Get answers to your questions about media blasting & powder coating

Media blasting and powder coating FAQ. Ultralight airplane frame before soda blasting
Frame of type certified 1946 Piper J3 Cub airplane before soda blasting.  The plane is being restored by Heavenbound Aviation in Johnstown, Ohio.

What is soda cleaning/soda blasting?

Soda cleaning is an environmentally-friendly type of media blasting that removes char/smoke, paint, rust, dirt, coatings and other surface contaminants without causing damage to the surface being cleaned.

Unlike sand blasting, the action of the sodium bicarbonate used does not cause heat buildup, sparks, or abrasion to the substrata. Sodium bicarbonate is water soluble and in most cases, depending on your local laws, can be disposed of through conventional drainage systems.

The only material that needs to be disposed of is the material removed, which can be separated by dissolving the blast media in water, and the use of a filter or centrifuge to separate the material from the solution.

Media blasting and powder coating FAQ. Ultralight airplane frame after soda blasting removed paint and rust
Piper J3 Cub airplane frame after soda blasting removed paint and rust. The frame is ready for repainting by owner Heavenbound Aviation from Johnstown, Ohio.

How does soda cleaning work?

The sodium bicarbonate used in the cleaning process is a larger particle than the baking soda used in the food industry, although it is the same purity.

The particles are propelled by compressed air through specialized blasting machines. Air pressures can be varied from as low as 20 psi on soft bases to 120 psi or more on hard surfaces. Water is used as either a dust suppressant or the propellant for some decontamination and paint removal. For surfaces that are somewhat softer, such as wood, water reduces the cutting action by as much as 20 to 30 percent.

Media blasting and powder coating FAQ.  Box of an ambulance before paint stripping with baking soda
This is the box of an ambulance that is being refurbished by one of our customers. We will remove the exterior paint so that it can be repainted and refitted with new equipment.

What are the advantages of soda cleaning over sand blasting?

Unlike abrasive sand blasting, sodium bicarbonate particles remove contaminants by the energy released when the particles explode as they come in contact with the surface to be cleaned. Silica sand removes the material by wearing it away. However, when the sand hits the metal surface, the metal is also worn away and the surface is damaged.

Another major advantage of removing paint from cars or other metal surfaces with soda cleaning is the fact that sodium bicarbonate does not break the surface tension of metals, eliminating the problem of flash rusting.

Bicarbonate of soda is also a rust inhibitor which leaves a protective coating on the surface being cleaned. This allows for time to pass before the surface has to be repainted. This is unlike a sand blasted surface that must be repainted immediately. When the time does come to paint the surface, the protective coating can be removed by a light application of either vinegar or citric acid.

What about the heat build-up that happens with sand blasting?

There is no heat build up with soda bicarbonate, so warping is eliminated. Its nonflammable properties allow sodium bicarbonate to be used for cleaning in the petroleum industry where other methods could not be used. Sodium bicarbonate breaks down hydrocarbons, which makes it an excellent method of cleaning engines and engine parts, or other areas where oil and grease are present.

Static electricity is a by-product of using high pressure air. While soda cleaning reduces the amount produced, there is still a need to properly ground a metal object when using any blasting media. However, soda bicarbonate does not produce electrical sparks the same way that sand striking metal does.

Media blasting and powder coating FAQ. Box of an ambulance after paint has been removed by soda cleaning
All paint has been removed from ambulance. It’s ready for repainting and refitting.

Do you know someone who can powder coat my item after it’s stripped?

Yes! We can! In 2021, Soda Clean added a powder coating division located in Newark, Ohio. After your vehicle frame, rims, parts, furniture or other items are stripped, we will take it to Newark.

Our expert technician will apply a durable, strong finish by powder coating. We have many standard colors as well as custom colors. Click “Powder Coating” on our main menu to see more details, or contact Kaycie in Newark at 740-334-1624 or [email protected].

What is powder coating?

Powder coating is a finish for metal that is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder. Unlike conventional liquid paint, powder coating is typically applied electrostatically and then cured in an oven. When finished, it creates a hard finish that is tougher than conventional paint.

What can be powder coated?

We can powder coat almost any type of metal.




Stainless steel


Cast iron

Can you powder coat a large item?

We have a large oven that will accommodate items as large as most auto frames and even some auto bodies.

How do you prepare items before powder coating?

We prepare the surface of each item to be powder coated by media blasting. We believe that blasting cleans the item thoroughly and creates a surface profile that allows the powder to adhere tightly to it.

We do not use chemical stripping or sand blasting to prepare items for powder coating. We are environmentally friendly.

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