“There are some less aggressive media including poly, walnut shell, corn husk and others available for the purpose of stripping paint from auto bodies, however, they can require a great deal of work to clean up from the area when the job is done and will leave residual particles in the car body’s seams and crevices. Another alternative, rapidly increasing in popularity, is bicarbonate of soda, more commonly known as ‘soda blasting.’ The technology is fairly recent, having been developed in the mid ’80s primarily for the purpose of cleaning the Statue of Liberty inside and out – a delicate task requiring effectiveness without damage.

“Fast forward some 20 years and we now have the benefit of equipment easily obtainable to the average hobbyist who wishes to strip paint from his pride and joy without inflicting damage. In fact, a car can be stripped of its paint while leaving all trim, rubber, and glass IN PLACE with no harm to those components! Additionally, no panel-damaging heat is generated, and the surface is left smooth and texture free, even on aluminum and fiberglass. This occurs because the soda particles completely shatter into dust after striking and removing the paint without harming the base metal or fiberglass. We recently stripped the paint on a classic Chevy pickup using Eastwood’s soda blaster and discovered original factory sanding marks on the fender. These were actually left intact, but the paint was gone!

“The soda will also leave a light, dusty protective film on panels helping to prevent surface rust for up to several months. This is simply rinsed away with water prior to painting and you only need to rinse out seams and crevices to remove stray dust particles. Perhaps the best feature of soda is the fact that it is completely inert and water soluble, saving a great deal of cleanup time when the job is done. Of course the proper steps should be taken to recover removed paint particles before getting out the hose and washing the dust away.

“An additional use for soda as a blasting media is the ability to clean and degrease complex mechanical assemblies such as transmissions or rear axles with no harm to internal moving parts. Many folks also use it to clean underhood areas with no removal of or harm to components or wiring.”

With this newfound bit of information, and a perfect candidate for a paint-stripping job waiting patiently in my garage, I had Joe ship me one of their soda conversion kits to see just how well it worked. Well, as is always the case with a new piece of Eastwood equipment, I was pleased with just how well it worked. So, with this in mind, I chronicled my Saturday afternoon paint-stripping job so I could share my experience. Take a look and see for yourself how another Eastwood product is making my home shop chores easier, less dangerous, and far less expensive than farming out to a professional shop.

Eastwood Company
263 Shoemaker Road
PA  19464