Keeping a shop clean is essential. A clean shop not only keeps the space looking nice but keeps your equipment running at max capacity. If you’ve used aerosol adhesive, you’ll notice it gets everywhere. The adhesive might work, but also will stick to anything in its path. One way to keep a shop cleaner is to use water-based adhesive. Let’s talk about how to use the adhesive and the benefits of keeping it stocked in your shop.
BENEFITS OF WATER-BASED ADHESIVE
Here are a few benefits that printers have discovered when using water-based pallet adhesive:
#1: Longevity. Water-based pallet adhesive lasts for a long time. You don’t have to apply after every shirt like spray adhesive. It can also be re-tacked to avoid reapplication.
#2: Dilute it? No problem. Water-based adhesive can be diluted up to 50% with water and still work like a charm. That means it’ll last longer in your shop, and still get the job done. Who doesn’t love that?
#3: No Residue. Hate pulling a shirt off the platen and pulling the adhesive off too? That won’t happen with water-based adhesive. Having zero adhesive residues on shirts provides a higher quality product.
#4: Cleanliness. You’re not spraying glue that will drift all over the shop and cause lint buildup in places you didn’t even know existed. It’s also better for printers’ health because you’re not breathing in those particles floating around in the air. Win-win, right?
Applying water-based adhesive to a platen is pretty straightforward. Simply pour some onto a platen and swipe it around with a cleanup card. Once the adhesive is evenly spread on the platen, place the platen under the flash unit until the adhesive is tacky to the touch. Pop any bubbles that have formed with a sharp knife or razor blade, and you’re ready to go.
For short print runs of about 20 shirts, a single layer of adhesive works great. For longer print runs, apply a second layer of adhesive for extra stickiness.
Pro Tip: Make sure the adhesive is smooth. Texture in the adhesive will show up in a print.
CLEANING AND REACTIVATING
Water-based adhesive is a great adhesive, but did you know it’s reusable? The adhesive can be reactivated, so you can keep printing without stopping to apply another layer.
During production, lint will build up on the platen. Once this buildup gets too much, the adhesive won’t be sticky anymore. To reactivate the adhesive, first, clean the lint off the platen. Spritz the platen with water and scrub with a scrub brush to get the lint off.
Once the platen is free of lint, stick it under the flash unit to re-tack the adhesive. If needed, add more adhesive before continuing with the print run.
There’s really no reason not to use water-based adhesive. It’s great for short runs, long runs, printers’ health, and shop cleanliness. Start using it today and cultivate a clean, consistent production process.