Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Dry Ice Blasting Results Leave Baby Formula Manufacturer Clean, Safe & Inspection Ready

Baby drinking formula milk

There’s no end to the list of cleaning challenges that manufacturers face, but oh baby, there are few as sensitive as cleaning the production areas where infant formula is made.

The method and processes have to be as pristine as the results. Like manufacturers of other sensitive products, including food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, baby formula makers can’t use cleaning methods that introduce the risk of chemical contamination, mold, mildew, microbial growth, or residual debris.

At the same time, making powdered baby formula is a messy process that leaves production equipment and surrounding areas coated in dust and crusted-on buildup that can threaten product safety and the efficiency of production equipment. It’s a dilemma that often leads manufacturers to rely on hand cleaning – a slow and spotty process, especially in difficult to access areas.

Happily, however, many have discovered dry ice blasting, a water-free and chemical-free process that uses food-grade frozen CO2 pellets to dislodge buildup and debris and leave even delicate surfaces clean, dry and unscathed. The pellets sublimate on contact, leaving no foreign material behind. With a variety of nozzles capable of adjustable force and pressure, dry ice blasting can clean even fragile equipment like electrical panels without the risk of damage.

The Right Method + The Right Team

It’s not enough to have the right cleaning method. Food and pharmaceutical facility projects also require meticulous preparation and adherence to regulations promulgated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – and a team trained and experienced in settings where health and safety considerations are elevated.

When the Polar Clean team traveled to a Vermont baby formula manufacturing facility recently to clean a dryer and production area in preparation for non-destructive evaluation (NDE), the job required meticulous preparation before ever setting foot in the plant.

Every piece of equipment had to be meticulously cleaned, using an environmentally friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner. Each piece of hose was cleaned, dried and plastic-wrapped, and team members donned supplied air, Tyvek hooded suits, and booties before entering the work area.

When the job was completed 1.5 shifts later, the facility’s 50’ x 50’ steel dryer and steel flooring plates were clean and ready for inspection. Dry ice blasting was able to remove buildup corner to corner, and in cracks and crevices where an integrated sweeping mechanism didn’t reach.

The process was supplemented by mechanical cleaning with dry brushes in a few areas where the thickness of steel was not compatible with the low temperature of dry ice blasting.

The result? The plant manager could sleep like a baby knowing the risk of contamination was effectively mediated with dry ice blasting.

Is Dry Ice Blasting Right for You?

If you’re struggling to find a solution for your industrial cleaning challenges that won’t leave you water-logged, chemical laden or with a lot of secondary debris, contact Polar Clean to learn more about our solutions for complex cleaning applications for food and beverage production, pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing and a wide range of other sensitive settings.

In addition to dry ice blasting, we can provide additional blasting options that can be used in applications where more abrasive cleaning is needed, alone or in combination with dry ice blasting.

Our team has deep experience and supplemental training and certifications for jobs that require engineered containment, working at heights, working in confined spaces or the use of supplied air. Our projects are carefully planned and diligently executed for the safest, highest-quality results with minimal downtime.

Learn more about dry ice blasting for food manufacturing