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How to Soak Stamps

Soaking stamps is how ou ge the stamps off of envelopes. It is very easy to do for stamps that are wet and stick.

This process doesn't apply to self adhesive stamps though. You know self adhesive stamps. You peel them off a roll or out of a book and you stick them right to an envelope with no need for licking or wetting. These were first issued in 2004.



Soaking Stamps

The process is quite easy and it works well.


Cut stamp from envelope

1. Cut the stamp away from the envelope.

Place in water

2. Drop it in warm water with the stamp up. The warmer the water the faster the stamp will separate from the envelope. But, do not use hot water. That could damage the stamp or damage the colors. Don't overcrowd the stamps. It can make for a mess where they stick together and you can damage them trying to sort through and pick them.

If you are doing multiple batches of stamps you should change the water regularly to keep it clean but also to replenish with warm water as the water will quickly get cold.



The stamps separate from the paper

3. In a short period of time, 1 or 2 minutes the stamps will separate from the paper on their own.

Remove the stamp from water

4. Gently pick them out.

Let stamps dry

5. And place them on a paper towel. Then place another paper towel over them and then put a couple of books right on top so the stamps don't curl up. Let them dry overnight.

Note on alternative method. Some people like to just lay them face down on paper towel to dry over night. And once they are dry then they put a paper towel on top then put lots of weight on them for another day or two.

Special Note about Colored Envelopes:


Stamp on colored paper

If a stamp is on a colored envelope you should soak it along. It is very possible for the dye in the envelope to come off in the water and stain the stamp.

The stamp is dyed red

This stamp has been damaged by the dye from a red envelope. Parts of it have a red stain.

A stamp drying book

Showgard Desert Magic II Stamp Drying Book

The Desert Magic II book is a higher capacity version of the Magic Drying Book which can also easily accommodate blocks or souvenir sheets. The Showgard "Desert Magic" Drying System utilizes a special release paper with heavy blotting pages. The release paper will not permit stamps to adhere to the drying surface. The absence of plastic interleaves shortens the time traditionally needed to dry stamps. This innovative drying book is a must for flat out soaking of stamps off paper.


Book on stamps

The Complete Guide to Stamps & Stamp Collecting: The ultimate illustrated reference to over 3000 of the world's best stamps, and a professional guide ... and perfecting a spectacular collection


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