[Infographic] Running An Eco-Friendly Darkroom (Yes, It’s Possible!)
We’ve all been there…Standing in front of the washout booth, holding your breath as you spray a particularly toxic smelling chemical onto your screen. You know that it’s probably NOT a good sign that you feel compelled to hold your breath, but that dirty screen needs some real cleaning power and you’re spraying the only chemical you know that can get the job done.
Hold up. What if we told you there was a better way?
As a screen printer, you spend hundreds of hours of your life in the darkroom, surrounded by fumes and making direct contact with chemicals meant only for industrial use. It’s undeniable that this isn’t good for your body. Small print shops and print operations run out of homes are especially susceptible to these issues. With limited space and, often, the use of just household appliances to clean screens, it’s important to run an eco-friendly darkroom.
“If you’re looking to make an eco-friendly switch, start with your chemicals. The easiest and least expensive change would be using pallet paste, because aerosols are such a huge thing.”
Pirate Ninja Print Shop
Don’t worry, it’s really just a simple task of chemical swapping. Here’s a list of the chemicals you will need to change to get a more eco-friendly darkroom.
1. Replace your aerosols. All of them. That includes your sprayable pallet adhesive, screen opener and spot remover. Aerosols are the #1 enemy for an eco-friendly darkroom. Using them expels micro particles into the air that make it easier to inhale, while “empty” canisters are rarely actually empty and end up filling up landfills with the potential to explode.
Instead of spray mist adhesive > Use a water based pallet glue like Sgreen Adhesive, a concentrated water based pallet adhesive, which, once applied, can be used for print runs over multiple days.
Instead of aerosol screen opener > Use Sgreen Supreme Wash with a pump bucket and a rag to clean up any plastisol or graphic inks while your screen is still on the press.
2. Replace your washout booth ink removers. Make sure your chemicals are drain safe, and that you have appropriate filtration systems set up to catch any leftover ink deposits.
Instead of an industrial ink degrader > Use Sgreen Ink Degrader for your plastisol ink cleanup, and Sgreen Aqua Wash for tough water based ink cleaning.
3. Replace your emulsion remover. Switch your emulsion remover to an eco-friendly option, and make sure you are using a filtration system to catch any emulsion that tries to go down the sink.
Instead of an industrial emulsion remover > Use Sgreen Stripper for fast emulsion removal.
4. Replace your dehazers and degreasers. A lot of times it’s degreasers which can cause the most cough-inducing environments. Choose a more eco-friendly degreaser to finish off your screen reclamation process and save your lungs.
Instead of an industrial dehazer > Use Sgreen Stuff to dehaze and deghost your screen images.
Instead of an industrial degreaser > Use Sgreen Degreaser to clean the oils off your screen and make the best surface for emulsion bonding.
It’s not such a hard task to make the switch over to an eco-friendly darkroom, and it’s worth it.
“There are lots of reasons to go eco-friendly. One, just the cost. The cost of using chemicals – if we keep filling up the landfills with all this bad stuff, the next generation won’t have an earth to live on. It’s also a good stamp to put on your business, that you’re green. People are noticing now, so we’re trying to be ahead of the trend.”
Pirate Ninja Printshop
Download this super informative and rad infographic to learn more about how Sgreen Green Chemicals can help you make your own eco-friendly darkroom!
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