If you want a clean transfer of images every time, it’s essential to keep your stamps clean. Here, we give you essential tips on how to clean rubber stamps at home, as well as how to ensure your stamp will continue stamping on for years.
How to clean ink stamps: Cleaning rubber stamps at home
The best way to clean rubber stamps depends on two main points: product and time investment.
A quick solution is using a chemical cleaner. However, if you don’t mind doing the whole work yourself, primary household products will easily do the trick.
If you do not keep your stamps clean, your symbols will reduce in quality over time, and the details will become less and less sharp until the stamp is no longer usable.
Benefits of keeping your stamps clean include:
- If you clean after every use, you will never have to worry about ink transfer.
- Dried ink will never build up within the stamp’s detail.
- You won’t need to worry about dirt, dust, and grime buildup.
Let’s go over three popular ways to clean rubber stamps at home.
Cleaning rubber stamps with baby wipes
Baby wipes are a great product to clean your stamps quickly. Although they won’t provide the deep cleaning your stamp needs before being stored, they will give a quick and effective cleaning between color changes.
Cleaning rubber stamps with specialty stamp cleaners
The fast and easiest way to clean rubber stamps is with a specifically designed stamp cleaner. They are usually made from specific chemical compounds that break down ink without damaging the rubber.
These cleaners can be used with a cleaning pad or on their own, and available from craft stores and stamp suppliers.
The all-natural way to clean rubber stamps
If you don’t mind getting a bit more hands-on, the most straightforward cleaning method is something we all have in our homes: Soap and water.
If you have an old toothbrush or soft-bristled brush, you can lightly scrub the rubber stamp with some room-temperature soap and water.
Rubber stamps cleaning tips
- Do not soak your stamps in water. This could damage your stamp and warp wooden stamps.
- Lightly tap your stamp over a trash can or on waste paper after each time you use it. This will help remove excess ink and make your clean-up easier.
- Don’t use alcohol or products with alcohol to clean your stamp. This will dry out the rubber and can cause long-term damage.
- Never store your rubber stamp when it is still wet.
- Do not scrub your stamp – always dab or lightly tap it.
How to care for rubber stamps
You can take a few steps to ensure your rubber stamp will last for a long time.
First, make sure that the type of ink you are using is labeled for stamps. Different types of ink are for different types of stamps – stick with ink suitable for rubber stamps only.
Using ink pads will help your stamp’s design stay crisp for longer. Try to find an ink pad that is the perfect size for your stamp – too small of pads will damage your stamp’s edges over time.
After each use, clean off your stamp before storing it. Make sure it has dried completely before you tuck it away!
Never use harsh cleaning products on your stamp.
How to store rubber stamps
Rubber stamps have a different way of storing them compared to traditional clear stamps.
When you are storing your stamp, try to follow these simple guidelines:
- Always store your stamp upright.
- Keep it in a dry, cool place (avoid heat!)
- Do not store within direct sunlight.
- Avoid rough surfaces because this can cause dents and ridges over time.
- Avoid water and store it in areas where it could get wet.
How to remove ink from stamps
A little bit of staining may occur from regular use of your stamp. However, how do you remove built-up ink from stamps?
- The first step when cleaning dried, built-up ink from rubber stamps is to remove any dirt that may have built upon the stamp’s design.
- Use the sticky side of some regular tape and press your stamp onto the adhesive to remove the debris.
- Next, hold your stamp so just the rubber can be held under hot water.
- Hold it under hot running water until the water dissolves the hardened ink.
- Hold the stamp under the hot water until the water is clear.
If hot water does not get stubborn ink clumps off, try using baby wipes that do not have aloe or alcohol.
As a final, an option that cannot fail is to go to a manufacturer or craft store and buy a stamp cleaner.
What happens if you don’t clean your rubber stamps?
It is important to keep your stamps clean to maintain their quality and lifespan. Stamps that are not cleaned will allow ink to transfer from project to project.
If you must switch between colors, then you will destroy your stamp pads as ink transfers from pad to stamp to pad, making the colors muddy, and causing bleeds.
If you allow a lot of ink to build upon your stamps, then you may notice dried ink building up within the design. Over time, this will not only create a bleed of your image (ruining clean, crisp edges) but can permanently damage the structure.
3 Rubber Stamp Tips
If you are new to rubber stamping, then there are a few tips that you should consider to have perfect, clear images every time.
If you’re a long-time rubber stamp lover, let us know if you have a tip we don’t mention here!
Tip: Use the right materials
Make sure that you use a stamp with a solid, firm mount. While foam is cheaper, they often lead to blurry images. Also, always use a stamp pad that is the right size for your stamp – too small of a pad will damage your stamp.
Tip: Apply even pressure
Applying too much or too little pressure on a rubber stamp can cause your image to be messy, uneven, or blurry. Try standing when you stamp to ensure that you are applying even pressure.
Make sure you practice stamping before applying directly to quality paper.
Tip: Stains happen
Over time, your stamp may become stained from using it over and over again. This is normal! Do not clean your stamps to the point that you might damage the rubber.
Slight staining with use is standard and nothing to worry about.