Paint and Coating Stripping with Dry Ice Blasting + Abrasive

We often get asked the question, “Can dry ice blasting remove paint?”  This can be a tricky question as the answer is specific to the situation (type of paint, type of surface, how well is the paint adhered, etc.).

Dry ice is a gentle medium and in some applications it is not successful at removing paint with just dry ice alone.  Depending on the type of paint and primer, even aggressive dry ice blasting can be too slow or too gentle.


Traditional methods for removing paint and other types of surface contaminants, such as corrosion and paint, are effective but have negative side effects that can become costly and add time to projects.  Sandblasting and other types of media blasting create a significant amount of waste and respirable and environmental dust.  Not only does this require extensive cleanup and containment setup, but it is also unhealthy for workers performing the job.  These methods leave residue and moisture on the surface being cleaned, which requires a second wash and drying time before re-painting or re-coating can begin.

Adding an abrasive to dry ice blasting boosts its’ aggression and effectively removes paint and coatings, while eliminating the issues with traditional methods of removal.

Why dry ice + an abrasive?

When you’re cleaning and preparing a surface, you want to be sure you can remove 100% of the surface contaminants and old paint/coating before applying a new coat – and you want to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Dry ice blasting + an abrasive:

  • Significantly reduces waste and dust generated by traditional methods
  • Does not leave residual media on the surface being cleaned
  • Does not require drying time (no water used in cleaning process)
  • Provides a more environmentally friendly and worker safe cleaning method

Benefits of dry ice + an abrasive

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1) Eliminates pre- and post-cleaning processes
With the need for containment setup and waste cleanup, methods such as sand, vapor, or slurry blasting are time-consuming and labor-intensive. These methods create a tremendous amount of secondary waste, which means containment must be setup before cleaning begins and when the cleaning ends the secondary waste must be collected and disposed of.In the case of a stripping coating and corrosion from a tank with slurry blasting, containment is setup for water runoff and other waste, which adds time and resources to the project.  When the stripping process is complete, workers must wait for the surface to completely dry before applying a new coat.

Additionally, in saltwater environments soluble solids and chloride accumulates on surfaces, which results in an added pre-wash step that must first be removed before the stripping even begins.

Dry ice + an abrasive limits the amount of time and resources needed for a project by eliminating the need for containment, waste cleanup, drying time, and any post-wash steps. This leads to a considerable amount of hours saved per project.

Also, in the case of saltwater environments, the cleaning can be completed in one step.  Dry ice + an abrasive eliminates pre-washing because the media removes soluble solids and chlorides simultaneously while stripping the paint from the surface.


2) Reduces dust levels and waste
As most people know – sandblasting and other traditional types of media blasting generate significant dust and waste. Respirable dust is harmful to the operator, surrounding workforce, the public, and the environment. OSHA has strengthened its standards to encourage initiatives that limit dust exposure. This is one of the reasons for the excessive containment setup required before cleaning with garnet, crushed glass, coal slag, and other blasting methods.

Wet blasting, such as slurry blasting and vapor blasting, uses water with an abrasive to capture dust molecules and keep them from going airborne. While this is effective at reducing dust levels, the method still creates a considerable amount of waste. As well, water as a medium slows down the abrasive particle velocity, which thereby, limits productivity.

Dry ice blasting mixed with an abrasive seeks the best of both worlds. As the dry ice impacts the surface and sublimates from a solid to a gas, that gas suppresses the dust from going airborne due to the fact CO2 gas is heavier than air.

The reduced dust levels also leads to increased operator visibility, which makes it easier for the operator to effectively clean.


3) Safer for employees and the environment – Meet OSHA guidelines

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A 97% reduction in dust levels means that the operators and surrounding workforce are not exposed to unhealthy levels of respirable and nuisance dust.  Dry ice + abrasive easily meets OSHA guidelines for dust levels.

Dry ice + abrasive is also a more environmentally friendly option compared to alternatives.  The solution requires significantly less media input than alternative paint and corrosion stripping solutions.  The Cold Jet dry ice + abrasive solution uses 100-150 pounds of media per hour, as opposed to 600 pounds or more per hour from traditional options.  This means that less media and dust is being dispersed into the surround environment.


