aerosol spot removers, and fabric stain remover are important tools to have in
your arsenal of screen printing
supplies. After the printing process, ghost images or haze can be left on
the mesh stencil. Made up of microscopic residues of ink or other products,
these stains can affect how ink flows through the stencil, potentially causing
the ghost image to actually print right along with your new design.
Consequently, quality fabric stain removers are very important to prevent this
general rule of thumb, if the stain is the same as the print, then it came from
the ink you used. If it is a negative image of the print, the stain came
from the stencil itself.
the two main types of stencil stains.
stains are from chemical dyes that are very effective at dyeing polyester mesh.
These stains can be easily removed using a sodium hypochlorite-based haze
fabric stain remover.
acetate stains are light colored, translucent residue left on your screen where
the stencil was. These stains can be removed with a hypochlorite-based haze
remover that has been activated with the recommended screen wash or
it is more effective and easier to remove stencil stains immediately following
use, while the screens are still wet. Allowing them to dry fully hardens the
acetate, making it difficult to remove.
about five main types of ink stains.
ink — Very easy to see, most dried inks can be dissolved using a screen wash
solvent. Stubborn stains might require a more caustic solvent haze remover.
ink — Two-pack catalyzed inks are infamously difficult to remove. You need a
very high caustic and solvent haze remover.
cured ink — Ideally, you shouldn't leave this ink in a white-light area, as the
ink will harden and become difficult to remove. Use a hypochlorite-based haze
remover with an ‘activator’ added to eliminate stains.
staining of mesh fibers - Some inks actually dye the polyester thread used in
the mesh. If this happens, you can only remove the stain with a
hypochlorite-based haze remover with ‘activator’ added, or a very strong
caustic haze remover. Unfortunately, you can't use a basic fabric stain
abrasion of mesh fibers - While not strictly a mesh stain, the ghost images on
fibers are rare and typically caused by printing long runs with an abrasive
ink. A haze remover or a fabric stain remover will have no effect on this type
of stain. Your best bet is to simply discard the mesh after printing.
read the Safety Data Sheets before using a fabric stain remover for ghosts and
haze. These powerful chemicals must be handled carefully and only while using
protective equipment. Always rinse thoroughly.
prepared, you should always have a wide selection of fabric stain remover for
your screen printing business. Each spot remover functions differently on
different stains, and you need to be prepared. Check the fabric you’re printing
to and select the spot remover that works best for that fabric and the ink you
have used. If you have questions, contact us
directly. At American Niagara, we focus on providing quality screen printing
supplies for our clients.