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soaking / removing stamps from envelopes  
 

 
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Valued Member
United States
176 Posts
Posted 07/14/2017   12:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add DaveG28 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
We all know the issues with removing self-adhesive U.S. stamps from envelopes. They don't want to come off. We can't just soak a pile of stamps off paper in a bowl of water any more. I've had my best luck using Pure Citrus. My question is: is this a U.S. stamp thing, or is it typical of self-adhesive stamps world wide? I've recently started collecting Canada and Great Britain. I have yet to come across any stamps new enough from those countries that I've had to deal with this. I'd like to hear everyone's experiences with this. Thanks.
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Edited by DaveG28 - 07/14/2017 1:15 pm

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Posted 07/14/2017   1:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
DAVE---Is this Pure Citrus Orange Cleaner your talking about ,do you spray it from a can ? Is this the air fresher your talking about ? What are you doing . Does the paper turn orange ? Can you smell the scent after it dries .
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United States
176 Posts
Posted 07/14/2017   1:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DaveG28 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
floortrader...the answers are yes and no. That is the product I've been using. It's not an aerosol but it is a spray. It does not turn the paper color at all. And the orange scent disappears shortly. This was the recommendation I was given, and it's worked well for me. I've also only used it on U.S. stamps from the past 5 years. Nothing terribly valuable, you know. Just wondering what kind of luck I'll have with Canada and Great Britain stamps when the time comes.
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Edited by DaveG28 - 07/14/2017 1:18 pm
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Posted 07/14/2017   2:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ddreisba to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Does anyone know how companies like Mystic and Kenmore treat their envelopes? They must get a couple hundred stamped envelopes every day and they sell recent used stamps. They can't just be trashing their own envelopes. How do they remove recent stamps?

By the way, I have had a little success, not much, using hot water.

Don
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United States
176 Posts
Posted 07/14/2017   2:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DaveG28 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That's a good question. How do any dealers remove recent stamps from paper? They must do a lot of them. I can't imagine that they do it the same way I'm doing it, and water just doesn't work like it did with WAG stamps.
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United States
298 Posts
Posted 07/14/2017   2:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
most dealers just cut closely around the modern self-adhesive stamps and sell them that way.

Check this link for techniques of removing modern stamps:

http://goscf.com/t/50929&SearchTerms=ronsonol
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Cyprus
62 Posts
Posted 07/14/2017   2:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moose to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not that I've had any experience in trying but from what I have read about Great Britain adhesives, is that collectors find it next to impossible to soak the stamps from paper. To save myself the trouble, I try get as close a trim as possible without damaging the stamp before finding its place in the album
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Posted 07/14/2017   3:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use lighter fluid , but practice on a few cheap stamps first and be sure to let it soak for a minute or two before trying to lift it .
On the subject of stamp firms they sell it as on paper mixture .
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Posted 07/14/2017   3:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The self=adhesive British Machins cannot be soaked off paper. Even with lighter fluid, patience and practice is required in cleaning them. The longer they are left on the envelope cuttings, the tougher they are to successfully remove.
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United States
298 Posts
Posted 07/14/2017   5:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I find that putting the stamp in a sealed plastic bag soaked in lighter fluid helps it soak in better without evaporating.
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Posted 07/14/2017   7:32 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
My question is: is this a U.S. stamp thing, or is it typical of self-adhesive stamps world wide?

This is not typical of self-adhesive stamps worldwide. In fact, most (though not all) self-adhesives of other countries are soakable to one degree or another, or at least that's the case for the major countries I have experience with. Some notable exceptions include recent issues of Great Britain, Ireland and Brazil; there are probably others but those are the ones that immediately come to mind for me. Some countries' self-adhesives soak of almost as readily as stamps with traditional gum. Some others (e.g. Australia and New Zealand) take more time and may need to be "helped" off the paper, but they are still soakable. The decision by the USPS to use a non-soakable adhesive is a conscious one on their part, and it's not because they don't have other alternatives.
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Posted 07/16/2017   3:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks alub! I tried your plastic bag method with some self-adhesive Machins which were on a plastic mailing envelope. Usually, I would just "toss" these because they are impossible to salvage by ordinary means.

After about 30 minutes in a small zip-lock bag with some lighter fluid, the stamps were salvaged in perfect condition.


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Posted 07/17/2017   12:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had tried different types of alcohol, paint thinners, and so on and found them ineffective, not to mention the dangers of using something toxic and flammable like that.

Since then, I've had great luck with Pure Citrus air freshener spray. A squirt on the back of the stamp releases the glue and the stamp comes right off almost immediately. It would be nice if they -- or someone -- made a liquid version of this that you could dip stamps into. But I'm very happy with the spray. It's not very expensive.
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United States
53 Posts
Posted 07/17/2017   12:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thestampguy1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very insightful, thanks for the insight.
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Posted 07/24/2017   1:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ddreisba to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stampguy,

Be careful what you wish for. I used a stamp removing fluid, rather like Pure Citrus. When I put it directly on the stamp, the stamp came off, but in curmbly little pieces.

Don
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