How to Press Comics, Funny Shirts, TMNT Toys - KaptainMyke
Updated on 7/19/2023


Clean Comics
Press Comics 
Products List
Ship Comics
Window Prep


Press Machines
Required Supplies
Cleaning Supplies
Humidity Tank
Advanced Pressing
Light Box




How to Press Comic Books Playlist by KaptainMyke on Youtube



Figure Checklist
Most Valuable






Where to begin for new members?
Our Facebook Group is large and full of information. Start with these 2 primary links:

Most of your common questions are answered at the top of our Facebook Group under "Announcements" or at the main website:

Search this group first before posting, please. We see the same questions asked often. Chances are, your question has been answered before. If you need help, we are here to help, regardless.

What is exact cost to press a comic book?
Exact cost to press a comic book (one time use)
· SRP $ .04
· SRP $ .04
· Backer Board $ .18
· Backer Board $ .18
· Backer Board $ .18
· 65 lb cardstock $ .06
· 65 lb cardstock $ .06
· 65 lb cardstock $ .06
Total $0.80 one time press
Grand total $1.60 flip and repeat

Everything depends on your budget and what you feel comfortable with using. I will give you full disclosure here in this section for all avenues and price points so you can make your own informed decision. I prefer option 1, the 15" × 15" Clamshell press, for the digital control unit and built in alarm. Because it’s 15" × 15", it has a larger surface area for a better press.

The FancierStudio or Sublimation 15x15 clamshell press machines are the most recommended by KaptainMyke for stain removal, amateur pressing and for beginners. Professionals and Experienced users both agree they prefer using Seal dry mount press machines.

All 3 options are available on eBay or Amazon:
Option 1, 15" × 15" Clamshell press, $150-$200.
Option 2, 12" × 10" Swivel mount press, $150-$200.
Option 3, 18" x 22" Seal dry mount press, $300-$1500. (Used)
Option 4, is to send your books out for pressing to an experienced professional. This can cost $25-$50 in shipping costs and an additional $15-$30 per book to have pressed professionally.

Your budget depends on the unit you choose. Keep in mind you will be saving thousands of dollars in shipping and presser fees otherwise sent out to a professional or inhouse presser at a grading company such as CGC or CBCS.

Most professional comic book pressers recommend the Seal brand press above all. The Tivor swivel unit handle breaks off, and also requires regular adjusting of the bolts because they come loose over constant use. The Seal brand press machines range in size. They can be either 15" x 18" for the Jumbo 160 or the Jumbo 210 unit is 15" x 22" in size. Both are super heavy, so shipping cost is expensive. Buy local! This guide is written primarily using methods on a 15" x 15" Clamshell unit, but you can adjust your method accordingly depending on which unit you prefer.


Where can I find or buy a [insert product]?
All listed product recommendations can be found at This list is always updated with the most recent products. The links are FREE and take you directly to Amazon or Ebay.



If you are new to cleaning and pressing comics, don't even worry about it yet. (Trust me.) My team and I have developed a set of exclusive methods to make stain removal and whitening much easier and safer on most comic books. There is still a lot that can go wrong if you aren't experienced with our exclusive methods. The Heat Overlay Press (HOP) Method and Blue Light LED (BLED) Method is intended for experiened pressers only. For more information, you will want a copy of "Comic Book Stain Removal and Whitening", written by KaptainMyke himself, Michael Frederik Sorensen. (





In 2023, Hangar 9 is no longer currently producing heat sealing tack irons. They are having a distribution problem and no one is making them for the company. There is a model on Amazon called "Prolux". The Prolux model's lowest setting is 212F. You will need to use extra sheets of copy paper and the included sock to lower the temperature a bit while using it. Do not leave the iron in any one spot on your comic books for a long period of time. Use quick, fast, circular motions. Make sure you are constantly checking the cover or page being treated. Paper burns at 450F but comic covers can melt or bubble up glossy modern age comics at 240F or 250F if you iron very slowly which is not recommended for this application. Older comics prior to 2002 should be fine at this lowest setting. Try the ProLux model here:




I recommend using 2 steel plates due to the process of even thermodynamic heat distribution. This enables you to work with a totally flat and rigid top surface and bottom surface. The top plate holds your stacking layers in place so they don't shift when closing the press machine in the locked position. Using plates transforms a t-shirt press into a commercial book press.




