Dry Ice Cleaning: A Clean-In-Place Solution
By Tyson Marlowe, Director of Global Training & Development, Cold Jet
Dry ice cleaning is similar in concept o sand-, bead- and soda-blasting in that it cleans surfaces using
a media accelerated in a pressurized
air stream. But dry ice cleaning uses
solid CO2 pellets or MicroParticles,
accelerated to high velocities, to impinge
on the surface and clean it. The particles
sublimate (turn from solid to gas) upon
impact, lifting dirt and contaminants off
the underlying substrate without damage.
Traditional cleaning methods are
time-consuming, labor-intensive and
costly. Manual scraping or scrubbing with
wire brushes and water or chemicals
can consume many hours and result in
extended downtime, along with causing
damage to equipment, shortening asset
life and/or making it less productive.
Dry ice cleaning makes cleaning easier
and more complete, and enables food
manufacturing or packaging facilities
to quickly and easily clean a number of
different surfaces and get them back into
production immediately (no rinsing, drying
and less disassembly).
The unique characteristics of dry ice
make it the perfect media for a clean-in-place process.
• No secondary waste: Cleaning with
dry ice enhances sustainability efforts.
Dry ice sublimates upon impact with
the surface being cleaned, which
means no secondary waste, no residue
and no moisture are being generated.
This eliminates the added costs of
extra cleanup, disposing of secondary
waste streams and additional cleaning
preparation, such as masking delicate
sensors or wrapping electronic
components prior to cleaning. The
cleaning process does not use water,
which allows equipment to be cleaned
while online and still operating.
Because it is non-conductive, dry ice
cleaning allows for electrical equipment
to be safely cleaned.
• Non-abrasive: Dry ice is a very
soft media and can clean sensitive
electronic equipment, such as printed
circuit boards, without etching, profiling
or changing surface dimensions.
• Non-toxic: Dry ice is a food grade
media and is EPA-, FDA- and
USDA-approved for use in food
manufacturing. It is colorless, tasteless,
odorless and non-toxic. It allows for the
elimination of environmentally harmful
cleaning chemicals and eliminates
worker exposure to hazardous cleaning
agents. It also does not produce any
toxic waste that must be disposed of.
Dry ice cleaning machines are mobile
and can be rolled right up to the machine
being cleaned to maximize in-situation
cleaning capability. Various hoses and
nozzles can also be fitted to ensure that
no clean is out of reach. It can also be
easily integrated into manufacturing
processes for different levels of
Utilizing dry ice cleaning in a clean-in-place process can result in cost savings,
improved productivity, the extension of
equipment life and improved worker
Reduce costs: Dry ice cleaning reduces
labor costs because it can be done quickly
by one person and in significantly less
time than conventional manual labor. This
enables a cleaner clean even in situations
that are difficult or unpopular to clean by
hand with conventional methods.
Improve productivity: It helps to reduce
shut-down times, as equipment can
be cleaned while hot and online. By
cleaning equipment in less time, facilities
are able to get more production cycles
from existing equipment. Preventive
maintenance or spot cleaning can also be
done more frequently without impacting