Conditioning Stamps for Crisper Images

Recently, I was asked about the best way to condition red rubber and photopolymer stamps.  My best advice is to clean your new stamps and practice using it a few times before making a special project.  I have found that the more you use your stamp, the better it will perform and the better it will accept ink.  Some stamps, like those stamps in the dollar bin at the craft store or other older, well-loved stamps, may take a little more effort to condition them. 

Before stamping, make a habit of examining your stamps first.  Are there any glossy areas or dry powdery areas?  Do you see dirt, lint or dried ink on your stamp image?  When you apply fresh ink, do you see beads of ink on the surface of the stamp like beads of water on a freshly waxed car?  These things will affect the ability of your stamp to accept ink and the quality of the stamped image. 

Here are five tips for improving your stamped image:

  1. Clean your stamp really well using your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist. As you clean them, you are also removing any manufacturing residue left on the new stamps or removing old ink, lint and dirt from those older, well-loved stamps. 
  2. Clean your stamp; ink it using Versamark ink and stamp on scrap paper. This sticky ink will help remove anything on the surface of your stamp.  Now clean your stamp really well again and examine it for glossy areas, dirt, lint or dried ink.
  3. Clean your red rubber stamps with StazOn Cleaner. This cleaner is actually made for cleaning off StazOn permanent ink, but it is great for conditioning red rubber (although it is not recommended for photopolymer stamps).  It comes in a small bottle with a foam applicator top for rubbing the cleaning solution across the face of the red rubber stamp.  Wipe off the cleaning solution using a baby wipe or paper towel.  If needed, rub again with the cleaning solution and use an old toothbrush to clean all the nooks and crannies of the stamp.  Again, wipe off the cleaning solution  with a baby wipe or paper towel, and then give your stamp a good cleaning using your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist. 
  4. Clean your photopolymer stamps with warm soapy water and an old toothbrush. Allow the photopolymer stamps to air dry.  Avoid drying your stamps with a paper towel or dish cloth as the lint will affect the stamp’s ability to cling.  You can also dry your photopolymer stamps with the Absorber.  (See my previous post about how wonderful the Absorber is for cleaning photopolymer stamps.  Click on Link here)  
  5. Rub a white eraser, pumice stone or Magic Eraser over the stamped image to remove any remaining manufacturing residue. Clean it using your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist, and then practice inking and stamping a few times on scrap paper. 

Please let me know if these tips work for you and please share any tips you may know.

Until next time, happy crafting!



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