Stamp Community Family of Web Sites
Thousands of stamps, consistently graded, competitively priced and hundreds of in-depth blog posts to read
Stamp Community Forum
 
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

This page may contain links that result in small commissions to keep this free site up and running.
Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some stamps?
Our stamp forum is completely free! Register Now!

Soaking Or Not Soaking?

Next Page    
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous TopicReplies: 23 / Views: 1,099Next Topic
Page: of 2
New Member

France
4 Posts
Posted 12/12/2022   11:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Monsoon to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have been enjoying taking apart old international albums (the cheap kind) and taking each page one by one and soak them and then once dried I catalogue the stamps. These are 99% used stamps not MH ones

A friend told me I should not be soaking pages but instead remove the hinge and the stamp and then rub the hinge to create heat and peel it off or even leave the hinge on. Since none of those stamps usually are expensive I don t see the point.

But then I remembered about coin collecting where noobies would clean and polish their old 1 cent coins and then be told that this is a no-no in the hobby and that they should not polish circulated coins as it removes some of its value.

I am wondering if there is something similar with stamps now. I have been soaking stamps not only to remove the hinges but also to remove some dirt or small debris that sometimes have accumulated and also to straighten some stamps that have been bent.

So I was wondering what was your opinions: If these albums are relatively cheap (<$100 for thousands of stamps) do you soak them or just remove them with the hinge and catalog them with the hinge or without. What do you think about soaking whole pages? I m doing whole pages because I want to keep the album pages after.

thanks

I have been using tap water but I am now thinking about using demineralized water instead. Oh and also if this is in the wrong forum I apologize and feel free to move this post where it belings.
Send note to Staff
Edited by Monsoon - 12/12/2022 11:28 pm

Bedrock Of The Community
Learn More...
Australia
38679 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   12:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There are as many opinions on this, as there are collectors.
After 20 years, my opinion is...

That's fine, cold water a must, mixed liberally with patience.
No detergent added

Do not: soak any stamps with purple or magenta on the page,
remove and treat by themselves, coloured envelope pieces...never!

Do not soak early Netherlands indies, the print will disappear.

It will become a vast waste of time to soak all your stamps
soak only those you intend to mount / keep.

Consider using new pages!

Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by rod222 - 12/13/2022 12:13 am
Valued Member
United States
37 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   03:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperJD to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I soak 95% of my used stamps because hinges hide damage to stamps, and I don't want stamps with hidden damage like thins in my collection. I will put a damaged stamp in my collection occasionally, but only if the damage is obvious so I can tell at a glance it needs an upgrade. I also like to mount all my stamps, rather than use hinges. This is expensive but it lets me seamlessly swap out stamps with better examples as they come along, and I think stamps with black background mounts look great. I think if I was just going to rehinge them and didn't care about thins, I might not bother taking off the old hinges.

I never soak the pages, because the pages from the collections I get are usually trash. By that I mean they are obviously yellowed/discolored which means they have high acidic content and are probably not good for my stamps. High end albums usually have fine pages, but then some other collector has usually written all over them and I don't want his catalog values from 20 years ago on my pages either, and I want my collection to have a uniform look, not to be a mishmash of pages from different publishers.

In addition to Rod's advice, I would caution you to be careful soaking chalky paper stamps, those can also bleed color sometimes.

I use tap water and nothing else, and I'm happy with that. No detergent or other additives that could interfere with the chemical composition of the stamp.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
9 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   06:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PAB1969 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have been soaking for over 40 years. I have one bowl to soak in and another bowl to rinse off in once I removed the paper. The only problems I have ever had are with old Austrian stamps. They must have used gorilla glue because I cannot remove the paper without damaging the stamps.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1659 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   4:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure I understand the rationale behind soaking entire pages and then reusing the pages. If they are to be reused then better not to get them wet at all. But by all means, with some exceptions as noted, remove used stamps from the page and soak them to remove hinges and paper adhesions and to clean them up.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
New Member
France
4 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   5:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Monsoon to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No No I don t mean I reuse the pages I just want to keep them so that I have an example of the pages from that particular publisher from over the years.
Some people just cut around the stamps and only soak small parts...I soak the whole page because once stamps are out and I removed all the crap left and rinsed the pages I put them back in order so I have an example on my shelf of what that album was instead of just throwing the pages in the bin once soaked.

I was mostly asking (probably not very clearly) is soaking used low value stamps had the potential to damage them in the sense that the water with all the hinges adhesives etc and the paper itself from the page could have a detrimental effect on the feel or look of the stamp once dried. because even with stamps that had no gum sometimes I feel like they seem thinner for some reason.

I understand all this is very subjective so that s why I was wondering if is general it was better to soak as it basically washes the stamps instead of leaving the hinge in there. Do you prefer washing or leaving as untouched as possible?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
7263 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   5:56 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's better to soak (unless the stamp was printed in fugitive ink or on certain types of paper) - not least because you can properly see the condition of the stamp. But it isn't worth soaking multiple copies of the same cheap stamp once you've got a decent copy.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
Israel
1010 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   6:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
it isn't worth soaking multiple copies of the same cheap stamp

Sometimes faults such as cracks and tears hide in the stamp-envelope interface

Quote:
I will put a damaged stamp in my collection... only if... I can tell at a glance it needs an upgrade

I put such stamps upside down, so I know they are fillers even if the damage is in the back, like missing parts on the back.

