How to Remove Stamps – Remove a Traditional Stamp in 2021

If you have got an envelope with an amazing stamp on it, you might wish to remove it and add it
to your stamp collection. Some envelopes may have precious stamps, so if you got such
stamps, you should consult with a specialist.

Removing stamps seems like a difficult task, but it is not that difficult. You can quite easily
remove the stamp from a package or an envelope. It takes only a few minutes to remove
stamps from the envelope.

Many people often ask, how to remove stamps from paper? Removing stamps is not a difficult
task. Most stamps require moisture to adhere to paper; such stamps may be removed by cutting
or tearing off the extra paper, floating them in cold water facing up, and then carefully peel
the stamp off. It’s that easy.

Moreover, if the stamp is self-adhesive (which means it does not need to be wet), it might be a bit
difficult to remove. Read on to know how to remove self-adhesive stamps.

Is it safe to remove stamps from envelopes?

Is it safe to remove stamps from envelopes

It is safe to remove stamps from envelopes, but before you begin attempting to separate a
stamp from an envelope, think about the stamp and your final goal. If you’re concerned about
the stamp’s worth, have its value evaluated before removing it.

In some situations, keeping the stamp on the envelope increases its value. Many stamps
collectors believe that stamps remaining connected to envelopes are more historically
significant than stamps on their own.

Another factor to consider is the stamp’s kind. Depending on whether the stamp is a
conventional “lick and stick” stamp or a modern “self-adhesive stamp”, you will need to employ
various techniques. Using the incorrect approach might result in harm.

You will also want to do some study on the color-stability of stamps. Some older traditional
stamps aren’t particularly colorfast and will bleed if they come into contact with water. In such
cases, it’s best to leave the stamp on the envelope.

See Also: How Many Stamps Do I Need?

How to remove a traditional stamp?

It is not that difficult to remove a traditional stamp. For removing a traditional stamp here is the
steps to follow:

  1. Remove Excess Paper
  2. Soak The Paper
  3. Remove the stamp from the paper
  4. Dry The Stamp

How to remove a traditional stamp

1. Remove Excess Paper

First of all, remove the access paper. Cut the paper around the stamp with a scissor, and leave
around a 10mm margin on the paper. The border is crucial because it will help you determine
whether the paper is sufficiently moist.

2. Soak The Paper

In the next step, soak the paper. For that, fill a basin with cold water (just a few centimeters of
water is necessary) and float the stamp face up on top of the water.

This implies that the stamp’s paper backing will get wet, but the stamp itself will remain
reasonably dry. This prevents harm to the stamp such as color bleeding. The time needed to
soak the paper properly depends on the paper and it can range from a few minutes to an hour.
For instance, if you’re soaking a particularly thick paper or envelope, you may speed things up
by peeling back the layers with a sharp knife or scalpel. However, be careful in peeling the
layers of the paper.

Moreover, if you have a flexible piece of paper or envelope, it may be required to totally
immerse it if floating isn’t softening it enough.

3. Remove the stamp from the paper

Now, it’s time to remove the stamp from the paper. So when the border of the paper seems
totally moist, carefully pick the stamp from the water with a tweezer. After picking up, place the
stamp face down on a firm surface and push into it. This should enable it to stick just enough for
you to pull the paper away.

If the paper is not damp, do not peel the stamp immediately from the paper as this may cause
the stamp to be torn or deteriorate. Lastly, wait for some more time and continue soaking if it
seems difficult to remove the stamp.

4. Dry The Stamp

In the next step, you have to let your stamps dry. Set some kitchen roll or blotting paper on a flat
surface and place your stamps on it so that they absorb the water from the stamps.
However, you have to do this properly as you may damage the stamp if you do not dry them
properly. Before drying the stamp consider the following points in mind:

  • Dry stamps at room temperature rather than on a radiator or other hot surfaces since
    this will cause the stamp to curl.
  • If you’re using blotting paper or kitchen roll, be sure it’s white and has no color of its
    own; otherwise, the color can go into your stamp.
  • Lastly, make sure to leave your stamps to dry for a minimum of two hours.

Read More: Where to Buy Stamps

How to remove a self-adhesive / no-lick stamp?

How to remove a self-adhesive no-lick stamp

Self-adhesive stamps, also known as no-lick stamps or peel-and-stick stamps. These stamps
were created in Sierra Leone in 1964 to address the issue of humid weather. They are
becoming more popular across the world, especially in the United States and the United

These stamps are a bit difficult to remove with water in many countries including the United
States. The issue with self-adhesive stamps is that instead of utilizing water-based glue, they
utilize oil-based glue that will not dissolve in water.

Therefore, to effectively remove a self-adhesive stamp, you will need to use something stronger
than water to break down the oil, such as an acetone-based nail polish remover or Bestine that
is a solvent. Please use gloves when working with acetone or Bestine.

Moreover, here are the steps to follow for removing the stamp using a nail polish remover:

  • Drip a few drops of nail polish remover onto the paper until the paper is fully saturated.
    Don’t put the drop onto the stamp, leave it still dry.
  • After that, allow the paper to sit for about 10 minutes to allow the glue to break down and
    soften. If you have done it correctly, you should be able to easily pull the stamp off with no
    paper residue left on it.

