cleaning wood type

Does anyone have any recommendations for removing ink/cleaning wood type? Up until now, I’ve been using Simple Green on lead type, which has worked fine, but is wood a totally different animal? Any suggestions regarding caring for wood, would be greatly appreciated.


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Wood type is indeed a different animal than lead type. Unlike lead, wood is affected by water and thus it is better to use oil-based inks and solvents with wood type. Water can raise the grain and/or warp the block. We routinely use mineral spirits to clean our wood type.

If you must use water-based products with wood type however, be careful not to saturate the block itself. Instead, wet a rag and just wipe the face of the type to remove the ink. Other than that, I wouldn’t recommend water-based cleaning.


Thanks for the input guys. Great info. I will look into mineral spirits next time I’m out. I am looking to run out and pick something up, and just wanted to make sure I pick up the right stuff.

Interesting read regarding Simple Green. I think it’s time I go out and by some good ol’ press wash anyway. My old rollers are all wonky now and I want to make sure my new set gets proper care.

I have used everclear alcohol for years, it works great! you can buy a small bottle at your local liqour store for about $5 to try it for yourself.


It works great for putty knives, chases, polymer dies, etc. not rollers. i agree.