Using a Soda Blast to Clean Your Boat Hull

What You'll Need
Thick clothing
Protective goggles
Sodium bicarbonate
Soda blasting gun
Air compressor

The hull of a boat is prone to grime, dirt and organism growth, which can be cleaned with a soda blast machine. When you think about abrasive blasting, many people immediately think about sand blasting. Abrasive blasting is actually much more than using sand to refinish a surface, as you can use plastic beads, glass beads and even ground up walnut shells. The hull of a boat is made from fiberglass. Cleaning the hull of a boat with any medium harder than sodium bicarbonate can damage it, and walnut shells are too soft to properly do the job. Sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda, and it is environmentally friendly. The article below will show you how to use soda blasting to clean the hull of a boat.

Step 1 – Your Safety

Soda blasting is safe, but this should not stop you from taking precautions from several possible problems you may face. When you soda blast, you are effectively super charging the sodium bicarbonate. This means that the sodium bicarbonate is traveling at very fast speeds, which heats the material. If this gets on your skin it can burn you. You should also not inhale it. Your eyes and head are also problem areas when you soda blast. Wear thick clothing with long sleeves and full legs. Use a respirator or facemask, to protect your mouth, and protective glasses to protect your eyes. Wear a hat to protect your head as well. Always make sure your body is covered head to toe, prior to working with a soda blast machine.

Step 2 – Setting the Unit Up

A soda blast machine is a fairly simple device, that is not at all difficult to put together or use. There is the sand blast gun, which us is used to propel the sodium bicarbonate, along with a canister which contains the sodium bicarbonate. The final piece of the puzzle is the air compressor, which powers the gun and feeds it the sodium bicarbonate. Use the hoses to connect the gun to the canister, and the canister to the air compressor. Tighten the hoses with a wrench. Close all of the air valves, and fill the canister with the sodium bicarbonate to the engraved line. Close the lid and pull the ring, to make it airtight. Plug in or gas up the compressor, and turn it on.

Step 3 – Soda Blast the Boat Hull

Since you will be cleaning the hull at a distance, set the PSI to 80. Open the valve on the nozzle and aim the gun at the hull. Pull the trigger, to propel the sodium bicarbonate at the hull of the boat. You will notice the hull becoming clean. Move the gun around, to hit the hull at all angles. The sodium bicarbonate will leave behind a residue. This is not damaging to the boat hull, but you can wash it off it you choose to.