A self-inking stamp can be convenient, but it does require some maintenance. The die of a self-inking stamp touches the built-in ink pad each time the stamp is used. Any stamp, self-inking or not, needs to be refilled with ink. There are two ways to do this with a self-inking stamp, depending on the model and brand. You can also purchase replacement ink pads if you think they are needed.
Push the top of the stamp down about a quarter of an inch.
Press the two buttons on the side of the stamp. These might be square or circular indents. Sometimes these indents are a different color than the rest of the stamp. The stamp should lock into place with this move.
Push the stamp pad out with your finger. It will go only one way, so if it doesn't come out the first way you push it, push it the other way. The ink pad is right about where the indents are on the stamp.
Pull the ink pad completely out and set it on a flat surface.
Squeeze the ink onto the ink pad. Place about six drops into the pad.
Insert the ink pad back into the stamp, the opposite of where you pushed it out.
Push down the stamp all the way to release the indent buttons holding it in place.
Push down the stamp to the lock line of the stamp. This is specified on the model of the stamp. Then slide the lock into its position to lock the stamp. The lock is on one of the smaller sides of the stamp. On some models, it's red.
Pull out the ink pad until you hear a clicking sound. The ink pad is usually a different color from the rest of the stamp, making it easier to identify. On most models, this part of the stamp is wider on one side than on the other. There also might be a round finger slot at the bottom of this part of the stamp.
Put 10 drops of ink into each well of the stamp. These are two circular areas on each end of the stamp. Touch the nozzle to each circular area to make sure the ink gets into each area without making a mess. If needed, or if there's buildup, take a damp paper towel and wipe down each well. Be sure the wells dry before closing the pad back in.
Push the ink pad back into the stamp and wait 15 minutes before stamping.