Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Questions about Crisco...

Just wanted to respond to Kathleens' post in the comments...

I read about using Crisco on another blog (sorry, can't remember which one) a while back, but I remember someone at the college saying they used it as well. It works fine for both oil and rubber base inks - actually, I think it works better on the oils (in my experience anyways, rubber ink always seems thicker).

Overall, I think it works very well - it might take a couple more wipes than say a chemical cleaner would, but it's worth it in terms of saving yourself from breathing in fumes. I also don't have to worry about how I dispose of my rags. And a big jug of Crisco at Costco is maybe $4.00 or so.

If you don't like the idea of just using Crisco, you could do a quick clean with Crisco to get the bulk of the ink off your rollers and disc, then do a quick wipe with the chemical cleaner. Personally, I just stick with straight Crisco.

Be careful about how you store rags soaked in chemical cleaners (or oils) as they can be a serious fire hazard. No one wants a spontaneous combustion! For tips see this page: http://www.westmetrofire.org/index.cfm?main.page=article&catid=15&detailsid=86

Now as for cleaning my filthy hands after working with the press, I find Sunlight dish soap cuts the ink very nicely. If I were smart, I'd use latex gloves, as I've seen some printers do, but I'm just not that organized yet.

Happy letterpressing!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your Crisco info—so helpful. I think I may try it on my next run on the press!

  2. I'm a big fan of using Crisco (or one time Canola oil when I was out) to clean my press. Then to clean up anything that's extra greasy I use a bit of Simple Green. Both are non-toxic and much safer for the environment - and for me. And together they do a terrific job of getting the press nice and clean.

  3. I've run across a few blogs that mention using Crisco to clean rollers, my question for you is if you're able to wash and re-use your rags after using Crisco to clean? Or do you dispose of them? I'm getting my first press this week and am looking for some long-term solutions for my studio, such as the cost of saving on rags. Suggestions?


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