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Old 09-09-2006, 06:54 PM   #1  
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Default How important are clean stamps?

it's a real '101' question. nothing ruins my creative flow like stopping to clean a stamp. how soon after inking and stamping should they be cleaned? (i use baby wipes.) and the versamark remains tacky on the stamp even after i clean it, should i be concerned? just how clean is clean enough? thanks for any feedback...
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:37 PM   #2  
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Versamark takes a little extra effort to remove since it's not "normal" ink and tends to resist the regular SU! cleaner. I think several folks here have gotten good results with baby wipes (without aloe or alcohol) first and then using the scrub pad and mist. You might also try stamping off as much as possible before cleaning.

I'm terrible about cleaning my stamps right away, even when I'm using Basic Black. Hasn't hurt the rubber any, although a couple of the line art stamps are a little bit stained. I think the only thing I make sure to remove right away is StazOn ink because the staining from that makes it hard to tell whether the stamp is clean or not.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:19 AM   #3  
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You know the old saying "a clean stamp is an unused stamp". LOL Of course, that's referring to the black stain you sometimes get from the ink. If I have it, I like to spray my wood (before mounting) with acrylic spray. Makes the ink not stain the wood. Usually about 2 or 4 layers (ALL sides). Then I only clean my stamps with water. Yep, just plain old water. Had them for many years & they are fine.

Do I do it right away............usually. It just seems to be easy to have th pad next to you. Stamp your image and touch to the wet side & sit on the dry side. Simple. Unless I'm doing a lot of the same image, same color. Then I wait a little while. If using black or dark colors (especially craft) you need to wash right away.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:23 AM   #4  
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I clean them all before I put them away and haven't had a problem. If my nephews are joining me, I sometimes get staining a bit, but that doesn't even bug the stamps next time I use them.
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Old 09-10-2006, 08:51 AM   #5  
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i am not that obsessive with cleaning. I do always clean off after stayzon, brillance, metalic pads and versa though because they can cause problems with mixing with my other pads. but regular su nah just stamp off a bit and put them back. I also don't care if the wood gets mucked up. but I know thats just me to each his own style.
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:16 PM   #6  
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I think I've read that the stamped impressions aren't as clear over time if you don't clean your stamps after using them.

Now, do I clean my stamps right away? Well, I'm trying to! I've found that if I am working on a project that uses many stamps, I will set the used stamps rubber side down on a baby wipe (without alcohol as an ingredient) so that the ink stays moist enough for me to clean it off when I am done.

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Old 09-10-2006, 02:43 PM   #7  
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I clean them before I put them away. If my Girl Scouts are using them I make them clean btw every stamp just to protect my pads. They are real good about it and eager to teach others, when we get together with other troops.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:10 PM   #8  
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Versamark really needs to be cleaned right away because the longer it sits on the stamp the stickier it gets. Inks can wait until your creative flow ebbs. BTW, I have friends who never clean their stamps of ink and swear it doesn't bothing them at all (unless wanting to stamp in lighter colors.) For me, I like to keep them clean and ready for those lighter colors. I use baby wipes and keep them in a container with a flip top. That way it is easy to just leave the lid up while I'm working and just stamp on the pile of wipes a couple of times to clean the stamps as I go.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:58 AM   #9  
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The problem with not cleaning thoroughly each stamping session really shows up in the craft/versamark type of inks. If you do not thoroughly remove these inks, they will build up in the rubber crevices. Next time, more buildup, etc. Eventually you have a muddy image, or no image, just a blob. I have bought used sets that were so mucky that they couldn't even be deciphered. In that case, serious cleaners and toothbrushes are needed to get the gunk out of the spaces in the rubber. But it can be done.

All that said, sometimes I just stamp off my dye inks and wait to clean to another time. It seems to be ok to do this. But I usually do like Carol, with my scrub right there. Any ink other than dye inks (SU Classic) I *always* make sure they are as clean as I can get them at the end of my session.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:32 AM   #10  
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If you don't thoroughly clean your stamp, and then use a colour like YoYo Yellow, you will find the yellow ink pad has cleaned it for you! My stamps aren't spotless ... but I try to keep them 'clean'. I don't worry a lot about rubber staining, but I want to be able to stamp in light colours without ruining the pad ... or getting some new combo of colours.

