While rubber stamps may leave crisp impressions when new, they all eventually need a good cleaning. For that, special cleaners have been developed that not only remove glommed-up ink but also condition the rubber to prevent it from drying out. Some of these products are industrial strength, while others are more kid friendly; some are simply solvents, while others are all-in-one systems that make restoring your stamps particularly easy. Most stamping inks are either water-soluble or waterproof dye inks, but there are also pigment, solvent, and chalk inks; some cleaners will work on a range of ink types, some on only a few. Choose according to your needs from the best rubber stamp cleaners we could find, rounded up below.
1. Tsukineko StazOn All-Purpose Stamp Cleaner
StazOn ink is loved by many because it can be used on most surfaces including acetate, leather, and glass. Of course, since it stays put so well, it can also be hard to remove from stamps. This cleaner is designed to remove excess StazOn ink and other inks with ease, making it one of the hardest-working stamp cleaners on the market. While it has a fresh lemon scent, keep in mind that it’s fairly potent, so avoid contact with eyes and keep it away from children.
2. Ranger Inkssentials Water-Based Stamp Cleaner
When it comes to cleaning stamps around children, a nontoxic solvent is a must, ensuring that no noxious ingredients end up in young ones’ eyes, noses, mouths, or anywhere else little fingers may wander. With that in mind, consider this nontoxic, alcohol-free, biodegradable rubber stamp cleaner for water-based inks. It’s quite effective at removing ink, and it even has a kid-friendly bubblegum scent. It comes in a 4-ounce bottle.
3. Tonic Studios Nuvo Stamp Cleaning Pad
This rubber stamp cleaner stands out from the rest because of its design. The tool opens up like a book and contains two pads (one on either side) that can be saturated with Nuvo stamp cleaning solution (which works on a variety of inks, including pigment, hybrid, and dye-based inks) or plain water. Simply rub your rubber or clear stamps on the pads to clean them thoroughly.
4. Ranger Archival Ink Cleaner
This strong, multipurpose cleaner can handle serious, artist-grade ink. The dabber top is tough on ink but does not damage the stamp itself, and unlike some other strong cleaners, it can even be used on clear stamps. Importantly for artists, it is acid-free, meaning any residue from the cleaner won’t damage the longevity of your stamped artwork.
5. Judikins Fabric and Permanent Ink Cleaner
Judikins cloaks its stamp cleaner formula in secrecy, but it’s great for removing permanent inks from stamps. Solvent based, it not only cleans the surface of your stamps but also contains a conditioner that will extend their lives. It evaporates quite quickly after you’re done cleaning, ensuring that you can get back to your stamping projects without much downtime. Note, however, this cleaner should not be used on clear polymer rubber stamps!