Sticky rollers—help!

I’ve noticed recently that after I clean up my press and then go to use it again (I’m not using it every day), the form rollers have a sticky, gooey-ish layer to them. I don’t really know how to describe it other than to say it’s as if someone applied a think layer of honey over both rubber rollers.

This is my method of cleaning. I put Crisco on the rollers and let it run for a few minutes, then I wipe off as much ink as possible with a rag. At the end, I wipe some mineral spirits over it until the rag comes out clean.

I haven’t had this problem when I first got and used the press, but have noticed it more recently. The only thing I’ve done differently is used Putz Pomade. But after using Putz, I wiped the rollers with the mineral spirits.

Can someone tell me, am I doing this correctly? Any idea as to what the “sticky stuff” is?


Log in to reply   5 replies so far

Is it a green sort of nastiness? If so, they might be Vinylith rollers. Look over this post for more info:

or note especially forme’s comments here:


(And the common wisdom seems to be to get new ones as soon as possible…)

You may have “composition” rollers. They are made of several chemicals that once vulcanized begin to separate into their original states and separate from the core. We used to come into work after a weekend or longer and find the rollers had literally melted on the machine. It was a real problem to clean the melted rubber off. Definitely get new rollers or have yours recovered.

Time for new rollers. It sounds like the material is breaking down.

I’m probably confused about this but weren’t the rollers that broke down and dripped all over the place made with polyurethane?

NA Graphics markets a roller material called Vinylith. I can’t imagine that this would be the same material that is being discussed on these various threads. I haven’t used this material but the claims made would not lead me to believe this is the same stuff that breaks down.

Wrong terminology?


I have to add this in regard to the use of Crisco (or any other oil to clean rollers). This would apply mainly to flatbed cylinders, where the following test will be more revealing.

If you put your hand on the bed of the press and try to push, does it stay put or does it move slickly across the bed? If the former, you are in the process of ruining your press’s mechanics with the solvents you are using. It is not only gunking up, the materials are attracting oxidation to the metal parts.