Stamp Cleaners: Dauber vs Spray Bottles

Stamp Cleaner Bottles

I spent yesterday doing geeky website stuff that you don’t want to hear about. (Trust me, you don’t. I swear it turned my brain into mush.) By 2:30 I realized that my now barely-functioning brain was probably no longer able to work on anything remotely geeky, so I returned to STAMPING! Yes!

Over on VSN’s Facebook page, Amy asked me about how I cleaned the Stewart Superior India Ink Black off my stamps after I used it recently for my stamp post about how the same image looked  stamped on different cardstocks/papers. And that got me to thinking about the stamp cleaner I’ve been using lately.

I’ve used a lot of different stamp cleaners over the years, both cleaners for regular water-based inks and those for solvent inks. I’ve also used baby wipes. And I’ve used a mix of Simple Green and water. I’ve used paper towels, old soft cloths and I’ve got a scrubby pad too. And sometimes when the ink or paint is stubbornly clinging down in the creases, I’ve resorted to cleaning them under running water with an old toothbrush. Basically, if there is a stamp cleaning method out there, I’ve probably tried it at some point. Most of them work. It is often a matter of preference.

I’ve been pretty good lately about cleaning my stamps as I use them instead of setting them aside to collect while still covered with ink. The nice thing about cleaning as you go is that the ink is much easier to clean off when you do it right away and you can also put the stamps away more quickly.

Dauber Stamp Cleaner Bottles

You may remember that I covered stamp cleaning in a blog post back in the spring. I really like the Grandma’s Secret Rubber Stamp Cleaner that I was using back then, but I ran out. So I looked into my stash and found a bottle of Joy of Stamping’s EZ Duz It Stamp Cleaner. This one isn’t a bad stamp cleaner, but most bottles of this come with dauber tops that drive me crazy. If you use the cleaner on an inky stamp without wiping the ink off the stamp first, the dauber top gets ink on it. Then the next time you use it to clean a stamp, it transfers the residual ink to that stamp. (Check out the before and after picture above.)

Back in the April blog post’s comments, Jan mentioned that when she uses cleaner in a dauber bottle, “I try to preserve the daubers and keep the cleaner clean too. I wipe the excess ink off the stamp first with a napkin, then apply the stamp cleaner, wipe off again with a napkin or rag, and finally use my ‘Technique Tuesday Clear Stamp Scrubber’ to get into all areas of a stamp and dry the surface so the stamp can be put away. I know it sounds like overkill, but my stamps, cleaner daubers, and Scrubber are all CLEAN!”

Most of the time, I’ve been trying to take Jan’s advice and it does make a big difference, but slip up and skip the wiping step once on a really inky stamp and you’ve got the residual ink problem.

So yesterday, I thought about the Grandma’s Secret cleaner and realized that part of the reason that I liked it was that it is a spray. Instead of trying to repeatedly mash a dauber top down all over the rubber stamp, I could spritz the stamp a few times, let it sit for a minute or two and then wipe it off. So much simpler!

Cleaner in Spray Bottle

So I decided to pour the Joy of Stamping cleaner into an empty spray bottle and try using it that way. Yes! It is amazing how much better I like this cleaner with the only difference being the application method. I know that this method might not appeal to everyone, and I do acknowledge that I may be using a little more stamp cleaner with this method, but if you are bugged by the dauber top type of cleaner bottle, give it a try and see what you think.

What do you like? Dauber bottles or spray bottles on stamp cleaners? Or do you instead go with the baby wipe method or another method?

Nancie, VSN

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Nancie Waterman

Nancie Waterman created and self published Vamp Stamp News magazine for nearly twenty years. These days, Nancie creates and posts monthly eArticles on stamping topics on the Vamp Stamp News website (http://www.vampstampnews.com)

11 thoughts on “Stamp Cleaners: Dauber vs Spray Bottles”

  1. I have been using Simple Green mixed in water and works very well using a spray bottle. I sometimes use a baby wipe, old napkins or paper towels to get the worst of the ink off then use paint pads from Wal-Mart . One to finish cleaning and one used to dry the stamp. I clean them in the bathroom sink under running water and place them on their side to ‘drip dry’.

    1. Hi Bev, I think you bring up a good point. There really isn’t one single way to clean a stamp. Sometimes one method will work fine, but there are some situations where you need to go to plan B or plan C to get the stamp clean. What ratio of Simple Green to water do you use? Thanks, Nancie

  2. I luv spraying type cleaner too. I spray some on stamp scrubber pad, and place the rubber side onto the wet scrubber and wipe off on paper towels. It cleans pretty well. I like my rubber to be really cleaned and this method has been working pretty well for me. Once in a while I take the scrubber pad from the case, and wash it with dish soap.

    1. Hi Eve, I have a big scrubber pad too. I do use it when I get ink down into the crevices that the soft cloth I use can’t get to. I find that it sometimes has the same problem of transferring residual ink though. I probably need to clean the scrubber pad more often. Thanks! Nancie

  3. Still using the method you mention…would really like a home made cleaner recipe – any suggestions?
    I used to use a spray, but found it rather messy on surrounding areas as well as staining the wood on my stamps when stamps were inky. Happy with my present method, but …since you like it, will try the spray again just to be sure, but use my wipe off method first. (Daubers can be washed with soap and water as well as squeezing some cleaner thru and wipe on a washcloth or paper towel to help remove excess ink – nothing worse than cleaning a stamp that has a light color ink and your dauber transferring old dark ink on your stamp – ugly business)!
    TFS Nancie!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

    1. Hi Jan, I used to use a mixture of Simple Green and water as a stamp cleaner. Maybe other people can post a more specific recipe. It’s been awhile since I used anything other than commercial stamp cleaner. I guess my attitude goes along the lines of “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”. If you are happy with your current method, I’d say stick with it. You could wipe the stamp first and then use the spray to cut down on the spatter. Or stick with what you are doing since it is working well for you. Nancie

  4. Hey Nancie, Thanks for making me famous! LOL winkwink. Listen, I finally got a chance to use my India ink pad and a rubber stamp. I then tested, using that Transfer Ink that SS makes. It’s a spray and got 90% of the ink off. I then had a good brain fart – where is india ink mostly used? In pens!!! And they make pen cleaner, in fact I have Rapido-eze, Speedball AND Dr. PhMartins Bombay pen cleaners. So I tested all of those and in each case the stamp was completely cleaned. So in my mind, that answers that about the india inked stamp. I also diluted some of my Mona Lisa pink brush cleaner to a spray and used it (LOVE that stuff!). Same results as the pen cleaners. Just wanted you to know, while I can still remember well enough, LOL. xoxo

    1. Hi Amy, I’m glad that you found something that works. You might want to double-check on the ingredients in these cleaners though, just to be sure they don’t include any alcohol that might dry the rubber. If they do, you would not want to use them. Alcohol can dry out rubber really fast and make it hard and brittle. Thanks, Nancie

      1. Good point, Nancie – once I found that my Mona Lisa soap yielded same results, I decided to use that and it has only good stuff in it. I’ll leave the pen cleaners to the pens, LOL. xoxo

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