Stripping a boat hull of old paint and marine growth is a long, tedious, high-effort job if you do it by hand. Power sanders can help, but can easily cause serious damage to a boat hull, requiring extensive and costly repairs. Harsh chemicals are not only dangerous to use, but are hazardous to the environment. Disposal is also difficult.
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 and marine growth 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!
The Eastwood Company offers lightweight, portable soda-blasting equipment to the user who wishes to strip a boat hull and all its fittings for repainting, repair, or full restoration. All glass, trim, lights and fittings can be left in place without damage. 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. It is widely used in auto restoration to strip paint from metal and fiberglass car bodies while leaving trim, glass, and rubber in place, all without damage. It’s also used for mold remediation, cleaning stains from concrete, fire damage removal, cleaning years of tarnish from copper and brass fixtures.
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 medias available.