If you’re looking to clean surfaces, you’ll find that there are many options available that allow you to do so. However, the one option that works on practically any surface is dustless blasting. Unfortunately, people aren’t familiar with dusting blasting as they are other options.

So, why dustless blasting?

Today, we’re here to provide you with a complete guide that answers that question. After reading this article, you should have a clear understanding of why dustless blasting is the most viable option for all of your surface cleaning needs.

What is Dustless Blasting?

What is dustless blasting, exactly?

Dustless blasting is best described as a hybrid method between sandblasting and power washing. Dustless blasting involves the use of a mild abrasive, which we then combine with water. Dustless blasting is gentle enough to use on any surface, including wood.

However, it’s also strong enough to etch designs into black granite, one of the hardest surfaces on Earth.

To help better understand the question, “How does dustless blasting work,” it makes sense to compare it to some of the other surface cleaner options available.

Dustless Blasting vs. Sandblasting

Sandblasting is one of the most popular surface cleaning options available. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize all of the problems associated with it.

Let’s compare dustless blasting vs. sandblasting.

As the name indicates, sandblasting involves the use of sand. The sand used when sandblasting is high-grain, similar to the type that you’d find in a sandbox. It’s a powerful option to clean surfaces. Unfortunately, it is sometimes too overpowering.

Sandblasting can ruin surfaces like wood and even metal.

Sandblasting creates a lot of friction during the cleaning process. Friction results in a temperature increase. This temperature increase often results in metal warping or melting. Depending on what type of metal you have, sandblasting may not be a viable option.

Additionally, sandblasting is too strong for things like glass. The sandblasting will scratch the glass and ruin the surface integrity. Furthermore, leftover sand particles can break down the paint on certain surfaces.

So, for instance, let’s say that you needed to remove paint from a car. You may be tempted to cover the sensitive areas, such as:

  • Windshields
  • Taillights
  • Door handles

You think that covering these objects with tape will keep them safe from sand particles.

However, the sandblaster can chew up the tape, exposing these areas. Sand could also slip into the tiniest of crevices, where it would then linger and gradually eat away at your material.

Lastly, sandblasting is quite messy.

As you can imagine, all of the sand needs somewhere to go. If you sandblast inside, you need to make sure that you have plenty of ventilation.

Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of silicosis, a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny bits of sand. And, if you use a sandblaster outdoors, you’ll also need to make sure you do so in an area where it’s ok to make a mess.

Sandblasting is a tick cheaper than dustless blasting.

However, the sandblasting process takes considerably longer, especially when taking into account all of the setup that you have to do to protect your piece of equipment.

Dustless blasting, on the other hand, doesn’t have nearly as many problems as sandblasting.

Dustless blasting is just as powerful as sandblasting because it combines a mild abrasive and water. However, even though dustless blasting is quite as intense, it won’t ruin any of your products. Dustless blasting is gentle enough to use on things like wood and vinyl without issue.

This makes the dustless blasting process much quicker than the sandblasting process. With dustless blasting, you don’t have to worry about covering delicate areas. You could use a dustless blaster on glass without worrying about scratching it up.

This can save you considerable time. All you need to do is turn on the dustless blaster machine and get started. 

You won’t have to worry about making nearly as much of a mess when working with dustless blasters. Because we combine the abrasive with water, there is no dust. In this regard, dustless blasting is very similar to power washing. You don’t need to worry about ventilation.

However, it’s not entirely possible to dustless blast inside, and you need to make sure you have areas for water runoff.

Dustless Blasting vs. Power Washing

We’ve already touched a little bit on the dustless blasting vs. power washing differences, but let’s take time to review them for further clarification.

Power washing involves the use of high-pressure water to clean a surface.

Unlike dustless blasting, power washing does not use an abrasive. All you’re using is a steady water stream.

Power washers are not as reliable as sandblasters or dustless blasters because of the lack of an abrasive.

Power washers could be useful for light dirt on surfaces. But if you have dirt that’s been caked-on for years, or grime from say, a heavy-duty construction job, a power washer will be inefficient.

This is also the case if you’re looking to remove paint or powder coating. A power washer likely isn’t strong enough to do this job effectively.

This is different from dustless blasters, which use an abrasive. Dustless blasters are as gentle as power washers, but because of the mild abrasive, they’re significantly stronger as well.

With both dustless blasters and power washing, your main concern is water runoff. However, some companies will add detergent to the power washing to help clean a surface. If you add soap, you need to be careful about where it drains.

Some municipalities have strict regulations about draining detergents and other chemicals.

You may need to double-check to ensure that it’s ok for the water to go down your storm drain. Furthermore, these detergents could potentially ruin your lawns or gardens.

