Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cleaning Your Photopolymer Stamps

How do you clean your stamps?  For as long as I can remember I used my Stampin' Up Stamp & Scrub and the solution that goes with it.  I still use that for stubborn inks (like our new Archival inks,) but over the years I got lazy and just grabbed baby wipes when I was on the road and crafting with others.  It seemed a nice way to clean up my stamps and just toss the mess away.  Do you do that? 
Then I discovered this little miracle product:  the Absorber.  It’s a synthetic car chamois and it’s found in the automotive department of Wal-Mart or at automotive stores.  I bought mine from Amazon.  Here it is if you “need” one too!  They come in a bunch of pretty colors, but I was boring and just got the plain one.  It’s a pretty big sheet, so I cut it into pieces and shared with friends and family.  Here’s what my pieces look like a year later:
Now, here’s some advice for you.  The chamois instructions say it keep it damp.  I tried that and after a few weeks it starts to smell pretty terrible.  So I decided to let it dry when not in use.  It gets hard and then I remoisten it with water and start all over again.  I keep the damp one in a plastic container so I won’t accidently plop it down onto a project.  I love, love, love it.  It cleans my stamps really well and doesn’t leave any lint behind.  Occasionally I throw these into the washing machine (not the dryer) with my towels (and no fabric softener) to clean them a little better than rinsing in the sink.  If you are seeking a better alternative to baby wipes, I think you’d love this product too.
Today I saw that another stamp company is marketing their own version of this item.  I haven’t seen theirs, but from the video, it looks just like the Absorber, but smaller and with a company logo.  The Absorber is $10.99 at Amazon for a 27” x 17” chamois.  The new “stampers” version being sold by Lawn Fawn is $8 for a 5” x 7” one.  (That’s the way it goes, isn’t it?  When things become specialized for crafters the price seems to increase!)  I’m not saying you should not buy the Lawn Fawn version, I’m just suggesting that you could buy the bigger car chamois and share it with several friends for less.  Here’s the Lawn Fawn version so you can see how it works.  Note:  when you get this wet, you squeeze out the excess water.  This is meant to be damp, not dripping.  Same with the Absorber.

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