How to Unstick a Stamp From an Envelope
Did you just stick a $2 stamp on the wrong envelope? Or is that a rare Tahitian stamp you want to remove? This process works for both self-adhesive stamps and the lick-and-stick variety.
- Remove the envelope's contents. Place them in a new envelope.
- If the envelope is of a neutral color, fill a sink or basin with an inch (2.5 cm) of warm water and submerge the envelope.
- Soak the envelope for 10 to 15 minutes. If the envelope is brightly colored, do not soak it--the color might run and ruin the stamp. Instead, hold it over a steaming kettle.
- Pull the paper away from the stamp with your fingers. Remember, you want to preserve the stamp, not the paper.
- Blot the stamp with paper towels.
- Allow the stamp to air-dry for an hour, then use glue to affix it to the new envelope.
- Or, if you plan to add it to your stamp collection, place the stamp between two pieces of cardboard and press it under a heavy book. If the stamp's back is still sticky, place the sticky side on a sheet of plastic. Allow the stamp to dry overnight.
Things You Will Need
- Heavy Book
- Sheet Of Plastic
- Paper Towels
- New Envelope
- Paper towels
- If stamps become stuck to each other, briefly steam them, then carefully separate. You can also preserve the envelope by steaming instead of soaking.
- Some antique stamps are more valuable with the original envelope and postmark intact. Consult a philatelic expert if in doubt.