Working with different types of metal plates can produce different varying results. Adapt to your local environment and figure what works best for you and the type of work you do on comic books. I typically use 9x12 cold rolled pressed steel plates on most comics. I will switch to aluminum plates when practicing stain removal techniques on golden and silver age comics. Aluminum plates can develop lifting pages and covers too - if removed too soon, due to the slower cooldown times. You may have to lower the heat or remove from press machine at a later predetermined time.

  • Aluminum Plates = most conductive (heats up faster, cools slower)
  • Cold Rolled Steel Plates = 2nd conductive (heats up normally but cools faster and can develop rust spots when working with stain removal processes or misting)
  • Stainless Steel Plates = 3rd least conductive (heats up normally but cools faster)





If you are tight on money but would like to learn, this is completely understandable. Another thing to consider is to think of your comic book pressing kit as a set of garage tools. It can take a man years to obtain the perfect ideal set of hand tools since they are so expensive. Here is a basic list of tools to get you started on a budget:

The Clamshell Press and Swivel Press heat up much faster. The Seal and D&K Dry Mount Press Machines take 10 minutes to reach preset temperature. Use this knowledge to adjust/compensate for recommended start up times and temperatures. You cannot quickpress a 2002-Present modern age book with a Seal or D&K Dry Mount Press Machine unless you preheat the machine first, for example. The Comic Book CPR book was written using a Clamshell Press Machine. All recommended times and temperatures are going to run 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than a Seal or D&K Dry Mount Press Machine. If the book recommends a temperature of 155F, this is for a clamshell. If you have a Seal or D&K machine use 145F, for example.

Are you using your IR Thermo gun by shining it directly on platen of press machine? This is incorrect because the light waves bounce off the shiny surface of the press machine. Make sure you are using the IR Thermo gun correctly to obtain accurate reading. You have to press a few backer boards for 5 minutes and use gun on non shiny surface of one of the hot boards.

On a new heat press, it is not unusual for the temperature settings to be off by 18 to 20 degrees. To fix this, follow these simple steps:
1. Set the Heat Press temperature settings to 380F on the control panel. (See info on this below)
2. When the press heats to about 100F, press the down arrow on the control panel for 5 seconds. The heat press will go into Calibration Mode. It may take as long as 20 minutes to finish this process. Do not turn off or unplug the press during this time. To ensure total accuracy, you might also want to test the heat press using an Infrared Thermometer Gun. (available at most hardware stores or Amazon.)
Setting the Time and Temperature on your new Heat Press:
1. Using the control panel screen, press the “Set” button then the up or down arrow to the desired temperature.
2. Press the Set button again and set the timer using the up and down arrows.
3. Press the Set button and arrows again to choose Fahrenheit or Celsius.
4. Press the Set button again to confirm these settings.
5. Press the Set button and use arrows one more time to set an alarm that will notify you in advance when it is time to open the press.

Dry pressing and dry cleaning your book does not use any chemicals or moisture. Only pencil marks and crayon is safely removed from dry cleaning. The heatpress machine and the temperature does not lift sharpie marker or ballpoint pen. Signed or witnessed signature series books are completely safe from ink being lifted during pressing. Paint markers used on signatures cannot be pressed or cleaned due to smearing.

If you spot flaring or lifting on corners after press, you may need to adjust and lower your recommended temperatures. This could be due to regional differences in humidity and climate where you reside geographically. Or, it could be due to a difference in thermostat settings on your press machine. Too much heat and too long of duration can often cause this effect on pressed comic books so lower all of your settings to achieve more favorable results. If a book gets too hot at a rapid rate and cools down too slowly a book can get lifted corners as well.




Sunken staples are typically caused by the following conditions:

  • too many interior stacking layers
  • using too thick of cardstock under covers (110 lb or higher)
  • oversaturation from humidity tank
  • too much moisture in overlays for stain removal
  • all of the above


I tell people to use the adjustment knob with your main hand, and clamp or handle of press machine use with your weak hand. Do this method at the same time with both hands: If you cannot close the press with your weak hand using a limp wrist, its too much pressure so you slightly back down the adjustment knob with your main hand as you try to close the press with your weak hand. If the press won't close with your weak hand, try backing down the knob a little more counter clockwise each time until it closes with little restraint. Otherwise, you risk crushed staples and spines, or staple rub to the cover. If you can see staple indentations on your exterior paperstock stacking layer, you have used too much pressure. Do not use the adjustment knob while the press is in the closed and locked position. You will strip out the shaft bolt.

