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More About Removing Self-stick Stamps

 
 
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Posted 11/21/2019   2:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add alub to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
What I am finding is that after about 15 years, self stick stamp's adhesive is getting very hard to dissolve and allow removal of the backing paper. My guess is that after 20+ years, these stamps may be permanently attached to their backing paper.



Other people's thoughts?

thanks
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Posted 11/21/2019   5:03 pm  Show Profile Check ggreve's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ggreve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Self-stick stamps are very tricky. It is very possible that after so many years soaking them in water is no longer possible. For a while the USPS printed self-stick stamps with a water-soluble layer between the paper and the adhesive. The gradually switch to having nothing water-soluble at all which means soaking in water is a useless approach. If you want to know which stamps do not have this magic layer, Scott catalog has a notation an (s) inside a red circle means do not soak in water.
The newest stamps and some stamps from the early 2000s as you have suggested need a different chemical to break down and remove the adhesive. The tricky part comes down to which chemical to use that is safe for you and the stamp. The best I have found so far is orange oil found in "Pure Citrus Air Freshener" works well. purecitrususa.com
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Posted 11/21/2019   5:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The best approach I have found was posted here on SCF. Paper is trimmed around stamp to around 1/8" to 3/16". If the stamp is on postcard, or other heavy stock, then most of the layers need to be split off and removed. 10-12 stamps are soaked in a small (2"x3", or 3"x4") zip-lock plastic bag with a good dose of lighter fluid for 15 minutes or so.

Recent stamps, with some exceptions (Singapore, for example, will try anyone's patience) will peel off easily. I always wear nitrile gloves when cleaning self-adhesive stamps.

Self-adhesive stamps from just about anywhere which have been on the paper for a few years are always tougher to remove and clean, unless they have a water-soluble layer.
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Edited by bookbndrbob - 11/21/2019 5:56 pm
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Posted 11/21/2019   6:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jr. Ratfish to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have used pure citrus orange air freshener, bought at Home Depot, with good results. It takes scrubbing and patience sometimes to avoid damage. Sometimes the cancellation will blur, or the ink will blur. I have not tried the lighter fluid trick yet. I will try that soon. The self adhesive on stamps has really put a damper on the hobby, in my opinion. But hey, everything changes.
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Posted 11/22/2019   12:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
'
I think alub's point is that he is experienced in removing PSA stamps, but is finding that the passage of time (15 years) is impacting his success.

<guess> One possible path is that moisture from the air is absorbed by the paper => reaction with the paper => acid in the paper => acid reaction with the adhesive => deformation of the molecules in the adhesive => reduced solubility. <guess>

In other words, the nice clean molecules in the adhesive - that would otherwise be leaving the adhesive one-by-one to enter the solvent - are being turned into broken, twisted, stuck-together gunk.

Kinda like what happens to automotive motor oil.

The upshot might be that the best advice for newly-received PSA stamps is to get them off paper while you still can.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey (who will BOLO older PSAa on paper to see if he can replicate alub's results)
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Posted 11/22/2019   11:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stampwolf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mineral Spirits works 99% of the time for me. The only problem is that the fluorescent marine life issue gets destroyed in mineral spirits. Of course the gum still remains with this approach. I use a credit card sharp edge to scrape the remaining adhesive off. One collector friend of mine got some stuff from Mystic Stamp and then uses baby powder to put on the adhesive. Kind of a funky approach if you ask me. I think all this stuff has been discussed in previous threads and I apologize if my comments a redundant. YMMV. Good luck! Cheers. Wolf-==-
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Posted 11/22/2019   12:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
ikeyPikey is correct:


Quote:
I think alub's point is that he is experienced in removing PSA stamps, but is finding that the passage of time (15 years) is impacting his success.


I have no trouble removing current stamps. Even stamps on non-absorbent backings (eg: plastic mailers)can be put in a baggie with lighter-fluid and in couple of minutes will be free from their backing.

But I have run in to several stamps (specifically Scott #3055 #3302-3305 come to mind) that it was almost impossible to remove the backing. The glue had changed, as ikeyPikey described, from something that loosened with solvent, to something that barely changed with the solvent.
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Posted 11/22/2019   12:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... The glue had changed ...


To be fair to science, I should have noted that the USPS (or its vendor) may have changed the PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) formula over the years ...

alub: Did you have success with the very same stamp issues, way back when?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 11/22/2019   12:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Did you have success with the very same stamp issues, way back when?


They were issued during a time when I had stop collecting. Sorry, I've only been back at it for the last 5 years.
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Posted 11/22/2019   2:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wkusau to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
(specifically Scott #3055 #3302-3305 come to mind)


It would appear that these can be soaked in water. I am using the Scott "no s in a red circle" as my guide.

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Posted 11/22/2019   2:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... I've only been back at it for the last 5 years ...


#METOO
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Posted 11/22/2019   3:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Try microwaving the stamp on paper for 10-20 seconds. It heats the adhesive.

Disclaimer: The user of the above advice assumes all responsibility for any and all potential outcomes of taking and implementing said advice and does so of their own free will, absolving the poster of said advice of any and all liability related to following said advice including but not limited to fire, flood, pestilence, Acts of God, debauchery and uncontrolled twitching.
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Posted 11/23/2019   07:18 am  Show Profile Check ggreve's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ggreve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
It would appear that these can be soaked in water. I am using the Scott "no s in a red circle" as my guide.


Does anyone know what year Scott added this to their Catalog? I have a 2012 which has no indicators, so it must be after that. I think the APS had a listing of soakable stamps up until around 2016. They probably stopped maintaining a list because of people can just use the Scott.

My suggestion is to carefully soak it in water.

I also heard with older stamps you might have to do both water and hydrocarbon (pure citrus, lighter fluid, bestine, etc.). The self adhesives take some experimenting.
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Posted 11/23/2019   11:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Will try the microwaving idea.

thanks

joe
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Posted 11/23/2019   11:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Trim all the remaining envelope paper down to the edges of the stamp.
Put a couple of drops of water on top of the stamp.
Put in the microwave oven, on low power setting, and nuke for about 20 seconds.
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Posted 11/23/2019   4:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
PLEASE remember to put a microwave sink (eg half cup of water) in the microwave.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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