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Can't clean emulsion off screen w/ water

3587 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  gummyturtle
I'm pretty new to screen printing and am trying to get a little shop set up at home to screen print but have a problem already. I ordered Ulano UL925WR (since I used water-based inks) but I can't seem to wash off the emulsion with just water. I'm using a 500 watt halogen bulb to expose and have tried different times but none allowed me to get ANY of the emulsion off with just water and a brush. (note: I'm also using a home hose for cleaning) I tried applying the emulsion without exposing it and then took it outside to clean it off, but still no luck. Could the sun be hardening the emulsion w/in seconds? Also I left the emulsion containter in my garage the other day and it was hot...like 80's or so...could that have ruined the emulsion? It still seemed to change color when I took it outside the last time w/o exposing it first. (changed from brownish to violet) Anybody with any ideas/experience would be a great help. I hate to have to waste the emulsion cause I can't get if off my screen. (P.S. The emulsion comes off easily when I used emulsion remover) Thanks in advance.
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It could be a few things.

1) What times are you using in your exposure tests? This is how you can test 1 screen over various exposure times: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/t-shirt-articles/t106506.html

2) Try not to take your screen outside to wash out. If you have to, do it at night. It only takes a couple of seconds in the sun to expose your entire screen.

Keep your emulsion in a cool dry place; somewhere in the house.
Spend $60.00 and get a small electric power washer... no more than 1400 psi... you WILL have clean screens...
I was guessing at my exposure times...trying to figure it out by trial and error. I'll look into using that link you provided to get better results. I tried times from 1min, 5, 10, & 15 min. But could never get any emulsion off with water.
I'll look into getting a power washer if I can find one for a decent price.
Tomorrow I plan on trying to apply emulsion, dry it and then wash it off inside to see if it comes off. That way I can rule out if the sun is a factor or not. The only other thing I might need to consider is the fact I'm doing most of this in my garage and it gets hot in there. Heat won't affect the emulsion when drying would it? Thanks for any and all advice!
It could be that the emulsion is exposing through your positive. This might be because the exposure time is too long, your light source is too close to the screen during burning, or the positive isn't opaque enough. I usually print 2 transparencies and lay them one on top of the other to make the positive extra opaque. Also heat will affect the photo emulsion, I usually store mine in the fridge.
Update! I just tried cleaning off the unexposed emulsion inside and it did come off. So it was the sun all along...it does harden the emulsion w/in seconds. So I'm going to have to move my washing station in the garage so I won't be exposed to the sunlight. Thanks to everyone who tried to help!
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