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Soaking the right way?  
 

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1942 Posts
Posted 01/04/2016   1:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add chasa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Personal opinion: for pre-2000 US stamps and countries that use easy to dissolve gum...

a. soak in cold water - it is much better for the ink
b. don't soak more than 50 stamps in one large bowl of water
c. change water after each bowl is done
d. place face-down to dry on black and white pulpy paper [US tax instruction booklets are best, 2nd best the non-color pages of NY Times]
e. when still damp to the touch, place between the pages of a pulpy old book [available in our area for 1$ a bagfull on the last day of library booksales, you can also get some value by reading the books. Usually keep 100 pages between stamp placements. Write down the page numbers on the book covers.
f. stack books on the floor and place weight on the stack [penny jars are perfect]
g. let sit for at least 48 hours
h. open books and sort piles of stamps

Stamps with persistent sticky gum you do not want anyway - trade them away, on-paper.

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Moderator
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United States
4334 Posts
Posted 01/04/2016   1:26 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RIK:

I'm late to the party, but there are MANY threads here about soaking. I recommend a quick SEARCH using the button at the top of this page.

Here's a thread I prepared http://goscf.com/t/16056

But the best advice probably comes from member Rod222 -- you can put his name in the search field.

KirkS
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Pillar Of The Community
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United States
1739 Posts
Posted 01/04/2016   3:46 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Over my Christmas vacation I soaked off about a KG of worldwide kiloware. When doing that much, I use a speed method that enables me to soak off about 3 ounces (~300 stamps) per hour. Basically I get all the stamps off paper and into a rinse bowl before placing any of them in a drying book. I pick up 30-40 or so stamps at a time, and the excess water can be squeezed and shaken right out of them. The top stamp sticks to my thumb as I draw it across the pile, and I just plop them down in neat rows, one after the other. You do NOT want to use this method if there are pairs, blocks, or other multiples that you want to keep intact as they will likely become separated. There is probably a slightly higher risk of damaging stamps using this method (I estimate 1-2%), so removing any stamps you truly care about to do separately and more deliberately might not be a bad idea either. But if you've got a lot of common stamps with duplicates to soak off, there's no faster way that I've found.
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Valued Member
United States
74 Posts
Posted 01/07/2016   10:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add qaman to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use warm water and put in about 30 stamps,let them set for 10 minutes and start removing from the water the ones that the paper came off. As I do these more come off and then I pull out the last ones. If they don't come off the paper I put them in the next batch with new water. I bought two drying books and they work great. Always enjoy soaking stamps it is very relaxing.
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Valued Member
Canada
35 Posts
Posted 07/12/2016   2:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kinibo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just to add my own comment here (and not to derail the thread), I always find that my soaked and separated stamps come away crispy once they've dried. Is anyone familiar with this issue?
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Valued Member
United Kingdom
416 Posts
Posted 07/12/2016   3:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ringo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Me, Kinibo. When newly dried they are crispy, sometimes curly too. After a while (days or weeks, I'm not sure) they seem just to become normal again. It's a strange business!
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New Member
United States
4 Posts
Posted 08/29/2016   6:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sophie65 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
1.) trim close and remove any stamps on colored paper which may bleed and stain
2.) put stamps (up to around 100) in container and add warm/hot water
3.) let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then empty all of the "glue water"
4.) add more warm/hot water and let sit for 5 minutes
5.) if water is not clear, drain and repeat step 4
6.) when water is clear, remove envelope paper using long, spade-tipped tongs
7.) transfer stamps to second container of clear hot water, using spade tipped tongs *SEE BELOW
8.) remove stamps, one at a time to edge of container so that excess water can drain away
9.) when edge of container is completed surrounded by stamps, place them on waxed paper sheet in telephone directory
10.) stamps should not touch each other or overlap on waxed paper sheet
11.) when all of the stamps have been soaked, carefully close up the telephone book and weight it down.
12.) in several hours the stamps should be dry enough to transfer to a stock book, glassine envelope, or album


family tradition here.
3 and 4, make this 10-15mn each
6 and 7. fingers. Thumb on face, and index on back, caressing the gum away. Old italians need 20-60 passes of gentle rubbing. Most stamps do not need any touch, the index will say it's sticky free.
9. blotting paper. 2-3 sheets between each layer of stamps. To max space, I line the stamps by size. I start rows of regular smalls on the left, and I line the landscapes one to the right. - place over plastic protector, and add 6-10lbs of weight (2 encyclopedias)
let dry for 2-5 days. Transfert to mass market paperbacks - about 20 stamps every 40 pages. Stack and weight for 1 week minimum (or a couple months/years ;-) )

BEFORE transfer to paperbacks I do add one step of sorting. I currently fast sort into "old american, latino countries, new americans" and a couple more sets depending on the batch I was sorting. It speeds up the later sorting... AND it helps stamps dry flat properly as new thick stamps will dry in another chapter of the book from 1800s thin stamps.

I will add steps 3-4-5 as I've been doing differently, moving stamps instead of draining the container.
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Valued Member
United States
200 Posts
Posted 08/29/2016   6:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would never dry my stamps in old paperback books. These books have paper with a high acid content. Pressing a damp stamp in those pages will transfer some of that acid onto your stamp. This can cause the paper to degrade over time. Ditto for newspaper.

I dry my stamps on a clean cotton towel. Yep, they get all curly. When they are completely dry, I put them in an album or stock-book. they flatten out pretty quickly.
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