How Much Does Dry Ice Blasting Cost?

Last Updated on February 21, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Dry ice blasting is an innovative cleaning method that utilizes frozen carbon dioxide pellets as an abrasive media. Compared to sandblasting and other traditional methods, dry ice blasting is environmentally friendly and reduces cleanup time significantly. But how much does it cost to have this service performed?

How Much Does Dry Ice Blasting Cost?

Prices for dry ice blasting depend on several factors, but the average cost ranges from $0.20 to $3 per square foot for industrial cleaning applications. Precision cleaning of small components or restoration projects may cost $80-150 per hour. Contracting full-service cleaning can cost $500 or more per day.

A Reddit discussion reveals that the cost for 3 hours of dry ice blasting is estimated to be between $750 and $1,000. The consumption of dry ice can range from 30kg to 200kg per hour, with some services charging $200 to $400+ per hour for dry ice blasting. Additionally, some dry ice cleaners charge $3,000 – $6,000 per day for their services.

Ice Blast Works writes that rates for dry ice blasting start at $600 for mobile service anywhere in Los Angeles or at their shop in Fullerton, CA.

What is Dry Ice Blasting?

Dry ice blasting, also known as dry ice cleaning or CO2 blasting, propels pellets of dry ice at high velocities to dislodge contaminants from surfaces. On impact, the dry ice sublimates, lifting away residues without secondary waste.

This non-abrasive process effectively cleans without damaging sensitive underlying materials. Dry ice blasting excels at removing paint, oil, grease, ink, mold, and other contaminants from industrial equipment, tools, machinery, floors, walls, and more.

Benefits of dry ice blasting include:

  • Environmentally friendly – Uses only dry ice that disappears, leaving no chemical residue or blast media to clean up.
  • Efficient – Cleans faster than manual scrubbing or scraping. Minimal surface preparation needed.
  • Versatile – Used on virtually any surface, including delicate materials like glass, rubber, plastic, and electronics.
  • Non-abrasive – Does not erode or damage surfaces. Safe for stripping paint or cleaning antiques.
  • Enhanced safety – Reduces exposure to hazardous materials during cleaning.

Factors Affecting Dry Ice Blasting Cost

Prices for dry ice blasting depend primarily on the:

  • Size of area or items to be cleaned – More surface area requires more time, labor, and dry ice media.
  • Type and severity of contaminants – thicker/denser materials like rust, grease, or mold take more effort to remove.
  • Surface material – porous or delicate surfaces may need gentler blasting to prevent damage.
  • Accessibility – difficult to reach areas drive up the service time needed.
  • Project requirements – sensitive surroundings (like electronics) or regulated industries (food processing) may necessitate special precautions.

In general, large industrial cleaning projects tend to have lower per-square-foot costs due to their scale, while specialty cleaning or restoration work costs more per hour due to intricacy.

Comparing Costs: Dry Ice Blasting vs. Traditional Methods

Dry ice blasting provides extensive savings over traditional cleaning methods:

  • Labor – Cleans 5-10 times faster than manual methods like scraping or sanding. Reduces labor hours and costs.
  • Materials – No secondary waste removal or disposal fees. Minimal surface prep is needed. Saves on media, solvents, and consumables.
  • Downtime – Non-abrasive process that lets production resume quickly after cleaning. Minimizes equipment downtime and lost productivity.
  • Cleanup – No containment or cleanup of blast media is required. Reduces ancillary labor and waste costs.
  • Asset life – Gentle cleaning preserves asset integrity and longevity. Extends the lifespan of expensive equipment.

Though initial per-square-foot costs may be higher than other methods, the total project savings make dry ice blasting highly cost-competitive for industrial users.

You might also like our articles about the cost of sandblasting, pool tile cleaning, or carbon buildup cleaning.

Calculating Your Dry Ice Blasting Needs

Dry Ice BlastingTo estimate prices for your specific project, note details like:

  • Total surface area to be cleaned
  • Type of substrate or coating being removed
  • Level of surface contamination
  • Access limitations
  • Any required surface prep or containment

Factor per-square-foot rates ranging from $0.20 – $3 based on complexity.

For specialty cleaning, precision work, or restoration projects, expect hourly service rates of around $80 – $150.

Consult with providers about your unique parameters. Many will provide free consultations or quotes to match the right solution to your cleaning goals.

Choosing a Dry Ice Blasting Provider

When selecting a service provider, consider:

  • Experience – Look for certified technicians with training in industrial cleaning applications.
  • Safety record – Ensure they follow hazardous waste handling guidelines and have no major violations.
  • Efficiency – Ask about their production rates and equipment capabilities to gauge cost-effectiveness.
  • Services – Can they provide turnkey solutions including containment, waste handling, and project management?
  • Reputation – Check client reviews and satisfaction ratings. Good contractors value client relationships.

While weighing cost, don’t sacrifice quality. Opting for the lowest bid could result in shoddy work requiring re-dos. Investing in reputable providers skilled in dry ice blasting yields better long-term equipment health.


Dry ice blasting offers an eco-friendly, non-abrasive cleaning method that outperforms traditional techniques in cost-efficiency and effectiveness.

Typical costs range from $0.20 – $3 per square foot for general surface cleaning, and $80 – $150 per hour for specialty work. Factors like job size, material complexity, and contamination levels all influence price.

To get the best value for your specific dry ice blasting needs, consult certified providers for quotes. With proper planning and selection, companies can improve operational efficiency, extend asset lifespan, and achieve a cleaner working environment through this innovative cleaning technology.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does dry ice blasting remove rust?

Yes, dry ice blasting is highly effective at removing rust. The kinetic force of the dry ice pellets dislodges and breaks apart rust formations upon impact. This allows the sublimating CO2 gas to lift the loosened corrosion away.

Dry ice blasting removes rust from metal surfaces, tools, equipment, vehicles, and architectural features with precision control and no surface damage. It excels at rust removal over chemical stripping or manual abrasion methods.

The process can rapidly clean corroded industrial parts down to a near-white finish for painting or coating. Dry ice blasting removes stubborn rust buildup while being gentle on delicate underlying materials.

With no media to contain, it also minimizes exposure risks and secondary waste. The non-abrasive nature makes it ideal for removing rust from antiques or sensitive equipment. While results vary by rust thickness, dry ice blasting provides a fast, safe method for corrosion removal across many industries.

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