Skip to Content
Register · Login
About Theme

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit Search

Read Thread: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?

Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Feb 21, 2019 4:52pm
Board
I just read some instructions for first time letterboxers. Not once did it mention CLEANING the stamp before rehiding. That's what I was taught - cleaning the stamp for the next finder. Is that not done anymore?
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971907 by Stitches
Feb 21, 2019 5:52pm
Board
I'd only clean a stamp if I were using a different color for some reason. Is that what you're asking?
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971907 by Stitches
Feb 21, 2019 5:55pm
Board
I think it's common courtesy to clean a stamp if you have a really juicy ink pad or use the wrong color.

However, people leaving ink on a stamp has saved me when I forgot my ink a few times.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971911 by Rocklun
Feb 22, 2019 3:55am
Board
I'd only clean a stamp if I were using a different color for some reason. Is that what you're asking?

No, I'm referring to cleaning it after stamping in, leaving it clean.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971923 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 4:18am
Board
No, I'm referring to cleaning it after stamping in, leaving it clean.

Honestly, I've been boxing for a while, and I've never heard of doing that, except under the two circumstances that LROSEM mentioned.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971923 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 5:14am
Board
No, I'm referring to cleaning it after stamping in, leaving it clean.

That's not a thing. I don't think it ever was. Why would you want the stamps cleaned?
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971912 by LROSEM
Feb 22, 2019 5:37am
Board
However, people leaving ink on a stamp has saved me when I forgot my ink a few times.

Yep. Huffing also brings me great joy when I'm too lazy to color a stamp!
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971925 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 22, 2019 5:42am
Board
Why would you want the stamps cleaned?

Supposedly for the next person, as a courtesy. I got black ink on my blue ink pad once because I thought the stamp looked like it had blue on it. It was a cheap ink pad, so no big deal, but still

I don't remember where I read that stamps should be cleaned, but I DO remember reading it as one of letterboxing's rules.

If that isn't done anymore, I'm on board...after all, there are so many letterboxes and so little time!!!!! On to the next!!!!...
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971927 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 5:54am
Board
I found this: http://www.letterboxing.info/articles/00000002.php

scroll down to "Paper towels, cotton rag". It talks about cleaning the stamp there.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971927 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 6:02am
Board
First; there are NO letterboxing rules. LOL.
Cleaning a stamp is not a requirement but a courtesy. It should be done if stamp looks dirty or messy in some way before or after you stamp but it is not expected every time. Save yourself some time and move on to the next gem to find. Happy boxing.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971907 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 6:06am
Board
I do both.

If a stamp is consistently stamped in the same color (i.e. black), then, in my mind, there is no need to clean it before or after.

If a stamp calls for color, I try to respect the colors suggested. If I do that, I also feel the stamp doesn't need to be cleaned.

But I do clean a stamp BEFORE I stamp in if it's wet/dirty/etc. upon finding or if it's meant to be in a certain color(s) and has been stamped previously in another color(s). I clean a stamp AFTER I stamp in if I've altered the suggested colors.

I think it's just a little bit of common sense and a little bit of letterbox courtesy.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971927 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 6:06am
Board
I got black ink on my blue ink pad once because I thought the stamp looked like it had blue on it.

Been there, done that...I typically pat the stamp on a napkin or the clue before inking. Often stamps around here are covered in a very goopy black for whatever reason and I like color. I'll also pat the stamp after stamping, but typically don't wipe or clean it otherwise.

Sometimes, the layering of inks used by previous finders adds a cool effect!
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971923 by Stitches
Feb 22, 2019 8:10am
Board
As far as I'm concerned the only time anyone is "required" to clean a stamp.....and clean it thoroughly...... is when they feel the strange need to use metallic ink. Which they shouldn't be doing in the first place because it usually never comes totally clean and you have to try and finish the job for them.

I carry an old wash cloth with me to clean a stamp if I need to. Or if it's gotten really wet. 99.99999 per cent of the time I don't need to use it.

I think back in the mists of letterboxing time it was "kind" of a rule....one that was discussed many times.

Time marches on.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971942 by MissMoon
Feb 22, 2019 9:16am
Board
As far as I'm concerned the only time anyone is "required" to clean a stamp.....and clean it thoroughly...... is when they feel the strange need to use metallic ink.

I want to once again thank the poor boxer for cleaning out the gold metallic ink we slobbered into every nook & cranny of Lundy and Vickster's brilliantly carved and Purple Diamond earning Lynn, Lynn the City of . . . series. We were new . . . and first finders no less :(

Lundy and Vickster are a class act who never flamed a family of newbies (our sig stamp was still carved out of wood back then!! )
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971933 by Angel Winks
Feb 22, 2019 11:20am
Board
If a stamp is consistently stamped in the same color (i.e. black), then, in my mind, there is no need to clean it before or after.