4) Extensive time and costs savings
The dry ice + abrasive mixture eliminates the need for pre- and post-washing, containment setup, and waste collection.  It also cleans faster than many wet abrasive options. This results in a major reduction in project time.

The solution also leaves the surface completely dry and free of residue, which eliminates hours of drying time and allows you to apply a new coat of paint or coating immediately following the cleaning process.


When should you use dry ice + abrasive?

1) Heavy or pitted corrosion
coating and corrosion removal 3

If the corrosion is pitted in the metal, dry ice alone won’t be enough to remove that corrosion for proper coating adhesion. With dry ice + abrasive, you can meet requirements for a surface standard prior to the new coating. It will give you a near white metal finish by removing a small layer of the metal and exposing a new metal surface profile.

This is a major advancement for dry ice technology since dry ice blasting has always been non-profile, but by adding an abrasive you can create a profile of 1-5 mL.

2) If dry ice blasting alone just isn’t working
Certain types of paint, corrosion, or coatings simply can’t be removed with the non-abrasive touch of dry ice alone. Depending on the many factors of the surface, dry ice + abrasive is usually best for industrial applications such as structural steel of ships, tanks, infrastructure, tanks and pipelines.

Cold Jet’s dry ice + abrasive solution: The E-CO2 150

cold jet E-CO2 dry ice blaster

The E-CO2 150 combines a Cold Jet dry ice blasting machine (PLT 60, Aero 80 or C100) with a custom 1.5 cubic feet pressurized abrasive pot.The system has been developed specifically to feed Cold Jet’s proprietary mix of dry ice and an abrasive medium.  The custom blast pot enables users to experience accurate dosing of abrasive material, self-regulating capabilities and integration of applicator control mechanisms to ensure dry ice and the abrasive feed together simultaneously when the trigger is pulled.

The proprietary solution has been 3rd party verified to reduce dust levels by up to 97%; thereby, making it safer for the operator, surrounding workforce, and adjacent environment.

The E-CO2 150 also offers a stronger degree of versatility, allowing for non-destructive cleaning with just dry ice and also more aggressive cleaning with Cold Jet’s propriety abrasive mix while remaining environmentally responsible. You can feel confident in knowing that once you pull up to a job that you’ll be able to tackle it with the E-CO2 150.

If you would like to set up an onsite demo or come in to our Tech Center to demo the new machine please contact us.

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State of the CO2 Supply in the Midwest

As a regional distributor of industrial gases and welding supplies, Cee Kay Supply provides CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) to a wide variety of customers and industries throughout Missouri and Illinois. Just a few of the many customer applications that rely on our CO2 supply include metal fabrication, dry ice, beer and beverage, bio-medical research, water treatment and aerosol packaging….

Read More!

Dry Ice Effect smoking with vapor dry ice on dark background

When Your Haunted House Needs Dry Ice In Bulk, Call Cee Kay

The old house is little more than a pile of lumber and iron, a forgotten relic of some bygone era. The moon is full and the chilly fall air feels laden with suspense. A low fog rolls in, and the guests waiting to enter the haunted attraction are buzzing with nervous excitement. A haunted house is all about showmanship. You are building up tension, getting your guests to buy in to the illusion, and this come from what they see, hear and feel. When your haunted house wants to set the correct mood, dry ice is an important part of the illusion. This means you need plenty of commercial-grade dry ice on hand. When you need to know where to buy dry ice, Cee Kay is your ideal supplier

How To Make Fog

It is surprisingly easy to create your own haunted effect for whatever spooky environment you create this Halloween. All you need is hot water, protective gloves, 10-15 lbs of dry ice, and a sturdy plastic bucket or container. When gathering your supplies remember that 4-8 gallons of hot water and 10-15 lbs of dry ice will create about 20 minutes of fog. 


  1. Fill the sturdy plastic container half full of hot water.
  2. Using protective gloves, carefully place the ice in the water. Fog should start immediately.
  3. Repeat step 2 every 8-10 minutes to maintain the level of fog you need. 
  4. Once the water in the plastic container has cooled the fog will stop being produced.  Return to step 1.


To fill a small room, 15-30 lbs of dry ice in two containers will produce fog for 45 minutes to an hour. Larger rooms will need more containers and about 60 lbs of dry ice to produce the same amount. If you plan to make fog outside, make sure you have plenty of dry ice and hot water on hand and remember that any wind or breeze will make your fog dissipate quicker than indoors.

