How To Clean Ink Stamps
If you like to make your own greeting cards or wrapping paper, or are into scrapbooking, you know how essential it is to have clean ink stamps.
Some people also continue to use rubber stamps at work. Is any stamp more important than the one that reads, "Paid in Full"?
Knowing how to clean ink stamps will extend the number of months or years you can use them, and will also prevent one color of ink from contaminating another.
Cleaning ink stamps is neither complicated nor expensive but it does need to be done to keep your stamped images clear and the lines crisp. If you look at your stamp and there is caked, dried ink between the lines, give one of these cleaning tips a try.
Cleaning The Stamp Quickly:
This is an easy one: use baby wipes. Any type is fine as long as you purchase baby wipes that don't contain alcohol.
Alcohol can cause your stamp to crack. Once you're done using it, get out a baby wipe and stamp it on the sheet until all of the ink is removed.
Make sure the stamp is dry before using it again. To dry off the stamp after cleaning with a baby wipe, use a lint free cloth and stamp until dry you can also let it air dry.
Heavy Duty Cleaning:
I always make sure I have a couple of old toothbrushes laying around, you never know what they might be good for. Cleaning your ink stamps is just one of those ways.
- Put a drop or two (depending on the size of your stamp) of mild liquid soap on your stamp.
- Wet the toothbrush with warm water and gently scrub the stamp, carefully, you don't want to damage the stamp.
- Rinse the toothbrush often while cleaning until the stamp is clean.
Homemade Ink Stamp Cleaning Pad:
An ink stamp cleaner is used to clean the stamp as you go. It will stop the ink from building up on the stamp so you won't have to pause to clean it. If you prefer to buy a pre-made ink stamp cleaner, they're available at most craft stores.
But if you want to know how to clean ink stamps with your own homemade ink cleaning pad, all you'll need is:
- Soft sponge for the soft side of pad
- Scrubby sponge for the scrubbing side
- A plastic case or container to hold the 2 sponges
You don't need to cut 2 different sponges to make the cleaning pad. If you just have one sponge with the green scrubby on one side only, assemble one side with the scrubby facing up, the other side will have the scrubby facing down.
Making The Pad:
- Measure the inside of the plastic container.
- Cut the sponges a little bit larger than the dimension of the case; for example, if the inside of the case measures 3" x 2", cut the sponge so it's about 3 1/8" by 2 1/8".
- Fit the 2 cut sponges into 2 different containers; scrubby side up in one case and non-scrubby side up in the other.
How To Use An Ink Cleaning Pad:
- Dampen the scrubby sponge and leave the soft sponge dry.
- Add two drops of mild dishwashing liquid to the scrubby sponge and work the soap into the sponge.
- Gently rub the dirty ink stamp on the top of the scrubby until it is clean. Be sure to get the sides of the stamp clean too.
- Wipe and dry the stamp on the soft, non-scrubby sponge.
- Make sure your stamp is dry before using it again.
Caring For Your Ink Stamp:
Because stamps can be expensive, caring for them properly means a long time of crafting fun for you and the kids. These tips will help save the life of your stamps.
- Clean your stamps after each use to keep the stamp design crisp and ink build up from happening.
- Don't soak your stamps in water, over time this can erode the glue that holds the stamp to the handle.
- You shouldn't use rubbing alcohol, it can cause cracking.
As much as you clean and care for your stamps, over time there will be some permanent staining as some inks will be more difficult to completely remove than others, this is to be expected. Have fun being creative and making your memories to share with others.