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Read how to replace a stamp ink pad when it’s ran out of ink

Learn how to replace a stamp ink pad in this Self-inking rubber stamps Blog post. If you are confused, we can help you, contact us now. My stamp is running out of ink now what? I have an expensive Self-Inking Stamp and it isn’t stamping clearly on the paper anymore. It is running out of ink. Is it dead? Do I have to throw it in the rubbish bin? Stop right there! NO do not throw it away!

Self-Inking Stamp brands like Trodat, Shiny and Colop stamps have ink pads in them that can be changed.

But wait there’s more. Save some money and add ink to the ink pad. How can the ink situation be changed? Each of these stamps have inside the body an ink pad. That is why they are called Self-Inking Stamps. This ink pad is independent of the body. It can be taken out any time you like.

If you are bored, you can take it out. You might have to refill the ink, you can take it out. You can show your colleagues and take it out. Wait, what?  You can re-ink it? Here’s a great video from our friends at National Notary Association.

Yes, a Self-Inking Stamp ink pad can be re-inked.

The ink pad has this little plastic tray as the outside. Inside that tray is an absorbent material that might be foam or felt and generally has a top surface that might be cotton. Do not take that out of the tray! That material is soaked in stamp ink. This singular unit sits inside a track in the body of the stamp. When resting the stamp has the rubber die pressing against the ink pad so it is inked and ready to go any time. Here’s a great video from our friends at AE Stamp USA.

It cannot come out when pressed against.

To get the ink pad out press the stamp down slightly and lock in that slightly depressed position. There will be side buttons or a slide on the back for that. That might be something like 3-10mm down depending on the model. Then the ink pad is separated off the rubber die, and it is good to go. Take the ink pad out. Each model has a different way to do that. If you are confused, we can help you.

At this point you need to have a look at the ink pad. It will have a dent where the image you stamp every time sits against the ink pad. That is normal. Now look around the surface and the edges. Is the cotton surface in good condition? Are there any frayed strands dangling out? Or is it all neat and tidy? If there is any wear and tear or stray cotton this will contribute to a poor stamp mark.

The best thing to do is replace the ink pad.  You can find a new rubber stamp ink pad in this list HERE. Or if you want to get there fast and not search our website forever through hundreds of ink pads types then this is faster. Look at the stamp. Find the brand and the then the more important one is the model number. Type that model number into our website top right in the “Search Products” white box and press enter.

All options for that model of stamp will appear in the search.

Scroll around until you find the ink colour you need and add to cart. Quite often we can get these to you next business day. Another place to find the correct ink pad is turn the ink pad over. No, the ink will not run out. On the underside of the plastic tray is the part number. This is small. You may need to tilt it to the light to read it. On there will be a number like 6/4912 or S1823-7 this is the model number of the ink pad and can be searched for in the website.

Now back to the ink pad. If it is in good condition this is the fantastic part, adding ink. Yes, you can add ink to the pad any time you like.  Hey slow down there and pay attention. If you put too much ink in there, yes that has been done many times, you will cause a problem. Too much ink will run out and dribble all over the stamp body, then onto your desk and every time you stamp it will blob off the stamp body all over everything it touches. Yikes it can cause a major mess! How to know if there is enough ink in the ink pad.

Here is how we do it.

Place the ink pad on a flat surface. Have a look at the surface. Does it look pale and faded? Maybe wet. Usually it will just be boring and not give off any clues. If it is really wet you have a problem, that is too much ink. Grab a small item sort of pencil size. Something that doesn’t matter if it gets ink all over it. Or can be washed easily. Nothing sharp. It might be the nozzle on an ink bottle. If you are desperate use your finger, its not as good though as it is a bit too big.

With this object gently press the surface of the ink pad. Watch the surface of the cotton around the depression. Did it change?  Did it look wetter?  That reaction will give you clue as to how much is in there. No change means it is dry. Wet a long way out from the depression point usually means you have plenty of ink. How do I add ink?

Firstly, you need some ink. The right ink.

Stamp manufacturers spend heaps figuring out the ink for their ink pads and rubber combinations. Each brand is slightly different.  We advise using the brand of ink for your brand of stamp. However, if you are desperate then the water-based inks from Trodat, Shiny and Colop could be used in each other’s stamp. There may be consequences to that action later. To find ink for Self-Inking Stamps click HERE. Click on the one you want and add to cart. Once you have that ink this part is the one to use restraint. Oh, and patience. Depending on the size of the ink pad there will be to do.

A small ink pad might need one drop of ink.

A large one might have eight drops randomly all around the surface of the stamp. Then let it settle.  Maybe massage GENTLY the surface with that stick/pencil, straw just pushing down and releasing to squelch the ink around. Give it 10 minutes or so to disperse. Then use that pencil again and just depress the surface a little. We want to see a wet area around that depression. If it isn’t very wet add a bit less ink than last time.  Squelch, wait and then check.  Got the wet area? Then pop it back in the stamp. Test it.  Test it some more. How does that look? Is it good?  Nothing more to do. Still a bit pale.  Then cycle through that process again.


If you test and the depression has liquid in it and not just wet that might be too much. Oh no what now?  Panic! No don’t panic.  We have a solution. Use a tissue or a paper towel to absorb a bit of ink out of the ink pad.  Then test again.  All should be good. As usual if you need any help get in contact with Self-Inking Stamps and we can help you.

Here are some other videos by our supplier Trodat Rubber Stamps

Contact our Rubber Stamp Design team for more information…

Please contact us, if you have any questions regarding available variants or further product information. Stay up to date with our latest news and promotions on FacebookLinkedInTwitter, and Google.

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