steaming off stamps?

chery2March 8, 2003

One of my daughter's wedding helpers put stamps on 20 more return envelopes than we needed, and I can't afford not to use them. I've used a boiling kettle, holding the stamp in the steam w/ a pair of tongs, but I'm wondering if you could do it in the microwave. Anybody tried it? chery-va

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Chery -
Just CUT it out of the envelope and glue it to the new envelope.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 8:43AM
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Or, you can bring all the envelopes to the post office and explain your situation and ask what you can do. Be very nice and pathetic, and the clerk may offer to exchange them for you. Maybe :) If not, cut them off and glue them, preferably with a glue stick. Those new self-stick stamps are impossible to get off without ripping! DO NOT use tape. I seem to have a vague recollection that one time I taped a stamp and it was not accepted. I once had a stamp (the old lick-type) that had lost it's glue because it was in my purse along with a bottle of hand lotion that spilled. I don't remember exactly how he solved it, but the clerk in my PO either taped it on and immediately post-marked it, or he threw it away and gave me a new one. Either way, he did not tell me, "oh well, too bad for you."

Those return envelopes are too small to mail your bills in, aren't they?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 8:23PM
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Often you can exchange it if you go to the PO often, but why not just use the envelopes for something else? Otherwise I've peeled stamps off before and reglued them although technically, that's not allowed. I've taped the edges and never had a problem if they dog-ear, but you can't tape over it. You have to leave the paper out to be cancelled.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2003 at 9:46PM
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Yes, the envelopes are too small to send bills in, but I used them for that anyway. Of course, the bride's name and address were on the front of the envelope, so that involved finding a sticker to cover that, sometimes more trouble than 37 cents' worth. Went to P.O. yesterday and asked if they had any advice. The clerk suggested a steam iron, which I hadn't thought of. Thanks for all replies.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2003 at 10:00AM
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As long as a stamp has NOT gone through the mails, you can legally peel it off or cut it out and re-use it. It's when you start washing the cancellation marks off the used stamps that you get into trouble.

DO NOT USE TAPE ... it interferes with the machine that reads the stamp value. Just use good old school-grade white glue, or a glue-stick.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2003 at 10:43AM
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I highly doubt that the iron is going to work. I wonder if the clerk was young, or not a long time employee? I'd bet anything that if I brought them to my P.O., the clerk would just exchange them for me. :)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2003 at 1:49PM
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We recently tried to trade in some old stamps that had never been stuck to *anything*, some still in a book, and were declined. Ended up cobbling together correct postage using .03 and .01 cent stamps along with the leftovers.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2003 at 5:30PM
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Must depend on the post office because I was told by a postal employee that I could turn in 34 cent stamps and exchange for .37 stamps (with the needed postage, of course).

    Bookmark   March 10, 2003 at 7:22PM
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If they were the peel-and-stick ones (instead of the lick-and-stick ones), you could try something like WD-40 or Un-du--both of which would cost you more than the $ of the stamps.

I'm w/ the "cut them off and glue them on" camp.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2003 at 11:21AM
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Put 'em into a saucer with water in it.

But I've passed them back and forth through steam puffing from a kettle.

Takes patience.

Put 'em between pages of a newspaper to keep flat while drying out.

Then use stick, student or white glue.

Just try to avoid getting "stuck up" yerself.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2003 at 4:14PM
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