Taking Care of your Rubber Stamps

stamp-sets

I’ve been moved to write up an information page on taking care of your rubber stamps due to the near heart attack I’ve suffered by seeing rubber stamps treated in all sorts of weird ways… especially in scrapbooking magazines.  Why are stamps stored in weird ways in Scrapbooking magazines? I’ve seen them shoved into jars and tossed into colanders to name a couple of stress-inducing examples.  So here’s a nice and easy “dos and don’ts” list, I hope it helps you to take care of your stamps so that they last you a lifetime.

Things you should do to look after your rubber stamps

*  Always clean your rubber stamps before storing away

*   Clean your stamps with a reputable rubber stamp cleaner.  I like to use Stampin’ Up!’s Stampin’ Scrub and Mist.  The Stampin’ Mist cleans and conditions your stamps, simply spray it on one side of the Stampin’ Scrub and then rub your rubber stamp over it.  After cleaning, dry your stamp by rubbing it on the dry side of the Stampin’ Scrub.

*   If you do not have a Stampin’ Scrub and Mist and cannot invest in one right away, then at the very least use an old washcloth.  Wet the washcloth and wring it out so that it is just damp and clean your stamps with it.

*  Store your rubber stamps flat or upright.  Stampin’ Up! rubber stamps come in clear storage boxes that are perfect for stacking.  If you do not have Stampin’ Up! stamps then I recommend that you keep them stored flat in shallow cardboard or plastic boxes, or drawers.  If you like to have your stamps on display then you can have them standing up on a shelf as you would any other ornament.

*  Store your stamps in room-temperature.

Things you should NOT do to your rubber stamps

•   Please please please do not use baby wipes to clean your rubber stamps.  I don’t know who started this idea but after years of listening to this wrong advice I have found my stamps that I was using baby wipes on for 5 years have become pale, dry and brittle.  It doesn’t matter whether the baby wipes you use are non-alcohol based or non-scented they still damage your stamps over time.

•   Do not wash your wood-mounted stamps under running water.  Washing your stamps under a tap will loosen the adhesive between the foam and wood and you risk your stamps falling off the wood.

•    Do not store your stamps in trendy but weird ways.  Storing your stamps in a colander, lolly-jar, wicker basket or any other way in which the stamps are pressing against each other or or pressing against metal, wood, etc.  This will leave dents in your rubber stamps which will then given you a gap in your stamped image.

•  Store your stamps away from direct sunlight to avoid them becoming brittle and cracked.

•   Microwaving your rubber stamps.  I ripped the rubber off about 20 of my wood-mounted stamps years ago and never again.  I know some people are happy to do this but I hated using my stamps unmounted.  If you really want to do this and need to loosen the adhesive in order to take the rubber off then microwave for only 5 seconds.  If the rubber isn’t coming off then try another 5 seconds.  Do not microwave your rubber stamps in 10 or more second blocks just in case the rubber melts.

I hope you have found this article informative.  If you would like any more information on this topic or anything else to do with rubber stamps or cardmaking please feel free to email me at angelasargeant@gmail.com