If the above method does not work, you don’t have to worry about it. There are other methods
too to remove a self-adhesive stamp. Furthermore, here are the steps to follow for removing the
stamp using a Bestine solvent:

  • Apply a few drops of Bestine using an eyedropper on the back of the envelope. Keep in
    mind that the Bestine should not be applied on the front of the stamp.
  • Bestine dries quickly, therefore you must act immediately after applying it.
  • Roll the envelope with the stamp on it so that the edges curl away from the stamp and
    the stamp faces you.
  • The edges of the stamp should curl up, and then you may gently and carefully remove
    the rest of the stamp of the paper with your fingers or tweezers.
  • Place the stamp on a piece of paper towel, face down. After twenty minutes, lightly dust
    the back of the stamp with talc. Because the Bestine will not dissolve the adhesive on
    the back of the stamp, this step is necessary to prevent the stamp from adhering to other

If the above method also does not work, then try the next method. Hopefully, this will work.
However, this method will not work for old stamps since the hot water may cause the stamps to
damage up or the colors may have gone from the old stamps. So follow the following steps:

  • First of all, fill a basin halfway with boiling water.
  • After that, mix water with some lemon-scented dish soap.
  • Next, allow the stamps to float on the surface for at least 15 minutes.
  • After that, remove the stamps. Hopefully, now you can easily remove the stamps.
  • Keep in mind that the stamps should be dried out. So dry the stamps at room
  • temperature to prevent them from curling.

Check Now: Does Walmart sell Stamps

How to Remove Forever Stamps from Envelopes?

How to Remove Forever Stamps from Envelopes

For removing the Forever stamps, soak the paper or envelope in warm water for a few minutes to soften the paper. Scrape the paper from the back of the stamp using a nail. You’ll not be able to remove all of it.

However, a very thin coating of paper fibers will still remain adhered. Simply remove the stamp if the paper becomes soft. Lastly, do the same process for removing the Australian or Canadian stamps.

Removing Stamps from Old Albums

Removing stamps from an old album is not a difficult task. Carefully remove each stamp after dipping the envelope of paper in the water. Take each stamp and lay it face down on a paper towel, then carefully remove any hinge remnants or gum residue from the rear of the stamp with the stamp tongs.

Moreover, an alternative way to remove stamps is to clip a piece of paper from the album page approximately one-inch square or less to which your stamp is fastened. If you wish to use the stamp in a new book, you’ll need to attach your own new hinge to the piece of album paper, not the stamp itself.

How to Remove Stamp Ink from Paper?

You can remove the ballpoint pen ink using rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, or lemon juice. Simply dip a cotton swab in one of the above substances and rub it into the ink you want to remove. However, to avoid oversaturating the paper, make sure you only use a little amount of your substance.

How to Remove Stamp Ink from Paper

What things to avoid?

You can easily damage or tear the stamp as they are delicate, especially when they are wet. So, if you want your stamps in good condition, here are the steps to follow:

  • Normally stamp steaming is considered to be the most effective method for removing stumps. However, this method is hazardous. You will feel scalding and this method may easily cause your stamp to become deformed. Therefore, if you value your stamps and your hands, stay away from steam.
  • If you’re removing stamps from colored paper, keep in mind that soaking the material might cause the stamp to discolor. So, it is good to remove as much of the colored paper as possible before soaking it.

Our Verdict

To conclude here, removing stamps from paper or envelopes is not as difficult as most of us think. You can quite easily remove the stamp from a package or an envelope. It will take you a few minutes to remove the stamp from the envelope.

There are many methods to remove the stamp from paper. However, the best method to remove traditional stamps is to soak the paper for some time and remove the stamps once it becomes soft.

On the other hand, Self-adhesive stamps are slightly difficult to remove with water. For removing them, use acetone-based nail polish remover, boiling water, or Bestine solvent. Hopefully, by using one of them, you will remove the stamps.


What to do with unused stamps on envelopes?
If you have unused stamps on envelopes, or stamped cards don’t waste them as they can be exchanged. For instance, if the unused stamps are uncanceled you can exchange them for other postage stamped paper.
Can you soak off self-adhesive stamps?
Self-adhesive or no-lick stamps are not that easy to remove with the help of cold water. However, if the water is boiled just soak the paper or envelope in it. After soaking you may be able to remove the stamps. Moreover, the best way to remove self-adhesive stamps is to cut the paper with scissors around the stamp and stick the stamp on your album or stock page.
Can you reuse stamps that haven't been marked?
You cannot legally reuse stamps that haven’t been marked. It’s illegal to reuse a postage stamp once it’s been used, whether it’s been canceled or not. However, if you do that, you may be in trouble and your letter or envelope will be returned to you.
Are self-adhesive stamps worth collecting?
Self-adhesive stamps are easy to stick to envelopes as in this you don’t have to lick the gum on the back of the postage stamp. However, if you are a postal customer and thinking of collecting these stamps, you are thinking right. On the other hand, if you are a stamp collector, I won’t recommend you to collect self-adhesive stamps.
What happens if you put too many stamps on an envelope?
You can put as many stamps as you wish. However, if you stick more stamps from what is necessary, your postage or money will not be reimbursed. So, it is good to apply only needed stamps on your mail.

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