Dry Ice Blasting vs Traditional Industrial Cleaning

Apr 5, 2024 | Dry Ice Blasting

What does it really cost to clean with dry ice blasting?

Let’s compare dry ice cleaning with traditional, caustic-based, labor-intensive industrial cleaning techniques.


A well-equipped dry ice blasting crew can typically clean up to 500 sq ft of contaminated surface per hour.

  • No grit
  • No water
  • No chemicals or solvents
  • No secondary waste to be disposed of; such as chemical-soaked rags, cleaning wipes, etc.

It generally requires twice the labor to clean the same amount of contaminant using traditional industrial cleaning solutions. And traditional cleaning methods produce substantially more waste -which is primarily toxic -and requires hazardous-waste disposal. 


Pricing for dry ice blast cleaning usually starts around $3.50 per square foot, but can also range as high as $4.00 to $5.00 per square foot depending on what is being cleaned, where the cleaning is taking place, how stubborn is and how deeply the contaminant has adhered to the substrate. 

This price is all-inclusive  and covers all the time and materials required to complete the job to your satisfaction. 

Using traditional cleaning methods, a typical cleaning crew, cleaning this same equipment by hand with all the appropriate safety gear, chemicals, rags, cleaning wipes and disposal procedures, will cost an additional 30%-35% over and above the cost of a dry ice blast cleaning.

CASE STUDY: Printing Press Operation

To maintain print quality and accuracy, printing press operations require routine cleaning and calibration.

Let’s compare cleaning methods and cost.

Most printing press operators will pay a crew of 6 employees, earning on average $30.00/hour (w/benefits, taxes, and ins.) to clean their printing machines at least once a month.

The traditional cleaning process requires shutting down the equipment, disassembling the parts, using harsh chemicals, and a lot of labor.

Then the cleaning crew needs to wait for the printing equipment to dry before the printing presses can be reassembled. 

It would take this 6-man crew approximately 24 labor-hours to complete and they will use well over $150.00 worth of caustic cleaning chemicals and supplies. 

That’s more than $4,450.00 per cleaning and $54,00.00 per year in labor and material costs alone. 

We should also consider that while the equipment is being serviced, the printing presses have stopped!  They are not producing a product.

No Product = No Sales = No Revenue

Now, let’s use dry ice blasting services in the exact same scenario. 

Using a dry ice blast cleaning process, no disassembly is required, no harsh chemicals are used, and equipment is immediately ready for use. 

In many cases, the presses can continue to run with minimum disruption.

The same service that cost the print operator $4,450.00 to perform manually, only costs $3,115.00 with dry ice blasting.

Cleaning a printing press with dry ice blasting saves over 30%!

If we then multiply that by 12 monthly cleanings, we’ve saved this printing press operator $16, 020.00 with dry ice blast cleaning services.

Dry ice blasting costs far less than traditional cleaning methods!

Want to learn more about how we can save you money? 

Please give us the opportunity to share our expertise in safe, effective industrial cleaning solutions:  Contact Us

Photos and videos of our work can also be found on our YouTube page, at https://www.youtube.com/user/DryIceWorksBetter/videos

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