Anyone With Soda Blast Experience?

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by NIKwoaC, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. I dabbled into some soda blasting today and I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the results. I used the "jam an air blow gun in one end of a tube and stick the other end in a bag of baking soda" method that so many people on the internet seem to have success with, yet I found it to be very ineffective, slow, and it uses a LOT of soda. I used my buddy's 30 gallon, 6 SCFM @ 90 psi compressor, so I don't imagine that was the problem...?

    Disclaimer: this was just an experiment to see how well soda blasting worked workout spending a bunch of money. Hell yes I have pink duck tape.

    Here is my setup:

    Oil pump driveshaft to keep the tube straight in the bag, haha.


    Here are my results:

    Before: 20170420_062712.jpg



    Left side is unblasted:


    That area around the Ford logo took me about 20 minutes and at least 1.5 lbs of soda. Not only that, but because the process was so slow, my gun kept freezing up and then the soda would jam. Ambient temp was in the 60s.

    Thoughts? Is this just how soda blasting is, or do I need to rethink my gun?
  2. Siphon guns/sprayers have worked really well for me,though I've only tried it a few times,the longer nozzle helps ,but can gouge parts if you linger in one spot to long(guess how I know lol.)


    RangerJoe likes this.
  3. Yeah, you'll have much better results with an actual setup designed for blasting with a nozzle on it to create the velocity you need. Most good blasting nozzle are ceramic so the abrasive doesn't wear it away as fast. Also, the larger compressor the better with blasting. It doesn't take long to deplete a tank style compressor, causing time consuming recharging.
  4. I just take my junk to the guy that I pay to do it for me...Wait 2 days,....


    Then he calls me, and it's all soda blasted done.
  5. Why soda? There was a point in time I had a blasting cabinet in my garage and sand did everything I needed it to do without removing too much of the substrate.
    Davedacarpainter and A5literMan like this.
  6. Some sort of capture, filter, re-use set-up would cut down on soda usage though have never tried this with soda so??? The soda is really fine though and definitely will be affected by moisture (clogging) if you don't have an air dryer...
  7. And the cabinet can be used for bead blasting too
  8. i use aluminum oxide.... works great. this was painted and pretty nasty when i got it

    Attached Files:

    74stang2togo likes this.
  9. Understood on the gun thing, I just didn't want to invest any real money until I experimented with this cheap method to see if it was viable for me. So far I'm not convinced, but maybe I truly need a lot better equipment.

    The compressor seemed to do OK, it's a 155 psi unit that recharges around 120ish psi, and I was blasting at 90-100 psi, so for the 30 minutes I was playing around with it, air supply wasn't really a problem.

    So how much does he charge you? I've toyed with the idea of farming this out, but I can borrow my buddy's compressor for free and a halfway decent gravity feed blaster gun is less than ~$60...

    I've played with the thought of buying/building a cabinet, but I'm basically at full capacity in my garage while still actually being able to use it for car storage. Plus it's one of those tools that I just wouldn't use frequently enough to justify it.

    We have a sand blast cabinet at work, but the media they use with it is way too aggressive for my taste. It leaves aluminum looking like coarse grit sandpaper.
    hoopty5.0 likes this.
  10. We use both an Aluminum oxide/glass bead mix (80-100grit) and a finer 100-200 glass bead media on all of our Aluminum parts. The 80 grit is probably a bit rough for a nice finished look, the other is real nice. I'm fairly sure the Alum-Oxide can be had in finer grits as well. The glass runs upwards of 600 grit fwiw...
    Boosted92LX likes this.

  11. I did find this but I don't think will help much:


    ...and I dunno why it came up in a search for "Soda Blast". :shrug:
  12. Nik, another thing to consider on the time it took, other than not having a nozzle to concentrate the media (that's what it looked like to me) is that soda is not a very abrasive media, and it will take longer than glass beads or black beauty, shark bite, etc. That may be something you want to look into.
    RaggedGT likes this.
  13. I here you on the space in the My friends describe mine as being a five car garage stuffed into a one car bay.

    I blasted a lot of stuff over the past months with my friends loner: full floor model Harbor Freight unit. I loved it! Before he wanted it back, that is. I don't feel I have another inch of space available, but I think I'm going all in on the medium size HF counter-top cabinet. The results were just so awesome blasting almost everything I could fit into into the big box.

    With a 25% off coupon, around a holiday, you can get the med. unit for about $75.

    The cast part that you're working with; I'd have it looking like new money in minutes, using the cabinet filled with medium silica. It look pretty porous anyway.

    Soda Blasting is a bit messy, and any moisture ruins the day....

    Just a suggestion though: We actually used a cardboard box as a blast cabinet to clean off some aluminium rims that wouldn't fit into the big cabinet. It went very well. I'd think, with general play sand and an inexpensive spot blast gun, also from Harbor Freight you be very happy withthe results, and you through the box away when your done and the sand onto the lawn for

    Hope this helps.
  14. I think it is less aggressive with a finer finish. But heat warping thinner panels is supposed to be harder with soda than sand. Besides, sand gets everywhere (like the beach) and is a pain to clean up. Soda should form a base solution to help reduce further rusting, especially around the battery acid areas.
  15. I'm late to this party, but can add to the conversation. Soda blasting is a slow process. The explosion from the soda impacting the piece being blasted, is what does the cutting. Sand is a much better blast media. Just adjust your pressure accordingly. Also,....... warpage of thinner metals is NOT caused by heat, created from friction of the media used. Warpage is cause from stretching of the steel. Imagine the sand as little hammers beating the panel. One side stretches, the other doesn't. Something has gotta give
  16. I have Never heard that explanation of why you can warp things with sandblasting, and it makes a lot of sense.