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Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Cardmaking 101, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial | 28 comments

Tutorial: Clean Up Your Act!

Let’s thank Pinterest as the source (because I couldn’t find just one…) for this quick and easy tutorial that probably all of us can benefit from! I didn’t believe that something so simple would work so well, so I gave it a try for myself. My clear acrylic blocks for stamping were in an assorted state of messes! Some had StazOn ink marks, some had gluebers from leftover tape and all of them were just generally smudged and discolored. The tutorial sources say that one of the common problems of stamps that won’t stick are due to dirty blocks, too! So I gave this tutorial a try, and here are my old blocks… after!


Here’s the secret: Take an old soft cloth and use some Purell hand sanitizer to clean your blocks!


I suppose that other brands of sanitizer might work just as well, but I did have some Purell on hand, so I gave it a try. Wow… the sanitizer gets all of the old ink and sticky stuff off of the blocks quickly and easily, and the cloth made it easy to polish them to a shiny-new state! Amazing! I’ve used baby wipes, soap and water and even alcohol wipes to clean my blocks before,  but the Purell worked better and faster than anything I have ever tried. I’m very pleased with the result, and I thought that you guys would love this trick too.  I will always store a little pocket size container of Purell with a soft cloth in with my blocks from now on.

As a bonus, I used my cloth to continue cleaning lots of other surfaces around my work area. The sanitizer and cloth  also did a really nice job on my self-healing mat, handles of scissors and other tools, and even cleaned the outside of smudged-up ink pads. Having a sparkly clean work surface really inspired me to get back to work, too!

Don’t forget to keep those tutorial requests and submissions coming in. You can send them to me at

nancy at operationwritehome dot org!


  1. Thanks Nancy. Can’t wait to give this a try.

  2. This sounds like a lovely idea in your part of the world. We do not have Purell in Australia. Could you give us the contents please?

    • Jo, Purell is just a hand sanitizer. Most likely any brand would work. Hope that helps you!

      • Thank you. I’ll try some

    • The back says 70% alcohol in just a gel base. I’m also wondering if any hand sanitizer would do! I think that aside from some that add perfumes or moisturizers, any brand would do.

      • I believe it is the alcohol that does the cleaning.

  3. Not that this ever occurred to me before now, but if your blocks are used communally (for classes, crops, etc.) sanitizing them in this way is probably good infection control, too! Shiny, sparkling, and germ-free!

  4. Purell is good for cleaning Copic ink off hands and Copic markers too.

  5. Super great tip…..who knew! Thanks for sharing.

  6. gotta go dig up some Purell! my blocks are horrible but they can use some cleaning… THANKS for the tip!

  7. I can’t wait to try this on my self healing mat too…it’s a mess! Great tip!

  8. This is such a good idea! I was just thinking I should clean them, too, and wondering how to do it. Thanks, Nancy!

  9. Who’d have thunk it!! 🙂 my acrylic blocks are pretty messy… i can’t wait to give this a try. Thanks Nancy!

  10. Hand sanitizer contains alcohol. Your blocks will eventually become pitted from the alcohol.

    • It seems to me like it would take a really long time of repeated use for that to happen. Besides, it is wiped off in the process.. I’ll keep an eye on mine for any pitting!

  11. I’ve used a hand sanitizer on my blocks and then followed up with warm water and soap to get rid of any alcohol residue. I’ve had my blocks for years and they still look new.

    • I always washed mine off too with water and soap but after a couple months they started to pit. Now I just use regular blue Dawn to clean my blocks and my acrylic stamps.

    • Thank you for adding that cleaning the pad afterward with warm water and soap has kept them clear.

  12. Thanks for the tip. I will try it.

  13. Yay Just what I needed I just got Stays-on ink on my blocks and could not get it off.

  14. Now this is a tip my messy desk is going to say “thank you for sharing” to you.

  15. Can’t wait to give it a try tonight. I have one block that is such a mess, I can not see through it. So delighted you shared this with all of us. Thank you!

  16. You can clean your blocks with Mr Clean pads… just wet them and wipe on the blocks

    • Thanks for the tip! The Purell didn’t even touch my blocks with the Stayz-On ink, but the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser did the trick.

  17. Thanks so much for this tip. I shall get cleaning this evening.

  18. Yep, alcohol can craze the surface of acrylics.

  19. I am anxious to give this a try. I’ve been using 70% rubbing alcohol to clean my SU blocks for years. (no crazing and no pitting! Maybe the walmart brand isn’t as strong?) but I have to do a lot of rubbing. Maybe this trick will make it go faster. I don’t have any hand sanitizer around, but will pick some up soon. Thanks for the tip!


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