11 years, 11 months ago
Hi ladies,Today, I inked up my press for the first time so I could set my rollers correctly. I’ve been told that odorless mineral spirits are the way to go with cleaning up. (My press is in my basement so I don’t want to stink the house up!) I found that it’s close to impossible for me to get the rollers all the way clean… I’ve even put them on a glass surface with mineral spirits on it and rubbed with a cloth pretty hard. There’s still a bit of cyan on them now, but I had to find out if there’s a better alternative. What do you use? I’m going through a lot of rags and a ton of mineral spirits. Also, I should mention – I didn’t use very much ink. Just enough to make it even and to give me a stripe on the roller gauge.Also, any good hand cleaner suggestions? I wore gloves, but still have some ink and would like to avoid rubbing the mineral spirits on my hands.Thanks in advance,Krissy
Jen StarshapedParticipant@jenstarshaped11 years, 11 months ago
I don’t know if this is any better, but I was searching for the healthiest options while I was pregnant, and hit on baby oil, which I still use. Completely non-toxic and no smell. It’s probably not the best thing in the world for the rollers in the long term, but I feel that my central nervous system is a bit more important than a few rollers that can be replaced. It definitely takes some scrubbing, so I don’t know if there’s a way to get around that. I also wear industrial gloves and they seem to do the trick, though I don’t worry about getting baby oil on my hands. If the press is super oily, I’ll sometimes squirt it with a little watered down Ivory soap. If I need to immediately put a lighter color on the press following whatever I’ve just cleaned off, I sometimes spritz with a bit of rubber rejuvenator to really get the gunk off. This stuff is a bit nasty, though, and probably isn’t good if you’re using composition rollers. And sometimes you just need to clean a press twice. Sigh. I’m sure there are some well-seasoned printers who would greatly frown on my methods, but like I mentioned, my health is more important, and even the odorless mineral spirits can mess you up!Hope that helps!11 years, 11 months ago
That does help! Thanks for the suggestion…
Kseniya ThomasKeymaster@kseniya11 years, 11 months ago
Hey Krissy-I use vegetable oil for the last run of the day, since it’s too oily to use between colors. Many printers also use Crisco, which is the same principle, I guess. I also have some Soysolv from Daniel Smith lurking around the shop, which I clean the ink glass with. It works great (not sure what it does to rollers, but probably nothing), and smells like mayo!
Lynda CampbellParticipant@lyndacampbell11 years, 11 months ago
Hi Krissy,I also use Crisco followed by mineral spirits. The Crisco really gets most of the ink off and the mineral spirits can be used sparingly just for final wash up.
Adrienne BerryParticipant@adrienneberry11 years, 7 months ago
I use Gans Nature Wash. I had a letterpress instructor who’s father was a Chemist, he said the nature wash is not harmful (and not smelly) for printing, preggo and children. It works well and makes my press happy. I also took the workshop on maintaining your press by Paul Moxon (founder of vandercookinfo.com). He recommended Putz Pomade on rollers to de-glaze every once and awhile and believe it or not he took a scotch pad (you know , the green sponges you use to clean grime off your metal pans in the kitchen) to the press on demo!Hand cleaner – I like the Orange gritty soap that you buy in the paint section at a hardware store, I believe it’s Fast Orange Hand cleaner. Works like a charm and is non-toxic.
Kristina HopkinsParticipant@kristinahopkins11 years, 6 months ago
I am also looking for suggestions for a press and roller wash. My rollers are composition, from Tarheel Roller. I’d like to use something other than kerosene as Tarheel and the ‘old-time’ printer that’s been helping me out have suggested I use.I was going to use California Wash, until I found out that it’s not good for the composition, but I think I might still get it to clean my ink disc and photopolymer plates. Can anyone suggest a healthy-as-possible roller wash for composition rollers?Thanks for your help in advance!11 years, 6 months ago
I’ve now been using california wash and love it – not sure about the rollers though. Is that something you could ask the manufacturer?
Chrystal KostechkaParticipant@chrystalkostechka10 years, 3 months ago
I too have been wondering about how to clean my rollers. The previous press owner instructed me to wash the press and rollers with California Wash mixed 50/50 with water (which he gave to me). It seems that the wash does a good surface cleaning, but I’ve been struggling to get all of the ink off. The press is getting clean pretty easily; it’s the rollers I’m struggling with.Is it better to do a surface wash and then wash again with fresh CA Wash? I probably should have asked him if the Wash was safe to drain in a sink – does anyone know? I’ve only printed one project and cleaned the rollers afterwards in a bucket. The bucket was the only thing I’ve got large enough to fit the rollers in. If the wash is safe, then I’ve been considering installing and oversize sink in my workspace.I was also wondering if you ladies keep multiple rollers on hand. I saw a photo of a workspace once and it looked like the printer kept a set for red, blue, green, and black ink. What do you do?10 years, 3 months ago
I’ve switched to Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits as a clean up now because the California Wash evaporates so fast, it was difficult to really clean the rollers. With mineral spirits I use less and it goes further. I do not keep a spare set of rollers.Hope that helps!
Lisa VavrickParticipant@lisavavrick10 years, 2 months ago
I use a combination of California Wash and odorless mineral spirits. I use mineral spirits on the rubber rollers and California Wash for the metal ones. I prefer the California Wash undiluted for the metal rollers as it cleans more quickly this way. A 50/50 mix of California Wash and water works the same as the mineral spirits for the rubber rollers, but I just use the mineral spirits since it is cheaper. Hope that helps!
Jessica NicholsParticipant@jessicanichols9 years, 7 months ago
Do you have a source to purchase Gans Nature Wash?
Bunny Bear PressParticipant@bunnybearpress9 years, 7 months ago
How would you compare the quality on the composition rollers versus the rubber ones? I had not heard of this company before and I am interested to see what the difference is.
Bunny Bear PressParticipant@bunnybearpress9 years, 5 months ago
I am interested in your baby oil method. I had heard of using Crisco but not baby oil. I had heard that Crisco is really good at getting the ink off the rollers and keeping them from drying out between print runs, but is not good to have on your rollers when you are first putting ink on the press (they use mineral spirits for the quick clean right before a job).
Do you use anything on your rollers other than baby oil? Is that what the Ivory soap is for? I am definitely looking for non-toxic solutions.
Angela R. StewartParticipant@angelarstewart9 years, 3 months ago
Where do you buy your Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits? And where did you buy California wash?
My press is 10×15, it would take a big container to put the rollers in the wash so I just have been using a rag and cleaning them with kerosene — will that technique not work with california wash or Gamsol Odorless Mineral Spirits??
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