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Slam-Dunk Solutions for Screen Cleaning

(August 2013) posted on Tue Aug 20, 2013

Make the most of your screen-reclaiming efforts by following the tips presented here.

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The steps to application are: Place the screen in washout booth and thoroughly wet with water; apply the degreaser onto a brush or directly onto the screen; scrub the mesh on both sides, letting it lather up. Rinse the screen with a pressure washer to remove all product from both sides, especially around frame edges. Next, flood the screen. Now you have a screen that will enable the emulsion or capillary film to freely adhere to the mesh. Finally, let the screen dry in a clean, dust-free area. If you are able to, go the extra mile and include a drying cabinet. This piece of equipment can also be used to store screens that have been coated with emulsion. The cabinet will keep them light-safe.

A color change on-press due to a smeared image or the need to change colors during the press run can be best accomplished by choosing a non-flammable on-press ink remover that will quickly flash off. Again, choose an eco-friendly chemical that can also be safely disposed of as a solid waste when it has dried on the rag. Again, opt to check out/choose a biodegradable, eco-sensitive product that will work rapidly and efficiently on plastisol inks, leaving no solvent residue on the screen (you will probably need to test a few products).

Screen wash (Figure 1) is used after you have finished the printing project. A water-soluble screen wash with a high flash point to remove plastisol ink from the screen emulsifies ink rapidly and rinses off easily with water. During your product-testing phase, make sure that the product you choose does not leave a residue.

Here are the steps for ink removal: Using a squeegee or card, scrape off the excess ink from your screen. Place the screen in washout booth. Spray the product directly onto both sides of screen. The ink will start to liquefy. Using a brush, scrub back and forth, up and down, on both sides of the screen, adding a little product as needed, agitating the mesh to free the ink. Rinse off both sides of screen with your commercial pressure washer and watch the ink run off. If you miss a spot, just agitate a little more and rinse off with the pressure washer. Remember, choosing a product that is biodegradable and eco-sensitive and meets VOC Regulations, Rule 1171 will be an ideal choice.


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