Anyone who’s ever used a rubber stamp will know that a dirty stamp will know that a dirty stamp leaves a messy and often illegible impression. In much the same way that an old and worn stamp will leave a poor impression through worn out letters and numbers, a heavily used, rarely cleaned stamp will be clogged with dirt, dust and ink particles that ruin the impression.
In business, impressions count. If you’re using your chosen stamp to leave your business mark, whether it’s your logo, contact information or even your Twitter handle, it’s important to make the right impression, first time and every time.
Clean Tools for a Quality Job
Just like in any job, it’s important to keep your tools clean. Rubber stamps are no different. And it’s easy to keep stamps clean. There are of course many different ways to do so and how you choose to keep your stamps clean will vary depending on your tools at hand and your budget.
- Solvent & Cleanser – In most cases, a specialist stamp ink solvent is the best choice when it comes to cleaning and cleansing your stamps. It’s designed specially to breakdown the ink you’ve used on your stamps and can even be used to reactivate old worn out ink pads. For specialist uses, such as stamping eggs, a particular egg ink solvent should be used to ensure there is no contamination of the eggs.
- Cleansing Wipes – as long as they are alcohol free, most cleansing and cleaning wipes (even baby wipes) can be used to clean your rubber stamps. These can get between the gaps and work out the dirt that causes the imperfections in your imprint. Combining with solvent ensures the best results.
- Water and Elbow Grease – probably the cheapest way to clean stamps is will a little detergent, water and elbow grease. You might not get the best results, but you’ll certainly get rid of the majority of the mess.
Of course keeping a clean stamp isn’t the only way to ensure the best results. For traditional stamps, the old, used and worn ink pad will also need some attention. Using solvent to clean the pad and new ink to refill it is the best way to give your ink pad new legs, but with the price of new ink pads, it’s just as easy to purchase a replacement.
More Stamp Cleaning Tips
Keeping your stamp clean is an ongoing task, so here’s a few tips:
- Find a good home for your rubber stamp. Don’t just leave it exposed to the elements or you risk the letters/numbers being infected with dust/direct.
- Keep your stamp dry. This might seem counterproductive, but we don’t mean bone dry, we just mean don’t put so much ink on your stamp that it drips and runs after use. This not only makes a mess but makes cleaning more difficult.
- Avoid alcohol. Using a wipe or cleansing solution which contains alcohol may lead to your stamp drying out and being damaged in the long term. Stick to proper alcohol free solvents for the best results.
- Keep your ink pad clean. Your stamp is only as good as the ink pad it touches. A dirty, overused ink pad will lead to a messy stamp and poor results. Regularly clean and reactivate your ink pad for the best usage.
- Avoid soaking your stamps in liquid for long periods. This may have a negative impact on the stamp, especially the traditional wooden handled stamps.
The Self-Inking Solution
The ideal solution to your problem is the modern self-inking stamp. Here the ink pad is contained within the stamp and the stamp itself is tucked away out of danger of contamination and ruin from the elements. With each application the stamp comes out and retracts, keeping the stamp relatively clean and performing well for thousands of impressions and beyond!