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.
How to Clean Rubber Stamps
If you are using traditional wood mounted rubber 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 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 wood and traditional rubber stamps, as well as rubber stamp die plates. Spray the solution on a paper towel, and wipe away the ink from the rubber. The whole process only takes a few seconds!
If you notice remaining ink, spray directly onto the rubber and then wipe away with paper towel.
To remove stubborn ink, try spraying the solution onto the rubber, brushing the stamp with a toothbrush and then quickly rinsing the rubber under running water. Do not submerse your whole rubber stamp in water, however, as this will soften the wood and weaken the adhesive in the stamp. Be sure to air dry the stamp before storing it away.
Rubber Stamp Storage
Store your 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.
Tips by Stamp Type
Traditional Rubber Stamps
A traditional stamp is generally made of polymers or rubber. Polymer stamps need to be paired with water-based ink pads. Any other ink type will damage your die. Stamps made from rubber can handle inks 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.
It is easy to re-ink your Flash pre-inked stamp. It is important to purchase the right ink and to re-ink with the same ink color previously used. See this instructional video for how to re-ink a Flash pre-inked stamp.
Other Stamp Care Tips
Do not use baby wipes to clean your traditional rubber stamps. We have noticed that using baby wipes has become a cost-effective trend for stampers, but cleaning stamps with baby wipes can cause them to become pale, dry and brittle over time.
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.
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.
The lesson learned here is clear and simple. Take proper care of rubber rubber 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!