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How to use dry ice to clean the engine and underside of your car

Professional blasting method probably not for typical home hobbyist


Ammo NYC founder Larry Kosilla is a car-detailing fanatic, meaning he’s always searching for new ways to make cars look immaculate. One of the more-unusual techniques in his repertoire is cleaning an engine bay with dry ice.

The process, which involves blasting surfaces with dry ice to remove dirt, has taken off in the car-detailing world recently, but has actually been used for many years in other industries, Kosilla noted in a video explaining the process. That process isn’t something most people will be able to do at home; Kosilla said he was just looking to learn and see if the blasting was worth offering as a professional service.

For the video, Kosilla demonstrated with his own 964-generation Porsche 911, with plenty of grime caked onto components in its tight engine bay. To clean those parts, Kosilla simply sprayed dry ice using compressed air, although to get the required pressure, he needed to rent a large diesel-powered air compressor.

Unlike a power washer, the dry-ice nozzle doesn’t clean the surrounding area, Kosilla noted. That precision can be helpful, but it also means intricate work requiring patience, and a nozzle that can spray the pellets into every nook and cranny. Any removed dirt and grime also tends to get sprayed everywhere, Kosilla noted.

Still, the dry ice did an impressive job of removing years of built-up grime, and even stickers from an anti-roll bar.

Unless you’ve got a massive air compressor, a lift, and a large space you’re willing to get dirty, using dry ice to clean your engine bay might not be the best way to go. But we’ve got plenty of other car-detailing tips in our step-by-step guide.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.



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