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

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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 also isn’t something most people will be able to do at home; Kosilla said he was just looking to learn and see if dry-ice 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.

Ammo NYC cleans an engine bay with dry ice: Before and after

Ammo NYC cleans an engine bay with dry ice: Before and after

Unlike a power washer, the dry-ice nozzle also doesn’t clean the surrounding area, Kosilla noted. That precision can be helpful, but it also means intricate work requires patience, and a nozzle that can spray dry-ice 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.

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