The Woes of Reclaiming Screens Disappear with a Dunk Tank
Golden Press Studio's shop shirt captures perfectly how most printers feel about the reclaiming process. It's the worst.
What if I told you that there's a way to make reclaiming undemanding? A method that could remove the dread when it's time to reclaim screens, the hours spent in the washout booth, and the ache of sore muscles from all the scrubbing? The Dunk Tank (also known as a Dip Tank) streamlines the reclaiming process effortlessly and painlessly.
HOW A DUNK TANK WORKS
It's simple. Fill the tank with 27 gallons of water and three gallons of Emulsion Stripper. Place up to six screens in the tank and let them soak for a few minutes. Remove the screens from the tank and use a power washer to remove the emulsion. That's it. How nice is that?!
You don't have to worry about any leaks from the tank. It's made of one piece of molded construction, guaranteed to be leak-proof! Plus, there's a nozzle at the bottom of the tank, so it's easy to remove and replenish the solution.
LEARN HOW A DUNK TANK SAVES YOU MONEY
THE NEW, ECO-FRIENDLY SOLUTION
Screen printing has some harsh chemicals that's toxic to printers and the environment. We're trying to improve different areas in screen printing to make them more safe while maintaining the industrial strength of traditional chemicals.
One aspect we've revamped is the chemical that removes emulsion. Sgreen® Emulsion Stripper is eco-friendly while it powerfully cuts through oils and all types of photopolymer, diazo, and capillary emulsions. The Sgreen® line is made from natural feedstock and enzymes, which means they adhere closely to the EPA's 12 principles of green chemistry. With Sgreen® chemicals, you'll take better care of your health, your pipes, and the environment while still getting the job done. (Plus, the dunk tank itself is made from recycled materials, so you'd be going to extra mile of eco-friendliness in your shop!)
LEARN MORE ABOUT SGREEN® CHEMISTRY
BEST PRACTICES WHEN USING A DUNK TANK
To ensure you get the most out of a dunk tank, there are a few tips to know.
First, put the water into the tank and then pour in the Emulsion Stripper. If you pour in the remover first, it'll get foamy and therefore, be more challenging to reclaim screens. The solution will be milky.
When using the dunk tank for the first time, test it out first. Put one screen in the tank and let it soak for 30 seconds. Pull it out and power wash it off. If it works great, then get to reclaiming. If you notice any issues, adjust and test again. You may see parts of emulsion start to fall off in the dip tank. It's nothing to worry about, the emulsion will not affect the efficiency of the solution.
Make sure to remove all the ink off the screen before placing it in the dunk tank. You may already have strips of emulsion floating to the bottom, you don't need ink on top of that. Grab either Sgreen® Supreme Wash or Sgreen® Ink Degrader to wipe off all ink and then set screens into the dip tank.
Ready to hone in the reclaiming process? Screen printing guru Colin Huggins suggest to do the following steps in this order to ensure efficiency:
- Place screens in dunk tank.
- Remove screens and wash them off.
- Dehaze screens.
- Place the next batch of screens in the dunk tank.
- Finish cleaning the screens.
Try it out. If it doesn't work for you, keep trying different processes until it works smoothly.
Lastly, what to do when it's time to replenish the solution. As you'll notice, when you remove screens from the tank, some of the solution leaves the tank. Eventually, it'll need to be replenished. Huggins suggests that every time the tank needs more solution to clean the tank. First, put the solution through filtration so any byproducts does not go down the drain. Secondly, clean out the tank. Lastly, refill the tank with water and Emulsion Stripper. Keeping the tank clean means you'll maintain a sharp, effective reclaiming process.
Reduce chemical usage, increase production, and streamline the reclaim process while protecting yourself and the environment. The Dunk Tank and Sgreen® Emulsion Stripper will be a lifesaver for many shops. Maybe it's time for Golden Press Studio to make a new shop shirt that says, "I love cleaning screens." 😉