Two Alternatives to Petroleum-Based Cleaning Solvents

Learn about effective, safe alternatives to petroleum based cleaning solvents. 

Vegetable and alcohol-based cleaning solvents are often used as an alternative to the hotter (also known as petroleum-based) solvents used as on-press cleaners. One reason is because vegetable-based solvents do not possess the same volatile characteristics as hotter solvents like noxious fumes and flammability.  They are much milder and will not damage most paint or powder coatings.

Vegetable oil solvents do tend to leave an oily film that does not evaporate, so you will need to make sure you wipe down your equipment after cleaning. If you’re concerned about leftover oily residue, alcohol cleaners, or even straight alcohol, is a good alternative that will evaporate and clean well.

Doug Grigar

Doug Grigar is a screen-printing veteran since the T-shirt heyday of the 1980s. He has worked as a freelance artist, graphics system administrator, and the pre-press production manager for a sportswear company for over 10 years. Grigar was general manager of the production division for an upscale licensed-goods chain before he began consulting full time in 2001. He now provides technical-consulting services and training, seminars and workshops and may be contacted at [email protected]

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