That said ... if you like the vintage, shabby look, you probably don't ever have to clean them!

Except for black, Stazon and Versamark, I haven't had any trouble cleaning the stamps, even if they've sat for awhile ... it's jsut a bit more work. (Kind of like letting dishes sit after supper instead of washing them right away! What works best for me is to spray the Stampin' Mist directly onto the rubber, let it sit, then use my scrub. That gets the worst!
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:05 PM   #11  
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thanks everyone for your helpful responses. what do most of you use to clean the versamark off? that one is really tough. i rub the stamp with baby wipes but it still seems tacky...
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #12  
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I like Perfect Polymer Stamp Cleaner from Ranger. And yes, it is safe for rubber too.
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:36 PM   #13  
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I recently attended Stampaway, rubber stamp convention in Cincinnati, where one of the teachers, Lovely Linda, said the ink conditions the rubber and doesn't need to be cleaned, just stamped off. She did say that Staz on must be cleaned off because it is sticky and mucky. Her stamps were all pretty black--and we used a lot of them in the class. When I stamp at home though, I pull out those baby wipes all the time and Ultra Cleaner some of the time.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:00 PM   #14  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jenlast
I recently attended Stampaway, rubber stamp convention in Cincinnati, where one of the teachers, Lovely Linda, said the ink conditions the rubber and doesn't need to be cleaned, just stamped off. She did say that Staz on must be cleaned off because it is sticky and mucky. Her stamps were all pretty black--and we used a lot of them in the class. When I stamp at home though, I pull out those baby wipes all the time and Ultra Cleaner some of the time.

I think I saw this same woman demoing at her booth. Her stamps were black and when she was done with them she just put them back in their drawer. They all seemed to stamp fine to me.

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Old 09-11-2006, 07:51 PM   #15  
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Well I clean off my dye ink but when I use my versamark, sometimes I just leave it....I live in a very DRY climate and I thought it helped protect/condition my stamp. Don't know where I thought that up...but that's what I do.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:52 PM   #16  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KimberlyinMN
I think I've read that the stamped impressions aren't as clear over time if you don't clean your stamps after using them.

Now, do I clean my stamps right away? Well, I'm trying to! I've found that if I am working on a project that uses many stamps, I will set the used stamps rubber side down on a baby wipe (without alcohol as an ingredient) so that the ink stays moist enough for me to clean it off when I am done.

Kimberly
I do the same thing but I am having the darndest time trying to find alcohol and aloe free wipes.
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:07 AM   #17  
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I used to hate cleaning my stamps until a got a stampin' scrub and stamping mist cleaner.

Now I just stamp off on scrap paper, spray a few spritzs on the one side of the scrub, gently scrub the stamp on the "wet" side and dry on the other. Put the stamp back in the box. Very easy!

Really irratates me when I forget and mess up a light colored pad with dark ink!
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Old 09-13-2006, 08:23 PM   #18  
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I think it's really important. I'm totally anal about my stamps. Foam and rubber ones alike. I will even scrub them when they look stained from the ink. I use my stampin scrub, a toothbrush, a paint trimmer thing, and baby wipes. For background stamps, I like to use either baby wipes or the paint trimmer and toothbrush. It bugs me when I get ink on the wood, but not as much as ink on the rubber for some reason. No matter what I do, I seem to always get ink on the wood.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:31 AM   #19  
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JulieHRR mentioned in a seperate thread that if you don't clean your stamps throughly, then they stain your Versamark pad, and turn your Versamark images to sort of a tea stained image in addition to the glycerin.

I wash my stamps at the end of a stamping session, knowing that if I have been using black, I'm gonna have a problem if one of those stamps hits the floor. It is some sort of physics rule that they land rubber down, right?

I think clean stamps is particularly more an issue for demonstrators who may be using their stamps over and over with different techniques. And having clean habits may help during workshops - teaching others to keep your stamps in working order.

