Why we use baking soda for media blasting

Brick home showing areas before and after soda cleaning
Soda was used to clean the painted brick on this home. You can see the unfinished area near the top of the home compared to the clean brick below.

We use ARMEX Cleaning and Coating Removal Systems — from Arm & Hammer — the industry’s leading baking soda-based abrasive technology.

ARMEX is not just baking soda.  It is a specially formulated sodium bicarbonate.

 • Soda’s unique cutting action

Soda blast media offers the unique properties of sodium bicarbonate, the primary ingredient.  It is soft and friable.  It hits a surface, shatters upon impact, and the particle fractions shear away the unwanted coating without damaging even delicate surfaces. 

The softness of this media means that it can be used to remove most materials without harming the surface underneath.

• No pre-cleaning required

More traditional blasting methods require that coatings covered with grease, carbon or salt to be fully cleaned before blasting so that the contaminants are not driven through the coating into the substrate.  Soda simply coats the grease or oil, removing it along with the coating.

• Removes odors

The same odor absorbing effect seen in the refrigerator at home is present when cleaning with soda media.  It not only removes the contaminants; it also reduces the unpleasant odors.

• Reduced solid waste

Soda blast media can be dissolved in fresh water, leaving only the contaminants for disposal.  In most non-hazardous applications, the residue from soda cleaning can be rinsed into sanitary drains or sewers.

• Replaces dangerous solvents

Soda is an excellent de-greasing media that eliminates the use of solvents in most cleaning processes.  It does not “dissolve” grease and oil but coats the particles, causing them to release from the surface.

• Reduces surface acids

Its benign pH of 8.2 provides a superior worker and environmental profile — before, during and after use.  As a strong buffer for acids and alkalis, soda eliminates acidic conditions on the surface of the substrate.

• Eliminates post-cleaning.  No residue problems in small passageways.

Soda blast media is 100% water soluble.  It can be used to clean critical engine components — even those with small passageways.  After cleaning, the soda media can be thoroughly rinsed off by dissolving in water.  This often eliminates the need for some disassembly or masking.

Pickup truck before paint removal
Pickup truck ready for paint removal. Note that the windows do not have to be covered before cleaning.
Pickup truck after paint removed by soda cleaning
Pickup after paint removal
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