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Hey everyone.

I'm attempting to screen print my own poly mailers using Nazdar 9700. I'm totally new to screen printing and learning as I go. I attempted a run today and failed hardcore. The ink dries so fast!

I want to use the same screen for several runs of the same design but need to clean the ink off between obviously. What do you use to clean off solvent based inks (e.g., Nazdar 9700) from the screens without reclaiming the screen? I've used lacquer thinner today but it is so potent. I would love to use something else if it works better and would really appreciate your input.

Thanks!

Scott
 

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If you want to slow down the drying of your prints, Nazdar has a 9731 Retarder that you can mix in with the ink. It gives you a little more time. I don't think it's necessary when you understand how these inks work.

1. Thin your ink down. You typically shouldn't use it straight out of the can. You can use an RE180 reducer from Nazdar. The consistency you want is probably that of syrup. It shouldn't be too thin, because your print will not be clean, and it shouldn't be too thick, because it will dry up your screen very fast. These inks dry through evaporation. So you need to add a reducer so there is more to evaporate. If you are printing and the ink starts to thicken, you can get a misting spray bottle and put some RE180 in it and spray a mist over your ink. Then when you flood coat the screen (see next point), you are working a little bit of reducer back into the ink and loosening it up again.

2. Flood coat. After you print, you need to lift your screen and pull your squeegee over the printable area. Fill all of the area with ink. Now this ink is different than a plastisol, so you want to put more pressure on the screen when doing this. You don't want any ink to pile up over the image, so you are cutting all the ink (or most of it) off of the emulsion and letting only the ink sit in the imageable area. With fine lines and details, you may need to print like then after 3 or 4 pieces you print, skip a flood coat so you don't have build up.

3. Work fast. It looks like you are already finding this out, but you do need to work quickly with these inks. You should be printing 3 to 4 pieces per minute. If it's slower than that, then this could definitely be part of the problem.

As for cleanup, Nazdar has a universal screen wash that works pretty good, it's called IMS301. I believe you could also use MEK. It's pretty potent as well, not as potent as Lacquer thinner, but still pretty strong nonetheless. The IMS301 works good and is much less in aggressiveness.

Good luck.
 

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I use Nazdar's Graphic Screen Wash to clean most of the mess out of the screen after printing their Corogloss ink, then take it to the reclaim sink and use my regular ink degradent to get what little remains. One thing about using strong solvents for cleaning, and solvent-based inks, for that matter, is that if you're using a pure photopolymer emulsion that isn't made for solvent inks, you can easily lock in the emulsion to the mesh. I use Ulano QX-1 hybrid emulsion since I print both tees and signs, and it exposes pretty fast, image washes out quickly, and it reclaims very easily.
Also, with the solvent air-dry inks, make sure you use plenty of ventilation, or use a respirator, unless you enjoy the free "high", the missing brain cells, and are fresh out of paper bags and Krylon paint.
 

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Tom and Jerid (almost Tom and Jerry lol) have given you goo advice. Follow it. As for cleaning lacquer thinner is going to be your cheapest bet I think. Good luck
 
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