surfaces for Painting

The protective film left behind on soda blasted surfaces consists of pulverized baking soda. It can prevent flash rust for more than a month in a moisture-free environment. Many users fail to remove the film before cleaning, The way to do this is to use compressed air to blow out crevices and to go over the surface with a rag dampened with hot soapy water. The rag should be rinsed and wrung out frequently as the surface is wiped down. After the initial cleaning, the surface should be wiped down again with fresh water. The coating process can then begin with the application of a metal surface etching solution, after which it can be painted.

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