For large staple prongs, larger staples, and mis-staples... You will need to use 110 cardstock paper + magazine backer board + 110 cardstock paper at centerfold. Make sure your cardstock paper is before and after the staples with the backer in the middle. Quickpress modern age method. Flip/repeat 2 hours later. Do not replace interior stacking layers on the flip. (Only exterior layers replace) Always check your backer boards for staple indentations to see if you used too much pressure. This damage is often permanent. Also known as "Staple Push" - Good luck. Check the 5:02 mark in this video:

Do not press comics using only plates. This is not ideal - due to dust and other particles or contaminants in the environment. The plates are sanded down from the machining process and to wipe off lubricants from fabrication. You should still be using an exterior stacking layer for protection against divots, dust, and dirt particles. Use either a magazine backer board, copy paper, cardstock paper, press board, or poster board alongside SRP paper on the outside of your books. This creates a clean, disposable environment for comics being pressed. The plates are a method of heat transfer, not protection against divots and pebbling.


I would not recommend reusing backer boards or SRP Paper. Very prone to dust, hair, and other contaminants getting pressed into your book matter how clean you think you or your workstation is....The "human element" of this equation is not perfect and will often make mistakes. If you see staple indentations on your backer boards (exterior stacking layers) then you are using too much pressure.


Oversaturation is the #1 cause of wavy books. Using too much water in your humidity tank or too long in the humidity tank causes oversaturation. Try cracking the lid open an inch or two to lower the relative humidity inside tank.

Too much heat is the #2 cause of wavy books. If it's not oversaturation, try turning down the temperature by 5 degrees to see if that helps. Always try to adapt to your pressing environment.

The #3 cause of wavy books is the removal of books from press too soon. If you remove the book too soon from the press machine before cooling down properly, you will see wavy pages/covers.

Always check the top edge and bottom edge of pressed book. The top edge and bottom edge should always be flat and straight.
· Allow 2 hours for 2002-Present books to cool before removing or flipping. Modern Age Quickpress Method:
· Allow 24 hours for all other books to cool before removing or flipping.
· You can, however, wait at least 5-6 hours for Pre-2001 books and flip to repeat a second press. Only then remove from press at least 19 hours later after second press. This proves to yield successful results.
· 2002-Present modern books do appear somewhat wavy after press at times. This can depend on the publisher and paperstock. Brand new books being printed are rippled and wavy due to warehouse storage conditions or choice of thin cheap paper.
· To reiterate: You are looking for a super flat and straight top edge and bottom edge of all books pressed.


Tack iron and ball bearing are to be used if a regular pressing didn't work properly. Try a regular press first. If you still aren't satisfied with your results, they the "Ball Bearing and Tack" Method featured in this video:

I see a lot of wavy or flared books in the after photos. Humidity tanks and steam guns should be used sparingly and cautiously. Most of the time it's not needed unless the first press wasn't successful. Region and climate will impact your results. If you live in the desert, you might want to consider using humidification. Oversaturated books are a bigger problem than the original defect. Try using the "Hot Shot" method for localized dent removal first if possible:




How do you know if a book is properly humidified inside the humidity tank? A book should feel dry to the fingertouch. If a book feels damp right out of the humidity tank, it is oversaturated. Oversaturated books will become wavy after pressing. If a book forms waves across the top of a bagged/boarded book you may have too much moisture in the air in the room where you store books or press books. Another factor may be that the book is pressed too hot and for too long as well. What we do is all about "adapting to your local environment". So you need a digital hygrometer inside the tank and a digital hygrometer in your pressing room. If the room is above 50% you may have an issue with relative humidity in the room. Books should be stored and pressed in a room that is around 40%. If your numbers are above 40%, you may have to keep your humidity tank lid cracked 1 inch when in use so the inside relative humidity inside tank will level off around 70-80%. If your pressing room is less than 40%, you may need to keep your lid air tight so the inside relative humidity remains at 100% inside the tank. For example, if you live in the desert, you will need more humidity than someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest. If it is not a relative humidity issue, then you may need to press at a lower temperature like 150F for just 5 minutes and then let the book remain in press machine for 24 hours. Flip/repeat the next day using no humidity. Learn how to make a basic humidity tank by watching this video:

