Proper roller cleaner

I’m just starting up on a Kelsey 6x10 and received new rollers from NA Graphics. What are proper roller cleaners to use? I chose not to order and pay lots of shipping for the gallon of California Wash.

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Odorless mineral spirits—available from any hardware store. Kerosene works well too.

Always check with the company you bought your rollers from to get their recommendation for a wash compatible with the material from which your rollers are made. Most commercial roller washes use some form of Naptha and Benzene (Benzene is dangerous and causes cancer). Others use Mineral Spirits. Many printers use Kerosene. The main problem is evaporation rates for these solvents. Kerosene is the slowest, then Mineral Spirits, and Naptha is very fast. Depending on the material from which your rollers are made, a fast evaporating solvent might cause them to melt or crack over time. I use Kerosene as a general wash-up and if I need to turn the press around quickly, I’ll give it a final wash with Naptha.

You can buy all kinds of fancy washes, with environmentally friendly sounding names, but if you do a little on-line reading you’ll find that the three basic solvents I listed above will do the trick. A good rule of thumb when dealing with solvents: The hotter the solvent feels in a saturated rag the slower it evaporates, and the colder it feels, the quicker it will evaporate.


Gotcha. Thanks for the help.

i’m with dicharry on this one….. I’ve used orodrless mineral spirits for years and years, and it has proven to be the best all around cleaner.

Some of the so-called “green” washes aren’t really very green, and a few are just downright nasty for the environment…. especially the water-based emulsions. Besides, they don’t clean as well.

Stick with mineral spirits. It works.

I use a a three-way mix of kerosene, dish soap and water. Cuts Quickson right off the press and it’s super cheap.