Reclaiming screens can be a breeze, or it can be a pain. If you've been struggling with screen reclamation, you're not alone. In this blog, we'll discuss a few common challenges faced during the screen reclamation process and provide effective solutions to overcome them.

person scrubbing a screen with emulsion


One of the most frustrating issues in screen reclamation is when the emulsion remains stuck despite scrubbing and rinsing. There are a few possible reasons for this problem, with overexposed emulsion being a common culprit. Overexposed screens lead to improper emulsion removal during the reclaiming process. To avoid this, you should use a step wedge grayscale calculator to determine the ideal exposure times.

A perfect exposure to step 7 on the grayscale will yield the best results for emulsion removal. Also, consider using post-exposed screens as they tend to have fewer reclaim issues. If you've used an emulsion hardener on the screen, it becomes permanent and cannot be reclaimed.

To improve emulsion removal during reclamation, try the following tips:

  • Dial in exposure times accurately.
  • Invest in a power washer, if possible, to facilitate the process.
  • Consider using a dunk tank to help strip the emulsion before using the pressure washer.
  • Reclaim screens soon after their use to prevent the emulsion from drying up and getting permanently stuck.

person rinsing a screen with a pressure washer


Ghost images refer to residual images that remain on the screen even after reclamation. Although they might sound spooky, getting rid of them is relatively simple. You can use a dehazer, a product designed to remove these ghost images effectively. Alternatively, a magic eraser can be used to de-ghost the screen and ensure a clean slate for your next print job.

a close up of a fisheye on a screen


If you notice that water isn't cascading like a sheet or the emulsion isn't coating the screen properly after reclamation, the issue might be due to improper degreasing. To resolve this problem, it's crucial to degrease your screen correctly. Using a dual-action product like Sgreen Stuff or a specific degreaser at the end of the reclaiming process.

Ensure that you rinse the degreaser thoroughly to prevent any residue that could lead to fisheye formation during your next printing session.

a bottle of sgreen stuff next to a scrub pad

Reclaiming screens can be a straightforward process if you know how to tackle common challenges. Remember to reclaim your screens soon after the print job is done to prevent the emulsion from becoming permanently stuck. Accurate exposure times and investing in a pressure washer can significantly improve the reclamation process. Additionally, use dehazers and proper degreasers to eliminate ghost images and fisheye formation, respectively.

By following these tips, you'll be well-equipped to handle screen reclamation like a pro and ensure consistent printing quality for your projects. Happy printing!