Screen Print: Step Six – Cleaning

Posted on: September 27th, 2014
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Cleaning up 

You need to clean up after each colour. Use a plastic card to scoop the extra ink back into the container. Ink can be scraped off the screen and the squeegee. Sponge the screen with water and a wee bit of soap. Continue cleaning until all ink is removed and your stencil is clear. Remove the tape and block out paper. For the final cleanup, take your screen to the spray room and thoroughly wash out the ink. Make sure all the stain marks are gone; you may want to bring a sponge with you to really get all the ink out. Dry ink left in the screens can contaminate your next exposure, so PLEASE get the ink out of the screen. Clean the squeegee, paint stick, acetate and bowl. Put all tools away and let your screen dry. If you are completely done printing, then re-claim your screen by washing out the emulsion.

To clean out the emulsion, begin by removing all ink and degreasing your screen Apply the spray bottle labeled “Degreaser” (this solution is similar to Mr. Clean). Work the solution into your screen with a brush. Rinse thoroughly with water. To remove the emulsion you will need to turn on the power washer. The switch is located outside the door. Also make sure the fan is on. Spray the emulsion remover on the screen, working it in with the allocated brush. This substance is toxic, so please wear a respirator and nitrile gloves. Let the emulsion remover sit for a couple minutes, rinse lightly first with the hose to reduce the amount of air born chemicals. Then get out the spray gun and wash it all out, working from top to bottom or bottom to top. Make sure that all of the emulsion is gone. With tough spots you can position the spray gun closer to the screen and hold. Also try scrubbing tough spots with more emulsion and repeat rinse cycle. Check your screen against a bright light (holding it up) to make sure it is very clean and clear. You can degrease the screen again once clean, as an extra precaution. If there are no emulsion spots left, then you did a great job! Put your screen away and start getting excited about your next project.

Categorised under: Screenprinting