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Old 06-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Stamp degrading?

Has anyone ever had this happen? I have a custom signature stamp that has become soft - like silly putty. I've had it for several years, (more than 5), and have used it on every card I make. If you can see in the picture at the bottom right an left sides where I've "pushed" the rubber, and in the upper right side where the word "Hand" is disappearing.

Wondering what could have caused this?

DSC03477_zps39fc79d6.jpg
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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I've never had that happen.

Here are a few theories that I found that sound plausible (especially toward the lower end of the thread):
Why does rubber sometimes go sticky?
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:05 AM   #3
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Quote:

Originally Posted by tlfrankView Post
Has anyone ever had this happen? I have a custom signature stamp that has become soft - like silly putty. I've had it for several years, (more than 5), and have used it on every card I make. If you can see in the picture at the bottom right an left sides where I've "pushed" the rubber, and in the upper right side where the word "Hand" is disappearing.

Wondering what could have caused this?

Actually, I've had the opposite happen to rubber stamps! I have several that have gotten hard...so that they are less like rubber and more like plastic. I wrote to the company to ask if there is anything that can help and they suggested coating the rubber with glycerin overnight in a zip lock baggie. That didn't help, by the way! However, one thing I notice about your stamp is that it looks like you have old ink on the rubber and I'm wondering if you've used pigment ink and that's affected the rubber? I have a couple of old pigment ink stamp pads that turned into mush over the years. They weren't that old, and were stored in a cool dark place when I wasn't using them but the actual ink pad disintegrated and got "mushy". Apparently there was something in the ink that caused it. I've never had the problem with dye ink pads. Just a thought.
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Old 06-14-2014, 11:22 AM   #4
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kazekaView Post
......one thing I notice about your stamp is that it looks like you have old ink on the rubber and I'm wondering if you've used pigment ink and that's affected the rubber?
I've used all kinds of ink on this poor stamp and over time cleaning it well became just about impossible...

When it was new I scrubbed well stamp cleaner but then switched to alcohol free baby wipes which don't really allow you to get into the nooks and crannies very well.

Which leads me to ask if it's the ink or the baby wipes?

Thanks for your reply!
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:48 PM   #5
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It might be the baby wipes, I was always told to use a good quality stamp cleaner like Stanpin' Mist from SU! which not only cleans your stamp but conditions them too. Even if I clean a stamp with Staz On Cleaner I always go back and give it a little clean with the Stampin' Mist.
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:01 PM   #6
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My rubber button on my garage door opener did the same thing. It got soft, gooey, and sticky. I ended up tearing it out of the opening (easy to do) and just hitting the switch. It didn't break down where the rubber went inside the plastic case, though, just the exposed part.

Maybe sunlight?
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
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I have been using only SU! stamps for almost 10 years always using the Stampin' Scrub and vigorously scrubbing my stamps and have never had that problem.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:27 PM   #8
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Is there glycerin in the baby wipes? This might have softened the rubber.
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:35 PM   #9
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I've never had this happen but do know of a product that may help. Before I use any stamp cleaner I contact the company and ask for a material safety data sheet. Many of these products contain solvents, not good for rubber. Other companies did not respond at all. After researching I found a product used exclusively for cleaning and conditioning rubber on aircraft carriers. It's called Simple Green Extreme, not the automotive type (which is safe if rinsed after using it). Although it will not restore your rubber, it will clean and condition it and help prevent further deterioration. I hope you can save your stamp!
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:03 AM   #10
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My stamp is well beyond saving....sigh
I just don't want this to happen to any of my other stamps.
There has been no sunlight exposure. I have had the stamp for approximately 6 years and have used it on every single card I've made so it's well loved.
The wipes I've been using recently are the Huggies fragrance free and YES they do have glycerin - so maybe that's the problem.

Definitely going to do more research before using any stamp cleaner again....dang.

