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Using solvent inks with clear stamps

You may be aware that photopolymer stamps have been used in the printing industry for over 50 years and are meant to transfer ink which makes them ideal for stamp material. So what inks can be used with polymer stamps? Are some better than others? Although water based inks are generally recommended for use, solvent based inks can be used too.

Just bear in mind, polymer is like us in that it doesn’t like too much sunlight or too much alcohol. The solvent in Staz-on is the most aggressive on stamps of all the stamp pads and will attack the upper surface on contact. This gives the stamp more grab on the paper and makes it feel sticky when removed.

In reality, the solvent is only affecting the stamp whilst it's liquid, which is only for a few seconds before it evaporates and even then only the thinnest surface of the stamp.  After repeated stamping this effect is reduced as the stamp becomes protected by a layer of pigment.

We use Staz-on internally with polymer stamps, and even with repeated use (stamping many times a minute) they last a long time!


Our recommendations for using solvent based inks with clear stamps

1. use solvent based cleaners sparingly
When you use a solvent based cleaner it can be more harmful than any solvent based inks as inks tend to be dabbed on stamps whereas excessive amounts of cleaner may be applied in the belief that it will clean the polymer thoroughly. Also, cleaners tend to contain greater amounts of solvents than the ink which can degrade polymer over time. So you can use cleaners, but do it sparingly. 

2. create a film between the polymer and ink
Sometimes applying a lighter colour or clear ink before applying your StazOn ink will help create a film or barrier which means that the solvent based ink is not directly applied to the polymer.

3.Soap water
If your clear stamps get dusty or dirty you can simply wash them with warm soap water and they will stick to your acrylic block again.

 

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