How To Clean A Screen Printing Screen [A Simple Guide]

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Screen printing is a very popular technique for creating unique designs on t-shirts and other clothing items, and all other kinds of objects. With the screen printing industry continuously growing thanks to the demand for things ranging from band shirts to circuit boards, many different types of screen printing have also made it essential to devise other ways of cleaning screen printing screens. Here is how to do it step by step:

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    Cleaning a screen printing screen is extremely important if you wish your images to keep their quality between different printings. Some ink will stick to the screen each time, damaging the next image unless it is cleaned off fully. Here are the steps for you to follow to prevent this from happening.

    Cleaning A Screen Printing Screen

    First you will need to clean both the screen printing frames and the screen printer itself by removing any ink that may have stuck to them during the previous print job.

    Using an emulsion remover to clean the screen is a very important part of the cleaning process. This is best done with a power washer, as this tool has enough force to scrape any ink that remained on this horizontal surface.

    The process of cleaning a screen printer screen

    Dipping the screen in the dip tank solution for several minutes beforehand should be able to dissolve the emulsion to the point where it can easily be cleaned off.

    Once you had the screen sit in the dip tank solution, most of the stains should be cleaned off. If not, you will need to reapply the chemicals and repeat the process outlined in the previous step.

    Next up, remove the screen from the dip tank and prepare your power washer to clean off any remaining dissolved ink.

    After you have thoroughly cleaned off all the ink, make sure to check the screen for image stain remnants. If there are any, you will need to use the haze remover in addition to normal cleaning process before the mesh is ready for the next job.

    Finally, you are going to have to degrease the screen, using soap or detergents to remove the emulsion from it. Finally, frame the screen again to have it ready for the next cleaning.

    How to dehaze a screen printing screen?

    In addition to regular cleaning, sometimes you will have to reclaim screens by dehazing them. This process is necessary when your regular wash leaves a stain or some other residue on the screen, and helps you clean out the screen fully.

    1. First, put your screen in the water and let it soak completely.
    2. Spray the dehazer all over the screen to have it get into contact with all the stains on the surface
    3. Scrub off the stain with a brush. Pick a brush made out of a material that won’t damage the screen itself. If your dehazer has had enough time to work, there will be no issue in removing the stain this way, especially if you have been using water-based inks.
    4. Let the rubbed screen rest for a while, so that the dehazer can continue doing its job.
    5. Finally, rinse the dehazing agent in clean water, making sure it doesn’t get in contact with exposed skin or in your eyes, as it is highly toxic. Properly dehazing the screen will keep it ready for the next project, greatly increasing the quality of the print job.

    Conclusion

    Cleaning and dehazing your screen is an essential part of the screen printing process as it allows for a much more consistent print quality. Having a badly prepared screen often results in unclear and botched images or even an image stain from the previous printing. Therefore, you should always take time to clean the screen between prints.

    FAQ

    What can I use to clean screen printing screen?

    Cleaning a screen printing screen is usually done by using an emulsion that dissolves it, as well as a dehazer to remove stains. Having a power washer helps as well, but it may not be necessary in home conditions. The type of emulsion and dehazer will depend on your ink’s composition.

    How do you get dried ink off a screen?

    Dried ink can be removed from a printing screen by using various emulsions and dehazers. Depending on the type of the ink you are using, different tools may be needed. Look at the ink bottle for the recommended way to remove it.

    How do you clean silk screen after printing?

    Silk screens are some of the easiest ones to clean, and usually a combination of the right emulsion (just make sure it doesn’t damage the silk) and some water will do the trick. For optimal results use a power washer to forcefully remove dissolved ink from the screen

    How do you clean a speedball screen print?

    Depending on the type of the ink you were using, different methods may be needed. That being said, the speedball print packaging and website will usually give you the information that you need when it comes to removing the ink in any particular bottle.

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