Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Label Planet: What Do I Need To Know About Printing Waterproof Labels?

There are a huge number of label applications that require waterproof labels, whether you need to label something that is to be used or stored outdoors or whether you're labelling items that are to be used indoors but in environments such as the bathroom or kitchen, where they are likely to come into contact with liquids.

While it is quite simple to produce your own waterproof labels for your home or business, there is one key factor that you need to know before you get started:


When creating a waterproof label, EVERY element in that label must be waterproof, including the material the label is made of, the adhesive used on the label, and the print that is added to the label (if any).

Generally speaking, if you purchase a label that is made from a waterproof material the adhesive should also be waterproof, but it is always worth double checking that this is the case. Suppliers should be able to confirm if both the material and the adhesive are waterproof. On our website, we have grouped our waterproof labels together for easy reference and each type has a Material Specification sheet on its range page to confirm that the labels are made with waterproof materials. Our waterproof labels are made of either polyester or polyethylene.

[It is worth noting that while, in general, paper labels are NEVER waterproof, some are made with coatings that allow them to be wiped if they get a little bit damp or wet. For example, our Gloss Paper labels and Gloss White Photo Quality labels can both be wiped clean and dry with no damage to the label, and are therefore categorised on our website as "Splashproof" labels.]

There are some adhesives that are designed specifically to withstand wet conditions - such as the marine adhesive used on our Matt White Polyester and Matt White Polyethylene labels. This adhesive has been tested in marine conditions for three months and is ideal for applications where a label must be able to survive extensive exposure to liquids.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must use a printing method and printing materials that create a waterproof print.

The inks used in inkjet printers are water based, which means that they will smudge or run if they come into contact with water or other liquids. In other words, you CANNOT use an inkjet printer and standard inkjet inks to create waterproof labels.

Laser printers, however, use heat and pressure to bond toner into place, which creates waterproof print.

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