Thanks for the responses stampers!
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:56 AM   #11
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OK - I'm going to say maybe it is just good old fashioned wear and tear. Without knowing your production level etc. Rubber does degrade over time with or without usage.

I know it is a different compound of rubber but think about car tires for example they wear out either from usage/friction on the road or from non usage/dry rot.

I also wonder with it being a personalized stamp if its production process was different than mass production. I know when I first started stamping there were a lot of articles about different rubber and dark rubber being better than light etc. TBH I didn't pay much attention because I buy what I like, not necessarily an investment. (have to admit my created by stamp is a JustRite stamp so I can change it).

As you say, none of your other stamps have had anywhere near the usage of this stamp. I would say ask The Frugalcrafter but she has done her last Ask A Crafter video until summer is over. Still it may be worth it to see if she has any different ideas.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:56 AM   #12
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Have you contacted the company that made your stamp? Did you by chance use alcohol ink with them, via ink or pens and forget to wash them after?

Most baby wipes have lanolin, even alcohol free which is great for skin but maybe not so great for rubber. I quit using wipes a number of years ago because I noticed they left a residue behind on my stamps. I use Simple Green now usually and always rinse with water after cleaning no matter what I've cleaned them with.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:07 AM   #13
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Never used alchohol inks with the stamp, just dye and pigment. It seems to have been a fairly fast process - I'm gonna guess it was the baby wipes combined with heavy usage. I can't remember the manufacturer but will look for a logo on the wood block. Thanks for all the input - I love that the members here are so helpful.

Stampin Stacy, do you dilute the simple green?
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:40 AM   #14
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I've been reading this thread and the recipe posted here has glycerin in it as a conditioner...now I'm really confused. Is glycerin good or bad for your stamps?

I have discovered the manufacturer of the stamp, it's DRS Designs, and I have emailed them. Again, thank you all for the responses.
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
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Quote:

Originally Posted by tlfrankView Post
My stamp is well beyond saving....sigh
I just don't want this to happen to any of my other stamps.
There has been no sunlight exposure. I have had the stamp for approximately 6 years and have used it on every single card I've made so it's well loved.
The wipes I've been using recently are the Huggies fragrance free and YES they do have glycerin - so maybe that's the problem.

Definitely going to do more research before using any stamp cleaner again....dang.

Thanks for the responses stampers!
So sorry your stamp was ruined but hopefully this will help you prevent damage to other stamps that you own. I am thinking it could be the glycerin in the baby wipes since glycerin was what Inkadinkado suggested as a "fix" for rubber stamps that got hard. They told me that letting it sit in glycerin overnight should soften it. A good thing in some cases, and not so much in your case.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:28 PM   #16
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Glycerin isn't bad - it just needs to be used in moderation like most things in life.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:56 AM   #17
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I think I found the answer!!

This was shared on another board I'm on.

"There is a letter in Rubber Stamper by titled Don't Hurt Stamps! on page 11 that says to be sure there is NO lanolin in the baby wipes you use and Alan goes on to say that lanolin is a fatty acid that attacks rubber.

Sue Lorang (sue4stampin)"

Read more: //www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/general-stamping-talk-f17/caution-baby-wipes-t282944.html#ixzz34mpob6Kj
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:01 AM   #18
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Quote:

Originally Posted by jeanstamping2View Post

"There is a letter in Rubber Stamper by titled Don't Hurt Stamps! on page 11 that says to be sure there is NO lanolin in the baby wipes you use and Alan goes on to say that lanolin is a fatty acid that attacks rubber.

Sue Lorang (sue4stampin)"

Read more: //www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/general-stamping-talk-f17/caution-baby-wipes-t282944.html#ixzz34mpob6Kj
I checked the Huggies Fragrance Free packaging and lanolin is not listed as an ingredient. So in this case, I don't think that was the culprit.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:37 AM   #19
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Yes I dilute it, about 50 - 50 usually. I keep the bottle handy in case I have a really tough clean job, then I use full strength. I also have some Judikins regular stamp cleaner that cleans anything but use the SG in most cases because it's usually effective and cheaper. I'll repeat I also rinse my stamps with plain water before setting out to dry and some of my stamps are 20+ years old.

