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  Best methods of removing stamps from envelopes

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Author Topic:   Best methods of removing stamps from envelopes
JBoe
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Posts: 257
From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-12-2014 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering, what is the best way to remove stamps from envelopes, especially adhesive ones? Thanks.

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1782
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-12-2014 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've always found steam to work fairly well.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28661
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-12-2014 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a video that recommends WD40 (in pen form) to remove self-adhesive stamps:

MarylandSpace
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Posts: 1020
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Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-12-2014 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many years ago, I used to soak stamps in water, dry them face down on a paper towel, and then flatten them in books.

Thank you Robert for sharing this video about removing adhesive, non-lick, stamps.

LM1
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Posts: 403
From: New York, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-13-2014 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The video was very informative, but I have always removed the old stamps by soaking them in water and the new adhesive stamps by finding a corner and very very slowly peeling the stamp back.

But now I do it differently. To remove stamps, address labels or price tags from envelopes or other items I now always apply a few drops of lighter fluid to the face of the item, rub it in very gently, wait a few seconds (do not let it dry) and then slowly remove the item. The lighter fluid can then be applied to the surface again to remove any remaining glue. The lighter fluid dries very fast. You should then gently wash both surfaces with a very small amount of water. Some adhesives are very strong, so you may have to repeat step one. You can buy a 12 oz. container of lighter fluid in many stores for $6 or less, It will last for years. Store in a safe place.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2351
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 01-13-2014 10:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarylandSpace:
Many years ago, I used to soak stamps in water, dry them face down on a paper towel, and then flatten them in books.
Back in my stamp collecting days I used to use regular towels, as sometimes the stamps would stick to the paper towels.

JBoe
Member

Posts: 257
From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 01-13-2014 04:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks guys, I really appreciate it! I'm just worried that the WD40 or lighter fluid would damage the non-adhesive side of the stamp. I'll give it a try anyways

LM1
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Posts: 403
From: New York, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 01-13-2014 05:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LM1   Click Here to Email LM1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, the lighter fluid will not destroy your stamps in any manner. The container comes with an opening that allows you to add drops - do not splash it on. It dries very fast and does not leave a stain. Experiment with it first by removing stamps from your incoming mail. I use it almost every day to remove labels and stains from paper or plastic or metal items that I sell on eBay.

OLDIE
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Posts: 172
From: Portsmouth, England
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 01-26-2014 03:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OLDIE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A bit late I know, but here's my five penn'th (old english expression!).

With the old style "lick and stick" stamps, steaming off the envelope worked well, because the gum was water-soluble. With the newer self-adhesive stamps, the gum is solvent-soluble, so lighter fuel is the solvent to use. If unsure, try lighter fuel first, as you can always go back to steaming if the lighter fuel doesn't work.

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