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Old 02-10-2019, 05:51 PM   #1
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Default Photopolymer stamps with a strong chemical odor

I have as recently as the last two years purchased a few photopolymer stamp sets from various companies. Last spring, stamps I received from one company smelled so strongly, I could hardly stand to keep them in my house. I tried rinsing them with clear water, washing them with dishwashing liquid, laying them in the sun for a day on each side, airing them out in the breeze. It was weeks, maybe months, before the odor dissipated. In the last week, the stamps I have received from two other stamp companies have such a strong odor! What to do? How to rid the stamps of odor? Off to the worldwide web to explore, I read elsewhere online that the stronger the odor, the better the stamping quality. Really?? What causes the chemical odor? How can I get rid of it? Are these stamps toxic?
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:10 PM   #2
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If you tell us which companies, other can compare their experiences. Otherwise, I am pretty scent-sensitive and I haven't gotten any stamps that I really noticed a strong odor on, much less ones that were so bad I couldn't stand it.

The thing that smells the worst in my stamp room, for no reason that I can tell, is my box of full size SU ink pads. The box I have with the ink cubes doesn't smell, but the box with the big pads just smells... weird.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:36 AM   #3
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There is a thread on here about this - I just did a Google search, and it was on there. Strong odor from stamps?
From this, and the Google search, it seems it's common, yet like you I've never had that on any of mine. And I have a LOT!, lol. One reply on Google does say that the photopolymer formula varies between manufacturer, and some low quality mixes do this.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:09 AM   #4
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I've heard the same as you, that it's the higher quality stamps. I've had it quite often, Stampavie and LOTV come to mind, though they no longer do photopolymer. One thing I wouldn't do is leave them out in the sunlight. All clear stamps are best stored out of the light.
I think packaging has a lot to do with retaining the odour. If you can remove them from the original packaging and store them in something like CD or DVD cases, or even the plastic sleeves a lot of people use, I find a lot of the odour dissipates over time. I work in sensory so I know I have a good sense of smell . I agree it can be very strong, but my personal worst was grunge paper which I think smells vile. The stamps I can live with.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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Oh lordy! I know I am going to be the "odd girl out" on this subject! But, to be fair, it may be the stamps that Ozarkstamper gets, are not from the same companies I have bought stamps from.

For me, I LOVE the smell of those fresh, brand spanking new, photopolymer stamps! I enjoy peeling that clear sheet off and then pulling those delicious new stamps from the clear sheet and just smelling them! (I told you I was the odd girl out)!! LOL!!!

The only companies I have bought stamps from are Stampin' Up! and Gina K Designs. 95% of the photopolymer stamps I buy, come from Stampin' Up! And the rest, Gina K.
Designs. While I do notice a smell (or what you call odor), I have never found it to be overwhelming or bothersome. However, as I said before, it could be you're buying stamps from a different company and maybe those do have that super strong, irritating odor. I might agree with you, if I smelled the stamps you had.

I'm sorry you're having an issue with that. I'm sure it's frustrating, too.

I'm not sure how to cut that stamp odor down or if they're toxic. I would think they are not toxic, to smell. But then again, it depends on where they're made. I think the vast majority of the ones I get, are made in the USA.

Good luck and I hope you find some resolution to your dilemma.

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Old 02-11-2019, 04:55 PM   #6
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Thank you for the comments and link. As for naming the companies, I choose to withhold the names, as they are popularly seemingly reputable companies, which is why I purchased stamps from those companies. I'm pleased to say the stamps I purchased last week have aired out long enough that the odor has now mostly dissipated, and I used some of them today.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:25 AM   #7
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Beth, call me odd then right along with you because I, too, love that smell! There are two companies I have done business with that have strong smells to their photopolymer stamps. To me, it's like smelling a freshly opened pack of patterned paper or cardstock lol! Gets me eager to dive in and stamp.

My husband is VERY sensitive to smells, though, so I open my orders while he's at work. This would definitely bother him.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:24 AM   #8
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cnsteele, I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone, in my enjoyment of these things! LOL I remember when first started stamping, about 4 years ago, I had just discovered Gina K Designs. Watching one of her many (wonderful) videos, she was using patterned paper. I remember being so enamored with these interesting papers, I went on her website and ordered about 10 packs! Yes, that was absolutely excessive, but I was excited and couldn't wait to use these papers in the same manner she did. I still have probably 90% of those papers today. So, I guess I got my money's worth! Another smell I really enjoy is the original Pine Sol! I grew up with my mother using that and back in the day, when I was little, she'd mop with it. I remember she used the older mops, that had all those long, thick strands on them. Haha! They changed Pine Sol and took out a lot of the pine oil, so I don't buy Pine Sol anymore. I found Walgreen's has pine cleaner that still has plenty of pine oil and I buy that. I think Pine is such a clean smell! Ok, I've rattled on long enough!
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:29 PM   #9
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Once again, thanks to SCS and you lovely ladies, my husband thinks I'm a lunatic. He walked into my office a minute ago, and what does he see? Me, sitting here at my desk, sniffing stamps! rofl I read this thread, and got curious. So, of course I had to pull out a set from a variety of stamp companies to do a smell test. smh

Lamborghini Gal, my mom used to clean with Pine Sol, also. To me that smell automatically means "clean". I had a house cleaner who used environmentally friendly, natural cleaners and the house just never gave me that , "Ahhh, so clean" feel after she was done. It WAS, it just didn't smell like it to me. (I don't have a house cleaner anymore. )
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:05 AM   #10
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grateful2bsaved, love it!! Sometimes we never really think about something or how it may smell, until we hear about it. I wonder what you thought of the smell of the photopolymer stamps? LOL

I agree: Nothing beats that Pine Sol smell. (Well, not the original Pine Sol. They changed the formulation). I use to add a little Pine Sol to water in a spray bottle and I would spray my kitchen countertops off with it. It smelled so wonderful!!! I remember writing the company (Pine Sol) about how odd it smelled, several years ago and it was lighter. That is when they told me they took out more pine oil. That is also when I thanked them for replying and I told them I wouldn't buy it again. Thanks to the wonderful folks on the internet, I found that Walgreens has a Pine cleaner and the name of it, is Nice Pine Cleaner. Smells exactly like the original Pine Sol. That is my story and I'm sticking with it.

I wish I had a house cleaner. Actually, I do. Me. Haha!

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Old 02-13-2019, 05:29 AM   #11
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I have noticed that many of my photopolymer stamps have an order, like Ozarkstamper said. Some of them are over a year old. I notice the smell dissipates a bit after use, but some stamps do not get used as much as others, so the smell stays around longer. I use the Avery Elle pockets and place my stamps in those, so I don't think it is the packaging. I think many smells can be overwhelming to me and my household. It doesn't slow down my usage of photopolymer, though, much to my husband's dismay.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:45 AM   #12
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I wonder if we have some mimeo graph sniffers here? LOL. Younger people might not even know what that was...old big markers had a smell too...

I believe this is called "off gassing" when talking about other products-I don't think stamps have dangerous stuff in them. I think I would just call them in my tech terms stinky.
I have some that had a mild smell but it definitely dissipated.

I agree I would definitely take them out of the original packaging, leave them out, and away from the sun and let them air out. Do you have no improvement by airing/washing them? Maybe if you soak them in a smidge of dish soap in the water? I don't know how long they can tolerate that exposure. The thing is, it probably isnt a surface thing but all the way through the stamp.

Contact the companies directly and ask them what you can do. I would be interested to know what they tell you.
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