Sep 14, 2014

Sunday Savings: Cleaning Stamps

Today's tip is saving money cleaning stamps.  Boring, but a dime is a dime, right?

I’ve used specialty cleaners and a scrubber, but hated buying the cleaner and the scrubber sometimes left little pieces on my stamps.  I switched to baby wipes, but they are pricey and not environmentally friendly.

I kept reading about the Absorber and thought I'd give it a try.  I think it was made to dry off cars, but the chances of me ever washing or drying a car is zero.  

Bottom line, it's great!  Since I couldn't figure out what to do with it (brain cell issues), I thought I'd share how to use it.


I got the mini version -- it's less than $10 for a very large piece (17" x 13").  I cut a smaller piece and put away the rest, where I suspect it will outlive all of us.

It comes in a plastic tube, and out of the container is soft and pliable.  I soon learned that if it sits out in the air, it dries and becomes hard, like cardboard.  (I thought I had killed it.)   

Also, I kept trying to clean the stamps with the absorber and nothing else.  It didn't absorb a thing and I wondered what was wrong.  Finally, it occurred to me to wet it.  It's a miracle!!  The water and ink and alcohol all just get "absorbed." I have no idea where they go. 

If water doesn’t clean my stamp, I put a little cheap rubbing alcohol on the absorber and that does the trick -- this works really well for metallic inks.  And, no, it doesn't harm my stamps.

Before I start stamping, I see if it's too dry and if so, spritz with water and it's fine.  If I keep it out for a few hours, I spritz again. 

Here's mine, in its container .... 


Lovely, isn't it?  I've used it for a few months without washing it.  Guess it's time to throw in the washer (but not the dryer)!  Love this thing...

Now they need to make a synthetic cook (The Cookster) and I'll be all set. 





19 comments:

  1. I don't know what I would do without mine! I have had mine for years and its not pretty! lol! But it washes right up in the washing machine and always works like a charm each time!

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  2. Joan, you use photopolymer stamps only, right? Rubber stamps, on the other hand, should not be cleaned with alcohol because over time, it will dry them out. At least, that's what I was told years ago. Perhaps it's an old wives' tale.

    What a cool absorbent towel you found!

    I clean stamps with a damp washcloth. I use old, raggedy cloths the dog has chewed and once bought a pack of 8 for $2 at Target. I wet the cloth, fold it, and put it in a baby wipe container...one of the flat ones for diaper bags, not a big one. I don't close the container or the rag will start to smell, but that works great. For stamps that won't clean with just water, I do have a stamp scrubber and stamp cleaner, but I rarely have to use it. That system is pretty cheap and covers all contingencies.

    And you're right, stamp cleaning isn't sexy, but it is necessary!!!

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    1. I have some rubber stamps and read that alcohol is ok on them. I'll let you know if I see any issues. I only use the alcohol when I need to, though. Not often.

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  3. I love this post. I have one of those for my car and it is never used! I remember seeing a video with someone and she was using one of these and loved it. I forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me. I use paper towels and water, but this wouldn't be thrown away. I like this. :)

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  4. Oh, Joan...you always make me laugh! (and this is good)...I did not know about this Absorber, and that is quite amazing. On both counts. Because I hear about "everything", and this is new to me! It does seem to work amazingly well, and I may have to try it. Since I sell SU (to myself) I do have their gadget, and I have always liked it. First, I season my stamps by cleaning them on the scrubber before I use them; and that always gets that residue off them so they stamp well. I never have gotten fuzzies from mine, but if I did I would just vacuum it when it was dry. I wash mine up when they get dirty, and they are good to go again. I have to say though, it's hard to keep me from trying the latest thing; so I may have to get me an absorber...if I don't need it all, I'll give it to my son to wash his car.

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  5. I have some cloths that are similar to this "somewhere". (Don't think they went by the name "absorber", but they came with some cleaning products and were described as being able to absorb huge amounts of water.) I know I packed them when I moved, but have not seen them since! LOL! I never thought of something like this for stamp cleaning. Maybe if I ever find them I'll try it.

    And yes, it's a known fact that alcohol will dry out rubber so that would mean rubber stamps as well. I haven't heard that it damages photopolymer stamps but I have read that UV is very damaging to the clear stamps so we shouldn't leave them out for long periods of time.

    I use plain water for most of my stamp cleaning and do just fine, but I do use the StazOn stamp cleaner for inks that won't come off with plain water. I can't remember if it's the StazOn or my other little bottle of stamp cleaner that has a conditioner in it. But, I do try to remember to rub just a little of that over my rubber stamps after cleaning them to keep them from drying out. I live in a very dry climate and want my stamps to last for a very long time. I also store them out of the light. I've purchased a few stamps used and have seen the effects of not taking care of them as the rubber is dry and sometimes even hardened and shiny. Some can be brought back to a usable state with a good conditioning, but some are just never the same when they have been allowed to dry out too much. For the small amount of stamp cleaners I use, I don't see it as money wasted. I've had the same two small bottles for several years and bought both of them with 40% or maybe even 50% off coupons, so I will replace them when they run out. Stamps are expensive so I'd rather take good care of them so they can stay in my stash hopefully as long as I'm able to stamp. Maybe if I used a ton of stamp cleaner I'd go the route of making my own as I've seen some do using the recipes that can be found on the Internet. But, so far I have not felt the need to do that.

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  6. Hey, this is pretty cool...I'll have to give it a try.

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  7. Thanks for the tip, Joan! Where can you find these? Maybe the automotive section of Target? I will have to check it out.

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    1. I got mine on Amazon. Others report getting them in the automotive section of Walmart or Home Depot. Not 100% sure!

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  8. Thanks for the tip, Joan! I just ordered one from Amazon.

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  9. I will be trying this out today! Thanks for the tip!

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  10. Great post, Joan! Love my absorber! It's the only stamp cleaner I now use!

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  11. Wow, fabulous idea. I have never heard of that thing. I think I need to get one. Also, please provide more details on the cookster. And, if you have a dishester or cleanster, I'd like one of each please.

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  12. I FINALLY ordered one of these off Amazon! You sold me on it with your post here, chica! XO!

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