Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Industrial Cleaning & Blasting for Impossible Jobs

Salt mine

What do grime-caked historic buildings, petrochemical reactor tubes and salt mines have in common? They’re all “impossible” to clean by the standards of most industrial cleaning companies – too fragile, inaccessible, or water-sensitive for ordinary cleaning methods.

At Polar Clean, “impossible” jobs have become something of a stock-in-trade for our team, for reasons that go beyond the capabilities of our signature service. It’s not just that our proprietary processes for dry ice blasting make it possible to clean delicate surfaces without water, chemicals or the risk of abrasive damage. We’ve also got a team capable of going where other cleaning teams can’t: into confined spaces, to perilous heights and deep into the earth.

It may sound exotic, but such settings are all in a day’s work for our clients, whose jobs also take them to great heights and deep into the earth, not to mention back in time. They’re petrochemical and power plant managers, miners and restoration architects, and while they scale the heights and rigors of historic preservation and power generation, we’re proud to do our part to maintain the safety, cleanliness and efficiency of their environments.

Here are a few examples of the unusual, challenging and grimy settings where our work has made a difference.

Salvaged History

A few years ago, in a park not far from our corporate headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, we played a part in bringing a piece of local history – the Studebaker Electric Fountain – back to life. After salvaging and refabricating parts more than a century old, city crews struggled to get them clean. Age and hard water buildup on the fountain’s cast iron, zinc and aluminum components left the parts resistant to ordinary cleaning. City maintenance staff spent hours unsuccessfully trying to get them clean. Eventually, they turned to Polar Clean. Our validation tests showed the fountain’s buildup needed a more abrasive blasting method and we used glass-bead media to restore the surface to its original beauty. Learn more >

Salt Mines

Sometimes our work takes us to great heights. At other times, we’re hundreds of feet underground – where safety and precision take on a different character. When we were called into a salt mine to clear years of hardened buildup from the walls, our dry ice blasting technology quickly replaced the tedious and time-consuming power chiseling process that workers had been using. Water-free dry ice blasting was the right method for the job and the mine’s workers were more than happy to give up their weekend salt chiseling shifts. Learn more >

The Daily Grind

Cleaning coffee silos takes a special blend of industrial cleaning expertise, combining the training and experience for working at heights and in confined spaces, as well as a cleaning method compatible with the stringent requirements of food production.

At a Starbucks roasting plant where two 5′ x 5′ silos that stood 65′ feet tall needed to be cleared of jams and cleaned, the Polar Clean team rappelled into the silos to get the job done safely and effectively. Because dry ice blasting uses no water, no chemicals and sublimates on contact, it’s a perfect fit for many food industry cleaning projects, where water-based cleaning can introduce mold, mildew and microbial hazards. Learn more >

Whiskey, Neat

When a distillery in Kentucky discovered that beetles had damaged timbers at its decades-old storehouse, the repair and eradication project required a delicate but thorough cleaning. Dry ice blasting proved to be an effective alternative to what would have been a tedious, month-long manual effort using chisels, planers and sanding blocks over a large area and at heights of up to seven stories. Using headlamps, safety harnesses and our own special recipes, the Polar Clean team was able to clean three floors in four days. Learn more >

A Powerful Clean

For many of our clients, minimizing downtime is a priority. That’s often the case when we’re called to remove carbon buildup and other debris from natural gas turbines. Not only does dry ice blasting reduce cleaning time from a few days to a few hours, it doesn’t require complete disassembly. Dry ice blasting can be used to clean blades, turbine discs, rotors, cases, stators, and windings without introducing the risk of water or abrasive debris. The results are fast and effective, improving both the life span and efficiency of the turbines. Learn more >

Inside Jobs

Working inside a refinery and petrochemical plant is not a job for any ordinary cleaning business. It requires experience, specialized tools and training and a long list of safety certifications, including working at heights, in confined spaces and using supplied air and rescue harnesses. The interior of a petroleum reactor is a narrow space rising hundreds of feet into the air and full of nooks and crannies where dirt and dust collects. It’s not easy to access, but once inside, our dry ice blasting technicians make short work of what would otherwise require hand cleaning using wire brushes. Learn more >

The Right Team for Your Cleaning Challenge

Contractors working in industries with no room for error rely on Polar Clean for their most difficult industrial cleaning challenges. Our methods include a wide array of blasting types used separately from, or in combination with, dry ice blasting for a customized and effective approach to cleaning projects where ordinary methods won’t cut it.

Our work also includes specialized skills, containment and safety planning for challenges that include:

Thorough, effective and versatile – the Polar Clean team specializes in impossible jobs, like yours. Speak with one of our team members to learn more.

Contact us to learn more about dry ice blasting