There's a difference here between the ways people respond to their ink pads getting a bit dry. Some of us will whip out the reinker bottle and add a few drops to make it nice and juicy again, and then we will stamp in by lightly tapping the stamp against the surface of the pad until there's a glistening coat of wet ink on the stamping surface of the stamp. Once the stamp is applied to paper, nearly all of this wet ink is transferred to the paper. If one wanted to "clean" the stamp any more than that, just "stamp" it onto a paper towel (or your pants) a couple of times. Done.

There are others among us, though, who still haven't gotten the memo about reinker bottles. They respond to a weak ink pad by smashing the stamp into the pad harder and harder trying to get the last smidgen of ink out of it. This puts ink not only on the stamping surface of the stamp but also fills in the crevices and valleys that the carver lovingly cut to create the image. The stamp ends up an inky mess, and if simply dropped back in the box that way and rehidden, not only does the box get all inky inside, but that ink dries in those crevices and valleys, gradually filling in the stamp image. If this describes your stamping style, by all means you should be cleaning each stamp after use with rubbing alcohol. Or buy yourself a reinker bottle.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971955 by Kirbert
Feb 22, 2019 1:01pm
Board
Yes, there are always exceptions to almost everything, right? One of the times I would find the need to clean a stamp BEFORE stamping would be when the stamp is a filthy mess. In some cases, a toothbrush is needed to get the gunk out, left behind from over inking or other dirt that has gotten into those crevices.

If more letterboxers would do box maintenance, it would be a wonderful thing.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971947 by dingus dufus
Feb 22, 2019 2:30pm
Board
I want to once again thank the poor boxer for cleaning out the gold metallic ink we slobbered into every nook & cranny of Lundy and Vickster's brilliantly carved and Purple Diamond earning Lynn, Lynn the City of . . . series. We were new . . . and first finders no less :(

Confession is good for the soul. :) You were new. Lots of people who use metallic ink are not new. :(
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971970 by MissMoon
Feb 22, 2019 2:34pm
Board
Lots of people who use metallic ink are not new.

Definitely not new and I just used metallic ink today. Don't get excited, the clue actually recommended using it.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971971 by Janila
Feb 22, 2019 2:36pm
Board
Definitely not new and I just used metallic ink today. Don't get excited, the clue actually recommended using it.

Wellllll, that's different. lol
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971930 by Stitches
Feb 23, 2019 3:19pm
Board
I found this: http://www.letterboxing.info/articles/00000002.php
scroll down to "Paper towels, cotton rag". It talks about cleaning the stamp there.

Huh. Well, anyone is free to make up their own imaginary rules and post them online. Thanks for sharing. Whoever posted that webpage apparently wants everyone to clean the stamps, but that's not a preference that most boxers seems to share. I could post a webpage that says all boxers should click their heels three times before stamping in, that doesn't mean that's actually a letterboxing rule.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #972054 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 23, 2019 5:49pm
Board
I could post a webpage that says all boxers should click their heels three times before stamping in,

I'm going to start doing that!
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971907 by Stitches
Feb 23, 2019 6:25pm
Board
I generally don't clean off stamps unless there are specific reasons (some planters are rather particular about specific colors on their stamps-no judgment, using metallics, etc).

Several years ago I was boxing when it was well below freezing. (seriously-I don't recommend that! Let me explain: it was my ONLY day off/available for several months and I needed my LB fix. Fortunately, there were NO SANE people on the trails so I did not need to be stealthy ;) )...

Anyway, I was so relieved that there was still ink on the stamps. By huffing I thawed the ink enough to get good images and it was the fastest large series I have ever done!

Hi! I'm PLP and I have a problem
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971907 by Stitches
Feb 24, 2019 4:06am
Board
Hand carved stamps can be a bit fragile and over zealous cleaning might lead to an early demise of said stamp.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971907 by Stitches
Feb 24, 2019 9:58am
Board
Honestly, I think we all just have to accept that we can't control what other letterboxers are going to do (or not do). In this case, if it's important to you to use a stamp that's been cleaned, you can clean it before you stamp and get the outcome that you want.
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #971931 by Sagacorn
Feb 25, 2019 1:08pm
Board
someone once asked me why i always wipe the stamp off on my pants after stamping in. when i first started boxing it was a big deal to leave a stamp clean and so you gently cleaned them. now it is not a big deal. but, as old habits die hard i do wipe off the excess ink on my pants.
smile
Re: Does anyone clean stamps anymore?!?!?
Board: Letterbox Chatter
Reply to: #972054 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 25, 2019 1:23pm
Board
Well, anyone is free to make up their own imaginary rules and post them online.

that article is not by just anyone. that was silent dougs page. he was one of the earlier letterboxers and was a wealth of information to newboxers in the early 2000's. right up there with all the other silverbacks and lbna and so forth.

in other words cleaning stamps really was a thing. i am not advocating spending a lot of time cleaning a stamp, but common courtesy would dictate don't leave a sloppy mess.

smile