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There are multiple applications for pressurewashers, and one that is gaining popularity is blasting with alternative media with or without water.
This procedure consists of cleaning by blasting particles of solid material on the surface. The material used varies from sodium bicarbonate (soda), to ground pecan shells, ice, ground corn cobs and gemstones! The harder materials are used for abrasive jobs whereas the softer media is used at lower pressures to clean less resilient surfaces.
Besides doing a great job of heavy cleaning such as paint stripping, using alternative media has a growing acceptance among environmentally aware users looking for applications for renewable materials.