Soaking USA Stamps

Does anyone have a good way to soak these labels, I mean stamps, that the USA post office now issue. Usually if you soak them in water they don't come off and you ruin the stamp. I am sure there is some way. Thanks for the info. wkaj


  • 10 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • edited January 26 3 LikesVote Down
    Many collectors simply trim the paper to about an 1/8" around each stamp to avoid the hassle of trying to remove self-adhesive issues from their envelopes. The downside is the added bulk this adds to album pages.
    Soaking them is really the only way, and then using orange solvent and gentle finger rubbing to remove as much adhesive as possible, then soaking again to remove solvent.. Many times even this will result in adhesive remnants which some collectors get past by sprinkling talcum powder on the backs to eliminate the adhesive's stickiness.
    There's a spray called Pure Citrus that seems to work well, but there's always residual gum that needs to be dealt with.
  • It's not just US stamps - most of ours in Britain are self adhesive, and I favour trimming around them as George says above. They can look very neat on an album page, and there is no chance of them sticking where you don't want them to. I don't notice much extra thickness to album pages, a little for sure but not great. Some 18 - 20 years ago the self adhesive part of GB stamps was on a thin film, which could be soaked off leaving the paper stamp. Try that now and you end up ruining your stamps. It's just not worth the heartache!
  • I soak mine in mineral spirits (I do this in my outdoor shed, need ventilation) for an hour and then I can peel the paper off. Then I put the stamp face down on a paper towel over night. I then dust it in baby powered. and then press. All done.
  • Try a hair dryer, warm up stamp and adhesive then peel
  • WD40 works well. Just spray the back of the stamp and it will peel off quite easily. Then dust in baby powder. Also, WD40 has a less messy product called WD40 pen which is similar to a magic marker.
  • Lots of marginal advice here. Try "Pure Citrus" (available at store or on Amazon), as mentioned by George. Much less hazardous and does not leave so much residue. Remove remaining adhesive by gently scraping (away from you) with stamp face down on a sheet of paper on a glass plate (i.e. hard substrate not bothered by chemicals). Use old credit or phone card to do scraping with. Repeat as necessary to get nice clean back... no need for talc unless extremely stubborn adhesive.
  • I just cut around the paper and have a nice cut out. No need for any noxious, caustic, cancer causing chemicals. Perfectly safe, unless you cut yourself with the scissors or get a paper cut.
  • Try using the cutter you cut your stamp mounts with, works very well for me....
  • Jeff, I suggested their using scissors, just in case they spent all their money on the chemicals and could no longer afford to buy a mount cutter! ; )
  • Bestine solvent and thinner. A few drops on the back of the stamp, peels right off. Dries quickly. Dust with pure talc, ready for the album. Caution: I've found a few that just won't come off, even with this process. Experiment.
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