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Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Oct 10, 2008 3:08pm
Board
I dropped small chunks of pink stuff, white PZ Kut and orange PZ Kut into rubbing alcohol overnight, and in the morning they were just fine. Perhaps exposure over months might "dry them out" but that convinces me it's safe enough for occasional cleaning.

I then tried cleaning a stamp with lots of dried-on pigment ink with alcohol, Q-tips, paper towels and a soft toothbrush. The alcohol works very well indeed, taking all the caked ink off promptly. The Q-tips were a joke; I would have gone through two dozen of them sopping all the ink off this one stamp. The disposable paper towels are just the ticket; I managed to turn nearly an entire paper towel the color of the ink in the process of getting this one stamp clean.

I should point out that I used the alcohol pretty generously. I wouldn't use the tiny bottle of stamp cleaner I bought this way; it'd be good for cleaning only a few stamps. But rubbing alcohol is cheap, which allowed be to thoroughly soak a wad of paper towel and use it to swab the stamp surface.

I really dunno if the toothbrush did any good or not. It doesn't seem to have done any damage, but I can't really say whether or not the fine details would have cleaned up with just the alcohol swabbing.

The stamp didn't end up rubber color. It came close; you could see the rubber color. Perhaps I could have kept on swabbing until it was rubber color. But all I wanted to accomplish was to remove the caked-on stuff to get the image back to its original level of detail, which was easy to do.
Re: Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #294551 by Kirbert
Oct 10, 2008 4:27pm
Board
So maybe on the trail it would be good to carry the alcohol wipes, like the ones my husband uses for checking his blood sugar. We have tons of them around here. Small, portable, and they contain more than enough alcohol to clean a stamp.
songwriter
Re: Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #294551 by Kirbert
Oct 10, 2008 8:49pm
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I really dunno if the toothbrush did any good or not. It doesn't seem to have done any damage,

About toothbrushes . . . I don't know if they do any damage either, but I do like to use paint pads for cleaning and for brushing a stamp just after I've carved it to remove tiny bits that need to be cleared from the stamp surface. I use it all the time. The bristles are more gentle than those on a toothbrush. Now I'm wondering if one saturated in alcohol would be effective.

MC
Re: Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #294551 by Kirbert
Oct 11, 2008 2:28am
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Thanks Kirbert for the experiment....I use q-tips but usually doing a small area so the quantity never really bothered me. How well did the papertowel do getting in the small detail areas?
Re: Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #294584 by songwriter
Oct 11, 2008 2:30am
Board
So maybe on the trail it would be good to carry the alcohol wipes

I keep some with me for that specific reason, espically if the person before me used metallic ink. The small pads work great.

EM
Re: Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #294691 by ElectricMedic
Oct 11, 2008 8:54am
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How well did the papertowel do getting in the small detail areas?

All I was doing with the paper towel was blotting -- which is pretty much all I could do with the Q-tip, either. If blotting wasn't gonna get the junk out, it's the toothbrush that dislodges it.
Re: Stamp Cleaning with Alcohol
Board: Stamp Carving and Mounting
Reply to: #294692 by ElectricMedic
Oct 12, 2008 12:54am
Board
I carry napkins with me. I don't like to see them go to waste so when a restaurant gives us too many I put them in the box-mobile glove compartment. The next boxin trip they go into the pack.
We just bought stamp cleaner. Since we won't be drinking it (as we do the water bottle contents) there should be some left for stamp cleaning. {smile}
Cheerio!

ps I still carry alcohol wipes. They come in handy if you discover you've been into poison oak.