Soaking off US Stamps

Discussion in 'United States Stamps' started by bickerstonehall, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. bickerstonehall

    bickerstonehall Moderator Moderator

    What does the US postal service dislike about stamp collectors?

    Stamps from the US are near impossible to soak off envelopes. I always soak off stamps from received mail. Very few for myself, but many for children who like these stamps and I hope will start there interest in collecting.

    Yesterday I had French, Ukrainian and US stamps to soak off. After an hour the French and Ukrainian floating in the top of my bowl. The US stamps refused to soak off.

    Anyone any ideas how to get around this problem?
     
  2. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mentioned in another thread look for a product similar to stamp lift (UK name) it works removing UK self adhesives
     
  3. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    Its a product called "Pure Orange". Its 100% orange peel oil. You spray it on the back of the stamp on the envelope, and peel the stamp right off. No waiting. Let the stamp dry for a couple of hours. The adhesive is still on the stamp, so you can use talc powder to get rid of the stickyness. Have been doing this awhile now, seems to work just fine. Any questions, let me know.
     
  4. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Did I post that link about the lighter fluid and metal straight edge here? I have had wonderful luck using this method for the ones that are especially tough.
    Here is the link to that method.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWMcVYgIZjM
     
  5. kacyds

    kacyds New Member

    Thanks Jay. Great info.
     
  6. bickerstonehall

    bickerstonehall Moderator Moderator

    Thanks to all, for great help. The product names might not be available here but the lighter fluid solution looks good, but does it not make the stamps smell?
     
  7. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    no it evaporates really quickly and a little soapy water "bath" or "dip" doesn't hurt if your overly cautious. Just take your time and DON'T SMOKE CIGARETTES *(or anything else) while your doing this for obvious reasons! lol *BOOM!!* :confused:
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
  8. swish513

    swish513 Active Member

    you mean i can't use candlelight while trying this?? :rolleyes:
     
    POLICEDIVER and Jay like this.
  9. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    yup that's basically what I'm saying..Just use common sense and patients and you'll be fine.
     
  10. Darrin

    Darrin Active Member

    I had tried the lighter fluid tip before but using the steel ruler to zip off the adhesive never occurred to me. Thank you, this was really useful.
     
    Jay likes this.
  11. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I have a soaking related question. I was thinking about ways to sort of stiffen up a stamp. After it is soaked and dried, but not necessarily pressed yet. I have a few beautiful stamps, not particularly expensive though that I was thinking of experimenting on to bring them back from the brink. I was thinking of adding talc and then maybe ironing them between some type of waxed or perhaps parchment paper or maybe spray starch? Like I said I obviously don't want to destroy it but make it a bit more stiff or rigid. Any ideas?
    I have noticed that if you use a liquid body soap like AXE or similar product in your soaking water, that besides cleaning them up a little bit, they also sort of stiffen back up too. That's what got me thinking. Now I have been doing that for years and never had a bad experience and it works well for me so that part is not in question, it's just how to help add that rigidness back to them. Any thoughts? ~Jay
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
  12. POLICEDIVER

    POLICEDIVER Member

    oN OCCASION WHEN i DO SOAK A us STAMP i GENTLY PEEL THE PAPER OFF AFTER SOAKING IN hot WATER THEN TAKE A FINGER A RUB THE GUM INTO LITTLE BALLS...AGAIN VERY GENTLY..AND THEN RE WET TO PRESS FLAT
     
  13. Meredith

    Meredith New Member

    Too bad I had not read this thread when I was trying to save a Wonder Woman stamp. I basically ruined that one, it made me really sad. Now, thanks to everyone, I have some better ways of trying to get stamps off of the envelopes.
     
  14. Darrin

    Darrin Active Member

    Finally tried this tonight on a couple of self-adhesives...a Liberty (Las Vegas) Head forever stamp and a Greetings from Minnesota .37c. Awesome.
    There are empty spaces in my albums just because I have been reluctant to soak any of these stamps and I adamantly refuse to put them in with the paper still on them.
    Thank you.

    Darrin
     
    Jay likes this.
  15. POLICEDIVER

    POLICEDIVER Member

    Darrin..for some it has become common practice to trim as much of the envelope away from the stamp as possible and mounting it that way..certain US issues will flake off the ink design when exposed to water!!!
     
  16. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    That's right PoliceDiver, also the lighter fluid will destroy most of the photo-gravure printed stamps as the ink reacts with the fluid like a solvent so just use your common sense and if unsure as to what type your stamp is Google it to be sure. Believe me, I learned this from experience with the more recent high dollar airmails!
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
  17. Darrin

    Darrin Active Member

    Thank you both. Puts a damper on my excitement but good advice nonetheless.
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
  18. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I apologize for being such a bummer but I'd rather be Buzz Killington now than to have you accidentally ruin one of your stamps later. :cool:
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
  19. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I must add though, that this the exception rather than the rule because only very few have I ever had trouble with. Usually it is the new ones, so I'll try it on a duplicate first. The older ones (1860'-to mid 80's) should be just fine. I also give them a quick rinse or a soak in a soapy water bath for a quick bit when they're done to be sure all the chemicals are gone.
     
  20. Darrin

    Darrin Active Member

    The soapy water idea is a good one. I have soaked my stamps in water for many years. I have become frustrated over the past 10 years or so (as I'm sure many have on this website), however, because of the inability to soak off the newer self-adhesive stamps. The US and France seem to be particularly bad. I had seen the lighter fluid solution previously but I had to carefully ball-up and scrape the adhesive off afterward. This was painstaking and time-consuming so most of my self adhesive stamps remain in a large box on paper. What excited me, an I tried it last night, was the idea of using the end of a metal ruler to scrape off the excess adhesive. It never occurred to me to do this.
     
    POLICEDIVER likes this.
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