Using a Pressure Washer
Virtually no stencil remover will give good results without a pressure washer to blast away the loosened emulsion. The screen should be positioned in the wash tank with the top edge up against the back wall at an angle that provides solid support. It has to be able to stand up to the blast of the pressure washer without being knocked over.
Be sure the print side of the screen is facing you. A high pressure spray directed at the squeegee side of the screen can hit the inside edges of the frame and ricochet. The point where the mesh meets the inside edge of the frame is also one of the most vulnerable points on your screen—really the last place that ought to be hit with a high pressure jet of water.
Both the power and the width settings of the spray can be adjusted on most pressure washers. You don’t want to concentrate a lot of power in a small area, so a fairly broad spray works best. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how the spray was adjusted the last time the pressure washer was used, so get into the habit of aiming the wand away from the screen when you pull the trigger. A very narrow spray delivered at full power can blast right through fine meshes.
Once all traces of the stencil have been removed, the screen still needs to be degreased before it can be dried and recoated with new emulsion. Degreasing removes oil or contaminants that may have come into contact with the mesh during the reclaiming process. Even a handprint can deposit enough oil to interfere with the new stencil’s ability to adhere to the screen. Be careful to keep from touching the screen after you degrease it.