Effective Press Cleaning Routines

Whether you print on a large scale or just use your press a few times a day, ink, grime and other materials can build up and create unnecessary smudges on the final printed work. It’s essential, therefore, to keep the press in a reasonably clean condition to maximize efficiency. While there are a few recommended techniques out there, experts agree that time-saving, high-quality press cleaning starts with the right cleaners and a powerful routine. Follow these steps for efficient results every time.

Press Cleaning Process

  1. Spritz the dirty areas with a cleaning solution. Most cleaners recommend soaking a cloth with the solution, but using a spray bottle involves less waste and a more thorough coating of cleaner. Don’t use just any solvent, but do the research to find the right press cleaners for your equipment.
  2. Wipe with a gentle cloth. On the first pass, use a little elbow grease to power through surface stains. Material from recycled T-shirts works well for this, but disposable cloths can be just as effective.
  3. Soak with a deeper oil solution. If you use oil-based inks, a tougher cleanser may be necessary to pull out the more tenacious stains and leave your press sparkling.
  4. Scrub intensely with more abrasive wipers. Once the press has been soaking for a few minutes, it’s okay to scrape at the stains a bit more roughly to get an even result.
  5. Set up to make sure everything is ready for the next project. After wiping off all the cleaning solutions, give the press a chance to dry and make sure all the pieces are where they belong so you can get back to printing.

This simple routine usually takes about ten minutes and can be done after every major print job or perhaps once or twice a day, depending on the ink and residue buildup on your press. With the right tools, it’s easy to make your press as efficient as possible.

Roger Walker

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