Those wipes may not say lanolin but I'll bet it or one of it's cousins are in those wipes. Like RiverIsis said;
Quote:

Glycerin isn't bad - it just needs to be used in moderation like most things in life


It could also be a rubber mix and whatever else they put in your stamp is what is breaking down which is why I suggested getting hold of the maker.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:16 AM   #20
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I have been scouring the interwebs and this site to information on rubber stamp quality - you can just imagine what I am getting to come up and nothing useful to this thread.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:51 PM   #21
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Great news! DRS Design is the maker of my stamp and as suggested on this thread I contacted them. They are just as puzzled as we are, and said "......I have not heard of a problem with glycerin, or with using baby wipes. In fact, it's what we recommend....."

They have generously offered to replace my stamp! Big shout out to great customer service!

Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:58 PM   #22
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That's brilliant customer service.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:57 PM   #23
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Quote:

Originally Posted by tlfrankView Post
Great news! DRS Design is the maker of my stamp and as suggested on this thread I contacted them. They are just as puzzled as we are, and said "......I have not heard of a problem with glycerin, or with using baby wipes. In fact, it's what we recommend....."

They have generously offered to replace my stamp! Big shout out to great customer service!

Thanks again for all the input!
so glad you had a good outcome and a big thumbs up to DRS Design for standing behind their product!
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:20 AM   #24
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Oh good! Glad they are able to help you out and get you a replacement stamp.

LOL, I'll bet they're giving their manufacturer heck and demanding info on what/why about now....
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:44 AM   #25
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Hi, I'm going back to the comment about pigment ink- I would have strong suspicions about that being the culprit here. I have a Stamp positioner, and the original acrylic plate has been ruined by the appearance of words on it. They were all stamped with Pigment ink, way back a few years, when I first started and did a lot of heat embossing greetings for Christmas cards. I know Staz-on cleaner will ruin them, but this is not the typical crazing and cracks, it is actually the stamped words. I also noticed that a couple of my Christmas background word stamps were going icky, again they had been used with pigment ink and not cleaned as thoroughly as I thought. On another note, I clean all my stamps (of dye ink) with baby wipes, and they are fine.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:18 AM   #26
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Here is part of the response from DRS Designs:

".....Thanks for sending me the Splitcoast link. It was nice to see so many different ideas as to what the problem could be. What a helpful bunch rubber stampers are!! Unfortunately, we don't believe it was any of those things. We think it was just a bad sheet of rubber that was probably not cured properly by the manufacturer. If it were something as simple as what we clean the rubber with, we'd probably be seeing a ton more stamps coming back with problems and we're not...."

