When you have products that will be exposed to moisture, waterproof labels are a smart way to make sure your branding and vital information remain intact. Beverages, personal hygiene products, outdoor products and cleaning solutions often use waterproof labels.
Here’s what you need to know about waterproof labeling.
Waterproof, water-resistant and weatherproof labels
You may assume that waterproof, water-resistant and weatherproof all mean the same thing. That’s a common misconception: each of these label types present advantages and drawbacks.
Waterproof labels are designed to withstand prolonged exposure to water and moisture. Water-resistant labels are paper labels with a waterproof coating, whereas waterproof labels are water and oil resistant. The latter two are able to stand up to contact with water, but if water seeps beneath a water-resistant label’s coating, the paper will disintegrate.
Weatherproof labels, on the other hand, are designed for outdoor exposure. Some may include waterproof or water-resistant features, while others focus on UV resistance. Manufacturers select features depending on the elements their labels may be exposed to.
What makes labels waterproof?
Repelling or resisting water comes down to the stock, coatings and adhesives used. Labels which use paper stock are more likely to disintegrate, no matter what kind of coating and adhesive are used. Paper is typically the least expensive stock option, so you may consider using it for water resistant labels—just make sure you choose sturdy coatings and adhesives.
Bi-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), vinyl and polyester labels are all popular waterproof label options. However, they are more expensive than paper stock.
When choosing an adhesive, it’s best to stay away from removable versions since they are often unable to resist or repel water. What adhesive works for a champagne bottle, may not work for a shampoo bottle. Look for adhesives designed to address your primary concerns, whether that’s being submerged in water for a long period of time, or maybe condensation in humid environments.
Lastly, coating can protect the label from water infiltration. If you use paper stock, the coating may keep water from reaching the front of the label—but it can still seep on the sides. This may cause the label to disintegrate or the ink to bleed.
Creating waterproof labels
When deciding upon your waterproof labels, consider all the environmental factors your product may face. For example, if your product is used outdoors, the label needs to be able to stand up to hot and cold cycles, as well as UV exposure. On the other hand, if you’re labeling frozen foods, you’ll need to use label stock, adhesive and coatings which can handle extreme cold, frost and moisture. Cryogenic labels are a good solution for these products.
Finally, if your products are covered in moisture when they come through the labeling production line, you’ll need an adhesive which can cure on wet products, or a system that will dry or wipe the bottles before the label is applied.
Quadrel creates labeling solutions for every product labeling challenge. Reach out to our team today to find out which systems are right for your products, or how to create your own custom labeling system.