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Happy Tuesday!

Today’s Tuesday Tip is all about caring for your stamps using your Simply Shammy.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been buying stamps for years, you want to take care of them so they stamp well for years to come. Some time ago, I shared Top Tips for using photopolymer stamps, since then I’ve been blessed to introduce many more people to stamping and papercraft. So it seemed like a great time to go over how to care for those fabulous stamps that you’ve purchased.

Cleaning your stamps.

Everytime you use your stamps, you need to clean them. Just like you clean your cutlery or coffee cup everytime you use it. Seems logically enough, you’d be surprised how many people, do not do this! If you don’t clean your stamps, you risk contaminating your ink pads with other colours and adversely impacting your stamping expereince.

Now, there are few ways to clean your precious invetsments using a stamp cleaner such as Stampin’ Mist with the Stampin’ Scrub or StazOn Cleaner, a shammy or Stamp Cleaning Pad.

The easiest way to clean your stamps is with Stampin’ Up!’s Simply Shammy .  Let’s go through the cleaning process step by step for when you use classic inks.  This works for both rubber stamps and photopolymer (acrylic stamps).

Cleaning is as easy as 1,2,3!

  1. Stamp off any excess ink onto your grid paper, small grid paper or a piece of scrap.
  2. Use your damp shammy to wipe the stamp clean.
  3. Gently remove your stamp from the block and put it back in the stamp case.

How simple is that?  Super simple!

But I’m using StazOn, Memento, pigment or alcohol based inks

If you are using StazOn, pigment ink, Memento or alcohol-based inks with cling (red rubber) stamps,  you will need to do a couple of extra things to keep your stamps in tip top condition:

  1. Stamp off any excess ink onto your grid paper, small grid paper or a piece of scrap.
  2. Cover your stamp with StazOn Cleaner.- you can use a very soft toothbrush to maage the cleaner into the stamp grooves.
  3. wipe off the StazOn Cleaner with a damp paper towel or cloth.
  4. I recomend that you condition your rubber stamp Stampin’ Mist with the Stampin’ Scrub.
  5. Gently remove your stamp from the block and put it back in the stamp case.

If you are using StazOn, Memento or Alcohol Based inks with photopolymer stamps,  the process is a little different because of the type of stamps.  You will need to:

  1. Stamp off any excess ink onto your grid paper, small grid paper or a piece of scrap.
  2. Rub your photopolymer stamp with Stamp Cleaning Pad and stamp off on your grid paper again.  If your photopolymer stamp has lost it’s stickiness, gently remove your stamp from the block and wash it under running water with a a gentle dish soap.
  3. Use your damp shammy to wipe the stamp clean.and place it back in the stamp case.

Simple Shammy Tips

  • Your shammy will arrive damp but it will dry out eventually. When it is completely dry it go as stiff as a board.  That’s completely ok.  Just hold your shammy under running water and it will soften as it absorbs water.  Wring out the excess water and use.
  • Your shammy WILL stain – this will NOT affect how your shammy works.
  • Store your damp shammy in a Clear-Mount Stamp Case – you can remove it from the case and use it like a cloth or leave it in the case and rub your stamp over it. Your shammy should not go mouldy stored in the case.
  • At least once a month, rise your shammy well under running warm water until the water runs clear.  Rinse it more often if you using ir daily.
  • Some people put their shammy in a Lingere wash bag and throw it in with their towels with NO fabric softener to clean it.
  • Use your Shammy to clean your Stamparatus too. I cut one in half and store in a ziplock bag in my Craft & Carry Stamparatus Bag.

Cling and Rubber Stamps – extra care

Many people will say clean rubber stamps with baby wipes. Please don’t – the chemicals used to make baby wipes can cause your rubber stamps to become brittle and crack if not cleaned off. If you feel you absolutely must use a baby wipe because you’re using pigment or alcohol inks, make sure you condition your stamp with Stampin’ Mist afterwards.

Others recommend placing rubber stamps under running water. STOP! Step away from the tap! Water can get into the foam of the cling/rubber stamp and go mouldy and smelly. (Yuck!) – This is a greater risk in the tropics and sub-tropics.  I strongly recommend do not EVER run your cling or rubber foam-backed stamp under water.

Hope these tips help you care for your precious and much loved stamps.  I’ve listed all the Stampin’ Up! cleaning options below, just click on the picture and it will take you direct to my online Stampin’ Up! store.  If you have any questions, please ask in the comments or contact me directly.. I’m here to help.

Until next time happy creating!

Chrissy x

Stampin’ Up! Cleaning Options

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