Traditionally, the most common methods for removing stains from concrete surfaces include extremely labor-intensive wire brushing, hazardous acid chemical cleaners, or blasting with silica-based blast media. Wire-brushing requires a great deal of time and effort, and acids and abrasive blasting present a clear danger to the operator and environment. Certainly none of these methods are desirable.
There is another alternative rapidly increasing in popularity: bicarbonate of soda, or more commonly known as soda blasting. The technology is fairly new, having been 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 eradicate stains from any concrete or masonry surface such as walks, patios, walls, swimming pools, fountains and more. Until now, this process required a costly visit by a contractor with cumbersome and expensive trailer-mounted equipment. But the Eastwood Company now offers lightweight, portable equipment for the average homeowner or contractor to remove stains and freshen masonry surfaces quickly and efficiently, without inflicting additional damage.
Perhaps the best feature of soda is the fact that it is completely inert and water-soluble, saving you a great deal of clean-up time when the job is done. Of course the proper steps should be taken to recover removed paint particles and mold residue before blowing or sweeping the dust away. Also, proper respiratory and body protection methods and equipment should always be used.
Soda as a blasting media has many other uses as well: fire damage removal, mold remediation, graffiti removal, cleaning years of tarnish from copper and brass fixtures, and paint stripping. It’s widely used in auto and marine restoration to strip paint from metal and fiberglass, and also cleans and degreases complex mechanical assemblies such as transmissions or rear axles with no harm to internal moving parts. Soda can easily and safely clean underhood areas as well, without the need to remove components or wiring.
As always, Eastwood offers you the latest and best in equipment and supplies to help make your work the best it can be. We now have several soda-blasting units to choose from, and a selection of bicarbonate of soda medias available. Plus, our Universal Soda Blasting Retrofit Kit allows you to convert either a 3/8″ or 1/2″ pressure blaster into a soda blaster.