Depending on your perspective, graffiti can either be art or an eyesore. For most, it is definitely an eyesore. There are several methods for dealing with it. Painting over it is the easiest, but with many surfaces, this is undesirable or not possible. Blasting graffiti away with abrasives can result in surface damage and etching, and hazardous chemicals are time- and labor-intensive…and hazardous!
There is an alternative rapidly increasing in popularity: soda blasting, using bicarbonate of soda, more commonly known as “baking soda” (but it’s not exactly like the baking soda in your pantry). The technology was developed in the mid-1980s primarily for the purpose of cleaning the Statue of Liberty inside and out, a delicate task requiring effectiveness without damage. This same method allows the user to gently and quickly strip away layers of old coatings from fiberglass, wood, steel or aluminum. In fact, we blasted the printed ink off a soda can, leaving the bare aluminum surface like it was never even coated!
Until now, this process required a costly visit by a contractor with cumbersome, expensive, trailer-mounted equipment. The Eastwood Company now offers lightweight and portable equipment to the user who wishes to strip graffiti quickly and efficiently, with a minimum time investment.
Perhaps the best feature of soda media is that it is completely inert and water-soluble, saving you a great deal of clean-up time, with no environmental impact when the job is done. Of course the proper steps should be taken to recover the blasted coating particles before blowing or washing the dust away.
Soda as a blasting media has many other uses as well. Use it for paint stripping, mold remediation, cleaning stains from concrete and fire damage, and cleaning years of tarnish from copper and brass fixtures.
Soda is widely used in auto restoration to strip paint from metal and fiberglass, and also has the ability to clean and degrease complex mechanical assemblies such as transmissions or rear axles, with no harm to internal moving parts. Since it is not an abrasive, it will not harm delicate mechanical assemblies, wiring, lines or underhood components.
As always, Eastwood offers our customers the latest and best in equipment and supplies to help make their projects the best they can be. We now have several soda-blasting units to choose from, and a selection of bicarbonate of soda media available.