Dry Ice vs. Other Methods

Blasting Cleaning Technique Waste? Abrasive? Toxic? Electrically Conductive? Performance
Dry Ice No No No No Excellent
Sand Yes Yes No No OK
Glass Beads Yes Yes No* No OK
Walnut Shells Yes Yes No* No Limited
Steam No No No* Yes Poor
Solvents Yes No Yes Yes Limited

* Each of these blasting materials becomes contaminated upon contact if used to clean hazardous objects. When the happens, these materials are then classified as toxic waste requiring safe disposal.

Advantages of Dry Ice Cleaning vs Traditional Methods:

Issue Traditional Dry Ice Blasting
Equipment Downtime

Relocated for cleaning


Drying time required

Equipment can be cleaned in place

Dry process – equipment can restart immediately after cleaning

Hazardous Waste

Cleaner becomes and is treated as a secondary contaminant

No additional contaminates

Dry ice sublimates (becomes a gas) on contact with the target surface

Labour Hours

Intensive hand scrubbing

Lengthy cleaning and follow-up cleaning

Dramatically reduced – often completed in a quarter of time or better

Quality of Cleaning

Poor to average


Potential Equipment Damage

Grit abrasions

Grit contamination

Movement of equipment to and from cleaning area

No equipment damage

Preventative maintenance very realistic as labour hours are much less


Health threats from solvents

Water-based cleaning pose hazards around electrical equipment

Threats to the environment

Standard safety precautions

Dry process is safe around electrical equipment


Cleaner becomes additional hazardous waste

Expensive Solvents

Additional labour

Minimal cost of dry ice

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