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What to know before using dry ice cleaning

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Dry ice cleaning is considered the most modern industrial solution for surface cleaning today, with outstanding advantages. However, to ensure smooth cleaning and maintenance process, before using it, you need to learn and understand the principles of operating a dry ice blaster. Specco2 will introduce some basic guidelines for using a dry ice blasting machine and making dry ice cleaning method more easier and more effectively.

What is dry ice cleaning ?

Dry ice cleaning is a technique commonly used in industry (such as the food industry, automotive industry, ect) or in any field that has a need to clean the surface of machinery or equipment to maintain the quality and production standards.

This method uses dry ice as the primary material combine with compressed air and a dry ice blaster to perform machine cleaning.

The advantage of this technique is its low environmental impact, since dry ice sublimes immediately after impact with surface stains and it does not leave any secondary waste behind.

The use of dry ice blasting saves businesses time and money. If you need to compare sandblasting and dry ice blasting, the latter is preferred because of its time- and cost-saving benefits.

“Even so, the technique does not wear away the device, preserving the quality of the machine (dry ice is around 1.5 – 2 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness).

Dry ice can be used to clean and polish sensitive surfaces, such as electronics, circuit boards, and plastic molds.

This will prolong the life of the equipment and decrease the risk of mechanical breakdown during cleaning.

dry ice cleaning method
Dry ice can be used to clean the surface of the machines

Which fields that dry ice cleaning can be applied

Dry ice cleaning techniques is applied across many industries, including:

  • Automotive Industry (Cleaning car engine)
  • Food & Beverage
  • Textiles Industry
  • Medical Industry
  • Aerospace Industry
  • Mold Industry
  • Packaging Industry
  • Rubber & Tires

Dry ice cleaing can also be used in other applications, such as cleaning old walls paint, removing mold or restoring buildings.

What to prepare before to use dry ice cleaning

dry ice cleaning set up
Dry ice cleaning set up


To clean with a dry ice blaster, prepare your tools, which include the following: dry ice machine, accessories such as air-operated bellows, air pipes, sprayers and other accessories (nozzles on the dust extraction tools). These items are usually included with the purchase of a Specco2 dry ice blasting machine.

In addition, some accessories are necessary for the proper operation of your machine:

  • Compressed air source (either plant air or an air compressor)
  • Electric power source
  • Dry ice supply

Aftercoolers are used with portable diesel compressors to remove moisture from the cleaning system and to cool the air in the range of 15 degrees F (-9.4 degrees C).

Air pressure requirements

Dry ice blasting machine such as the Aero dry ice machine or the Aero2 dry ice machine typically use 100 cfm (2.8 m3 dry ice/min) at 80 psi (5.5 bar). Meanwhile, the MicroParticle dry ice machine system will consume 30cfm (0.9 m3/min) at 80 psi (5.5 bar).

However, depending on the needs or the field in which you operate, the tools, or the amount of dry ice needed, will also change.

Amount of dry ice to use

As mentioned above, the amount of dry ice you need to use for the CO2 dry ice technique may not be the same. Typically, 1 – 3 pounds (0.45 kg – 1.3 kg) of dry ice is used per minute when using CO2 dry ice machine use.

As a result, you will likely need up to 1000 pounds (about 450kg) of dry ice for every 8 hours using. To be proactive in choosing dry ice, you may need to consider equipping your unit with a dry ice maker.

In addition, to store dry ice before using, you need to prepare a high-quality insulated container to ensure the best quality of dry ice needed for the dry ice machine.


Thus, to prepare for using dry ice to clean machinery and equipment, you will need a dry ice blaster (the most important equipment), dry ice (the main fuel source) and some accessories included to make the cleaning as optimal as possible. Besides, equipping yourself with knowledge around dry ice and machine parameters also helps you to protect yourself from unwanted accidents.

Hopefully through the above article, you can understand what you need to prepare to use a dry ice machine for your applocations. In addition, if you have a need for advice on technical and in-depth specifications, you can contact Specco2 for more detailed advice.

Nga Dang Thi Thuy

Nga Dang Thi Thuy

Commercial Executive
+84 (0) 383370895

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