ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Remove Recent US Stamps From Paper

Updated on February 10, 2018

Modern self-adhesive stamps, especially the ones from the U.S., are unsoakable. As a collector of used stamps, I found this out the hard way. so I did research to learn if there were any other ways to get these stamps off-paper. The following method is based on an article from the APS. ( This method uses Pure Citrus Air Freshener, which is natural, as opposed to other methods which use chemicals which probably aren't very healthful to work with and breathe the fumes.

Simple supplies needed
Simple supplies needed

What You Need

- Pure Citrus Air Freshener (comes in a spray can, you can get it at Walmart. You need the Orange or Citrus scent)

- A hard, flat, smooth surface (my work table is wood and rather rough, so I use a small piece of plexiglass).

- An old credit card, or similar straight edge, to remove the adhesive from the stamp.

- Paper towels

- A small tray to hold the stamp when you apply the air freshener (I used a plastic lid from a raisin can).

- Stamp tongs (any good stamp collector knows you should always use tongs, but for the pictures that follow I just used my fingers.)

- Glass bottle w/glass eye dropper (using a spray can gets messy, so I put the Air Freshener in a small glass bottle with a glass eyedropper. Just spray the stuff into a funnel set in the mouth of a bottle. The reason for using glass is because the air freshener can dissolve some plastics).

- Talc baby powder (not the kind with cornstarch)

Step By Step

First, lay out your work area. The air freshener starts to evaporate quickly, so it helps to have everything right where you need it so you can work quickly and smoothly.

1. Lay your stamp face down on the small tray .

2. Put a couple of drops of air freshener on the back, to moisten the envelope. (or spray lightly if you are using the spray can).

A few drops of Pure Citrus on the back of the stamp.
A few drops of Pure Citrus on the back of the stamp.

3. Wait about 5-10 seconds, then begin to carefully peel off the backing paper from the stamp, being careful not to crease the stamp itself. If you use stamp tongs, you can usually slide the tongs between the stamp and the backing, but make sure you don't accidentally catch the tongs on the perfs.

Be careful not to bend or crease the stamp as you peel the backing off.
Be careful not to bend or crease the stamp as you peel the backing off.

4. When you have removed the paper from the stamp, the adhesive residue still remains. Lay the stamp face down in the tray again, and add another drop or two of Pure Citrus.

5. After about 5 seconds, place the stamp face down on a hard smooth surface. Using the edge of a credit card carefully scrape away the adhesive. I start in the middle of a stamp and go to one end, then the other, to avoid accidentally catching the card on the perforations. This should remove all the adhesive, but you can repeat as necessary.

I start in the middle of the stamp and work toward each end, to avoid catching the perfs
I start in the middle of the stamp and work toward each end, to avoid catching the perfs
Closeup of the adhesive gel being removed
Closeup of the adhesive gel being removed

6. If any tiny bits of adhesive remain, or if any gets on the front of the stamp, you can wet a paper towel or something similar with some more Pure Citrus, and lightly wipe the stamp.

7. Lay the paper face down on a clean paper towel to dry.

8. Be sure to clean off your hard surface between each stamp, using Pure Citrus on a paper towel. Otherwise the adhesive residue may end up on the front of your stamp, necessitating more cleaning.

9. When the stamp is dry, there may be a slight stickiness left on the back of the stamp. If so, dust the stamp lightly with talc baby powder. Usually the stamps remain flat, but if they curl, you can easily press them flat with a stamp drying book.


At first, this method may seem rather messy. But once you get a little practice, and organize your work table and work flow, you'll find it's actually a pretty simple system. I find that sometimes the orange scent can get overwhelming, but with good ventilation and working on small batches at a time, it's not that bad. And I haven't ruined a single stamp yet!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Connie120 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      I've never tried it, and never heard of anybody who did, so I don't know if it would work. I do know it would be much more expensive. Maybe you could try it on a few cheap stamps, and let us know the results, please.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Does orange essential oil work just as well? The important thing here is that there is d-limonene present...

    • Connie120 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Yes, I've done that before, and it works great. That stuff is marvelous!

    • galleryofgrace profile image


      5 years ago from Virginia

      Wonderful idea. Thank you very much. I wonder if you could use this to remove sticker residue on books.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)