Rubber stamps have a wide variety of uses for everyone from the amateur scrapbook maker to the professional, from decorating an envelope to creating stationery, to designing unique business cards or creating a work of art. No matter how you use rubber stamps, there are several tips and techniques you should be aware of in order to prolong the life of your stamps. With proper care, your rubber stamps should last for many years and make thousands of impressions.
Rubber Stamp Care
How to Clean Rubber Stamps and Clear Stamps
1) Using a Cleaning Solution
If you are using traditional wood mounted rubber stamps or clear stamps, it's always a good idea to clean them before packing them away. Stamp off access ink on your stamp by pressing the stamp on scrap paper repeatedly until no more ink comes off the stamp.
To clean the rubber stamp or clear stamp further, we suggest using a cleaning solution specifically made for rubber stamps. Re:Marks Cleaning Solution is an affordable, convenient option, and is great for clear stamps, wood or traditional rubber stamps, as well as rubber stamp die plates. Spray the solution on a paper towel, and wipe away the ink from the stamp. The whole process only takes a few seconds!
2) Using a Tooth Brush or Stamp Scrubber Pad
To remove stubborn ink, try spraying the solution onto the rubber and then brushing the stamp with a toothbrush or scrubber pad.
* TIP: There is a difference between clean stamps and stained stamps. Some stamps become stained after a certain amount of time, however they are perfectly clean. Avoid trying to scrub stained stamps clean as this might damage the surface of the stamp.
3) Using Soap and Water
Gently use soap and water with a paper towel to wipe stamps clean. If you want to use water with a wood stamp, do not submerge the whole rubber stamp in water, as this will soften the wood and weaken the adhesive in the stamp. Be sure to air dry the stamp before storing it away. Using water with clear stamps can also help to retain or bring back the stamps tackiness for application on acrylic blocks.
*Tip: Cleaning your acrylic block can be done using the same methods above. Stamp cleaner or soap and water are both efficient ways to wipe away any ink that ends up on your clear stamp acrylic block.
4) Using Baby Wipes
Only use alcohol-free baby wipes to clean your wood rubber stamps. Baby wipes that contain alcohol can cause your stamps to become pale, dry and brittle over time.
Rubber Stamp Storage
Store your wood rubber stamps flat or upright in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to avoid them becoming brittle and cracked. Prolonged resting on an uneven surface, such as a surface with ridges, may cause dents in a stamp and render it unusable over time. It is important to avoid exposure to excessive heat or humidity in order to prolong the life of your stamp and continuously achieve perfect, crisp impressions.
Care Tips by Stamp Type
Traditional Rubber Stamps
A traditional stamp is generally made of red rubber. Stamps made from rubber can handle special inks and solutions, like those made with alcohol or paint. These inks should be applied with a lighter hand to avoid smearing upon stamping. The traditional stamps sold by RubberStamps.com are made from rubber.
Self-inking stamps use a "push and stamp" feature. The stamp surface hits an internal ink pad before stamping the image on a surface. Although they are the easiest stamps to use, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s directions for pad removal and re-inking, making sure that you only use water-based inks.
Be sure to clean the clear stamp before pulling it off of the block to avoid getting any ink on your hands. If you notice some stubborn ink left behind after cleaning, don't worry. Clear stamps tend to stain more than red rubber stamps, but shouldn't affect your stamping impression as long as you clean the stamp after each use.
Other Stamp Care Tips
1. Avoid storing your rubber stamps in trendy ways, such as a colander or wicker basket so that the stamps are not pressing against each other or pressing against metal or wood. This type of storage is a fast way to leave dents in your rubber stamps that will give you gaps in your stamped images.
2. Cleaning your stamp is also important as not to contaminate your ink pads when switching to another color. Maintaining a clean stamp will allow your ink colors to stay bright and vibrant instead of dull and muddled.
3. Dye-based stamping inks can be easier to wipe clean, especially from clear stamps. Dark pigment inks can stain your clear stamps over time, however, it is important to remember that this will not affect the quality of your stamp impression.
4. If your clear stamps start to lose their stickiness, simply rinse them with a little mild soap and water.
The lesson learned here is clear and simple. Take proper care of your rubber stamps or clear stamps and they will last a long, long time. Get the most out of your rubber stamps by following the tips we've shared with you and happy stamping!