AMMO NYC is at the NAMC facility with Eric from Nu Ice and we’re working on cleaning up this Porsche 930 undercarriage. We thought we’d run a comparison test on how efficiently dry ice blasting cleaned the various suspension and chassis components versus my traditional cleaning methods of pressure washer, AMMO Titan 12, and elbow grease.
Eric started the ice blasting with a special nozzle that would lower the pellet feed rate to be gentler on the suspension parts and under tray. The ice blaster did a fantastic job on the suspension components stripping the years of built up dirt and grime. However, once he reached the under tray, the blaster could not safely remove the under coating and upping the power would’ve also stripped the sound deadening. The dry ice cleaning took around 15 minutes and used approximately 25 dollars of dry ice but keep in mind the added cost of renting the machine, compressor, and nozzles (we’re talking thousands of dollars).
Now it was my turn and I started with spraying Titan 12 Degreaser on the suspension then used a wire brush to agitate the aluminum parts. The first round of scrubbing removed a good amount of the grime but required quite a shoulder workout. I decided to up my cleaning power for the hard to reach areas and mixed Brute Soap with Titan 12 in the foam gun. Once the foam had settled, I scrubbed the under tray with a stiff red bristle brush and the suspension with a bendable wheel brush. Afterwards, I power washed to remove the suds and loose debris. Compared to the ice blaster, the power washer was able to clean the under tray without damaging the sound proofing.
Once finished, my undercarriage cleaning clocked in at around 32 minutes, double the time of the dry ice cleaning. The results were similar but the ice blaster slightly bested the traditional tools in the cleaning of the suspension components. However, my power washing approach of the under tray turned out better in this comparison. My traditional detailing methods had minimum product expense compared to the overall financial and tool commitment of ice blasting. However, my achey shoulders and additional time spent were the cost of this savings.
Afterwards, Eric and I discussed the results of our test and arrived at the same conclusion; the dry ice machine was super effective for its intended application but was by no means a one size fits all solution. In regards to detailing which often requires multiple methods of cleaning, the ice blasting excelled at cleaning the suspension components but could not be dialed back for the sensitive cleaning of the under tray. Although this was not a scientifically measurable test, it was clear that in order for the dry ice approach to be financially prudent, it required a well thought out business model.
For my particular business, buying the machine, tools, and compressor to effectively run a setup for detailing was not practical. Also keep in mind that the machine is rock concert loud and the debris from the blasting flies everywhere (still cleaning up the AMMO Studio). In my opinion, you need a dedicated space as well as a profitable service to fully utilize this tools benefits. Eric and I did just that and took the ice blaster outside to clean up an old tractor transmission.
Here, the ice blaster really excelled and Eric blasted away years of accumulated grime off the transmission with ease! The before and after was crazy so I tried my hand at cleaning the other side with a power washer and wire brush to no avail. Realizing I wasn’t getting anywhere, I tried the ice blaster myself and boy did that thing work wonders. You’ll see in the video the power from the blaster gave me quite a jolt!
In conclusion, like any specialized tool, dry ice blasting gets incredible results for its intended application of heavy industrial cleaning. It would be one of many great tools in my arsenal for intensive detailing, but the high cost to operate is not currently justifiable for my business. For now it’s Titan 12, Brute, and arm strength…but my wallet and neighbors are thanking me!
Big thank you to Eric from Nu Ice, the folks at NAMC, and of course all of you for supporting AMMO NYC! Stay tuned for more videos, blogs, and educational content.