Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Case Study: Polar Clean Dry Ice Blasting a Key Ingredient in Food Manufacturer’s Safety Protocols

Consumers must put a lot of trust into food ingredient labels to avoid allergens and meet dietary restrictions.

Preventing cross-contamination of ingredients on the manufacturing floor where different foods are processed is a critical health and safety measure that requires constant diligence, both in a manufacturer’s internal processes – and in the selection of a cleaning partner.

The Challenge

When a Midwestern food production facility owned by a longtime Polar Clean client was sold, a switch to the production of a non-allergenic pea-protein food additive required eliminating all traces of soy protein remaining in the production areas.

The new owners of the facility knew that Polar Clean had a food safety background that made them a good fit for the deep cleaning the facility would have to undergo.

“We were the only contractor who wasn’t overwhelmed by the job.”

Polar Clean Director of Operations Sean Simpson

“They know we know how to walk the walk in those type of environments,” said Sean Simpson, Polar Clean Director of Operations.

The company also knew that Polar Clean had previous training and experience in the food safety networks used to find qualified vendors. In fact, Polar Clean was the first dry ice blasting contractor to achieve Level 3 Safe Quality Foods certification, a distinction that encompasses a wide range of food safety protocols.

Additionally, Polar Clean has a unique advantage against other contractors considered for the project: “We were the only contractor who wasn’t overwhelmed by the job,” said Simpson.

Beyond the need to eliminate even trace amounts of soy, other intimidating factors included the need to clean inside dryers that are 75 feet deep, 25 feet across – and unlit. The Polar Clean safely rappelled from the top of these dryers to complete the cleaning.

Our training and expertise on high-risk cleaning projects, including working at heights and in confined spaces, made Polar Clean the right call.

The Advantages of Dry Ice Blasting for the Food Industry

Only dry ice blasting met all of the job’s requirements. By comparison, hydroblasting introduces multiple avenues of collateral damage, not the least of which is the creation of soy protein deposits that Simpson likens to “barnacles.” When protein powders get wet, they can get caught in machine crevices and solidify into a hard crust. Hydroblasting spreads the dissolved allergen, and cleaning water needs to be reclaimed and disposed separately to avoid cross-contamination with other ingredients in the facility, adding both time and expense to the job. If not properly dried, mold, mildew and bacteria can grow within damp crevices around the shop.

Unlike water and chemical-based cleaners, dry ice blasting is an environmentally safe and water-free method to break surface adhesion on contact, removing dirt, grime and other forms of buildup, while generating no secondary waste.

The Results: A Clean & Allergen-Free Food Production Area

The Polar Clean team successfully removed soy powder and dust from every part of the six-floor facility. We crawled into small spaces and around machines using proprietary nozzles to remove soy particles in the processing and packaging areas.

We left the facility’s 75-foot drying tower cleaned of dried soy that had caked onto the walls, rappelling into the depth to leave every inch allergen-free. The results were so good the company has contracted with Polar Clean to handle the cleaning of a second facility.

Polar Clean Food Facility Switchover by the Numbers

  • Six floors, each measuring 3,600 square-feet with 20-foot-tall ceilings
  • 75-foot-tall drying tower with a 25-foot radius
  • Team included two shifts working 24/7 and three dry ice blasters working three 12-hour days
  • Results achieved in three weeks


Before Dry Ice Cleaning

Before Dry Ice Blasting

After Dry Ice Cleaning

After Dry Ice Blasting


Before Dry Ice Cleaning

Before Dry Ice Blasting

After Dry Ice Cleaning

After Dry Ice Blasting

Dry Ice Blasting for Your High-Risk Cleaning Job

For tedious, hard-to-reach cleaning jobs with no room for error, Polar Clean dry ice blasting can generate the results you need, quickly, effectively and with no water, chemicals or secondary materials to clean up.

At Polar Clean, we specialize in tough cleaning jobs in industries where water, chemicals or abrasive cleaning methods pose too great a risk of equipment damage. Dry ice blasting is powerful enough to remove stubborn build-up and gentle enough to be applied in a gentle “dusting.”

Our clients manage everything from power generation plants, to petrochemical facilities and every variety of food production facility, in addition to a wide array of historic renovation projects and other facilities that require specialty cleaning for mold removal and fire restoration, among other cleaning.

Contact us to learn more about dry ice blasting