Plates must be thoroughly cleaned so that no ink remains. A compatible cleaner must be used. You will also require soft bristle brushes. This process must be done immediately post printing. Do remember that this is the only way. Any other method adopted may destroy the plate. The inks must not be permitted to dry on the surface. If allowed to do so, the ink could be difficult to remove. This will result in surface damage from cracking or scrubbing at the time of flexing of the plates.
The plates must also be stored away from any UV light. Sunlight, white incandescent, window light, or fluorescent light should be avoided. Such light will result in the cracking of the plate. The plates must not be stored near any heat source. They should not be near any high ozone concentrations as well. The demounted plates must be interleaved with either foam or paper sheets. The plates should be stored flat inside envelopes or be wrapped in an opaque medium. The last is especially applicable if stored inside cylinders or sleeves.
It will be immensely helpful if proper plate storage and plate handling practices are followed. It is recommended that one should follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Most manufacturers recommend that the quantity of aggressive solvents in cleanup solutions, inks, and extenders be kept low. When the plate is mounted, or it is waiting to go to the press for cleaning, it should be encased in black poly or Saran Wrap. The edges must be sealed. The intention is to protect it against any whitelight.
Cleaning and premium quality equipment
The plate must be cleaned as quickly as possible using compatible cleaners. After a plate gets cleaned, it must be permitted to dry completely. The plate must then be stored in drawers or envelopes. If the plate is mounted, it must be encased in black poly or Saran Wrap. The intention was as before: block whitelight. The edges must be sealed. All plates should be kept far away from any heat source or light sources.
The plate can be given a coating of Armorali before wrapping it for storage. It will help to prevent cracking in most instances. The trick is to use premium quality products whenever possible. This will enable better quality, durability, and productivity. A well-maintained plate provides superb ink transfers, outstanding endurance, and high quality exposure latitude.