A healthy press is a happy press


I am by no means a ‘my body is a temple’ type, but I do like to keep my life relatively clear of harsh chemicals and products that contain a long list of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce. Last year I stumbled across a website called Good Guide (I highly recommend a visit, but only if you are prepared to say goodbye to half your cosmetics) This has sparked my interest in clean living and I have since started using more natural products on my body and around the house.

When I acquired the press, I was concerned about the chemicals and solvents I would need to keep it clean and in optimum operating condition. Especially as one of the presses is inside, I didn’t want to expose my husband or myself to damaging solvents with lingering toxic vapours.

Inks are thick. No amount of lemon juice will keep my ink plate and ink rollers sparkling and every printer I know uses either mineral turpentine or kerosene. Flammable and toxic. Nice.

After much research I have come up with my essential Non-Toxic Press Cleaning Kit:
– Vegetable Oil
– Baby Oil
– Baby Wipes
– Vinegar

First I run the machine with a few pieces of scrap paper on the ink plate to remove excess ink. Then with the rollers on the ink plate, drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil and run again a few times. This loosens up the ink and makes cleaning it off with scrunched up newspaper a breeze. It can get very messy so have some fresh newspaper or a cloth at the ready to catch the oily drips. Repeat a few times until most of the ink is gone.

Baby wipes will become your best friend. They are always handy to have nearby before those random ink spots, which always mysteriously appear on your hands, find their way onto your freshly pressed cards. You will use quite a few of these to remove the last little bits of colour from the rollers and ink plate.

The last step is to run some baby oil on a cloth over your clean ink plate and rollers. I find this takes away any excess greasiness from the vegetable oil and acts as a nice conditioner for your rollers. It also leaves your studio smelling lovely. If I need to use the press straight away for another colour, I rub a mix of water and vinegar on the rollers to cut through the oil and they are ready to go again.

Non toxic, chemical free and leaves the room smelling like a baby’s nursery.


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