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cleaning problems at 2 stages

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cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby quincy_j_clomo » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:30 pm

I used to screen print shirts for my old band when i was a teenager, just simple stencils made with screen filler. i never had any problems cleaning up. recently, i decided to start screening again and i wanted to try photo emulsion. i am very happy with the level of detail i'm able to achieve, but i'm running into some difficulties.

1) after doing a run of a few shirts, i wanted to rinse out the ink but LEAVE THE EMULSION so i could use the same image later. i was unable to get all of the ink out, and to my dismay, portions of the emulsion washed out, rendering the image useless for further printing. what's more, i was under the impression that plastisol ink would not dry in my screen. i was horribly wrong, and now i'm left with portions of the screen blocked that definitely aren't supposed to be.

2) after all of the above, i figured i would just completely reclaim the screen and start over. i've got it much cleaner than it was, but there are still fine areas of dried ink and large patches of emulsion blocking the screen.

i've tried speedball screen cleaning solution, yudu emulsion remover, easiway 701 screenwash/stain remover, easiway supra ink cleaner & emulsion remover, soap, bleach, and mineral spirits, all with much more elbow grease than it seems they should require. so far, the easiway 701 screenwash/stain remover has been the most effective, but the screen is still far from being usable again.

i've heard that the emulsion might be so hard to wash out because i used too much of it, or because of a reaction to the chemicals i used to try to rinse the ink out. but that doesn't explain why the ink won't come out, or why it dried in the first place (i've read countless times that plastisol inks WILL NOT dry on the screen, at least not in a short period of time).

at this point i've been cleaning my screen for a total of about 7 hours. i know it is not supposed to be this hard.

can anyone please offer advice?
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Re: cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby anthemscreenprinting » Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:02 pm

Plastisol usually will never dry on a screen unless it's been sitting there for a LONG time or if for some reason there is a lot of heat near the screen you are working with. Plastisol does, however, sometimes get CLOGGED in a screen, especially when parts of the image are taped on the print side. When part of an image is taped on the bottom, and you are still running a squeegee over it, it pushes a ton of ink into the screen mesh. Still though, when this happens you should be able to wash it out with the right chemicals. Try Franmar's "Bean-e-doo", it's eco-friendly and works really well. Also, be sure you're using a fairly powerful hose to wash it out with.
Last edited by anthemscreenprinting on Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby d fleming » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:48 pm

No on hose, yes on power washer. You need more than just a hose and nozzle to clean screens. Get some haze remover and ink degradent as well. Speedball, yudu, etc are HOBBY products and crappy ones at that.
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Re: cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby rcarey2011 » Mon May 23, 2011 11:59 pm

No on hose, yes on power washer. You need more than just a hose and nozzle to clean screens. Get some haze remover and ink degradent as well. Speedball, yudu, etc are HOBBY products and crappy ones at that.


I am still very new a screen printing and do not have a hose or power washer... I just use my bathtub and use the nozzle to clean by screen! I use the speedball emulsion remover and it seems like I have to use alot of it to get the emulsion off, and sometimes it never totally comes off! What can I use that is better and more effective?
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Re: cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby d fleming » Thu May 26, 2011 9:51 am

Get a power washer from Lowes or HD, about 80 bucks, hook to hose and clean away. Stop using yudu, speedball, etc and get in the game. How are you drying the plastisol on the shirt?
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Re: cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby rcarey2011 » Thu May 26, 2011 4:07 pm

d fleming wrote:Get a power washer from Lowes or HD, about 80 bucks, hook to hose and clean away. Stop using yudu, speedball, etc and get in the game. How are you drying the plastisol on the shirt?



I should also mention that I don't have a yard where I can go outside and clean the screen. So do you know if there is anything that I could hook on to the faucet on in the bathroom? Right now I have not done alot with Plastisol because I am still new at it and learning the ins and outs of it! Right now the only way I am drying the Plastisol is under the same light that I burn the images with. Any advise about cleaning screens and about Plastisol would be great!!! Right now I am stuck because I have a screen that has a patch of emulsion that is just not coming off. I have tried the emulsion remover and also (I know not great) bleach! Nothing is working!!!!! I could really use some help!!! :)

Thanks!!!!
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Re: cleaning problems at 2 stages

Postby d fleming » Thu May 26, 2011 4:35 pm

Quit using plastisol until you have a proper way to cure it. Minimal a flash unit, properly a flash and small conveyor dryer. If plastisol is not cured fully and properly it will come off in wash and possibly ruin everything in the machine with it as well. You may want to search some water based inks until you do enough to afford/justify better setup to cure plastisol. Melray and Nazdar are good suppliers of quality products and have people who can answer some questions as they arise using product you have purchased from them. As far as screens, take them to a coin operated car wash. Say nothing, act casual.
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