Dry ice cleaning car company special edition - specialist article
Without water and chemicals
Better cleaning results in less time - dry ice makes it possible.
Less time spent, reduced costs, better results - that sounds too good to be true. But that is exactly what happened when cleaning the interiors of vehicles at the Reisacher dealership in Memmingen. Since November of last year, the inside of new and used vehicles as well as customer vehicles have been cleaned with dry ice. This is made possible by the company Dry Ice Energy, which has developed a small, handy device for this application - the size of a standard vacuum cleaner for commercial use. "This enabled us to reduce the time required for cleaning the interior by around 20 minutes," explains customer service advisor Herrmann Haller. The vehicle preparation is carried out in the BMW dealership by the company's own Reisacher Service eK. Four employees process around 1.200 used vehicles and around 700 new vehicles per year. There are also around 500 customer vehicles.
This means that with this volume, around 800 hours are accumulated in vehicle preparation, during which the car dealership can use the employees for further preparation - for example for more customer orders. Because the customer can have his vehicle completely refurbished at Reisacher for 179 euros. In addition, according to the processing team leader, Armin Kraemer, the Memmingers save around five euros in material per vehicle. Because when cleaning interior spaces with dry ice, hardly any chemical cleaning agents and only little water are used. During cleaning, the layer of dirt to be removed is suddenly cooled and embrittled by the dry ice pellets, which are cold at minus 79 degrees Celsius. Subsequent dry ice pellets penetrate the cracks and blast the dirt particles off the surface. “The surfaces, which are often sensitive, are not damaged in the process,” says Haller. The handy dry ice blasting machine "Champ" is limited to a pneumatic pressure of 5,5 bar. "This makes it perfect for metered use in the car interior," explains Gerhard Weger, Managing Director of Dry Ice Energy.
Dirt particles can be vacuumed off
Goo, oils and fats would be dissolved. “Normal dirt particles are created that can be vacuumed off. The cold causes the molecules to ball together, ”explains Weger.
At the moment a lot is being tried out in the workshops, every stain is different. “The processors learn something new every day, although we usually have to deal with professionals, that is, these people know what is possible and what is not,” Weger describes. "With each application you learn more how to use the machine optimally, there are now also tricks for certain stains - for example by using chemicals to prepare cleaning and then using dry ice to make the stain disappear", confirms Haller. The dry ice sublimates and increases its volume by about 700 to 1.000 times. This accelerates the cleaning effect even more. Even very sensitive surfaces can be freed from dirt when dosed skillfully. The remaining dry dirt can be disposed of immediately and easily. And that is exactly another advantage of cleaning the interior with dry ice: the surfaces do not get wet. This means that the vehicle can be returned to the customer immediately after cleaning and vacuuming the dirt particles. In addition, there are no unpleasant smells that would otherwise draw the driver's attention to the fact that chemicals have been used. "The dry ice machine has advantages over conventional cleaning, especially in air shafts and confined spaces," reports Haller. At Rei-sacher, the entire interior would be cleaned with the device.
This also includes sensitive surfaces such as screens or touchscreens. Door rubbers could also be cleaned perfectly with the device. The processing specialists in Memmingen only use the device for fabrics and leathers, however, if there is minor dirt or stains. “We still clean large surfaces with our tornado,” says Haller. Dry ice is solid CO2. “Our CO2 is created during the production of chemical compounds in the chemical industry. Instead of emitting it into the atmosphere, we are putting it to a useful purpose, namely to save water and chemicals in all types of cleaning applications, ”explains Weger. The dry ice from Dry Ice Energy is available at any time within 24 hours at almost any location in Central Europe. The dry ice produced by the company itself is supplied with a grain size of 1,5 millimeters. According to Weger, this grain size has proven to be optimal for use in vehicle interiors. Ice pellets with a grain size of about three millimeters are commercially available. “We send the dry ice in boxes of 28 kilograms each. That's just about the size of the package, which means we get a good price for delivery, ”says Weger.