Dry Ice Blasting & Cleaning Blog

Should You Perform Your Own Dry Ice Blasting?

When you see the results that dry ice blasting can achieve – peeling away layers of grime, soot, and every manner of caked-on debris with no water, no chemicals, and no mess – it can be tempting to consider investing in some equipment of your own.

But while dry ice cleaning itself provides an impressively fast, effective and easier way to tackle complicated cleaning challenges, adding it your list of in-house maintenance jobs can be a tricky – and expensive – proposition.

Nevertheless, there are scenarios under which it could make sense for you to own and operate your own dry ice cleaning equipment. First, however, let’s review some of the factors to take into consideration.

Initial Investment & Ongoing Expenses

Dry ice blasting equipment is expensive, requiring an initial investment of at least $100,000 and likely more.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to pay:

In-House Dry Ice Blasting

Cost

Production-Grade Dry Ice Machine with Basic Nozzle $38,000 to $100,000 each
Additional nozzles $2,000 each
Additional Hose Sections for Extension & Replacement $3,000 each
Diesel-Powered, After-Cooled Compressor $80,000 each
Dry Ice Pellets* $0.45 cents per pound
Diesel Fuel Market rate per 50 gallons (8 hours)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Varies

* About 1,500 pounds per 8 hours of cleaning time and must be used within 5 days
You’ll also need to invest in at least 1-2 people to operate the equipment, along with the training and certifications required.

Training & Safety

Dry ice blasting is a powerful cleaning tool. Both the force of the blast and the conditions where it is used—on ceilings, in smokestacks and other high places, and in tight spaces—pose a risk of serious injury. A reliable third-party that uses a well-trained team, certified and physically fit for working at heights, in confined spaces, and where a respirator may be required.

All of these conditions require a diligent program of training, certification and safety that has to be factored into your investment.

Logistical Challenges

The pellets used for dry ice cleaning can be difficult to source, depending on your location.

They also must be used within five days before the quality begins to degrade. A reliable supplier is a critical factor in being able to maintain your dry ice cleaning schedule.

Since most, if not all, dry ice vendors do not deliver, you will need to arrange and pay for transportation. And because it degrades so quickly, it’s important to find a supplier close to your location.

The Calculation

The expense and trouble of in-house dry ice blasting doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a poor option.

If you have frequent need of dry ice blasting and you have the labor available to do the job in-house, you will obviously recoup your investment more quickly – cleaning injection molds on a daily basis, for example, though production-grade dry ice blasting is ideal for cleaning out molds.

In-house cleaning also makes more sense where the conditions pose no special risks and the areas and equipment to be cleaned are frequent, consistent, easy-to-reach, and don’t require specialized equipment like scaffolding, harnesses or engineered containment setups.

Leave These Jobs to the Professionals

Polar Clean clients, on the other hand, are businesses with cleaning challenges that go beyond the ordinary. Our work takes us under the earth, into the rafters, and among some incredibly complex machinery and electronics.

From the fragile architecture of historic restoration projects to the labyrinth of pipework and electronics in petrochemical plants, to the meticulously regulated environment of food and pharmaceutical facilities, the Polar Clean team has earned its reputation for results, reliability and innovation.

With an array of proprietary solutions and equipment, including patented nozzles for hard-to-reach applications, Polar Clean tackles the jobs with no room for error.

If that’s the kind of job you’re facing, contact us for a dry ice blasting assessment and learn what we can do for you.

Contact us to learn more about dry ice blasting