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Screen Printing Tip: Degrease Your Screen

To ensure the highest stencil quality, you need to start with a screen that is free of grease, oil and dirt. In this post Mick Orr, Technical Guru and Applications Specialist for Chromaline, covers degreasing a screen for screen printing.

Degreasing a Screen for Screen Printing

ALL screens must be degreased prior to applying emulsion or capillary film. Always. No exceptions. Whether you have a brand new mesh or you just finished printing and reclaiming, degrease your screen. Degreasing is important to get your screen clean so that you can coat your stencil properly. If there is grease, oil or dirt left on the screen, they can cause the emulsion to separate and may cause premature screen breakdown.

Degrease A Screen in Four Simple Steps

1. Wet the screen.
2. Apply the degreaser.
3. Scrub both sides of the screen with a brush until the degreaser starts to foam.
4. Rinse both sides of the screen and dry.

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Note: After you degrease your screen, do NOT touch the mesh with your hands as this will transfer skin oil onto your screen. Keep your screen in a clean, dry environment after degreasing until you are ready to use it.

What Brush Should I Use To Degrease My Screen?

The best brush to use for degreasing your screen is one that is all plastic. If your brush has metal on it, eventually that metal will rust and cause issues when degreasing your screen. Keep a brush that you use only for degreasing and nothing else.

DO NOT use woven scrub pads. The small fibers break loose and find themselves stuck into the mesh. When using liquid emulsions, these fibers create weak spots in the stencil, can cause pinholes, and can interfere with fine details.

What Degreaser Should I Use To Degrease My Screen?

Chromaline makes two degreasers, Chroma/Clean and Degreaser 260. Either degreaser will work for degreasing your screens. Chroma/Clean comes in quart and one gallon and is less expensive. Degreaser 260 comes in 1 gallon and 5 gallon and is more expensive due to it being a multi-purpose product. Which one you choose will depend on your needs.

Chroma/Clean is a mesh degreaser that removes oily residues that interfere with adhesion to mesh. Degreasing with Chroma/Clean prevents premature breakdown caused by contaminants such as skin oil.

Degreaser 260 is a multi-purpose, concentrated citrus product that does the job of three products in one. This non-abrasive, water-based formula degreases new and used mesh and removes unwanted residue. As a nonflammable ink degrader, it emulsifies inks for easy water removal before reclaiming. Finally, it is a safe, non-caustic screen dehazer that will not deteriorate the mesh and will not burn skin or clothing.

Contact Chromaline Today

If you have any further questions about degreasing a screen for screen printing, please contact us today.