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Acetone And Scotch Tape

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Valued Member

Canada
106 Posts
Posted 12/30/2013   11:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Stray Feathers to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I read with interest (and a little hope) the thread about using acetone to remove old scotch tape adhesive and stains. I have some old US stamps (nos 7, 13 and 17 I believe) with unfortunate tape stains. I tried Ronsonol with a little success. I may try acetone but am aware how potent it is. Can anyone tell me anything about the durability of the inks in these older US stamps? Most of the stamps also have pen cancels (Xs) and I wonder also about whether acetone will attack those?
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United States
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Posted 12/30/2013   11:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gar to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Acetone will destroy them very quickly. It's used to remove paints and such, so you could imagine how long ink would hold up. I tried it years ago on all different types of stamps and even in small portions, it eats the ink, cancels etc. right up and bleeds heavily. Maybe someone has figured out a way to use it more effectively. Gary
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Posted 12/31/2013   12:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To the best of my knowledge, tape stains will never come out. The tape itself will usually come off with lighter fluid, but the stains are permanent.
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Posted 12/31/2013   04:17 am  Show Profile Check KGV Collector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KGV Collector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 12/31/2013   09:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Me too
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Posted 12/31/2013   10:56 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampvirgin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There has been some success with removing the tape stains... a couple of years ago there was a very long thread about this.
But it is hard..

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United States
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Posted 12/31/2013   11:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DuncanDoenitz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Acetone definitely attacks the ink on older engraved US stamps. It would dissolve any adhesive residue, too, but not necessarily stains. From my limited experience with it, the tape stains are so resistant that if acetone did actually have any beneficial effect, it would have already damaged the stamp ink as well.

A collector could dilute the acetone (I'm thinking a combination of acetone and naphtha) but I suppose that would just slow down the process.

Acetone is dangerous. It passes easily through your skin and into your body.
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Canada
106 Posts
Posted 12/31/2013   6:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stray Feathers to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for comments. I approached this problem with the same resignation some of you have expressed - not much hope. Then I read the thread referred to which has some remarkably successful-looking results (and a few caveats):

http://goscf.com/t/10035

So it got me thinking about trying it, but I don't want to risk further damaging old stamps that may retain some value even if tape-stained. So I am wondering if anyone has first-hand experience with acetone on old inks. All of the stamps are imperf, and two are pairs, so I could risk damaging the worst stamp of a pair, or are pairs worth way more than two singles?
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Posted 12/31/2013   9:18 pm  Show Profile Check matttodd1's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add matttodd1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My experience with acetone has been hit and miss. I've used it to remove or at least lighten pen or owners marks on older stamps, some of which were 19th century and the stamp ink was fine. You won't know though until you try.

Matt
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United States
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Posted 01/01/2014   9:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add redbus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Acetone didn't do well for me in removing the tape stains. The ink started to smeared. I don't use it anymore.
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Posted 01/03/2014   10:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My experiment with the acetone was a dismal failure but I have not given up. I'd scan it except it tore in two.
Tom
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Posted 01/03/2014   12:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sdtom to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For your information Walmart carries the large size (12 ounce) lighter fluid for $1.97. It surprised me how reasonable it was.
Tom
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Canada
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Posted 01/03/2014   4:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Faken to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was going to suggest Goo be gone, which is amazing for this very purpose, but the problem is that I believe it is oil based so it would permanently darken/stain the stamp the same way it would it you dropped some oil on a piece of paper. Maybe if you immediately soak it in dish detergent and warm water afterwards, but I can't imagine a stamp surviving that kind of abuse.
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Posted 01/04/2014   5:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike33 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Picked up a bottle of 100% acetone today to give this a shot.

Here's my first test with before / after pics:




not perfect but a major improvement

thanks for the tips!
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New Zealand
195 Posts
Posted 01/04/2014   9:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add teals1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Would be interested to hear how you went about the process Mike, ie: Did you just soak the stamps in an open dish of acetone? While not perfect, it is a significant improvement on the before photos and would be much more pleasing to view in an album.
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Posted 01/05/2014   07:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Mike33 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I soaked them in a glass bowl for about 3-4 minutes and then let them sit in a bath of water for about 15.

Here's another batch this morning.




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Mixed results with this set...
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Edited by Mike33 - 01/06/2014 06:21 am
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