In this Q&A, Mick addresses a common question we receive about what to do when emulsion remover dries on the screen during the reclaiming process.
Hello. I went to reclaim my screen after printing. I applied Chroma/Strip screen reclaimer but then I got distracted with a phone call and forgot about it. The emulsion remover is now completely dried on the stencil and I can't get the emulsion to wash off. What can I do? Is my screen ruined?
Emulsion remover should NEVER be allowed to dry on your screen. Once the emulsion remover dries on the screen, you will no longer be able to reclaim that screen. Unfortunately, the emulsion is now locked into the screen and the mesh is no longer any good. Your best best is to cut out the screen with a razor and have the frame re-meshed.
Click below to watch a video in which Mick Orr, Applications & Training Specialist for Chromaline Screen Print Products, shows in detail what happens when you let emulsion remover dry on your screen.
How to Remove Emulsion from Screen
When it comes to removing emulsion from your screen, there are a few things to consider. First things first, make sure your screen is coated properly. An unevenly coated screen can cause issues when you try to reclaim the screen. If some parts of your screen are washing out fine, but other areas are being stubborn, your screen may not be coated evenly.
The next thing to consider when reclaiming your screen is water pressure. Without the proper pressure you will have a hard time getting the emulsion to wash out completely. You need around 1000-1500 PSI to properly blow the emulsion out of the mesh after the emulsion remover has been applied to the screen.
And finally, how you apply the emulsion remover is important. Wet your screen on both sides. Spray on the emulsion remover and let it soak in for about 15-30 seconds. NEVER let the emulsion remover dry on the screen. Scrub with a brush until you can see the emulsion start to break down and rinse with a pressure washer.
Reclaim A Screen in Four Simple Steps
1. Wet the screen.
2. Apply Chroma/Strip and let soak for 15-30 seconds. Do NOT let this dry.
3. Scrub with a brush until the emulsion starts to break down.
4. Rinse both sides of the screen with pressure washer.
NOTE: When using a pressure washer, always wear ear protection. Safety first!
Contact Chromaline Today
If you have any further questions about reclaiming a screen for screen printing, please contact us today.