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Topic: HELP! I can't get all the photo emulsion out of my screen  (Read 8521 times)
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« on: June 12, 2008 06:00:28 PM »

The screen had emulsion on it for about a week.  But I have been scrubbing and scrubbing with the speedball cleaner that came in the box and I cannot get it all out.  I have been at it for an hour.  Most of it is out but about 1/3 of the screen will not let go of it.  What else can I try?

« Last Edit: June 12, 2008 07:28:28 PM by sabillin » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2008 08:56:07 PM »

Well, after a good number of "chemistry experiments" I finally have the majority of the emulsion out of the screen.  I tried all manner of solutions from my bathroom and found the rubbing alcohol worked fairly well.  Here's what I did (for others who may find themselves in my position)

1. I sprayed rubbing alcohol on the offending parts of my screen.  Spray was all I had but I actually think it covered the screen pretty well, better than pouring would have.

2.  Then I let it sit while I flossed my teeth.  It takes a while since I am one of those grown ups with braces. 

3.  I checked on it and rubbed it a bit with the little nylon brush that we stole from the hospital when we had our daughter 10 years ago.  It was meant for scrubbing her cradle capped head but it works for all kinds of things, turns out.

4.  Then I swished some mouth wash.  Gotta keep the braces ultra clean, ya know.

5.  Then I went back to the screen and scrubbed with the nylon brush for quite a while.  Occasionally I sprayed more alcohol on it and continued to scrub. 

6.  The emulsion came off in little rubbery pilly type things.  I picked those off with my finger nails and then gave it a hard rinse in the shower with the super duper sprayer setting that nobody in their right mind would use because it feels like you are going to loose a layer of skin.  Oh shit, I'd better change the setting back or my husband may need skin grafts! 

7.  Finally I resigned to the fact that, well, that's as good as its going to get and its time to move on with your life.

So I think its going to work for maybe one or two more runs and then I guess I will need to replace the silk.  But I will write again if it turns out I completely trashed my screen.

I hope that helps someone else who may find themselves in my aforementioned predicament.
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008 07:07:26 PM »

Interesting... I was wondering about this myself, as I seem to go through a lot of screen reclaimer. The only answer I can find is equal parts bleach and water + some scrubbing, but I would be afraid of the bleach eating my screen.

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« Reply #3 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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