If you have an ex-libris stamp, it is essential to clean it regularly to preserve it in good condition. Regular maintenance will maintain the quality and effectiveness of your stamp. In this article, I explain in detail how to care for your stamp for marking books. Additionally, if you use multiple inks colors with the same stamp, it is advisable to perform this cleaning operation each time you change colors to avoid ink mixing.
Step 1: Remove the ink residues remaining on the stamp
The first step is to take a used sheet of paper and stamp the seal on the page several times until no ink remains. This way, the stamp is emptied of its residual ink. This step is not only important for the regular maintenance of your ex-libris but I strongly recommend doing it after each use of your stamp. For example, you just stamped the last three books you bought this weekend at the book fair, take an used paper and stamp the seal until no ink remains. This will prevent the ink from drying and sticking to the stamp, which could cause ink stains on the design in the future. If you do this every time you stamp, it probably won't be necessary to follow the next steps.
Step 2: Clean the parts of your ex-libris that still contain ink.
The next step is to clean the parts of the stamp that still contain some ink. To do this, turn the stamp over, identify the parts that still contain ink, and remove the ink using a piece of paper or a dry cloth that does not leave fibers. It is important to choose a fiber-free cloth to avoid fibers sticking to the stamp during cleaning. Gently clean the affected areas to remove the ink residues. Attention, do not use a brush, as it can damage the engraving of your ex-libris.
Step 3: Test your stamp on a blank sheet of paper
Once the previous step is done, stamp your ex-libris stamp several times on a blank sheet to make sure there is no ink left. If there is still ink, you can repeat the second step by cleaning the affected parts of the stamp again with a dry cloth and perform the test again on a blank sheet. Continue this process until your stamp leaves no trace of ink during the test. And remember, never use a pointed or rough surface to clean your stamp; it can damage the engraving.
By following these three simple steps, you can effectively clean your ex-libris stamp and preserve its sharpness and print quality. Don't forget to perform this maintenance regularly to ensure the longevity of your stamp. If you take care of your ex-libris stamp, you can continue personalizing your books and documents with ease and precision. Some of my stamps have been stamped thousands of times and still look like new. Also, my stamps will arrive in a cloth bag where you can store your ex-libris to protect it from dust particles.