How to Safely Remove Self-Adhesive Stamps

Updated March 23, 2017

For stamp collectors, finding that rare stamp is half the battle. Even once you've found that collector's item, removing it from the envelope or paper it is glued to can ruin a stamp's value if not done carefully. Using a couple of household items, though, stamp aficionados can safely remove stamps from paper without damaging a valuable collector's item.

Cut the area around the stamp away from the envelope or paper it is pasted on.

Fill a pan with half an inch of room-temperature water. Place the stamp attached to paper into the water. Allow the stamp to sit in the water up to half an hour, until the stamp has floated free from the paper.

Remove the stamp from the water after it has floated free from the paper using tongs and place it on a sheet of unprinted cardboard. Place a sheet of waxed paper on top of the drying stamp and place another piece of cardboard on top of it.

Place a heavy book on top of the two pieces of cardboard. Leave the stamps to dry for 12 to 18 hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Two pieces of cardboard
  • One sheet of waxed paper
  • Heavy book
  • Tongs
  • Pan
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About the Author

Michael Batton Kaput began writing professionally in 2009. He is an editor at two magazines and a freelance writer. He has been published in "Egypt Today," Egypt's leading current affairs magazine, and "Business Today Egypt," Egypt's number one English-language business magazine. He attended Denison University where he earned a degree in political science and English literature.