View Full Version : Removing self-adhesive stamps

04-01-2004, 12:19 PM
How can I safely remove self-adhesive postage stamps from envelopes?

04-01-2004, 12:21 PM
Wear safety goggles.


04-01-2004, 12:44 PM
From working years in a mailroom, I've learned it's a zen thing- proceed very slowly, and think instead of removing the envelope from the stamp...

04-01-2004, 01:06 PM
I thought you were supposed to steam them off. You know hold them over a kettle or something else.

04-01-2004, 01:43 PM
Steam only works on the older stamps that you lick. The pressure-sensitive acylic adhesive is not particularly water-soluble.

If you're looking to remove used stamps for the purpose of collecting, this site (http://www.askphil.org/ap_salm05.htm) indicates the standard procedure is to clip the stamp off the envelope, leaving a neat border of envelope around the stamp.

If you really want to get the stamp off the envelope, you could use something like lighter fluid or turpentine to dissolve the adhesive.

Limbo Donni
04-01-2004, 02:04 PM
Simply heat with a hair drier and it will slide off.

This also works for removing shipping labels from cardboard boxes so they can be reused neatly.

Limbo Donni
04-01-2004, 02:08 PM
Be sure to wipe the gum off while it's still hot.

Or you can remove it with naphtha, a cheap solvent available in pint cans at any True Value / HomeDepot hardware store.

I use this for removing tape gunk from furniture at the offic. But it requires a lot ventilation, so wait until quitting time.

Do not use acetone, which will destroy any paint it splashes onto.

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