Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A cautionary tale...

... dear crafty friend!

Until recently I admit to not being the best at cleaning my rubber stamps.  I have some good products for cleaning, but I didn't really see the point...

...but now I do!  Yesterday I was the lucky recipient of a box full of crafting supplies that were no longer wanted by a friend of a friend (this happens to me quite often, with all sorts of unwanted crafty bits and pieces coming my way - YAY!).  I was thrilled to see lots of lovely stamps including these two that particularly appealed to me:

Aren't they pretty?  I was thrilled until I turned them over, look:

OH NOOOO!  Although I am completely un-fazed by the general grubbiness (you should see my house!), can you see where they have gone all hard and crumbly?  Even if they hadn't started crumbling yet, they would have had no "give" and wouldn't produce a nice image any more, but these have gone to the next level of spoiled and begun to flake away and crumble to the touch.

Ladies!  Don't let this happen to your stamps!

1) Clean your stamps straight away after using. You can use a baby wipe for immediate clean up but this will eventually dry out the rubber.  You can also use mild liquid soap, taking care not to get wood blocks wet.  But the best thing is to use a scrubby mat, like Stampin Up's Stampin' Scrub, which has bristles of the perfect stiffness to get right into all the little grooves of your stamp.  You just moisten the wet side with a liquid stamp cleaner like Stampin' Mist, which contains the perfect blend of cleaner and conditioner to keep your stamps at their best.  Then you wipe the stamp over a few times, then dry your stamp on the dry side.  The StampinScrub doesn't really need maintenance but if you feel the need you can occasionally rinse the scrubby pads under a tap.

2)  If you have used a solvent-based ink like staz-on it is quite likely to permanently colour your stamp, but you should still remove the ink, using staz-on remover which comes in a handy dispenser with a dauber on the end, then rinse it off and dry carefully.

Even if you are a pretty conservative buyer of stamps, your collection likely represents an investment you would be sorry to lose, but by cleaning your stamps with the right products, you can ensure that you'll be enjoying them for years to come.  The three products I've mentioned only cost about £20 in total, and then you just need to USE them!!!!!

Staz on Cleaner, £4.25

Stampin Scrub (£13.50):

Stampin Mist (£3.25)