Why would you soak your stamps?


You can download this book as a pdf leaflet

1. Why would you soak your stamps?

If the stamp was on an envelope and you wanted the stamp on its own, you would soak the stamp in a bowl of water to remove the paper.

Also sometimes when you buy stamps they can come ‘on paper’. This means they are on the envelope but you don’t get the full envelope, you will get just a part of the envelope where the stamp was stuck.


How to soak the stamps:

  • Use a shallow bowl and fill to about 2cm with water.
  • Place the stamps floating in the water, face up.
  • Leave for about 20-30 minutes. Some stamps will easily come of the paper in a few minutes, some may take longer.
  • Carefully take the wet stamps out of the water. The paper will probably fall away. If there are any with the paper still attached, gently peel the paper off. If it doesn’t come off easily, leave soaking for longer.
  • Place the wet stamps on a white paper towel, face down and leave to dry.

Important Note:

Some modern self-adhesive stamps cannot be soaked to remove the paper. It is probably best to keep them on the paper and just neatly cut around.

Sometimes you will want to keep the stamp on the envelope if it is a special cover. Cover, in stamp collecting, means the envelope with the address and postmark. This information may be interesting and help find out more about the history. A first day cover is special because it has a stamp or set of stamps with a postmark dated on the first day they were issued.

You can download this book in pdf leaflet form Why would you soak your stamps?

Next page you can watch a soaking stamps video by @ExploringStamps