Soda blasting is a specialty process that is used for applications where surface ‘sensitivity’ is critical. Soda (actually sodium bicarbonate or baking soda) blast media is a very soft media that can be used for stripping on a variety of surfaces including thin metals, aluminum, fiberglass, wood and glass without causing warping, etching or pitting. Many abrasive blasting media can also be used for these applications but different types may be needed for different applications.
The major reasons that soda blasting is not more popular include the cost of the media itself, the non-recyclability of the media (it can only be used once) and the requirement for specialty blasting equipment.
Baking soda (and anyone with a box in their refrigerator know this) absorbs all kinds of things including moisture very quickly. Super dry air is a necessity for soda blasting. Air driers and chillers also add to the difficulty and cost of soda blasting.