Our first lesson in Screen Printing!
DEGREASING! This is the first step to any job because in order to make a great print, you have to use a great stencil! Degreasing simply means that you will be removing any dust particles, dirt, hair or residual oils (from your hands touching the mesh or even left over from previous ink) from the screen. Degreasing your screens will allow your emulsion or stencil material to form a stronger bond with the mesh, creating a longer-lasting, more durable stencil. If you do not degrease your screens before you coat them, your emulsion will deteriorate much quicker causing problems during the print-process.
If you aren’t planning on using your newly re-claimed, or newly purchased screens in the near future, you should wait to degrease them. After the screens have been degreased and air-dried, they need to be kept in a “dust-free” environment to avoid contaminating them with particles and destroying all the work you just put into cleaning them! Since “dust-free” environments are hard to manage sometimes, its a better idea to degrease your screens a day or a few hours ahead of when you plan on coating them.
In this video, I am using our KDL Blackline Washout booth and a pressure washer. A garden hose will also work well, and remember if you are using a pressure washer, you need to be gentle as it is easy to blow holes through the mesh or lessen the tension of your screen. We recommend the Enviro Clean Degreaser (especially for print shops in residential neighborhoods), however there is also the CCI Nutralyze Screen Degreaser. In this example I will be using Dawn Dish Detergent which required my extra attention to make sure it had no added moisturizers or fragrance. Using a non-abrasive Scrub along with the degreaser, I gently rub in clockwise patterns on both sides of my screen. Once the mesh has been cleaned I throughly rinse both sides. Try to always rinse from top to bottom so that nothing drips back down into your clean screen.
This was the 1st time I’d ever degreased a screen! So if I can do it, you can do it!
All of the items we used in this video can be bought from SilkScreeningSupplies.com.