This has been a real learning experience. I am so impressed with their concern and customer service! Kudos to them.
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:29 PM   #27
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Hello, everyone, I am hoping to resurrect this thread. I am a twenty-year crafter and have an accumulated a large number of stamps over the years. I am throwing away 12 sets of Close To My Heart Stamps (CTMH) purchased in 2005. I have another 30 or so sets that are on their way. I contacted the home office and was told there is a 90-day warranty and that I should not expect the stamps to last as when exposed to light they deteriorate."Tammy,Thanks for your email! As they were placed that long ago unfortunately I’m unable to replace them. I’m so sorry about this. I’m sure you know but as they are a polymer over the years they do continue to degrade as they are exposed to light, regardless if it is direct sunlight. Again I’m sorry and we appreciate your devotion and crafting. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!I was shocked and upset and had I known that the stamps were not going to last I would not have purchased. I am reluctant to purchase clear stamps of any kind. I was hoping now that enough time has passed lets put all this information to the test. Is anyone else experiencing deteriorating (mushy, sticky) stamps? The stamps were stored in a cabinet in a CTMH storage box in the envelope with a piece of cushion and piece of paper. I was told by CTMH that the company during those years were manufacturing the stamps differently. I welcome any advice on how to prevent this from happening to my other stamps. I welcome hearing from others who purchased stamps during this time and are having the same problem. I welcome storage advice for my CLEAR STAMPS. I welcome advice on what stamps to purchase. Sorry, really disheartened and the situation and the lack of CTMH for not extending ANYTHING FOR MY TOTAL LOSS, anything would have been a nice gesture. A card, 1 free stamp set NOTHING. I sent photos and a list of all the stamps with the consultant's name and offered to send them all back to the company. I am now retired and have time to devote to my craft. I mention this because in my several communications with CTMH I was asked why am I just now notifying them? Well, I have lots of stamps and didn't have time but I do now. We all know that collecting and (hoarding) is part of this craft. To close I hope someone reads this and checks the condition of all there stamps and replies. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:42 PM   #28
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Hi Tammy,
Ugh, that's just awful about your CTMH stamp sets getting sticky and mushy. I've only had that happen to a few clear sets, and they were not by CTMH. There is definitely a difference in the way my clear stamps have held up over the years, depending on the manufacturer. Some are just like new, and others have yellowed, but only about three sets actually got sticky. I can still use the sticky sets but I don't know how much longer they'll keep their shape. I've always cleaned all of my stamps immediately after use, with a stamp scrubber and stamp cleaner or water and mild soap mixture. The only time I had a problem with a rubber stamp was when I used metallic pigment ink on it and didn't completely clean it out of the crevices. The stamp ended up getting stiff and shiny and I had to toss it. I store my clear stamps in their original packaging, upright in shoe-box sized boxes. They don't get direct sunlight, but they do get regular room-light and daylight. So far, no problems with most of them so I'm shocked that your CTMH stamps deteriorated like that. I'm also disappointed that CTMH wouldn't work with you and at least offer a gesture of goodwill with one or two free stamp sets. My oldest CTMH set is over 10 years old and has yellowed but, thankfully, not gotten mushy. However, the stamps are not as firm as my newer ones. I'll be interested to hear from others about the longevity of their clear stamps.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:32 PM   #29
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I wonder if it was the plastic of the sheet they cling to or the cases they make to put them, as there as been a lot of discussion on here in the past about removing clear stamps from the plastic sheet they cling too, and replacing them with laminate sheets that are acid free. In fact, I have done the majority of my stamps that way. And I also made sure to take the clear ones out of the plastic cd cases I used to store them in, as that causes them to melt. I even did it with all my CTMH sets. Those plastics react with each other and ruin the stamps. I have some stamps I haven't taken off the sheets they come with yet, but most of my more expensive ones I have.
Here is a thread where they discuss it, and explain it much clearer than I can.
acetate stamp storage t607799.html










Quote:

