CA Wash versus Mineral Spirits

I have been using California Wash to clean my rollers and am happy with the results. I’m considering switching to odorless mineral spirits thought as it’s a less expensive solution.

Is there a significant advantage to the CA Wash or should I switch?

Also, should I be putting oil on the rollers after cleaning to prevent them drying out? If so, what kind of oil do you recommend?



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Don’t know much about mineral spirits, but have used the CA wash for a while, and it works great, but i recently started using Citra Solv, which is a natural household degreaser, and it also works great, and is super non toxic compared to almost any press washes i have seen.
As for oil on the rollers, i use Febo Clean 2000 after washing up, and leave it on my rollers overnight, or whenever the press will sit for a while. It is a Crisco-like consistency, and helps keep the rollers clean and keeps ink residue from drying and glazing the rollers.

The best cleaner I’ve found is Bioshield’s Citrus Thinner #23 ( I hated the smell of CA wash and figured odorless mineral spirits were still just as harmful even though you couldn’t smell them. #23 smells really good.

I’m a big fan of offset blanket wash, its made for washing blankets. Mostly i use coleman fuel, keroscene works well also. Way back most shops used gasoline. Dick G.

Aside from the flammability issue, is kerosene more or less harmful than CA Wash? I’ve found kerosene smells less and works quite well, but I wonder if that’s just a disguise for it’s brain zapping powers!

CitraSolv sounds good if it really works. I’ll have to give it a try.

I use kerosene and finish with mineral spirits. The kerosene works really well for working the ink loose and the mineral spirits get the rest and leave things clean enough to go to the next color or whatever.

One shop I worked at used Stoddard solvent for rough cleaning and a high flash solvent mixed with water to finish. That stuff would cut the mustard nicely-but I’m not sure what it was, only that the owner complained if we used it in any amount. A water miscible wash can pull a lot of gunk out of your rollers.

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I’ve only used Mineral Spirits. Gets it all clean, and pretty fast. Seems all good.

Thanks for all of the feedback!

I’ll look into some of these other cleaning options as well. I’ve been using a respirator/mask occasionally and am curious if others are doing the same.

Is anyone else using Febo Clean 2000 to put on the rollers after cleaning? Any other post-cleaning oil recommendations?

Thanks again.

I try to wear a mask whenever i use CA wash. It might seem like overkill, I know a lot of folks don’t seem to care what they breathe in or think it is not a harmful as people say, but I know I don’t like the smell, and i feel pretty crummy if i don’t use the mask.
A few years ago we were using a follow up wash called Flash Right, and you could feel your brains cells melting in your head with that stuff. Same with standard type wash. Instant headache. I say better safe than sorry.
I haven’t monitered the long term effect on the rollers from the Citra Solve, but a few washes have been fine, and i know several other printers that have used it for a while with not troubles.

In my offset days we used a blanket/roller wash from Prisco, along with occasionally using MRC (metering roller cleaner) The blanket/roller wash didn’t smell too bad, although there were some other chemicals wafting around the pressroom - I might have just gotten immune to it. The MRC was a little stronger (in cleaning and in odor) but evaporated quicker. It was amazing how much more that I could smell in the pressroom when I would come back from a week off or even a long weekend! I will also admit that when I walk into my shop now I will take a long sniff and smile - the ink and solvents smell so natural to me I know that I’m home!


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I use kerosene for the initial wash, then finish with a Roller Cleaner in a Can that I got from NA Graphics. After many uses, the rollers have stayed nice and soft.