The Key Difference with Dry Ice

With dry ice, you can easily achieve the fog you want. These machines use dry ice that is very cold and warmed water to create a temperature difference that creates a cool fog that gives the feeling of being deep underground or in a spooky cemetery as it stays low to the ground. When you buy dry ice in bulk, you have plenty of fuel for multiple events. 

Cee Kay Supply Is Your Local Dry Ice Source

Dry Ice is important to creating the perfect mood at your haunted attraction. The best way to make sure you have plenty of dry ice for all of your fog machines is to call Cee Kay. Whether you need to keep products cold or are looking to create that wonderfully spooky Halloween atmosphere, our high-quality dry ice is all you need. 

Before You Elevate Your Halloween Party with Dry Ice, Remember These Important Safety Tips:

Dry Ice should always be stored and used within areas with adequate ventilation. Dry Ice sublimates into Carbon Dioxide gas which can pose a suffocation hazard in confined areas.

  • Use only with equipment and storage containers suitable for dry ice. Never store dry ice in a container with an airtight seal as it may burst.
  • Dry Ice is extremely cold and can cause frostbite. Always wear proper protective clothing and avoid contact with exposed flesh.  In case of prolonged contact with skin obtain medical treatment immediately.
  • Dry ice is harmful if eaten or swallowed. If ingested, seek medical treatment immediately.


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How to Pack Dry Ice In a Cooler

Summer means trips to the beach, long hikes, long drives, and picnics outside. Conventional ice is a common means people use to transport food in a cooler, but with proper precautions and some planning, dry ice can keep food and drinks cold or frozen much longer. This blog will cover what dry ice is and how to handle it properly and safely.

What Is So ‘Dry’ About Dry Ice?

“Dry” ice is carbon dioxide that is frozen at -109 degrees. It gives off an incredible amount of cooling power compared to regular ice, and when properly cared for, can last much longer. Dry ice is commercially available and can be combined with wet ice. One of the benefits of dry ice is that as it “melts” it goes from frozen form to a CO2 vapor. This is called sublimation and eliminates the water from regular ice melt. 

How to Use Dry Ice in Your Cooler

Use any cooler – You may choose to use the cooler you already have with dry ice. This is perfectly fine, but it is important that the cooler does not have an air tight seal or lock. Also,  cheaper grades of plastic can become brittle when they come into contact with super-cooled dry ice.  

Protect your skin – Since dry ice is so cold, it must be handled with protective leather or cloth gloves to prevent freezer burn. It’s also a good idea to keep dry ice away from small children to prevent frozen tongues and toes.

Remember to ventilate – As dry ice sublimates, or turns into vapor, it gives off carbon dioxide gas. This isn’t immediately harmful, but without proper ventilation, in a vehicle with closed windows, for example, it can cause shortness of breath and even unconsciousness in extreme cases. Store your dry ice cooler in a well-ventilated area and make sure it is properly ventilated during transportation. 

Insulate the ice with newspaper – Before you put the dry ice in your cooler, wrap it in several sheets of newspaper, towels, or put dry ice in a paper bag. This protects the ice surface from being accidentally touched, reducing the risk of freezer burn. It also adds a few layers of insulation, which allows the ice to last longer. 

Keep food below the ice to keep frozen, on top for convenience – Most people pack the ice at the bottom of the cooler so they can easily access food on top. But if you have frozen meat or other food that you won’t immediately need, you can pack this beneath the ice to keep it frozen. 

Eliminate empty space – Open-air in your cooler allows dry ice to sublimate faster, so to make it last longer, fill voids with wadded newspaper or blocks of styrofoam. 

The difference between keeping foods cold and frozen – Dry Ice can be used to accomplish both but it is important to note that there is a distinction between the two. 

Cee Kay Has Dry Ice for Any Occasion

Whether a trip to the beach or to pack products for shipping, our dry ice is the high-quality, safe coolant you need. Contact us today for pricing and location information and let us know your dry ice needs. We are confident that we have the solution.


KC Open House

Come See Our New Facility

July 18th, 2019

10AM – 2PM

1234 Quebec St.

North Kansas City, MO 64116

Join Cee Kay and Cold Jet for a Lunch & Learn Open House and dry ice blasting demonstrations!