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Differentiating Sandblasting and Sodablasting

Sandblasting and Sodablasting Services in Chicagoland and Northwestern Indiana

In addition to the revolutionary, green method of vapor blasting that McCahill Painting offers its clients, there are two classic methods that may also be the most suitable option for many projects. These methods, sandblasting and sodablasting, are mentioned elsewhere on our website. To minimize any confusion about the similarities and differences of sandblasting and sodablasting, we decided to post a blog about this.

What is sandblasting?

Sandblasting, sometimes spelled ‘sand blasting,’ is a blasting method that oftentimes uses sand, or another dry material, at high pressure toward a surface. Sandblasting is the common term for different types of abrasive blasting, including dry blasting. In addition to sand, other dry abrasives can include glass beads, coconut shells, and walnut shells. A well-known utilizer of sandblasting techniques was the U.S. Navy.

What is sodablasting?

While sandblasting is considered ‘abrasive blasting,’ sodablasting is thought of by many to be non-abrasive. Sodablasting uses sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, to remove contaminants and/or to smooth the surface. Whereas sandblasting uses extremely dry abrasives, sodablasting incorporates baking soda for both gentle and extreme effectiveness. A well-known project that incorporated sodablasting was the restoration of the Statue of Liberty.


Sandblasting and Sodablasting: Side-by-Side

Sandblasting Sodablasting
Preferred for institutional blasting Preferred for industrial blasting
Effective at removing rust Effective on plastic, wood, and chrome
Less environmentally friendly More environmentally friendly
Quick cleaning Gentle cleaning
Lower cost Higher cost
Simply blasts Deodorizes and sanitizes
Materials can be reused Materials can only be used once
Wide areas Condense areas
Requires more safety precautions Requires fewer safety precautions
Often used for metal and machinery Often used for mold, smoke and other damage


We hope that this information is helpful! Please feel free to call us or e-mail us at with any questions!


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