Not sure if your screen printing supplies are still good to use after sitting on the shelf for a few months? In this blog, we discuss screen printing product shelf life. Our hope is to save at least one poor soul from coating a screen with bad emulsion.
Being mindful of external temperature is the biggest factor in determining product shelf life.
Ideal Temperatures to Store your product:
- Emulsion should be stored between 40° - 75° Fahrenheit
- Chemistry should be stored between 40° - 70° Fahrenheit
- Plastisol Inks should not be stored anywhere exceeding 120° Fahrenheit.
- Water Based Inks are not affected by the temperature as long as they are covered.
Signs your products aren't happy:
There are several tell-tale signs that will give away a bad product:
Emulsion will start to get thick like a heavy glue if you see this then it's time to replace your emulsion. Screen printing emulsion cannot freeze. If emulsion freezes the product will not work.
✅Pro Tip: Store your emulsion in the fridge to extend the life, but do not freeze!
Chemistry can start to change color after a while depending on the product. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean the product won't work but it is time to start using them before they go bad.
Plastisol inks will get thicker and begin to cure in the container. This is usually due to extreme heat. Otherwise, plastisol can sit on the shelf for a very long time before going bad.
Water-based inks can handle the cold and heat but are subject to dry out quickly if left opened and not sealed properly.
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