Originally Posted by stampin TammyView Post
Hello, everyone, I am hoping to resurrect this thread. I am a twenty-year crafter and have an accumulated a large number of stamps over the years. I am throwing away 12 sets of Close To My Heart Stamps (CTMH) purchased in 2005. I have another 30 or so sets that are on their way. I contacted the home office and was told there is a 90-day warranty and that I should not expect the stamps to last as when exposed to light they deteriorate."Tammy,Thanks for your email! As they were placed that long ago unfortunately Iím unable to replace them. Iím so sorry about this. Iím sure you know but as they are a polymer over the years they do continue to degrade as they are exposed to light, regardless if it is direct sunlight. Again Iím sorry and we appreciate your devotion and crafting. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you!I was shocked and upset and had I known that the stamps were not going to last I would not have purchased. I am reluctant to purchase clear stamps of any kind. I was hoping now that enough time has passed lets put all this information to the test. Is anyone else experiencing deteriorating (mushy, sticky) stamps? The stamps were stored in a cabinet in a CTMH storage box in the envelope with a piece of cushion and piece of paper. I was told by CTMH that the company during those years were manufacturing the stamps differently. I welcome any advice on how to prevent this from happening to my other stamps. I welcome hearing from others who purchased stamps during this time and are having the same problem. I welcome storage advice for my CLEAR STAMPS. I welcome advice on what stamps to purchase. Sorry, really disheartened and the situation and the lack of CTMH for not extending ANYTHING FOR MY TOTAL LOSS, anything would have been a nice gesture. A card, 1 free stamp set NOTHING. I sent photos and a list of all the stamps with the consultant's name and offered to send them all back to the company. I am now retired and have time to devote to my craft. I mention this because in my several communications with CTMH I was asked why am I just now notifying them? Well, I have lots of stamps and didn't have time but I do now. We all know that collecting and (hoarding) is part of this craft. To close I hope someone reads this and checks the condition of all there stamps and replies. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-19-2018, 02:37 AM   #30
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I'm wondering if, as these stamps were from 12+ years ago, the stamps were made from what we would now call a lower grade of photopolymer, or even acrylic, than we would generally find in use now?
After all, clear stamps were only just becoming a thing back then. I have clear stamps from back then, and I can honestly say that the only ones I have had an issue with have been cheap quality ones- magazine freebies, or very cheaply priced. And having so many good quality ones now, I'd say all those that went sticky fell into the acrylic/poor quality polymer.
There have also been a few threads on here about stamps stored on the backing sheet they came with turning gooey and sticky.
I think it's rare now for there to be the same issues, so you should be safe with any clear stamps, I'd think.
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Old 02-19-2018, 07:20 AM   #31
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I have to say that I believe it was the process from "back in the day" that was not as evolved as what we have available now. I was a CTMH consultant when they switched over to "My Acrylix" as the "latest and greatest" in stamping technology. I've had to throw away some of my stamps from back then because they did get gummy and tore easily and all the rest of it. However, I had Stampendous stamps from around the same time (a couple of alphabet sets and "Maggie's Daisy"), and most of those have been tossed, as well. It is truly a shame that there is no way to preserve/rescue them, but I can understand the situation.

CTMH (and others using the "acrylic" for their stamps) had no idea what longevity would be, I'm sure. They were putting out a product that they thought was an excellent value and had many advantages. If they tried to replace all of the sets that have failed over the years, they would be bankrupt, for sure. The newer polymers are superior and hold up much better, and I'm confident that this is what they're using now.

Having said that, if I love a stamp enough to want to ensure that it will last for the long haul, I buy rubber. I sort of view it the same way as clothes - I have things that I like enough to wear for a season or two, then pass along, and I have "investment" pieces that were more expensive but that I will be able to wear indefinitely.

I'm okay with having to toss the really old stamps that break down - I got their use while they were still okay, and it is what it is. Yes, it's a shame that there was no effort to make a token show of goodwill or whatever. The customer service could definitely use some improvement...
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Old 02-19-2018, 03:58 PM   #32
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Thanks all for the suggestions and sharing " I am not alone". I did remove the piece of foam that accompanies each set and now I will remove the plastic storage sheet. I am hoping my efforts will slow down the deterioration. The CTMH customer service: a company that creates handmade cards and promotes preserving memories and NOT send a card to a customer. A handmade card with a tiny free stamp thanking me for my purchases and sharing their sadness in not being able to correct would have went a long way with me...NOW I am a dissatisfied customer with a tight wallet and a big mouth. I was polite and courteous, researched my problem spent half a day compiling the list of deteriorating stamps, sent emails with pictures, combined with an hour or more of researching if anyone else may have had this happen. They even watched my youtube video of the Valentine Day Card.TC's Paper Blessings channel. I feel pushed aside and deflected, their lack of addressing my legitimate concerns and sharing that their product is going to deteriorate WOW. $600.00 worth of stamps a consumable product? I was wanting to send my stamps to the owner with a copy of my emails and video, I wonder if she would approve of how this matter was handled. I cancelled my CTMH order and have decided that I will support another company that has a less inferior product and reflects with action what they promote. I hope to hear from more of you with suggestions of preserving our tools (stamps).
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:16 PM   #33
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I am going through my stamps to put on the sell thread. I had one close to my heart set it was Christmas sentiments. I found they were real gummy so I soaked them in a bowl of water with dawn soap. For about 4 hours. When I took them out and rinsed the stamps off they all curled up and would not stick to an acrylic block or my Tim Holt stamping platform. I was dismayed by this. This set was very well loved but I ended up throwing them out as they were useless. I just thought it was do to age but for all of your stamps ending up like they did, I think these close to my heart stamps were just bad quality. Hoping the new ones being released has been updated with better material
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:03 AM   #34
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I wonder how many sets CTMH would have sold if customers had been aware that there was only a 90-day warranty...
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:19 AM   #35
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For switching out acrylic sheets some stamps are on, Grafix Dura-Lar comes in different thicknesses, sizes and price points. I happen to use this one: Amazon.com: Grafix P05DC0912 Clear .005 Dura-Lar Film, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, 25 Sheets

