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How can I make a dry ice blasting machine? Answered

I have seen commercial machines that use compressed air to shoot a stream of dry ice (CO2) pellets or shavings at a dirty, oily machine to clean its surfaces. Unlike sandblasting, the CO2 sublimates (goes from solid to gas without passing through 'liquid') and leaves no residue other than the crud it blasted off. It can even be used on machines or electrical panels that are powered up! But these machines cost multiple $1000s. Anyone have a plan or experience with a DIY version? Thanks.


Albeit expensive, but have you considered using those aerosol cans of compressed air? They are zero residue, and when you flip them upside down, they release a very cold liquid that becomes a gas very quickly. They leave a white residue that disappears within 5 minutes.

Perhaps, yes, but where is the abrasive medium? As mentionned in other comments, dry ice blasting is not about spraying a cold medium - it's about shooting very quickly very fine particles of dry ice. The advantage of dry ice is that after blasted, it'll eventually get warmer until it sublimates and thus, leaves no residue.

You have to careful with those, some have added "bittering agents" that are REALLY NASTY!

Yeah, the companies have been adding them within recent years because people use them as inhalants.

well my dad uses that stuff A LOT i hate 'cuz i like to eat at my computer he sprays it all over the keyborad

I had no idea... Thanks! Good thing I never went and sprayed it on anything...

With a good air compressor , a bucket filled with pellet sized dry ice, someone to feed the dry ice and a good hose and nozzle and someone at the other end to direct the spray; you can fashion a dry ice blasting machine for simple work. A few contractors using years of expierence make a living this way. Most people though, use a machine that makes all this much easier. Used blast cleaning machines can be found at: http://www.dryiceclassified.com/used.htm: Example:


It takes a lot of time & research and by the time you build one that actually works it will end up costing far more than purchasing a new machine. Nu-Ice Age manufactures an affordable dry ice blasting machine that works well in a wide range of applications. Purchase and leasing options available, and once you own a machine it opens the door to endless business opportunities. Visit the website to see some great demonstration videos.

You could try crushing dry ice and running it through a normal sandblaster...


9 years ago

Compressed air or a CO2 fire extinguisher won't work; they simply give off a stream of gas that expands and so gets cold. The point of the dry ice blaster is not that the stream is cold but that it consists of solid chunks that abrade the surface you're blasting. The benefit of dry ice is that the chunks then evaporate, leaving no mess, as sand would. I'm imaging that the machine would work like this: 1) Drop a block of dry ice (about $1/pound) into a hopper; 2) Seal the hopper lid (which has a high pressure relief valve); 3) Start the air compressor and begin directing the air flow across the exit tube at the bottom of the hopper; 4) Start the motor that turns a 'cheese-grater' disk rotating under the dry ice chunk; 5) Point the insulated exit tube (1" ID?) at your target; 6) Change the speed of the grater and/or the pressure of the air compressor to make the best effect. The used for which I first wanted this tool: cleaning kitchen stove burner pan supports/racks and barbeque grills, though it might make a good non-toxic paint stripper, too.

You could try buying a CO2 fire extinguisher.

What do you want to clean? And can you give us a link to one of these machines? L

Adsense has already done so in the upper right hand corner of this page.

I don't know if this will be efficient (or work for that matter)....but you could buy dry ice from a grocery store and crush it up good and feed it to a regular sand blasting machine....

Be careful there's no place that the gas could build up inside the machine or you could have a bomb on your hands.