Soap & Water
Hot soapy water to clean Lino.
Don’t worry if your firstborn lino print doesn’t look quite as you imagined; practice makes perfect! Clean your linocut with soapy water; this is important, so it remains unblemished should you wish to use it again. Clean your lino cutting tools carefully to keep them in good condition. If you have any troubleshooting issues during the lino printing process or have any questions on how to do lino printing feel free to contact me via the about page.
Tips for Cleaning Linocuts
- Immediate Cleaning: Clean your lino as soon as you’re done printing. Dried ink can be difficult to remove and may compromise the quality of future prints.
- Use Oil or Solvent: If you’ve used oil-based inks, a solvent like white spirit or a specialised linoleum cleaning solution will be necessary. For water-based inks, warm soapy water often suffices.
- Soft Brush or Rag: Use a soft brush, sponge, or rag to gently scrub the lino. Avoid using abrasive materials that might damage the linoleum surface.
- Blot, Don’t Rub: When drying, blot the lino with a clean, dry cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can spread the ink into unwanted areas or damage the carved surface.
- Care for Carved Areas: Pay special attention to the carved areas. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove ink from these recesses.
- Avoid Waterlogging: If using water to clean, ensure not to waterlog the linoleum, as this can cause it to warp or swell.
- Regular Maintenance: Regularly maintain your lino blocks by storing them flat and in a cool, dry place to prevent warping or cracking.
- Dispose of Solvents Responsibly: If using solvents, dispose of them responsibly according to local regulations. Avoid pouring them down the sink as they can be harmful to the environment.
These tips should help maintain the quality of your linoleum and ensure that it lasts for many prints. Remember, the gentler the cleaning process, the longer your lino block will last.
How to Store Lino Prints?
Over time lino may dry up and crumble if stored incorrectly, please check the tips below to ensure your lino blocks are kept in best condition:
- Back the lino on Foamex or thin plywood to help stop the lino bloc curving
- Keep flat maybe under a book or something heavy
- Store in a air tight sealed plastic box
- Store with tissue paper between each block, in case they stick to each other
- Before carving an old block, heat it up for a minute or 2 on a radiator just to help soften it a little