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Monday, 26 August 2013
Those expensive stamp cleaners.....
Well, I've been seeing lots of recipes for homemade stamp cleaners around, and kept meaning to try one out. I even bought most of the ingredients, just not got round to doing it. By most of, I mean two, it only needs 3, or 4 if you want to perfume it.
Well, today I finished off my bottle of cleaner, so it seemed the ideal time to try it out.
What you need:
A spray bottle
Optional: Rose Water
I admit right now that I never got around to buying the distilled water. Its available from chemists, by the way. I used water from my water filter jug, I figure thats taken all the nasties out of it, and I was only making up enough to fill my bottle, not a huge amount to store.
As well as regular stamp cleaner, this is my usual stamp cleaning kit:
Baby wipes for most ink removal, they deal with dye inks easily.
Staz-on cleaner, a toothbrush, a paint pad and an old towel.
Most of the recipes I found give quantities for making up at least a pint, and like I say, I only wanted enough for one bottle, so this recipe is winging it a bit- no exact quantities were used, but I don't think it really matters.
After I'd rinsed out the bottle, I added about half a teaspoon of glycerine. I think this was about 50p a bottle. This, and Rosewater can be found in the baking aisle in the supermarket, as well as chemists.
Next I poured in about an inch of Baby wash- mine came from Aldi, about 80p. Now I just topped it up with filtered water, put the lid back on and rolled it back & forth to mix. Don't shake it, you'll end up with a pressurised bottle of foam!
And thats it. If you want to add rosewater to perfume it, do that just before you add the water, but I thought the Baby wash smell was perfectly acceptable.
So, now the acid test. Is the mix any good, and does it work?
I inked up the stamp with Black Versafine.
Stamped the image off onto scrap, and gave it a spritzing with the cleaner, and went over it with the toothbrush.
Wiped it off with the towel, and...WOW! I think its cleaner than before I inked it!
So then I was curious- what was the likelihood of it removing Staz-on? Not very high, to be honest. Its a solvent based ink, right?
And of course, apart from how cheap this is, the real beauty is that it won't damage your acrylic blocks like Staz-on Cleaner does. This is the damage caused to acrylic blocks by Staz-on cleaner, before I knew about what it did. Now I save them for cleaning any stamps that needed Staz-on removed.
So, my two ingredients cost me less than £1.50, and I'd say I will be able to refill my bottle dozens of times before either one runs out. I'm guessing my bottle of stamp cleaner just cost me less than 10p!
Just a quick add-on, I've been calling it Baby Wash from all the recipes I read being almost entirely American! Its what we in the UK call Baby Bath. I did find a recipe or two that used Dove shower gel instead, I think the idea is that it needs to be a liquid soap that is as free from chemicals as possible, so there is actually quite a bit of scope for what you use.