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How to Unseal an Envelope

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If a sealed envelope needs to be reopened, it doesn’t have to be destroyed. There are numerous ways to unseal an envelope without causing damage and reseal it without leaving evidence of the mistake. These methods will save envelopes and reduce the need for extra work. They can also be used to unseal an envelope that has been accidentally sealed due to humidity.

Place 2 inches of water in the bottom of the tall pot. Turn on high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low.

Place the strainer or grill rack on top of the pot, allowing the steam to pass through it. Place the envelope on the strainer or rack for 30 seconds.

Remove the seal carefully to prevent tears using the blade of a knife. If the seal doesn’t break easily, place over the steam for an additional 10-15 seconds.

To reseal, place the envelope face down on a soft, clean cloth on the ironing board. Place a second cloth on top of the envelope. Preheat the iron and press around the seal for 30 seconds or until the envelope is resealed.

Use the freezer method to unseal an envelope if a quick fix is needed. Place the envelope in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Use the blade of a knife to break the seal. The glue will be preserved. Reseal the envelope normally once the glue reaches room temperature.


A letter opener, scissors, or any other sharp, metal blade can be used in place of a knife if necessary.

If using the first method to unseal an envelope and an ironing board isn’t available, a table or other hard surface may be used.


Never open someone else’s mail without their permission. This is against the law and can get you in serious trouble.


Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including

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