Tack irons are a valuable tool for dent removal and spine work. Tack irons can warp covers and pages if set too hot. 160-180F is the safe temperature rage in most cases. If your iron's lowest setting is still too hot, make sure to use extra sheets of copy paper and an included cloth sock over your iron to prevent scorching. Keep the dial down to a #2 or a #3 for most work. Take note which side is F and C for temperatures. Smooth, fast, circular and steady motions with a tack iron is safe. Constant heat applied on the same spot for 3-5 minutes or longer can damage the paper.
· Tack Iron:




When a comic book features staples that are 1/8" too far inside the spine you will need to perform the "C-Notch" Method to properly press. Instructional video discussing the "C-Notch Method" when pressing comic books with staples placed too far on the inside of spine:




SRP paper holds water when pressing oversaturated books. The water will collect on the opposite side of book away from the heat platen. This water will remain trapped between SRP paper and cover, causing ripples or cockles. Press rippled covers with no SRP paper: Try using only Backer Board, Cardstock Paper, and 1 sheet of 20 lb copy paper on the outside of both covers when pressing book between 2 steel plates. 160F for 300 seconds, shut off press machine and cooldown for 24 hours inside machine. Flip and repeat the next day. (low heat for low duration) Check out the same 5 minute video featuring the C-Notch Method:





Stain removal is not recommended if you are new to pressing. Stick to the basics as you learn and continue to grow your comic pressing hobby skills. Even experienced pressers should tread lightly with this topic. Removing tanning and foxing from a Golden Age or Silver Age book is not easy. It requires days or even weeks using a very slow process with a very steady hand. There is great risk to destroying the book, the gloss layer of covers, and lowering the overall value of book. We have developed a set of methods to make this easier and safer on comic books. There is still a lot that can go wrong if you aren't experienced with our exclusive methods. The Heat Overlay Press (HOP) Method and Blue Light LED (BLED) Method is intended for experiened pressers. Our methods are recommended for use only 2 or 3 times on an individual book. If you continue attempting stain removal methods you can go too far on a book and damage it permanently or get flagged for restoration.


Stop removing books too soon - they cause wavy warped covers and wavy interior pages. 24 hours for all books - except modern age glossy interior pages 2002-Present; they can be removed and flipped after 2-3 hours. If you want to press books faster and at a faster rate, considering buying a second or a third press machine. Pressing books take time and great care to achieve superior results.


The clam shell and swivel press machines have a timer maximum setting of 999 seconds, or 16 minutes. If you need to press a book for 20 minutes, simply set the press machine timer to 10 minutes. When the timer beeps, simply switch off the machine and immediately turn it back on for another 10 minutes. You do not need to open and close the machine to reset timer.


Experimentation is encouraged. One idea might work, others not so much. Share your successes and pitfalls. We all have been there. No judgement.



Click here for topic hashtags: You can also tag any member of the moderating team for assistance. Do not be afraid to post or share your experiences. Ask questions, we do not mind! We typically do not answer with just "see the announcements" or "just use the search". I am the type of person who will search and tag you to help out. I don't mind.


If you wish to post off-topic posts or share your latest pickups of the weekend, this is fine too. This is allowed.

THE DANGERS OF BAD PRESSING is worth a read every once in a while to remind yourself of what can happen if you aren't careful or feel rushed.



Everything we do is all about "adapting to your local environment". Try lowering the heat by 5 degrees. Sometimes you should check out the relative humidity in your pressing room and inside the humidity tank. You do this by using a hygrometer. (Check recommended products list) Do you need a dehumidifier in your pressing room? Maybe you need a humidifier in your pressing room. How are your books stored? Are they in a climate controlled room at 40% relative humidity and 70-72F room temperature? Try cracking the lid 1" open when using the humidity tank if you live in the NW or a high humidity area. Conversely, close it airtight when using the humidity tank if you live out in the desert or a dry, hot climate.

Comics are like people. We like to be comfortable. The ideal conditions for pressing comics in your pressing room and storage room for comics are 40% humidity and 72F degrees. These conditions can vary throughout the year as the seasons change. Different heating and air conditioner systems in homes and apartments can change these conditions as well.

Here are some examples of adapting to your local environment:

  • If your pressing room is 30% humidity you need to verify your humidity tank lid is airtight when in use.
  • If your pressing room is 55% humidity then you need to verify your humidity tank lid is open 1" by using a spacer or chip clip while in use.
  • If your storage room is 30% humidity you need a humidifier.
  • If your storage room is 55% humidity you need a dehumidifier.





