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Old 06-26-2014, 06:41 AM   #1
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Question Deep stamp cleaning?

Hi All,

I wonder if there is any way to "deep" clean a clear stamp? I usually use just water to clean my stamps. I don't care about inks staining my stamps. They still work perfectly. I only use Stazon cleaner when I use Stazon inks.
But! When I use the same stamps with different inks and constantly switching between colors (i.e. when stamp background) it seems that inks still stay on a stamp no matter how thoroughly I cleaned it. So if I stamp with light ink after dark ink - I don't get the light ink color, I get a mix of the light color and some "diluted" dark color.
If I put a stamp away for some time after using a dark ink and then use it for light ink - then it doesn't create any problems.

I can assume that as polymer stamps are porous so some dye is left in their "pores" and while it's still "fresh" when another ink is applied the solvent from the ink "goes" to pores and get dye left in pores. I hope I explained it good and this doesn't sound too stupid lol.

So if there any way to really clean stamps? I read here on SCS about some Simple Green recipe. Went ahead and purchased SG. Didn't help. In fact I didn't noticed any difference between cleaning with SG or just water. Both clean the same, both don't remove stains from a stamp...
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:45 AM   #2
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I've never experienced this but maybe you could try "stamping" the clean stamp onto scratch paper a few times (no ink) before you stamp with the second ink colour. I do that with polymer stamps after cleaning if I've done a partial inking to split a sentiment or something and then want to use the other part of the stamp - it just makes sure I really have got all the stray bits and pieces of ink but maybe it would help with your problem, too.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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I usually stamp mine off and then give them a wipe with a baby-wipe, but when I need to do a real deep-cleaning job I use Ultra-Clean from Stewart Superior, suitable for both clear and rubber stamps. I hate the smell and oily feel it has, but it's great for cleaning!
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:28 PM   #4
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I agree with Sabrina (Cook22). If Ultra-Clean can't do it I don't think anything will.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:42 PM   #5
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Svitlana, do you use Stazon ink on your clear stamps? The solvent in the ink will damage the stamps over time.

You might also find some useful info here:
Removing StazOn ink fron acrylic (clear) stamps ... - Scrapbooking Kits, Paper & Supplies, Ideas & More at StudioCalico.com!
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
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Are you using a stamp washer? It needs to be cleaned, too. If it's not clean, you get residual color (usually a dark brownish gray) even if you've washed your stamp thoroughly. Like someone else said, I always keep a piece of scrap paper handy and after I wash a stamp, I keep stamping off until I can't see even a trace of the image on the scrap paper.
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Old 06-27-2014, 04:51 AM   #7
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If the rubber has ink residue, over time it can collect stray glitter,dust etc. I use Murphy's Oil Soap and an old toothbrush to scrub the rubber.Rinse under running water and lay on a towel to dry. I've been doing this for many years. Kiss Off which is a stain stick works well on some stains. Nothing will get it back to what it looked like when it was new but I used to coat a new rubber stamp with ArmorAll (auto dept) and that helped the rubber from staining too badly
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:07 AM   #8
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I've used both Simple Green and Judikins regular cleaner on clear with no ill effects but I always my rinse stamps after using cleaner on them.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:59 AM   #9
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I've taken an old soft toothbrush and some dish soap to my clear stamps to give them a good cleaning when ink gets into the little crevices and doesn't come out with my regular cleaning with a baby wipe. Works fine and doesn't hurt the stamp (as long as your not too rough with it). I always let my clear stamps air dry after cleaning them.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:26 AM   #10
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Another solution, I think I read on here somewhere, is stamping your stamp in Versamark, then stamping off onto scrap. I'm pretty sure you could use a cheap clear embossing ink pad to do the same thing.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:08 AM   #11
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Very interesting topic of discussion.

Recently, I have been using Ranger Archival Inks more. Many times my stamp will sit with the ink residual still on it. I've started using Inkessentials Solvent Stamp Cleaner with the dauber top by Ranger. Although my stamps are stained the ink comes off every time. I have been wiping them right after use with a baby wipe, then stamping off again before cleaning and that helps, especially if I can't "clean" them right away. I also use a soft children's toothbrush. After doing the above, I put a tiny dot of Dawn dish soap in my hand and swipe the toothbrush across it, and then give the stamp one more cleaning before rinsing well.

I have heard that Stazon cleaner can in time damage your photopolymer stamps. I don't know that to be true, but, I've never taken the chance.