Quote:
They must have used gorilla glue

I ran into Romanian stamps that, after soaking, were left with ugly dark bulky glue.

Quote:
Some people just cut around the stamps and only soak small parts

If they are hinged, it is more easy and practical to cut only the hinge before soaking.

Quote:
about coin collecting where noobies would clean and polish their old 1 cent coins and then be told that this is a no-no in the hobby and that they should not polish circulated coins as it removes some of its value

While it is true about coins, also about coins with patina, I never heard that dirty or stained stamps gained value.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by Rob Roy - 12/13/2022 7:04 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1123 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   8:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I always soak used stamps from old albums if they are well mounted (like, heavily hinged or simply glued into the album), as others have said. Soaking allows me to see the entire 'naked' stamp which makes it easier to evaluate condition. Also, soaking (just water, no detergent necessary) often helps dislodge some dirt. It won't come out sparkling, but it isn't unusual to have a stamp come out just a bit cleaner than when it went in. Also, since I don't know what kind of nasties can be in the glue of the previous hinge, or if the paper it is mounted on is acidic or otherwise yucky, I always have a 2nd bowl of clean cool water in which I give a 2nd soak. Soak in the first bowl to remove hinges, paper, etc, and then throw it in the 2nd bowl, I like the extra step and it has never given me problems. If you ever soak a bunch of stamps, look at the water that remains --- THAT'S why I give the stamps a 2nd bath.

As for mint stamps, I will TRY to remove them from the album in such a way that I don't have to soak them. I DO want the hinge off the back, though, and for truly difficult hinges the only way to remove is to soak. I have to consider the risk/reward aspect of the whole thing. Cheapies - little risk, monetarily, so I soak them. A bit of value - I try to not soak, I may even leave a particularly difficult hinge in place in order to avoid losing all the gum.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1659 Posts
Posted 12/13/2022   9:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dudley to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
is soaking used low value stamps had the potential to damage them in the sense that the water with all the hinges adhesives etc and the paper itself from the page could have a detrimental effect on the feel or look of the stamp once dried.


Ah. When I collected worldwide used stamps I would frequently acquire albums. I always soaked the used stamps prior to remounting in my Big Blue albums. As others have said, if you have a clean secondary bath to rinse the soaked stamps in you will be OK.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
868 Posts
Posted 12/14/2022   03:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Agree that soaking usually does good. It gives the stamps a bath and they do come out looking cleaner and better.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Bedrock Of The Community
Learn More...
Australia
38679 Posts
Posted 12/15/2022   8:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Update:
Be very wary of stamps on Manila Paper, extended soak times will turn your stamps yellow
I place in cold water face down, and wait until they release then whip out of the water.

I have had good results soaking Canadian Self Adhesives in water
but here you have a conundrum,
These need extended soak times to release the water activated gum film,
this increases the risk of water yellowing, be warned.

Any self adhesive stamp overlapped with another is doomed
the stamp underneath will never release the self adhesive gum on the face

Sc# 3521i 2020 NVI (92c) Somme Hamilton.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by rod222 - 12/15/2022 8:04 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
15 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   12:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blue-within-blue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have on many occasions soaked Cape triangles and early Mauritius primitives in a saucer of warm water with a touch of washing-up liquid to remove old hinge remnants. It can also sometimes clean off surface dirt. I know that the ink on those issues is waterproof, and the stamps have never taken any harm.

Recently I bought this British Guiana 1852 Waterlow in a larger auction lot. It appears to be well-preserved on the front, but with a big chunk of paper stuck to the back. The auctioneer thought the apparent flaw on the front above QUE is also some adhering paper fibres. Has anyone soaked this issue, or do you know whether they are colour-fast?

For anyone curious about the pencil marking, 117 shillings was 5.85 in pre-decimal money, or about $7.10 .



ROB
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Bedrock Of The Community
Learn More...
Australia
38679 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   5:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yikes!
I personally would leave well alone, the risk is too great.
Nice Stamp!

Warm water, washing up liquid ? Not for me.

Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by rod222 - 12/16/2022 5:34 pm
Pillar Of The Community
Israel
1010 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   6:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob Roy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What actually is the danger of warm soaking water?
As for using two bowls, one for soaking and the second for rinsing, what might be wrong with decanting the soaking water and adding fresh water for rinsing?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Bedrock Of The Community
Learn More...
Australia
38679 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   9:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Warm water increases the fugitive properties of ink, esp in the purple / magenta range.

Decanting into a quick rinse in cold water is fine, and recommended,
it removes any soluble gum Arabic in the soaking water from the face of the stamp.

AS for the Brit Guiana, I would not touch it, ANY handling of a stamp, reduces its
native properties in some way.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by rod222 - 12/16/2022 9:07 pm
Page: of 2 Previous TopicReplies: 23 / Views: 1,099Next Topic  
Next Page
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.


Go to Top of Page
Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Stamp Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2023 Stamp Community Family - All rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Stamp Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Use    Advertise Here
Stamp Community Forum © 2007 - 2023 Stamp Community Forums
It took 0.22 seconds to lick this stamp. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05