Some companies sell high quality photopolymer but put the stamps on acrylic sheets. Is that bad? I don't know, but often swap for Dura-Lar. It's easy to email a company to ask; SU said they use acrylic sheets. One company - can't remember which - said they've never had a problem with acrylic sheets and they've checked very old stamps.

I attach the acrylic index sheet to the back of Dura-Lar. To be 1000% safe, maybe copying the acrylic index sheet and attaching the copy to the Dura-Lar would be good. I'm not doing that.

Agree with everyone writing about stamp quality changing - they've come a long way (baby)! And am sorry about the stamps that were ruined. : (

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Old 02-22-2018, 11:57 AM   #36
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I sorta feel bad, because a couple of years ago I sold an handful of CTMH stamps on the sell thread. I wonder how they are holding up for the people who bought them. I don't want them to think I damaged and sold them bad stamps.
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Old 02-23-2018, 04:52 PM   #37
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I can’t figure out why stamp companies would use a a packaging product that supposedly ruins polymer stamps over a period of time. Does not make sense. They also recommend leaving with the original packaging.I’ve switched some to Dura Lar when I receive new sets and others I’ve left with the original packaging....lazy. I’ve had no issues with either over the years.
I think to myself......how many years do I need a polymer set to last since I buy new ones.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:39 PM   #38
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I wonder if it was an oversight on their part. That they did not even consider the packaging, as the quality of the stamps is very good. I wonder if it wasn't until they started getting complaints that they found they had a problem. Probably a lot of the stamps sold in the stores have this issue too. Have they changed all of their stamps to new packaging?
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:58 PM   #39
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You shouldn't feel badly! You didn't intentionally sell them something that might have issues. It's very possible that their's are fine. Mine were still all o.k.. when I changed them over to different packaging.




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Originally Posted by lesliespringerView Post
I sorta feel bad, because a couple of years ago I sold an handful of CTMH stamps on the sell thread. I wonder how they are holding up for the people who bought them. I don't want them to think I damaged and sold them bad stamps.
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Old 02-24-2018, 01:45 PM   #40
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I have to say I was very disappointed when my Penny Black 12 Days of Christmas started sticking to the backing sheet after about two years. It took me about four years to make special cards using all 12 stamps for family and special friends, and by the fourth year some of them required extra effort to get a good impression. True it's the only PB set I've had that issue with, but I wasn't impressed. And it was a gift, so I don't know where it had been bought.


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Originally Posted by Chris01View Post
I canít figure out why stamp companies would use a a packaging product that supposedly ruins polymer stamps over a period of time. Does not make sense. They also recommend leaving with the original packaging.Iíve switched some to Dura Lar when I receive new sets and others Iíve left with the original packaging....lazy. Iíve had no issues with either over the years.
I think to myself......how many years do I need a polymer set to last since I buy new ones.
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