What Is Soda Blasting?

by Vee Enne

Soda blasting is an alternative form of paint removal. As well as being environmentally friendly, soda blasting is surface- friendly. Soda blasting does, however, leave a thin film of white powder dust on the surface being cleaned. The process can utilize existing sand-blasting equipment, but equipment designed specifically for soda blasting is gaining market share due to the increase of popularity.

Definition

Soda blasting is the use of bicarbonate of soda, also known as baking soda, in conjunction with compressed air for the removal of paint, rust or any other coating. The process is abrasive, but relatively gentle, and can be used on virtually any surface.

History

The process of soda blasting was developed in the 1980s, specifically to clean the Statue of Liberty without causing any harm to her exterior. Due to the success of that project, as well as the other benefits soda blasting offers, it has gained in popularity over the years.

Benefits

Soda blasting does not damage the surface being cleaned. It also removes grease and other debris. This process can be used to clean any surface, refinish wood furniture or remove paint from metal objects. Additionally, the film remaining after soda blasting treatment is completed inhibits the formation of rust on metal for several months after treatment.

Comparisons

Other methods historically used to remove paint and other coatings include sand, glass, aluminum, coal, steel, walnut shells and corn husks. Inorganic methods are extremely harsh, but effective. They remove surface coatings and rust but can damage surfaces with the heat produced by the friction when the substance strikes the surface coating. Organic methods, such as walnut shells, are less harsh, but are less effective. Organic methods are also ineffective at getting into small crevices, and can leave paint or rust behind in tiny cracks in the surface. Soda blasting, however, is extremely effective, cleans surfaces completely without leaving any trace of paint, rust, or other coating behind, and does not scratch or warp the surface during or after application.

Considerations

Soda blasting reduces all surface coatings to powder. Due to this effect, it may appear that no clean up is necessary. Toxins may exist in the coating that has been removed, however, so it is necessary to ensure that all residual dust from the treatment has been swept up and disposed of properly.

About the Author

Vee Enne is a U.S. Military Veteran who has been writing professionally since 1993. She writes for Demand Studios in many categories, but prefers health and computer topics. Enne has an associate's degree in information systems, and a bachelor's degree in information technology (IT) from Golden Gate University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera stockxpert.com/fotodozet