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Old 08-31-2014, 07:30 AM
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Default Rescuing an old stamp

If you've even found or purchased an old rubber stamp you might find that it is almost dried out and very stiff (new rubber gives easily if you push it with a finger nail). I've even had antique stamps that were a bit crumbly make a partial recovery.

What I usually do is clean the stamp with liquid soap and a sponge to get off any impurities first. Then I clean it with a good quality stamp cleaner and a stamp scrubber. You might need to carefully use something to pick out gunk in the details -- I use a blunt embroidery needle. Once this is done I load up the stamp with stamp cleaner using my finger to work it into all of the stamp. I put lots of it on, then carefully set it aside. A good stamp cleaner conditions the rubber as well as remove ink. Depending on how beat up the stamp is I might wait 30 minutes to several hours before removing the cleaner. If the stamp is still really bad I'll repeat this several times.

Of course not all stamps can be rescued but I've had a lot of luck with this method. Note that you can avoid this fate with the stamps in your collection by storing them properly. Keep them out of the sun and keep them rubber side down on a flat surface -- I've got 15 year old stamps that are as good as new because I was very careful about this even when they lived in a hot garage for over a year.

I'd love to hear about any other stamp rescue operations and methods.
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