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1  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: The photo emulsion just wont come off!! on: August 21, 2008 12:55:18 PM
I said this same thing in reply to another post.  You may be doomed.  The issue is to prevent the problem before it starts.  You need to shoot the screen as soon as the emulsion is dry.  If you can't immediately then you need to store it a dark, cool place.  Most of the time this is the problem.  I would also try a flat tray full of bleach water, soaking your screen for ten minutes and then washing it out.  (Bleach is not as toxic to your screen or the environment as screen cleaner but they want you to believe you need it so they can sell it.)  If the screen was exposed properly and in a timely fashion all of the emulsion should come right out.  If you have to scrub it probably isn't coming out, it never has for me.  I learned this the hard way and then took a class with someone who had been silkscreening for 25 years and she said that was my problem.  It doesn't happen anymore.
2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Re: HELP! I can't get all the photo emulsion out of my screen on: August 21, 2008 12:44:30 PM
There are a number of things to be aware of in this situation.  First I would look at how to avoid this problem in the future.  It is not just how long the emusion stays on the screen.  Your bigger problem is how long you let the emulsion sit on the screen before you expose it.  If you do not expose it right away (literally) and any light hits the screen it begins exposing the whole thing and it makes it near impossible to reclaim.  I have reclaimed screens that have emulsion on them for months.
The second thing is ouch! you are hurting that screen.  I used to use Franmar screen cleaner before an experienced screenprinter told me that chemical screen cleaner is worse for your screens than bleach (not to mention way more expensive) and it is not something you want going down the drain. TOXIC.  If you look online you can find a new line of screen cleaners and degreasers that are made from soy so they aren't toxic in the wastewater or on your screen.  And scrubbing for an hour also hurts your screen.  That will shorten the life of your screen immensely.  I suggest soaking the screen in a large flat tray with bleach water for ten minutes and then spraying well.  It is well worth it to invest sixty dollars in a small pressure washer available at any home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's.  Often the problem in having leftover ink and emulsion on a screen is not having enough water pressure when cleaning the screen.  But trying to prevent this in this first place will make your life easier.
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