How to Degrease a Silkscreen
Wanna learn how to degrease a screen? Well you’ve come to the right place! Maybe you wandered over here from our screen coating post after you read all the reasons why it’s a great idea to degrease your screen before coating, or maybe you coated and burned a screen and you came across some… weirdness during the washout process.
If your screen looks like any of the examples below, come on down to Degreasing Town!
Ok, Seriously, What Does Degreasing Your Screen Really Do and Why Is It So Important?
Well I’m glad you asked! The degreasing chemical is formulated specifically for screen printing purposes. It strips away any chemical residue, left over silicones and oils, and safely removes dirt and dust. Left over oils from the screen factory or cleaning chemicals will physically resist the emulsion. Your freshly coated screen may look fine at first, but you will quickly see after exposure that the stencil will begin to resemble old paint peeling off a wall. At this point there is no use trying to salvage the stencil and you have to start again.
Other times you will notice immediately after coating that the screen is not clean. You'll find that leftover chemical residue will leave emulsion resistant drippy stripes or dust will produce an effect called "flowering". This is where the emulsion will disperse from the center of the dust, dirt or chemical spot. The resisted emulsion creates a weakened area of your stencil, which can cause breakdown in the integrity of the stencil when printing.
3 Examples Where Degreasing Your Screen Is a Must:
Ok So Here’s How Ya Do It:
What if you don’t have any degreasing chemical on hand?
No worries! In a pinch you can you can use a few drops of Dawn dish soap on a sponge and use that instead. Just be sure to thoroughly wash away all suds!
You've Just Degreased Your Screen, Now What?
Once you're mesh is dry you're ready to coat your screen. Just make sure it is completely dry before you begin coating, sometimes water can hide in the crevices of the frame.
Be sure to stay tuned for our next segment on how to coat a screen!
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Hi, I'm India. I'm a full-time print shop owner and part-time screen printing guru. I love helping people get started in screen printing, and I love sharing what I know so that everyone can be empowered to create their own designs on their own terms.