Our products

What you need to know about dry ice cleaning

Many people are not even aware of this method of cleaning, but those that do attest to the fact that this system is quite revolutionary, especially when you have to deal with stubborn dirt and stains. Putting it simply, with the introduction of dry ice cleaning machines, cleaning has become more efficient and safer. But why is this the case, what makes dry-ice cleaning so much more effective?

The Benefits of Dry Ice Cleaning

There are many benefits of using a dry ice cleaning system over a traditional cleaning method. Firstly, it is a more efficient way to clean surfaces, removing dirt and grime from surfaces in a shorter amount of time. Secondly, it is a safer way to clean as it does not use chemicals or even water, thus removing the risk of electrocution and slip and fall accidents. Thirdly, it is an environmentally friendly way to clean, as besides the fact that no chemicals are used, dry ice sublimates into gas, so there is no waste or residue left behind.

No threat to plant machinery or employees

If you need a cleaning solution that presents no threats to either employees or plant equipment, then using a dry-ice cleaning machine could well be your best bet. It is a non-toxic, zero residue cleaning process which, if the appropriate minimal safety procedures are followed offers no dangers to either equipment or staff.

Thinking of buying a Pressure washer? see our guide

So how does dry-ice cleaning work then?

Dry ice cleaning machines work by using compressed air to blast dry ice pellets at high speeds onto a surface. The pellets are stored in a hopper on the machine, these being fed into the machine's blasting system which uses compressed air to blast the pellets at the surface that needs cleaning. It is what happens next that is fascinating, the dry-ice pellets causing any dirt and grime to freeze, loosening them from the surface. The pellets then sublimate, leaving behind no residue.

The technical stuff

Each pellet of frozen carbon dioxide (the temperature of each being minus 109 degrees F) rapidly turns into a gas at atmospheric temperature when released from the machine, this occupying a far greater volume of space. It is the rapid change between a solid pellet and its larger gaseous form that makes the whole process work, the rapid phase change having a devastating effect on the dirty area that the stream of dry ice pellets hits.

This rapid phase change actually is like a micro-explosion, and while being very effective at stripping away debris, they are not aggressive or strong enough to damage the surface itself. This makes dry ice cleaning a great alternative to other options like sandblasting.

How easy is dry-ice cleaning then?

One of the big issues with any cleaning operation is that of residues. As there is no water used, there is none to mop up, the CO2 gas created when the pellet dissolves dissipating into the immediate atmosphere, leaving no solid or liquid waste residues at all. The only thing left to do when the cleaning part of the operation is done is to sweep or vacuum up the debris left on the floor, this drastically shortening the overall time needed for the cleaning process.

Hortech Karcher Vacuum cleaner

The Safety Issues

Even though the CO2 does not create a solid or liquid residue, it is a fact that the CO2 released does have a short-term effect on the immediate environment, especially when the cleaning operation is in a confined space. This means that the user of the machine must understand the twin risks of suffocation and burns.

The issue of suffocation is obvious, the CO2 potentially displacing the air in the room to the point where the user could not breathe. This means that the user must be equipped with an air supply, or that sufficient ventilation is provided.

When it comes to burns, you have to bear in mind that dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide (at around -109°F) which means if it comes into contact with human skin, causes instant frostbite, plus potentially permanent damage. It is therefore essential that gloves, protective clothing, and goggles are worn during the cleaning process.

Key Features to Look for in a Dry Ice Cleaning Machine

When purchasing a dry ice cleaning machine, there are several key features to look for. Firstly, you want to make sure the machine has a high-quality blasting system. This will make sure that the CO2 pellets are fired at the dirty surface at the correct speed and pressure. Then you need to look for a machine with a large hopper capacity. This allows you to clean large surface areas without having to constantly having to refill the hopper. Lastly, you will need a machine that is easy to use.

Types of Surfaces That Can Be Cleaned with a Dry Ice Cleaning Machine

Dry ice cleaning machines can be used to clean a variety of surface types, as well as industrial equipment, machinery and buildings. Plus, they are very good at cleaning surfaces that are difficult to clean using traditional cleaning methods, e.g. surfaces that are porous or have intricate designs.

Maintenance and Upkeep of a Dry Ice Cleaning Machine

Like any piece of equipment, these machines require proper, regular maintenance if you want to keep them running efficiently. The first rule here is that you must clean the machine after each use. This prevents the build-up of dirt or grime in the machine, something that would stop the precision delivery of the CO2 pellet stream. The other major maintenance job you just have to do is to inspect the machine regularly for any signs of wear and tear. This will ensure that you can catch any issues before they become more serious.

Comparison of Dry Ice Cleaning Machines to Other Cleaning Methods

Experience has shown that dry ice cleaning machines offer a more efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly way to clean surfaces than traditional cleaning methods. For example when compared to pressure washers, dry ice cleaning machines are more efficient as they use less water and are quicker at cleaning most surfaces you care to name. And when compared to cleaning using chemicals, these machines are safer because no chemicals that can be harmful to people or the environment are used.

Conclusion - Why a Dry Ice Cleaning Machine is a Smart Investment

Investing in a dry ice cleaning machine can be a really good decision, especially if you are in the cleaning industry. Dry ice cleaning machines are more efficient, safer, and environmentally friendly than other cleaning methods and can be used to clean a whole variety of surfaces, including industrial equipment, machinery, and buildings.

Also see our guides on

Cleaning Patios

Professional Cleaning Equipment

Window Cleaning Tools

Cleaning Cars Using a Pressure Washer

For more informations call us on : 01406 426513

or write to: paul.seaman@hortechsystems.co.uk