Cleaning Rubber Stamps

Rubber stamping is a popular crafting technique for decorating paper and fabric with inks. They must be cleaned properly to ensure that they can be used over and over again. This is a page about cleaning rubber stamps.


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Use baby wipes in their container, don't take them out, leave them flat right in the container. When you need to clean the ink off the rubber stamp, just open the lid and stamp, stamp, stamp. Then dry on an old towel. Remember, never rub the image on the rubber stamp as that ruins it. You can use each of the baby wipes several times. If they last so long as to dry out, just dampen with water. I have done this for years, and my rubber stamps are as good as new; just a little stained around the wood mount.

By hopeful from Salem, OR

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July 9, 2004

Rubber stamps are great fun, but everyone seems daunted by cleaning them. It is easy if you just remember a few things: plain water is best, alcohol is a no-no, and a paint edging pad is a great solution.


Go to your local home improvement store and purchase one of those flat pads you use for putting the paint on in corners, like at the ceiling or top of walls. It is soft and has lots of short flexible "bristles". Wet one end with plain water, and set the whole thing down on a plastic tray or towel to catch any drips.

Simply swirl the inky stamp on the wet end, then swirl it again on the dry end, and your stamp is clean. The little bristles get down into the cracks and dips of the rubber and get the ink out. When the pad looks dirty, rinse it out really good and let it dry. Eventually the inks will stain the bristles, but it will still work to get your stamps clean.

If your stamp seems too wet to use again right away, just blot it off on some paper towels.

Remember, any cleaner with alcohol in it will dry out the rubber in the stamp and they won't last as long. Specialty inks (scrapbooking, fabric, etc.) may need special cleaners; just read the package. But for the majority of the inks we all use water is best.

Happy Stamping!

By QueenBeeCrafts

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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 leanne chaisson from Williams Lake, BC


May 13, 20110 found this helpful

Ammonia may work, but be sure to be careful and not inhale it! Other options that may work: bleach or nail-polish remover

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May 18, 20110 found this helpful

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.)

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May 18, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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May 18, 20110 found this helpful

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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May 20, 20110 found this helpful

Try sitting them in coke for minute. It works great to remove ink from stamp pads.

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