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Old 07-02-2014, 05:54 AM   #12
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I just took a class from Tim Holtz, he does not clean stamps. He first uses Archival ink on clear stamps they print off much more clearly, wipes with plain water.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:37 AM   #13
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I would have thought that Ranger Solvent cleaner and Staz-on cleaner are pretty much exactly the same thing, as Staz-on cleaner is also solvent based. I don't know whether it does damage stamps, but I know the cleaner does damage acrylic blocks over time. I do have clear stamps that I've used Staz-on cleaner on over the years, and the good quality photopolymer ones don't seem any the worse for it. I must admit, having seen Tim Holtz rarely do much stamp cleaning in his videos, I've got less bothered about it .
The only time I do give them a good scrub now is if I've used a pigment ink- that really seems to clog stamps.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:42 AM   #14
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I had read a little while back that hand sanitizer works great to clean stamps and the acrylic blocks. So I tried it and it works great! I just rub the sanitizer all over the stamp with my finger then brush it on a stamp cleaner/washer. I am sure a toothbrush would work great too. Then I always stamp them on a dry paper towel or rag to dry them off. The hand sanitizer works great to get the ink off your hands too
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanadonnaC View Post
I had read a little while back that hand sanitizer works great to clean stamps and the acrylic blocks...
The reason hand sanitizer works great for all those things is that it's alcohol-based. If you're concerned about damage to your clear stamps and acrylic blocks from the likes of Stazon cleaner (and I agree with Shaz that Ranger Solvent cleaner is likely to be basically the same stuff), I'd say steer clear of hand sanitizer, too.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:34 AM   #16
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I wash mine with Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and a soft-bristle nail brush (or sometimes diluted Simple Green sprayed on my Ranger scrubber when I'm stamping with both clear and rubber). Done this for YEARS now, and my clear stamps are just fine. I also have some Mona Lisa pink soap for really stubborn gunk (I use that mostly for cleaning my brushes).
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:07 PM   #17
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I've also had this problem. And I agree, when the stamp dries first, this doesn't happen. I use a faux chamois to clean my stamps and I wipe it once, apply the light ink, test stamp and then if it looks yucky, I clean again and restamp. Never had to wash more than that. I think it's mainly dirty water left on the surface. I'll admit, I let my cloth get too dirty before washing it.

I'm pretty sure their aren't pores in the surface as these would make a difference in how they stamp.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:08 PM   #18
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BTW, a toothbrush and a bit of dishsoap will clean stencils really well. Even if the paste has dried on.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelnorth View Post
I've never experienced this but maybe you could try "stamping" the clean stamp onto scratch paper a few times (no ink) before you stamp with the second ink colour. I do that with polymer stamps after cleaning if I've done a partial inking to split a sentiment or something and then want to use the other part of the stamp - it just makes sure I really have got all the stray bits and pieces of ink but maybe it would help with your problem, too.
I do stamp on scratch paper. And with no ink stamp seems to be clear. But when I apply the lighter ink - it kind of "activates" what is left from the previous one.
It doesn't happen though if I let the stamp to sit a bit and apparently whatever is left dries out.
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook22 View Post
I usually stamp mine off and then give them a wipe with a baby-wipe, but when I need to do a real deep-cleaning job I use Ultra-Clean from Stewart Superior, suitable for both clear and rubber stamps. I hate the smell and oily feel it has, but it's great for cleaning!
Does that Ultra-Clean from Stewart Superior help in this situation? A friend of mine has a couple of cleaners (StazOn all-purpose and Ultra Clean from Hero Arts). I asked her to do some tests for me. She used Hero Arts dye inks. So with cleaners stamps were cleaner then when cleaned just with water, BUT - still had some residue left. I would buy a cleaner if knew this will clean deep.
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Old 07-03-2014, 11:49 AM   #21
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I have to admit I am fussy about my stamps so I always want to clean them back to new if possible. Over time they stain and that's ok but I fight the tide as long as I can. So far it's working pretty well.

I stamp off immedately after use and then clean with a cotton rag (DH's old tshirts I cut up or old socks..which are then washable if I want to). I use a very diluted simple green but will fall back to the pros...judikins, stazon, clear stamp cleaner, if I need to.

I see a lot of people are stamping off after you clean...you dont do it before or is that just assumed?

Very detailed stamps go to the scrubby but then I know the wood will be stained b/c it sprays when you do that no matter how little cleaner I put on. And sure-the scrubby has to be cleaned too but ends up being stained.

I was taught in 101 class to have a tray with wet paper towels so if you are not cleaning them asap they sit there and it keeps them wet and easier to clean though that was more for wood, but could be acrylic if you are done with the block. I dont do it now unless there is a bunch of us at the table.

I personally would not go by what mfgs do...they have unlimited access to new and clean product whenever they want it...just like I see TV chefs abuse their pans...

I think an added benefit to using dish soap is that if they are not sticking well to the block that helps fix that?
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alene13 View Post
I just took a class from Tim Holtz, he does not clean stamps. He first uses Archival ink on clear stamps they print off much more clearly, wipes with plain water.
I think it's wonderful that a professional like Tim Holtz "uses" the stamps and doesn't worry about babying them. I have always tended to be very casual about cleaning stamps, and seldom if ever have cleaned any of mine. I usually just stamp off on scrap paper and wipe them with a damp paper towel.

I've done this since I started stamping, and all my stamps stamp very well.
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