Silk screening is an artistic process of pressing a mesh material against an ink stencil to create images. The artist rolls a squeegee over the screen stencil, pushing ink or paint over the open parts of the stencil. Cleaning the stencil, whether it is made of silk or a synthetic material, is a two-step process. The first step is to use a solvent to remove residual ink from the screen. The second step involves a chlorine cleaning process to remove the remaining acetate compound that is part of the special ink required for silk screening. Both cleaning solutions are readily available at grocery stores and pharmacies. Commercial solvents that eliminate the need for two cleaning steps are also available.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic spray bottle
- Mineral spirits
- Chlorine bleach
- Rags, old towels
How to Clean Silkscreens
Apply a thin spray of mineral spirits to the screen and allow the spirits to dissolve the ink.
Rinse the screen with water.
Apply a 7 percent solution of chlorine (common household bleach) to the screen while still damp.
Allow the bleach to finish dissolving residual acetate from the screen.
Rinse the screen a second time and air dry or blot dry with old towels.
Consider buying an environmentally safe, one-step commercial silkscreen cleaner, which is available through art supply stores and online retailers.
Tips & Warnings
- Use cleaning products in a well-ventilated area.
- Photo Credit http://farm1.static.flickr.com/45/139594672_4e4b531b9d.jpg?v=0
Lithograph Ink Vs. Silk Screen Ink
Lithograph and silkscreen inks are both ways to get an image displayed on a variety of surfaces. Lithograph printing typically deals with...
How to Remove Photo Emulsion From a Silk Screen
Out with the old art, in with the new: after printing with photo emulsion, here's how to make sure you (your silk...
How to Coat a Silk Screen With Photo Emulsion
Using photo emulsion is the best way to transfer art to a silk screen for printing. Coating the silk screen is the...
How to Clean a Screen After Silk-Screening
When silk-screening, if you want to use the same image on a screen or keep the screen for use later on, you'll...
How to Keep Silk Screen Products From Fading
You just picked up a new T-shirt of your favorite team or a banner at the concert you saw last night. Of...