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A new method for self-adhesive stamp removal...

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Carmen24/02/2018 13:55:58
547 forum posts
57 photos

Hey folks! I collect stamps through the approval service offered by Arpin Philately here in Canada. They just posted a blog feature telling us that someone seems to have found a good non-chemical means of removing those pesky new-style self-adhesive stamps: dish soap! In fact, specifically, according to one client, Sunlight (lemon) dish soap which seems to do it better.

They say to fill 2-inch deep container with *very hot* water and a dash of soap, let them soak till stamps fall off, scrub gently to remove any remaining adhesive, and then rinse in a similar container of fresh water, before drying as per usual.

Has anyone else tried this? I certainly will and will report back on my results

Billy Broadland24/02/2018 18:42:15
136 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Carmen

Nice to have you back contributing. I would suggest the use of "very hot" water should be limited to low value modern stamps.

Hot water can have unfortunate results on older stamps and ink cancellations.

For stamps with gum I generally just use tepid water and a lot of patience. Because of my type of collection I don't usually get involved with self-adhesive stamps.

Carmen25/02/2018 12:32:18
547 forum posts
57 photos

Completely agree with you there, Billy...HOT WATER should never be used on older stamps. This is definitely for stuff from the last 5-10 years in north america.

So I was going to buy some Sunlight dish soap yesterday while out and about running errands but decided to act my age (51!) and... of course... forget THAT ONE THING.

Sigh. crying 2

Edited By Carmen on 25/02/2018 12:32:45

Gillian Hutchinson13/03/2018 11:34:44
66 forum posts
2 photos

I'm glad I'm not the only one who forgets the one item I went into the supermarket for, Carmen - I think I can forgive myself at aged 69, but it is annoying.

That's a good tip about the dish soap - I don't think you mentioned hot water. The problem I have with self-adhesive stamps is that I don't know they're self-adhesive until I try to remove them from the envelope they're on. Sometimes they come off easily enough, but frequently they leave a layer of tiny balls of paper which was once part of the envelope. I don't have any 'ancients' in my stamps waiting to be removed from envelopes, so should be safe enough using the dish soap method.

Thanks for passing on the tip!


Carmen13/03/2018 11:40:14
547 forum posts
57 photos

Yeah Gillian I know what you mean... the only stamps I'm really sure about are the Canadian ones since they have been nothing but self-adhesive for years, for the most part. I'm assuming most recent American ones are as well...

Gillian Hutchinson19/03/2018 23:03:26
66 forum posts
2 photos

Well, I tried the dish soap method, but it didn't work, maybe because I overlooked the scrub gently and rinse parts of your instructions. What did you use for scrubbing?

Often a self-adhesive stamp will end up torn in the process of trying to remove it completely from the envelope and I'm wondering if I should just abandon them if they show any signs of resistance to being removed.


Carmen20/03/2018 11:30:02
547 forum posts
57 photos

Well Gillian, my experiment has not yet happened - I was doing some ordinary stamps last night and lately, I've just been going through a massive bag of doubles a friend gave me so I want to get that back to him before I do something else... I'll get to it though!

Billy Broadland20/03/2018 19:39:52
136 forum posts
40 photos

Gillian, if I have any stamp on piece nowadays that I think may be a problem to soak off, I leave it on.

Having, over the years, messed up several stamps by trying to remove them, I now just neatly trim them and put them in a stamp amount.

Perhaps this doesn't meet with the approval of the traditionalists but it at least stops me getting frustrated.

Carmen02/04/2018 14:33:35
547 forum posts
57 photos

Well I finally had a chance to try this method out last week, folks, and my results, after drying, were SUPERB. Not a lick of Sticky Goo on any stamp! I did accidentally tear a couple removing residue but since these were cheapy current stamps, no worries. Just a lesson to be careful.



1. Fill a 2-inch deep container (I used a pie plate!) with very hot water

2. Add a dash of soap, preferably Sunlight Lemon - swirl it around.

3. Add the stamps and let them soak for ten minutes or so

4. Remove them from their backing. They should come off quite easily

5. Rinse each stamp in a second dish of water, rubbing them *carefully* (if you don't want them to tear!) to remove any remaining sticky gunk

6. Dry as per usual (I personally use a stamp drying book).


Edited By Carmen on 02/04/2018 14:34:32

Bruno Zadnich20/04/2018 10:02:40
4 forum posts


Brilliant. Will definitely give it a try this weekend!

Meow. cat


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