This is an amatuer cleaning and pressing group and website. We do not encourage restoration that could lead to receiving a purple “Restored” label from a third party grading company. Replacing staples, cleaning staples, or even replacing wraps can get flagged easily for restoration. We are not trying to "get away with" a higher grade by attempting to "cheat the system" of third party grading. This logic includes using tips from our second book, Comic Book Stain Removal and Whitening. If you use our exclusive methods of Heat Overlay Press (HOP) or Blue Light LED (BLED), you will possibly receive a purple restored label from a third party grading service company. Do not continue stain removal and whitening methods by going too far and pushing the very limits to the extreme. If you have a bright white comic book from 1948 that looks like it was printed yesterday but has multiple color breaks, creases and rusty staples you should be fully prepared for a purple restored label. One or two treatments can be very effective while producing positive natural results. Don't over do it!



Need a skilled professional presser? Find one right here in the group! Services Locator:

Video tutorials are on YouTube for visual help on complicated subjects. More videos to come soon. Video Tutorials:

Read my book for advanced cleaning and pressing methods. Includes inspection forms, charts, and photos of real world examples to help you get started. Use code "KMPRESS" at checkout and get 25% off cover price!

Troubleshoot defects before taking action. The ability to troubleshoot makes dry cleaning and pressing comics significantly easier to tackle.

Photography can be a drag and dull or boring. Take matching "before" and "after" photos at the same time of day, with the same lighting if possible. If you remember to always take the same shots for all books, you will fall into a routine and it becomes easier and faster. Photography can save you a lot of hassle and prove your work to yourself or a client. Photos can also prove there was a problem before you started working on the book as well! Take the time to photograph your work, before and after you complete the job. You'll save yourself a lot of grief. Trust us.

A lot of people have never heard of me, this group, or the website Share and spread the love. I firmly believe what we do here is to help protect comic books in the hands of both hardcore and amateur collectors. Together we can all make comics last a little bit longer.

We don't have many rules for this group. The group's primary focus is to be as accurate and technical as possible. Posts made for charity or to help a fellow member must be approved by moderating team.
1. No live auctions.
2. No "for sale" posts.
3. No self promotion of YouTube or Websites.
4. No profanity or hate speech.
5. Respect others.
6. If you have a Youtube channel, we'd appreciate it if you mention either myself, my team, or the CPR books if you are using our methods in your videos. It's disappointing otherwise. Give a shout-out, or a link to my youtube channel, something... and if people ask you questions...tell them to buy the CPR or SRW book instead of giving away the information for FREE. This impacts book sales and you will be removed from this group.
7. No political posts.
8. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. As an Ebay affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases. By clicking and purchasing products recommended by group admin, you are helping support us and our cause.
9. Do not post restoration tips or advice related to: replacing inserts, wraps, value stamps, stickers, tattooz, or staples. This is an amatuer cleaning and pressing group. We do not encourage restoration that could lead to receiving a purple “Restored” label from a third party grading company.

It's okay to post links of recommended products from websites like Amazon or eBay. Screenshots are recommended. No affiliate code or referral links.

Thank you ALL for being a part of our free Facebook Group!

"Management" (air quotes) ✅



This 156 page field guide and training manual is a must-have for any comic book collector. Comic Book CPR explains advanced cleaning techniques and explains many exciting new methods not covered on this page. Protect your investments by reading this book today. This is a collaborated effort of 25 people and 4 writers! Includes all new, never before seen material not covered in the free guide online. This book covers liquid cleaning, removing fingerprints and scratches - and more!

Comic Book CPR Paperback Edition: $49.99
Comic Book CPR E-Book Edition: $39.99

More Information:


The author is also an authorized and licensed CGC Dealer. Have peace and mind the advice given on this website will help you achieve the absolute highest grades possible with CGC. CGC is the most trusted authority on third party grading of comic books since 2000.  






1949 Quality Comics Group PLASTIC MAN #17
Before and After

1952 E.C. Publications VAULT OF HORROR #23
(Before and After)

[ Go Top ]

Comic Book CPR by Michael Frederik Sorensen ®2019 All Rights Reserved ©2019 KaptainMyke and ®2019 Michael Sorensen. Comic Book Stain Removal and Whitening ©2022 Michael Frederik Sorensen ®2023 All Rights Reserved ©2023 KaptainMyke and ®2023 Michael Sorensen.



Unique Funny Tshirts, Movie Quote Shirts, TV Quote Shirts
©2002-2023 KaptainMyke