How Clean is Clean?

I run a letterpress trade service (ink goes on press
pretty much for numbering only) and have a
Heidelberg 10 x 15. I use Van Son Rubber Base ink
and washup with Rogersol. Running good quality rubber rollers that have been going 5+ years. I can scrub and scrub the rollers and still get a tinge of color on a clean washup rag.
If I’m washing up red, I usually quit when I can see a slight
bit of black on a new cloth. Don’t quit until I have remembered to get the ends. So the question is how clean is clean?

Log in to reply   5 replies so far

How about trying a color wash. Starting with a clean press, ink up with trans white and let the press run for 15 minutes, or you can use the color that you wish to print with - wash up as usual. This should pull any remaining ink color out of the rollers. I have always found Rogersol roller wash to be rather strong, put if it works for you - so be it.

Chuck the Printer
Thanks for suggestion.
I’m assuming rubber base trans white so as
not to confuse the rollers.
Since Rogersol is supposed to be water miscible,
I sometimes cut the squeeze jug with a little H2O.

It would not matter whether rubber base or oil based ink. Neither is soluable in water and both have mineral or vegetable oil vehicles. It is the resin portion of the ink which is rubber-based in that type of ink.

I find that I can get my rubber rollers completely clean after long run of dark colors (or after long use with many wash-ups) by using Putz Pomade. When done with my run I put a little Putz on the rollers by giving a thin strip on each roller. Then let it run with the ink on it for a while, say 5-10 minutes. Usually it turns the ink brown. Putz is great to use once in a while because it really digs into the rollers and pulls up the ink. Then wash up as normal. I find I can get my rollers as good as clean with a white rag in the end.

We use Putz as described by Chris with great results.