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Old 04-02-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Hardened rubber stamps-HELP!!!


It's my first time in the forum....hope I am doing it right! I have some rubber stamps that have gotten kinda hard over time and won't stamp right...is there anything anyone knows of that will fix this problem? I'd really appreciate any tips that might help. Thanks!!
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
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I am thinking that once upon a time I read that people could dip them in glycerin and that would help with the rubber softening but, I don't remember if that was just plain rubber ( no mount ) or any kind of rubber. and I'm thinking out loud now that you may want to let it sit on the rubber a bit and maybe wipe it all off with old cloth rags after some time and then clean them like normal?

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Old 04-02-2014, 05:53 PM   #3
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This has happened to me. The really hard ones were too far gone to save. The somewhat hard ones I was able to save by soaking them in glycerin. They were wood-mount. I put the glycerin in a wide, shallow bowl so only the rubber was submerged in the glycerin.

I stopped buying from a certain company because it seemed like most of their stamps were getting hard. Other stamps from other companies, purchased at the same time, were fine.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:10 AM   #4
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Here is a recipe that was recommended/shared elsewhere by a rubberstamp company years ago:
Reconditioning rubber stamps: 2 tsp glycerin to 1/2 cup of distilled water, mix and then pour into a small tray. Place stamps in tray, rubber side down and leave over nite or longer if needed. Clean thoroughly the next day. Just be sure if soaking wood mounted that the mix is not so deep in the tray that it touches wood. I would assume that this would apply to other mounting methods too.

Another stamping friend swore cleaning stamps with a bar of PLAIN glycerin soap did the same thing without all the steps but I've never tried this method.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:38 AM   #5
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Maybe to help prevent drying in the first place you could clean the stamps after each use with the homemade stamp cleaner. There's an entire thread on making your own cleaners that have glycerin as one of the ingredients. Worth a try and it doesn't hurt the stamps. Not sure if it would help already hardened stamps though.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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Stamp cleaners usually have a conditioner in them. I've just sprayed my hardened stamps with cleaner and rubbed it in. Worked great!
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oddesigns View Post
This has happened to me. The really hard ones were too far gone to save. The somewhat hard ones I was able to save by soaking them in glycerin. They were wood-mount. I put the glycerin in a wide, shallow bowl so only the rubber was submerged in the glycerin.
Same here. I left the semi-hard ones in the glycerin overnight.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:06 PM   #8
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This is a little off topic, but does anyone have stamps that have gotten sticky? They stamp fine but if I stamp them uninked onto cardstock I can feel them grab the surface when I lift up. Should I condition those?
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:48 AM   #9
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
This is a little off topic, but does anyone have stamps that have gotten sticky? They stamp fine but if I stamp them uninked onto cardstock I can feel them grab the surface when I lift up. Should I condition those?
Rubber or clear? I have heard of some cheaper clear stamps getting tacky but don't remember there being a solution, sorry.


Hobbysue, I do clean my stamps regularly and I store them away of out the sun. I doubt anything would have prevented my stamps from drying up some due to the excessively hot drought conditions we have had here the last several years.


I have water based markers and ink pad that are ancient and were practically like new but not anymore. They are drying up fast, sigh and here come another summer season.

wonder how many casualties I'll have this time around.
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:46 AM   #11
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I just tried the glycerin on a hardened SU set that I bought at a garage sale. Some of the stamps are okay but the one was so bad I couldn't get an image out of it. After the glycerin treatment, it was just as bad so am getting rid of it. Thank heavens the set is still in the catalog (long running set) and am getting a new one. The set was obviously not well cared for in the first place. I should have known better. It is also the ONLY rubber stamp I have ever had harden and I've been at this about 16 years.

Last edited by snowowl; 04-12-2014 at 06:47 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:25 PM   #12
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Hi

I am so glad to see this thread! So good to know about the glycerin!

If I don't use official cleaner w/conditioner and use something else like a baby wipe or simple green (it works pretty well and dilutes hugely so lasts forever and is much cheaper to start) I will go back over the stamp with clean water rag to not leave cleaner on the rubber. I use a lot of cleaner so even in the Judikens bulk discounted size this saves me a lot of money.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOBBYSUE View Post
Maybe to help prevent drying in the first place you could clean the stamps after each use with the homemade stamp cleaner. There's an entire thread on making your own cleaners that have glycerin as one of the ingredients. Worth a try and it doesn't hurt the stamps. Not sure if it would help already hardened stamps though.
I think sunlight is usually the culprit. Pigment ink contains glycerin (or so I was told) so that shouldn't dry them out and dye ink doesn't soak in so it wouldn't damage them. Staz-on might damage them tho. But I think sunlight is the worst.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:41 AM   #14
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I have had one stamp get semi-hard. It's a large stamp from Hero Arts. I'm going to try the glycerin tip. Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:05 AM   #15
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I think sunlight is usually the culprit. Pigment ink contains glycerin (or so I was told) so that shouldn't dry them out and dye ink doesn't soak in so it wouldn't damage them. Staz-on might damage them tho. But I think sunlight is the worst.
Sunlight and just being in the open air. I cringe every time I see someone storing their stamps on a shelf like you see in a stamp store. Bad... bad... bad idea. Just air alone will dry out your stamps if you are not using them on a regular basis. Another way to keep your stamps soft (are you ready...) use them. Yep, ink them up and stamp away. The ink helps protect the stamp not just the cleaner.

I don't clean my stamps every time I use them. I learned years ago from Tim Holtz that ink doesn't hurt the stamps. In fact, it can condition and protect them. I have some solid stamps that would never stamp a solid clean image and now that I leave the ink on them they stamp much better. Before I use them again I swipe a baby wipe to make sure the previous color won't come off and then I ink and stamp.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Sunlight and just being in the open air. I cringe every time I see someone storing their stamps on a shelf like you see in a stamp store. Bad... bad... bad idea. Just air alone will dry out your stamps if you are not using them on a regular basis. Another way to keep your stamps soft (are you ready...) use them. Yep, ink them up and stamp away. The ink helps protect the stamp not just the cleaner.

I don't clean my stamps every time I use them. I learned years ago from Tim Holtz that ink doesn't hurt the stamps. In fact, it can condition and protect them. I have some solid stamps that would never stamp a solid clean image and now that I leave the ink on them they stamp much better. Before I use them again I swipe a baby wipe to make sure the previous color won't come off and then I ink and stamp.
I'm curious, does keeping stamps in clamshell boxes really make a difference? Most of my stamps are SU, about 85%. I have my stamps stored in an armoire, and there are some I have just sitting on the shelf. I also store lots of my dollar stamps stored in an antique printers tray that is hanging on the wall.

The only stamp I've had dry out had sunlight hit it. How do you store your stamps? Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:44 AM   #17
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I'm curious, does keeping stamps in clamshell boxes really make a difference? Most of my stamps are SU, about 85%. I have my stamps stored in an armoire, and there are some I have just sitting on the shelf. I also store lots of my dollar stamps stored in an antique printers tray that is hanging on the wall.

The only stamp I've had dry out had sunlight hit it. How do you store your stamps? Thanks!
I only have unmounted stamps now. As a SU demo, I keep current stamps in the DVD cases but all other stamps are in Unikeep binder boxes (similar to the new SU stamp boxes). Keeping stamps in a sealed box or drawer really does keep the rubber from drying out. I'd show you a picture but for some reason I can't upload a photo to SCS.

I have stamps I haven't used years and they stamp like they are new and I believe it's because they are protected.

As a decorator item I have a large vase filled with stamps I didn't want. The vase sits on a shelf that gets sun light and is near a vent and those stamps are hard as a rock.
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