Soda blasting is a nonabrasive method of removing dirt, rust, paint or coatings from stainless steel, glass, concrete, fibreglass, masonry, aluminium, PVC and wood. It is a popular method for stripping paint from cars and boat hulls and removing graffiti. Soda blasting uses a blasting system to spray sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on a surface. This cleans the surface without causing damage (it is so gentle and effective that soda blasting is used to clean the Statue of Liberty). Because baking soda is used, it is an eco-friendly, nontoxic and nonhazardous alternative to other cleaning and paint stripping methods.
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Things you need
- Portable soda blasting unit
- Soda media (baking soda)
- Compressed air supply
- Dust mask
- Safety goggles
- Hearing protection
- Long abrasive blasting gloves
Load the soda media into the soda blasting unit and connect to power and air supplies according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Put on safety equipment including dust mask, goggles, gloves and hearing protection.
Adjust the throttle according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Open the soda media flow valve and direct the nozzle toward the surface you plan to clean.
Begin spraying. Some slow, pulsing spray is to be expected at first. Once the flow is steady, hold the nozzle 6 to 12 inches away and at a 45 degree angle from the work surface.
Move the spray, as the surface begins to be cleaned, across the entire work surface.
Disconnect the power and air supplies and drain all unused media out of the tank when you have finished cleaning your surface.
Tips and warnings
- There are different types of baking soda you can use for soda blasting and the type you use depends on the surface you plan to clean. See the Resources section for more information.
- Soda blasting can produce a large baking soda dust cloud. Be sure to soda blast in a well-ventilated area.
- Some soda blasters allow you to use a fine water misting device, which greatly reduces the dust cloud.
- Portable soda blasters can often be rented.
- If you are cleaning a surface to paint it, wipe down the surface with a damp microfiber towel after soda blasting to remove the soda blasting film.
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