Step 7: Cleaning Plastisol Ink Off the 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 clean the plastisol off your screen. Make sure you read the following instructions carefully for the best results! 

For this process, because we used plastisol ink, we will be using a screenwash to clear off the remaining ink on your design. The screenwash we will be using is organic, however, you may use a higher intensity screen wash if you so wish.

Choose your screenwash wisely depending on the ventilation of the room you're working in as some produce quite strong fumes. 

NOTE: Be sure to wear some plastic gloves for protection. While all ink can be washed off with soap and water, the cleaning products may irritate sensitive skin. 

step-6-screenshot-1.jpg1: Remove Excess Ink

First thing's first, you must remove the excess ink left over from the printing process. This can be done using a large spatula or with a smaller implement like a plastic card. Either tool has its benefits and it's really all down to your personal preference. 

Doing this is relatively simple. Using your spatula, scrape as much of the ink of as you can from your screen and your squeegee. Be sure to put it back into the inkpot so it can be used again.

Make sure your screen is placed between the two printing boards to reduce any ink spillage. 

step-6-screenshot-2.jpg2: Wipe Your Screen

Next, take your white rag and put some screenwipe solution onto it. Make sure your rag is white as any coloured rags could have their dye taken off by the solution and run into the design. Soak the cloth in the solution and don't be afraid to use plenty of screenwash! Once you've done that, wipe down the screen with the cloth. 

It doesn't matter where on the screen you start wiping but be sure to cover a wide area and wipe it all over to ensure the plasticiser breaks down. Wash the screen until all the plastisol ink has come off. You can use more screenwipe if that will help. Be sure to use the same cloth by folding it over. Clean your squeegee blade the same way.

step-6-screenshot-3.jpg3: Reuse Your Screen!

After making sure you have rubbed both sides of the screen to remove any remaining plastisol ink, you will now be able to use the screen for any future printing using a different coloured ink. 

And that is all you have to do! A simple stage of the process but a necessary one. Be sure to watch the full video below as Nikki takes you through the entire process of cleaning off the plastisol ink from your screen. 

Now you've finished this step, move onto the next stage of reclaiming your screen

Watch Full Video Below