How to Choose Press Cleaners

Every publishing shop knows the importance of cleaning solvents. Unfortunately, many of these have safety risks or don’t do a great job cleaning every press. To get the right one, you need to know how to choose a cleaner for your press.


Almost all inks need to be cleaned with oil-based press cleaners. This can range from mild vegetable oil to harsh lacquer thinner. These have a variety of uses. Typically, they are great at removing ink and colors. However, they can leave a slight residue on a press after cleaning.

Other times, solvents come as a powder. To use these, you mix them with water. These are best for cleaning ink. They are the best option for cleaning rubber form rollers. They also tend to cut down on the amount of solvent you use because you adjust the mixing rates. For instance, you can mix it weak for regular cleanings and strong for tough stains. However, never use them on a composition roller.


As a rule of thumb, don’t use all-natural cleaners. These are just as flammable as gasoline. Having them in your shop can create a major fire hazard and threaten your safety. Similarly, you want to avoid odorless solvents. While they are less offensive to your senses, it is easy to forget you have them out in your shop, and they do still release fumes that you can breathe in.

Keep in mind that even the most-gentle cleaners require you to wear gloves. You should wear nitrile gloves over latex for better protection. They are also available in a reusable option. Besides this, you should consult the manufacturer’s other safety precautions before purchasing a product. This will let you know if you will heed their advice or endanger yourself.

Printers know the importance of choosing the right cleaning solvent. These are just some of the factors you should consider when choosing a cleaner.