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.
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!
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?