During an industrial cleaning project, advanced techniques often have to be used, especially to remove paint, dirt, rust or contaminants from certain surfaces. 

One of these techniques consists of propelling different types of abrasive particles at high speed onto the surface to be cleaned. Under the force of the particles' impacts, even the most stubborn dirt cannot resist. 

This technique quickly cleans surfaces such as concrete, steel, wood and many others. Be careful, the power of this technique requires choosing the right type of sandblasting media to avoid damaging the surface to be cleaned.

Our industrial cleaning specialists explain the different blasting types and the characteristics that make them more or less efficient in certain situations.


Used in several industries, sandblasting is also useful for companies that offer industrial cleaning services. Especially efficient and abrasive, this technique can remove graffiti, rust and even oil and grease from surfaces such as steel and concrete. 

The sandblasting grains can be different sizes. The technician will choose larger or smaller grains depending on the desired result.  

Advantages of sandblasting

  • Fast and inexpensive technique to clean large surfaces
  • Prepares the surface for applying new paint

Disadvantages of sandblasting

  • Requires the collection of sand and waste
  • Difficult to reuse sand

Main uses of sandblasting

Sandblasting is widely used for stripping large structures and cleaning concrete pools and brick walls.

Dry ice cleaning, blasting or decontamination

Dry ice blasting, or dry ice cleaning, is a technique modelled on sandblasting, the main difference being that the propelled abrasive particles are made of dry ice (solid carbon dioxide).

This technique, less abrasive than sandblasting, preserves the environment in which the work is carried out since dry ice sublimates as soon as it touches the surface to be cleaned. In other words, dry ice particles are transformed into gas without passing through the liquid form once they have removed the dirt from the surface. 

Advantages of dry ice blasting

  • Avoids the use of solvents

  • No jet propulsion residue, no residual water

Disadvantages of dry ice blasting

Main uses of dry ice blasting

The absence of propulsion residues makes dry ice blasting a perfect technique for cleaning pharmaceutical or food facilities.

The use of dry ice is also safe for working near electrical installations since it does not use water. 

Dry ice blasting is a quick and gentle way to clean fragile surfaces such as glass and plastic because it is a less abrasive method. 

It is also a proven technique for the decontamination of fungi and mould.

High-pressure water jet cleaning

When blasted at high speed, even a liquid has a highly abrasive power. High-pressure water jet cleaning uses this power to remove dirt from a wide range of surfaces. 

A steam jet or very hot water, which has even more cleaning power, can be propelled to kill several types of viruses or bacteria.

Advantages of high-pressure water jet cleaning

  • No residual abrasives.
  • Can be used with cleaning products.

Disadvantages of high-pressure water jet cleaning

  • The process consumes a significant amount of water.
  • Not compatible in certain environments (electrical or computer installations).

Main uses of high-pressure water jet cleaning

The high-pressure water jet is ideal for cleaning basins, tanks or pipes. It can even be used to unclog pipes blocked by debris, roots or ice.

A pressurized water jet is also effective for cleaning asphalt, concrete, stainless steel, plastic, wood, ceramics and many other common materials. 

Less common sandblasting media

Less common sandblasting media can be used to maximize the results of an industrial cleaning intervention.

Steel shot

The smooth surface of the steel shot used as an abrasive creates smooth finishes. One of the advantages of this blasting media is that the shots can be reused several times in some cases (closed environment).

Walnut shell

Believe it or not, walnut shells can be used as sandblasting media. Environmentally friendly, walnut shells do not damage treated surfaces, but are ruthless on glues and resins.

Plastic abrasive

Plastic abrasives are usually softer and less dense than mineral particles. They therefore clean more gently and are a good solution for cleaning non-ferrous metals.

EBI Enviro Urgence: custom industrial cleaning services

In conclusion, all types of sandblasting media in this article can be useful during an industrial cleaning intervention that requires blasting a surface. That said, the decision to choose one or the other will depend on various factors such as the contaminant to be removed, the surface to be cleaned, the work environment and the available budget.

At EBI Enviro Urgence, our extensive industrial cleaning expertise and advanced equipment allow us to use these different types of sandblasting media when necessary. Contact us or request a quote if you have a sandblasting or cleaning project for us.