Ink disc never cleans…

Hello experienced press folks,

I need to ask about keeping the ink disc clean after printing. When I bought my two tabletop presses (8x12), they were partly rusted. I sanded the ink discs clean by hand and they were looking really good. After using the presses both for about a year now on a regular bases, the ink discs are really dark and look dirty. I try to clean off the old ink after printing as good as I can and if I rub over the discs after cleaning, the rags stay spotless. But over the time, some kind of “staining” just built up that I can’t remove with my washing solutions.

Not I’m considering lightly sanding them again, but I wonder what is the best way to prevent this? Is it “normal” that the ink disc is getting that “dirty” over time, or do I need to get other products to clean the press? I’m cleaning with oily presswash and turpentine sometimes. I have some special product for the rollers.
The new ink gets untainted so I guess the metal itself is either deeply stained or there is some layer of really, really, really hard dry ink on the disc. I am using van son rubberbase ink.

Any help is greatly appreciated, thank you!

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

DON’T SAND AGAIN, It is fine, that is normal, if there is no ink on your rag after a wash up you are ok.

I agree don’t sand them again.

Whenever I have cleaned up metal ink rollers or ink discs, they have come up the silvery color of the metal. Maybe when you sanded them, you put tiny scratches in the metal and the ink has gotten caught in the scratches and dried.

If the new ink is untainted and you can print well, then all is well. As we say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

(One other thing: don’t use turpentine. It is bad for your health).

Some blanket washes leave an oil residue. The next time you add ink it can react with the remaining products as they dont always clean away. Use a water soluble cleaner both for the rollers and the disk. As a last step wet rag and wipe the disk then buff it dry. For the press after cleaning add a little water to the rollers and clean it away with the wash device. If you watch the water on the rollers it may stain white or discolored. That is the water reacting to the water souluable cleaner that was left on what you thought were clean rollers. Once the water cleans away you can repeat it and the water should have a cleaner color, that a good thing

I can only assume that something has “soaked into” the metal of the disk. Many “Cast” metals are porous. If a chemical reaction was going on, you would probably see the end result on a clean up rag. Carry on. If it was rust on there then maybe a thin film of a light oil during long period of inactivity would be prudent. Peeps here could elaborate on the good and bad ones.