This is not an issue with dustless blasters. The abrasives used in dustless blasters are environmentally safe.

Dustless Blasting vs. Soda Blasting 

The last common method that you may see to clean surfaces is soda blasting. No, this technique does not involve the use of Coca-Cola.

Let’s jump into a dustless blasting vs. soda blasting comparison.

Soda blasting involves the use of baking soda to clean surfaces. You may have grown up using baking soda as a household cleaner. If so, you know how effective it can be for cleaning things.

However, you also probably know what a mess it can make.

Soda blasters are much like sandblasters in that they eject the substance at a high rate. Unfortunately, this means that soda blasting makes a huge mess everywhere.

Soda blasting arguably creates more of a mess than sandblasting. Baking soda is very difficult to clean up.

If you are going to soda blast inside, you need to make sure that you cover any product or piece of equipment that you don’t intend to clean. Furthermore, you need to make sure you have the proper ventilation and protection to keep yourself safe. Inhaling too much sodium bicarbonate – the scientific term for baking soda – can cause nasty allergic reactions.

Furthermore, you cannot use baking soda outside unless you’re ok with ruining any piece of vegetation it comes into contact with.

Baking soda will kill things like grass and plants.

As mentioned, the dust from sodium bicarbonate can get everywhere. So, soda blasting leaves you with a problem. If you do it outside, you’ll kill your plants and lawn. If you do it inside, you’ll create a mess and need to invest in proper ventilation.

Like we’ve said before, dustless blasting does not cause these problems. Because dustless blasters use water, the abrasive does not create any dust. And, the abrasive is safe for use outdoors.

What Does Dustless Blasting Use?

Dustless blasting uses a mild abrasive and a high-powered water stream. The water is beneficial for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it eliminates dust, which is common when sandblasting or soda blasting. All you need to worry about is a place for the water to go.

Secondly, the use of water is beneficial because it reduces friction.

Adding water to an abrasive can reduce temperatures by as much as ten degrees.

This is critical for two reasons:

  1. It makes dustless blasting safe enough to use on any surface.
  2. It prevents metal from warping.

The addition of water is what sets dustless blasting apart from sandblasting.

How Much Does Dustless Blasting Cost?

Dustless blasting is the clear number one winner when it comes to surface cleaning.

But how much does dustless blasting cost?

Generally, there is no black and white answer to this question. The cost of a dustless blasting depends on the:

  • Size of the project
  • Surface being treated
  • Type of abrasive being used

Willsha Blasting will provide a quote free of charge. This will help you better determine the cost of your project.

There’s no denying that dustless blasting may be a bit pricier than some of the other options out there. But you must consider what you’re paying for.

First, you’re paying for efficiency. You can rest assured that you can use a dustless blaster on any surface. There’s no risk of ruining the underlying surface when you do so. This peace of mind is well worth it.

Second, you’re paying for convenience. You won’t have to worry about spending time taking products apart so that you can treat them one at a time. You also won’t have to worry about covering the surrounding area or using a ventilation system.

Additionally, dustless blasting is convenient from the fact that it’s mobile. A dustless blasting machine can come to you, no matter where you are. This makes it easy for you to treat whole surfaces, such as the side of the house.

Lastly, you’re making a long-term investment. Regular dustless blasting treatments can go a long way toward protecting your products and equipment. Whereas other surface cleaners potentially ruin your product, dustless blasting will remove dirt and grime while preserving the underlying surface.

Take a pool, for instance. Dustless blasting is an easy option to use in a pool, helping to remove calcium and algae. Left untreated, these substances could pose a health risk and could also ruin the health of your water. You would end up wasting money trying to return your water to normal pH levels.

The better alternative would be to have a thorough dustless blasting cleaning done. This can happen in one day and will leave your pool looking like new. It’s also safe to use on any pool material, including mosaic tile and vinyl. Regular dustless blasting cleanings could go a long way toward preserving your equipment.

Thus, they’re an investment that anyone should consider making. 

What Is Dustless Blasting Used For?

Dustless blasting is primarily used as a surface cleaner. The primary ways in which you could use dustless blasting include:

Dustless blasting is safe to use on any surface, no matter how hard or soft.

What else is dustless blasting used for?

Etching. You can etch a custom design into any surface, from wood to black granite.

If you’re a business owner looking to make an impression on your customers, you’ll want to give custom etching a try. Custom etching involves the use of a stencil to imprint your design into a chosen surface. Because we use stencils, you can pick anything, from your company logo to slogan.

Custom dustless blasting etching looks much more professional than paint.

If you need dustless blasting services in the Dallas – Fort Worth area, be sure to contact Willsha Blasting.

We’ll bring our dustless blasting equipment to you and leave your surface looking as good as new!