As stationery shop owners ourselves, we naturally take care of a large variety of stamps and accessories, which is very similar to having a collection at its core. Not only do we enjoy the wide selection we get to access and offer you, we also like seeing our ‘collection’ grow year after year. Unfortunately, due to the nature of all materials on earth, things tend to tarnish over time, and older pieces can become unusable with the lack of care. Allow us to put together some tips and tricks we have gathered through the years, so you too can protect your wax seals and rubber stamps from their unwanted fates.
Store Your Stamps Wisely
Unless we are caring for plants, sunlight and moisture in the air is not very welcomed. In fact, we want to keep our collection against water and high temperatures as much as possible. As a general rule of thumb, all supplies should be stored in cool and dry places, so get your favorite box, plastic boxes or air-tight boxes would be your best pick here, and find a cool corner at your studio to store your collection. We understand the satisfaction in displaying the stamps, although not ideal, it would be best to rotate your stamps so no one stamp will be constantly exposed to sunlight and air. As for our wax seal stamps, we highly recommend putting them back into their original packaging box for storage as it is specially designed for easy access with the magnetic closing and it being eye candy on your tabletop is just the cherry on top.
Ritual Care After Use
Performing a simple care session after each use is critical to elongate the life of your stamps. Especially look out for any residual moisture and wipe it dry before storing. For wax seal stamps, look for any sign of remaining sealing wax. If there is any, let the wax cool completely and use a needle to pick it out. Do not forget that rubber stamps require care after use as well. No matter the kind of ink you use, may it be a water-based ink pad or an oil-based ink pad, it will harden the rubber surface over time if you store it without cleaning. We find it best to stamp away the residual ink on a piece of scrap paper before putting it away. To preserve the wood blocks, we also choose to store our rubber stamps in a single layer so there is no chance for the residue to leave a mark on other stamps when stacked on top. While we are on the topic of rubber stamps, don’t forget to put the lids back on the ink pads tightly so the ink won’t dry out easily.
Bringing the Shine Back
Regardless of how intently we care for wax seal stamps, the brass stamp heads do oxidize over time and it requires polishing off the oxidized layer to bring the shine back. Don’t go running to get your sandpaper yet, it is important to know that with the delicate design engraved, brass stamp heads are equivalent to pieces of fine jewelry. Thus, it requires more fine polishing so you will only be removing a very thin layer of the brass surface and protecting the intricate design at the same time. We recommend using our wax seal care pack as these professional soft polishing pads are meant for high-end jewelry and are one of the best-performing polishes we have used by far. It allows you to effectively polish all edges of the stamp head with minimal effort and leaves behind no scratches to your beloved stamps.
You may think that it is quite a bit of a hassle to check and clean everything so regularly, but you will be glad you have taken the extra steps because you now get to have a lot more uses out of them. The better you take care of your collection, they will return the favor and accompany your journaling adventures for years to come. This is just how things are in all aspects of life, wouldn’t you agree?