Soak Your Stamp Correctly
When you find a stamp you desire you must first cut it off of the envelope and then soak said stamp to remove the paper left on the rear. One should not even attempt to rip the paper residue off the back of the stamp to avoid tearing the stamp. If your stamp is torn the value ceases to exist. A stamp collector will not buy a stamp that has compromised its integrity.
The first step is to trim around the perforated edges of the stamp as close as possible without cutting them off. Now you are ready to soak your stamp in a very shallow bowl. The water temperature should be room temperature to lukewarm. If your water is too hot the color of the stamp could run off. Float your stamp with the picture on top and showing to your view.
Be sure to not soak to many stamps in the same bowl for the sticky side is also soaking off and stamps can get stuck together. This would also compromise the integrity of the stamp. When sliding the stamp off of the backing paper be sure to let the water do the work for you. The stamp as well as the paper become very fragile when wet so be weary of tearing the stamp.
Change your water in between stamp soaking to ensure no color mixing or sticky residue building up. It is now time to lay your stamps out to dry once the backing is off. It is best to lay your stamps on paper towels but newspaper can be used as well. You will need to place your stamps decorative side down so that any remaining glue can not dry and stick the stamp to the drying paper. Also make sure wherever you place your stamps there is no color that is able to transfer on to the stamp, i.e. the paper towel and newspapers need to be colorless.
Once your stamps are completely dry they are ready to be pressed. Take all dried stamps and place them under a telephone book or dictionary. You will leave your stamps like this for a day or two. After this time period you will have crisp, dry, and pressed collectable stamps. Now get to soaking!