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Old 09-15-2006, 04:36 AM   #20  
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Second of two posts in a row---

Keep in mind that Tim Holtz, who develops products for Ranger and teaching stamping, doesn't clean his stamps at all. Some stamp shops don't either. They are black and they stay black, and the seem to work just fine. But Tim is not noted for extensive use of pastels which would be affected by those black stains, and his style is very distressed (read: with his style, a little extra smutz on your card is art.)
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:49 PM   #21  
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I used to just leave the dirty stamps on top of the wipes pile in the wipes box. Seemed to work well. I've also been known to just stamp off--especially if the color was Saffron, Marigold, Banan, etc. Then I became a demo and received my scrubber, and I love it! It's something I would never have bought myself, but now I use it every time I stamp. As others have already posted, I leave it open and rub my dirty stamps on the wet part, then move them to the dry part and leave them there till my stamping session is over (or until I have no more room and *must* put them away!). I still use the paint thingie on my background stamps after spraying them with cleaner.

I think overall, stamp cleanliness is a matter of personal preference. Any 'damage' done to stamps by lack of cleaning can be fixed by <drum roll please>: cleaning them! Some inks are stickier than others. I have been known to use an old toothbrush to get craft ink goobies out of crevices. Versamark is a pain to clean. I use it less because of that.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:02 PM   #22  
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I agree that its a matter of personal choice. I wouldnt be able to sleep at night if my stamps werent clean, lol ... that's just me. The wood doesnt bother me as much, but the rubber HAS to be clean. One of my girlfriends doesnt clean her stamps and it drives me nuts!!!!
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:59 AM   #23  
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My stamps are dirty! I just stamp off. Oh my versamark is fine too.
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Old 09-17-2006, 10:20 AM   #24  
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I have to clean my stamps as I go....a little anal retentive I suppose. LOL. I used to totally stress out about ink on the wood but, no matter what I do I seem to get ink on the blocks. I am seriously considering starting to stain my wood block so the ink will just wipe off the wood if I make a boo-boo.

I'm with Deb on the unable to sleep at night if I didn't clean my stamps...lol.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:17 AM   #25  
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If you only use black ink on your projects then Tim Holt is right and there isn't any reason to clean them. If you use other light color inks or Brilliance inks it is very important. I have ruined some of my dye ink pads in lighter shades when I didn't get all the SU Classic Black ink off my stamps before tapping them on the lighter ink pads.
Just recently I found a very easy way to keep my stamps clean. I discovered a wonderful hybrid ink called Versafine Black. I use it for all my black stamping project as I think it gives me a much sharper stamped image with detail stamps and it cleans right off the rubber. I spray some Ultra Clean on my stamp scrubbing pad, rub the stamp on it lightly and blot on a paper towel. The rubber stamps clean up perfectly every time. Takes about 15 seconds and I'm done. Also, one spray on your scrubbing pad of Ultra Clean is enough to clean several stamps so it saves you money by not having to spray each stamp individually. You can buy the Ultra Clean from www.inkyantics.com
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:47 AM   #26  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by staci.d2006
it's a real '101' question. nothing ruins my creative flow like stopping to clean a stamp. how soon after inking and stamping should they be cleaned? (i use baby wipes.) and the versamark remains tacky on the stamp even after i clean it, should i be concerned? just how clean is clean enough? thanks for any feedback...

I clean all of my stamps right away, I know it does get in the way of the creative juices. I have alot of trouble with the SU Basic Black as it never comes off no matter what I try, maybe someone out there knows what I can do to get rid of the staining.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:16 AM   #27  
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Default cleaning basic black

I dont "reccommend" this to everyone, but once in awhile I use Scrub Free on my stamps and the black comes right off. I cleaned a bunch of stamp sets before I sold them and they looked "barely used". I had a friend whose 2 yr old "painted" my white countertop with a basic black ink pad and I thought my goose was cooked! But a little elbow grease and scrub free and no more black countertop! You might want to condition your stamps with the stampin up cleaner afterwards, but I havent had a problem yet. Steph
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:31 PM   #28  
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I just keep my stampin' scrub and the bottle of stampin' mist open on the table when I'm stamping and I clean my stamps as I go.
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