Step 1: Degreasing Your Screen

Welcome to Art2Silkscreen's first series of tutorials on how to properly screen print your designs.

In today's blog, we are going to take you through, step-by-step, how to degrease your screen. This is a crucial stage of the screen printing process and should never be skipped. If you do, you could end up with some dodgy design prints, so be sure to read these instructions carefully!

Why You Should Degrease Your Screens

There are a number of reasons why it is important to degrease the mesh for your screen printing before coating it with emulsion:

If you do not degrease the mesh properly, you could end up with:

This is why it’s super important to degrease your screen before coating.

1: Dilute Your Degreaser step-1-screenshot-1.png

Now we’re going to show you how to degrease your screen! First, take your degreaser and fill it with water until you have about a ratio of 1:10 degreaser and water. Degreasers tend to come concentrated so be sure to dilute it properly first. 

2: Evenly Distribute the Degreaserstep-1-screenshot-2.png

To ensure your degreaser is distributed evenly and minimises waste, fix a spray nozzle to the top of the degreaser bottle. The spray will distribute a fine mist to cover as much area as possible without so much of it being thrown away.

3: Wet the Screenstep-1-screenshot-3.png

Before you spray, be sure to wet your screen in water. Insert it into your wash booth and simply spray with a hose. Make sure to do both sides before proceeding onto the next stage.

4: Spray step-1-screenshot-4.png

Now you can spray the screen. Once you start, the degreaser will foam on the surface. Make sure to do both sides again and spray right up in the corners as that is where dust tends to settle.

5: Use a Cleaning Brushstep-1-screenshot-5.png

Take your cleaning brush and use it to clean the mesh. The best brush to go for is one with soft bristles. Scrub gently but firm until you have worked the degreaser in. Do this for both sides of the screen and don’t forget those corners!

6: Rinsestep-1-screenshot-6.png

Once you’ve given the screen a good scrub, take your hose and spray it over to rise off the lather. Turn your hose setting to a fine spray to cover the most area. Start from top to bottom to remove all the degreaser residue. Again, both sides and make sure you get right up in those corners!

Top tip: If you spray downwards, you reduce the amount of splashback of residue coming back up onto the screen.

7: Drystep-1-screenshot-7.png

Shake off all the remaining water and let the screen to run dry. Make sure all the water has run off otherwise you can end up with water crystals, which can block ink passing through.

You can let your screen air dry, but to dry the screen thoroughly, we recommend using a fan heater. Once dry, the screen is ready for coating.

Now you've finished this step, take a look at our next blog post for the next stage: Coating the Screen with Emulsion!

Watch Full Video Below

Blog Thumbnail _Step 1 - Degreasing your screen.jpg