REMOVING SELF-ADHESIVE STAMPS

Two publications have recently given information on how to remove self adhesive stamps from envelopes. The May 2010 Newsletter of the Hutt Valley Philatelic Society states that "a standard quality test by Tullis Russell [a supplier to NZ Post of PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive)] had shown that stamps printed on their stock may be carefull removed from the PSA (which remains attached to the envelope substrate) after five minutes' soaking in room temperature tap water". Another suggestion, in the same article, was to immerse the stamps in a cup of cold water which is then heated in a microwave for one minute to "quite hot", after which the stamps should float off the paper. More stubborn stamps could be heated for a further thirty seconds.

Alan Hollows of NZ Post has said that NZ Post will undertake on-going trials of new stock paper as it is purchased to see if they can detect differences in removabilities.

A further short article has appeared in the April 2010 issue of Stamping Around, the newsletter of the New Zealand Stamp Collectors Club in Christchurch. The article says: "A short video on YouTube shows you how to remove self-adhesive stamps from backing paper with the use of Fuelite - a clear colourless solvent with a fast drying rate and negligible residual odour. Safe on all metals, some plastics and rubbers, Fuelite is highly flammable. It is used as afuel for gasoline type camp stoves and burner lamps. It is also known as a lighter fluid.

To summarise the method demonstrated: a ten second soak in Fuelite softens the adhesive and allows the envelope paper to be removed. After another quick soak, the stamp is paced face down on paper and most of the adhesive soaked off with a steel ruler. To remove the last of the adhesive, the stamp is dipped in and out of the solvent, placed on the paper and rubbed with a cloth.

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