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Water Blast and Sand Blast

Many of you have heard of sand blasting and have a good idea what the technique involves, but just as many have never heard of using water to sandblast. Sandblasters are wonderful tools that clean and smooth a surface much faster than you could ever do by hand. They are able to get into corners and crevices that you normally can’t reach with fingers or other sanding tools. Let’s discuss sand blasting in general and then narrow this down to wet sandblasting.

In the broadest sense possible, sandblasting is the process of using a machine to assist in sanding and cleaning a surface. The sand blasteris a powerful unit using water or air propelled at high speed to push solid particles across the surface you want cleaned and sanded.

Now let’s focus on wet sand blasting units, which are powered by a pressure washer. These generally come in three types, the first being a light duty sandblaster designed for small jobs and equipped with a ten foot line. Other types include a medium and heavy duty sandblasters that are designed for bigger, industrial sized jobs. These larger units are generally equipped with a 20.5 ft hose and can handle the bigger jobs you want to tackle.

How a Sandblaster Works

The way wet sandblasting works is simple: a probe (line) is used to draw in the sand (or any of the other materials discussed below being used as the abrasive substance) to the power washer extension wand where water will then be used to propel it toward the surface at high speeds. The combination of water and sand or other material easily blasts away the rough spots (rust, dirt) on the item you want cleaned or smoothed. Different materials are used for wet water sandblasting and each one provides a distinctive finish on the surface being cleaned.

Below are three types of wet sand blasting media used in these machines.

  • Baking soda
  • Dry silica sand
  • Washed and dried river sand