Soda blasting is a technique that has been hailed in some quarters as a revolutionary technology for cleaning and stripping paint off cars. Thanks to the non-destructive characteristic of its abrasive, it can gently strip paint off the body and panels of cars and other fragile surfaces without damaging or warping them. It is relatively safe to use as this technique requires no toxic chemicals. Instead, it uses compressed air to propel a bicarbonate-of-soda material to effectively remove any paint or contaminants on the surface without damaging the surface underneath. When used correctly, the blasting only has a minor impact on the original surface. The original surface will remain intact, only the paint and dirt will be removed.
The blast media itself is actually sodium bicarbonate which has been specially-formulated to remove paint and contaminants on the body of a car. This product is more commonly known as baking soda, which would explain why this paint-stripping technique is known as soda blasting. The chemical name of soda is Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate (NaHCO3). It is a white powder that dissolves very easily in water. When hitting the surface that is being blasted, the sodium bicarbonate decomposes to sodium carbonate, carbon dioxide and water. Because of this, the soda cannot be recycled and used for blasting a second time and should be discarded. Blasting soda is a non-toxic non-hazardous food-grade material that dissolves in water easily and is 100% friendly to the environment.
How to apply soda blasting
Soda-blasting can be applied to many different objects, the most common ones are listed below:
Cars and Vehicles
A major advantage of the soda blasting technique is that no additional tools are needed to strip paint from vehicles. Sanders and grinders are not required to remove paint from the surface. This reduces the time needed to prepare and strip a car significantly. It can be reduced from a job that could have taken days, to a short three to four hours. Another reason soda blasting is preferred when it comes to removing paint from cars is because it does so without damaging the metal, glass, rubber, chrome and aluminum trimmings of the car. Soda blasting is not limited to paint removal only, in fact, it is also perfect for cleaning and stripping fiberglass, composite parts and panels of a car. This is, for the most part, due to its ability to remove anything on the surface of a car’s body without damaging the underlying bodywork. Sanding, soaking, scrubbing and destructive abrasive blasting in paint removal for vehicles have all been eliminated because of soda blasting’s revolutionary technique.
Contaminants like carbon, grease, oil, gasket material, surface corrosion, plastics and of course, paint from a variety of alloys can also be removed using the soda blasting process. It allows for thorough cleaning and stripping of paint and these surface contaminants while leaving hard coatings intact. This is because its 100% water solubility allows the baking soda to wash out any contaminants lodged in tight corners and removes paint from a vehicle’s body right down to its base material.
Soda-blasting makes it easy to remove graffiti from brick, concrete, plastered brick walls, stone or metal or from the surface of another coat of paint. It can be used for cleaning marks where concrete or wood has been damaged in a fire. It is ideal for cleaning of statues or monuments, and other surfaces (low pressure). It can also be used, for example, for removal of graffiti from traffic signs and bus stops, at train stations etc. Another application for paint removal using soda blasting is on traffic roads, removal of paint from pedestrian crossings or arrows from the asphalt.
Tiles / Window Frames
Cleaning joints of swimming pool tiles from, for example, lime or other impurities. You can clean paint off glass surfaces or window frames by blasting, without damaging the glass.
Soda-blasting boat hulls can be used for removing anti-fouling paint from boat hulls, without destroying the boat regardless of whether it is made of aluminium, wood, fibreglass or steel. You can remove algae from the hull without damaging the coat of paint. It can be used for removing varnish from wooden boats. Soda does not damage the seals (rubber or plastic). For cleaning engineering products or different kinds of moulds within industry.
Soda is a non-flammable and environmentally friendly chemical-free substance. It can be used for cleaning production lines within the food-processing industry. Wet blasting is usually the preferred method for this as it takes place indoors. After cleaning, rinse with water.