Care & Feeding of Photopolymer Stamps

Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Product Tips and Tricks, Tool Time


I’ve learned a few things about Photopolymer Stamps since I wrote my article: Photopolymer Stamps: They’re All Clear. At that time, I hadn’t used the stamps much, so I gave you some not-so-accurate information. It was true at the time, but since then, I’ve used Photopolymer a lot more.

Last week, I talked about Word Sets specifically in my article: A Few Words About Word Sets, and discussed Photopolymer and Wood-Mount Stamp Sets. This week, I’m going to cover Photopolymer Stamp Sets in general and let you know what I’ve learned.

Photopolymer Stamps like to grab onto the ink, but they don’t hold as much as Rubber Stamps. Press the stamp straight down and more firmly than rubber for the image to appear fully.  Test on scratch paper every time.  Sometimes, stamps pick up stains. As long as you clean off the ink, nothing will transfer, so you don’t have a problem.

Photopolymer Stamps are particularly fond of staining when there’s red dye included in the ink. You can’t really prevent this unless you don’t use ink pads with red dye in them. The ink colors that include Red are: Black (including Basic Black and Tuxedo Black); Red, of course (Real Red, Rose Red, Watermelon Wonder, Cherry Cobbler, Melon Mambo); Violet (Rich Razzleberry, Blackberry Bliss, Elegant Eggplant, Perfect Plum); Orange (Tangerine Tango, Calypso Coral, Tangelo Twist, Cajun Craze, Pumpkin Pie). Interestingly, the Yellow-Orange Color Group (Crushed Curry, So Saffron, Hello Honey & Delightful Dijon) don’t seem to stain, even though the dye mixtures include Red.

Although I love my Stampin’ Scrub Stamp Cleaning System (126200), you don’t really need it for Photopolymer Stamps. I use the Stampin’ Scrub if the design is intricate and ink can collect in the wells. Otherwise, I clean the stamps with a baby wipe. The sooner you clean the stamp after you’ve used an ink pad with Red in it, the less the stamp will stain. However, it doesn’t matter if you wait because you just need to clean off the excess. Photopolymer Stamps are designed to hold ink, so they will stain at some point. This does not affect your stamping.

If your Photopolymer Stamps quit sticking to the Clear-Mount Block or liner sheet, wash them with a tiny bit of soap and warm water, then rinse and let them dry thoroughly. The stickiness will return. Attach them to a clean Clear-Mount Block for best stamping results. Clean the Clear-Mount Block with the Stampin’ Scrub and wipe off any residue. It doesn’t hurt to wipe the liner sheet, either. The Clear Block Cleaning Cloth (121779) works well for both tasks.

If you need an answer to any question about Photopolymer Stamps or any other product or tool, feel free to comment below or e-mail me at I’ll send you the answer and do a post about it. If you need your answer right away, you may always contact my Help Desk at


  1. Very helpful information! Thanks.

    • Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them!

  2. can I buy the liner sheets for photopolymer stamps?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by liner sheets. The stamps are attached to an acetate sheet similar to the Window Sheets and then covered with a lighter weight acetate sheet. Is this what you mean?

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