06 Apr So Fresh and So Clean: How to clean your screens to last
Cleaning your screen properly can make the difference between your screen lasting 15 years and your screen lasting two months. Just in case you’ve ever stared at the power washer in utter frustration for not doing its job, check yourself and follow these simple steps!
Step 1: CLEAN OUT ALL THE INK. Though plastisol ink can stay in the screen for longer (unlike water based ink), it is crucial that all ink gets cleaned off both the screen and the frame. Any ink stuck in the creases or edges of the screen and/or frame will cause problems later. Remember that 5 extra minutes of cleaning, could save you time and money later!
Step 2: RECLAIMER. Reclaimer is intended for removing emulsion. However, it needs to sit on the screen for a bit to really do its job. Scrub reclaimer well on both sides and let it sit for a few minutes. Letting the chemical do it’s job should make the job easier, even though you may be spending a minute more of your time. If you do not have a backlit wash out station, simply find a source of light and hold the screen to it to make sure all the contaminates and particles are out of the screen completely. Scrub well on both sides and let the chemical sit for a few minutes.
Step 3: HAZE. There are different kinds of haze remover. At GPL, we use EnviroHaze, which is not as strong as the industrial stuff, but is much better for the environment and far less toxic. Haze removes the shadows or ghost images on your screen. You want to make sure you are able to see plenty of light through your screen to ensure it will print properly! Once again, scrub well on both sides and let the chemical sit for a few moments.
Step 4: DEGREASER. Degreasing your screen is arguably the most important step, since it removes the oil and any leftover chemicals, allowing emulsion to sit properly on your screen. For this step, scrub well on both sides (you don’t have to let it sit). Rinse well, set to dry and your screen will thank you later!
NOTE: Also, start with Degreaser for brand new screens.
HAPPY SCREEN PRINTING!!!!!!