I bought a box of children's rubber stamps at a thrift store. They are horribly stained and I need to know if there is a way to get them clean. I have tried soaking them in dishwater and scrubbing them with a toothbrush. I have tried rubbing alcohol and scrubbing again, but not having much luck. Any suggestions?
By Cinnamon from Williams Lake, BC
Ammonia may work, but be sure to be careful and not inhale it! Other options that may work: bleach or nail-polish remover
Most craft stores with a stamp section have stamp cleaners: either cleaning pads or a spray. A friend of mine uses baby wipes and swears by them. Keep in mind that if they have permanent ink on them, not much will get it out! Don't worry too much if they don't look pretty, as long as they aren't transferring ink to your current project, it's fine! (Always do a test stamp first.)
Where I work I use stamps many times daily; to clean them of paper dust and congealed ink I loosely fold a stack of paper towels or tissues, then either: squirt a blob of hand sanitizer on the towels and keep stamping in it, changing towels and adding sanitizer til the stamp is clean (stubborn blobs can be removed by picking with a partially unbent paper clip), OR, lie the stamps on their sides on paper towels and use a decent quality window cleaner- spray the stamp til the ink begins to dissolve then stamp them on newspaper or paper towels and repeat til clean. Very messy processes, I have to do them carefully at work to prevent staining my work clothes; so spread newspaper, use old towels or t-shirts in place of the paper products if you want. If the stamps have paint on them instead of ink, I have no clue what would remove it, but if you just use something pointy like an orangewood stick to pick the paint off any details on the stamp you should be able to use them to stamp without a problem, paint and all.
Windex works too. If you go to a paint shop and get one of those flat painting pads, spray it with Windex and when you are done using your rubber stamp, clean them by rubbing them across the pad, then just blot them with a paper towel.
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