Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cleaning Up Rubber Stamps

I just purchased a few used Stampin Up stamp sets from Ebay and received them late last week. One of the sets I ordered, All Natural, was very dirty and gunked up with old ink. The other set, Basket of Blossoms, arrived in excellent shape.

I was quite concerned that the All Natural stamp set was too far gone to be of use and afraid I had wasted my money (or would have to deal with trying to return it). The leaf and pear stamps in particular had so much ink in the crevasses, that it didn't appear they would leave an accurate impression. The rubber also seemed very hard and dry on most of the stamps.

My sister did some investigating and found some tips for cleaning dried on ink from rubber stamps, which I tried. It worked surprisingly well and I didn't follow directions very diligently. Here is what I did...

  • Clean the stamps using the Staz On Stamp Cleaner. I should have used a small toothbrush for this, but I didn't. The Staz On Cleaner worked amazingly well at getting most of the ink off, although I did have to repeat this step a few times.
  • Wipe off the Staz On solvent with a clean, damp towell.
  • Apply a small amount of glycerin to the rubber portion of the stamp to condition it.
  • Store the conditioned stamps in a plastic bag overnight. I actually only left it on for a little while, because I was in a hurry to use the stamps, but it did make an improvement even that fast.
  • Clean with a damp towel.

This process worked very well. There is still some staining, but no longer any caked in ink. The rubber is also much softer after doing this. I plan to go through the process again and leave the glycerin on overnight to give it time to finish the job.

I don't know if you can tell the difference or not. The photos are not very clear. The one at the top of the post is with it still dirty. This one is after I cleaned it.

No comments: