Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stampin' Scrub suggestions and tips

I think someone should post a little class on how to use your STAMPIN' SCRUB, and how to clean your stamps in general. It's always a little scary when you see your stamps come apart after cleaning them. This is due to over scrubbing when cleaning, which is completely unnecessary. So here are some directions for cleaning your stamps to prolong their life and use.

CLEANING: All foam mounted rubber stamps need a little TLC when cleaning to ensure long life.
When cleaning, you can use the following cleaning mechanisms: baby wipes, Stampin' Scrub or stamp cleaner pads, and Stampin' Mist or a spray bottle filled with a weak solution of hand soap and water. Do not under any circumstance use dishwashing detergent or harsh cleansers on your stamps.

Now on to the issue of the actual cleaning: NEVER SCRUB YOUR STAMPS CLEAN. DO NOT RUB THEM HARD SEVERAL TIMES OVER THE SURFACE OF YOUR STAMPIN' SCRUB. I know it is called a Stampin' scrub, but please do not scrub!!!! If your cleaner pad of choice has enough wetness to it, you only have to lightly swipe your stamp over it.
If you are using craft inks, which tend to stick and get in stamp crevices, spray your Stampin' Mist or diluted soapy solution directly on the stamp to get it loose.
Please note that Basic black, basic brown, basic grey classic inks will stain your stamps if you do not clean them immediately after stamping. Do not scrub to get this off. The stains from these inks will not come off when using another color. If you are unsure, do not keep scrubbing, but stamp on scratch paper till you see no residue.
STAZON ink cleaning tips: use STAZON CLEANER, and to help this cleaner along, stamp your stamps in Versamark ink first before inking them with the STAZON inks. They clean up beautifully.

Now on to drying: again a light touch is all you need. DO NOT SCRUB AND RUB YOUR STAMPS HARD TO DRY THEM. If you still see wetness after a swipe or two, just keep the lid of your plastic storage container open a little so they can finish drying out.

If you are seeing the rubber stamp layer of your stamps coming away from your foam cushion, you should immediately think about how hard you are cleaning your stamps. If you are seeing residue, you should probably look at how dirty your cleaner pads are first. That is usually the most likely reason.

To clean your STAMPIN' SCRUB:
Use warm water and hand soap, again no dishwashing detergent here, and rub this into the nylon fibers of the cleaning pads. Rinse and you will see all the colored inks run out. Stand upright to dry or dry on a towel. If you still see ink running off after rinsing, clean again.
Do not put these nylon pads in the dishwasher to wash them as they warp. I don't think they hurt the pads, but it is hard to clean large background stamps on a warped pad. Also some dishwasher cleansers can have solvents in them, which can damage your stamps. I didn't know this before, and I was cleaning the pads in the dishwasher. OOPs. If you heard me say that was okay before, I have learned otherwise, so stop doing that now.

If you use a lot of archival inks or craft inks you need to buy some Stampin' Mist as this solution has a conditioner to help those inks from drying out the rubber. It's not that expensive and if you close your cleaner system when you are not using it, it stays moist longer and you don't have to spray as much. For cleaning classic inks, just plain water does well for most colors. Just keep the nylon pads clean and that helps alot.

So now you know. I don't want to see any more of you scrubbing those stamps, esp. mine, to clean them. Your stamps will thank you, and you'll get more use out of them.

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