clean up act...

As I sat down in my studio today to start working on some DT projects, I realize that I was not only almost out of stamp cleaner, but I was also almost out of my reserve cleaner....

If you go to the store to buy stamp cleaner, you will find a whole slew of different kinds... you have ones for your water based inks, your solvent inks, your clear stamps... the list goes on. I never knew what to get, so I always just used water. After all, most clear stamps just say to use warm tap water and a gentle liquid soap.  However, it's not very convenient to always be rushing to the sink, and try to keep stamps from going down the drain. (yes, I have almost lost small stamps that way!)

So, I found this recipe, and it works well for me. (it was a while ago that I found it, so I don't know what blog I got it from... SORRY!)

Stamp Cleaner
2 cups distilled water
2 Tbsp rose water
1 Tbsp Baby Magic body wash

Here's what I do....

I washed out a half gallon milk jug (yay for repurposing!), and use it to mix a double batch of cleaner. 

 (a funnel makes this SO much easier!)

Put in 2 cups distilled water (distilled water will last longer without growing anything, and is said to be better for archival purposes. It's cheap at most food stores).  I then add 4 Tbsp rose water (this can be a little pricey because you get it at health food stores, but it lasts a long time. The rose water is supposed to condition rubber stamps to keep them from drying out, thus extending their life.)  Then add the 2 Tbsp Baby Magic hair/body wash. (this acts as your gentle liquid soap, and seems to work with most types of ink.) After that, pour the remaining 2 cups distilled water through your funnel to help wash the baby wash through (its kinda thick stuff).  Shake up your jug.  You can then pour transfer some into a cheap spray bottle (like the 99 cent travel size) and keep it with your stamps. The rest of the jug can be stored in an out of the way corner of your craft room ready to refill your spray bottle as needed. My double batch lasted me a year, and I stamp A LOT! 

Be sure to label your stamp cleaner jug so no one drinks it or uses it for something else. I also have the recipe written on the jug for easy reference. 

You can spray this on to a stamp scrubbie, or you can spray it onto cut up, worn out towels and scrub that way. (again, yay for repurposing!)
This cleaner won't keep inks from staining your stamps, but it will clean them. I use this will all kinds of inks and paints on both rubber and clear stamps... It works for me. =)

(however, I have found that nothing beats running warm tap water over the back your stamps when they stop clinging to your blocks... )