Sticker Shocked - Permanent vs. Removable Labels

By George Righter

I recently purchased a beautiful glazed, ceramic houseplant pot. There was a UPC sticker and a climate indicating label affixed to the pot.

Removable Adhesives

These days, it seems rare to be able to easily remove price labels in one piece. I’m accustomed to performing the razor blade label peel trick, or simply washing and scrubbing off paper labels. Although labels with removable, thinner adhesives, or non-residue are available, they will not bond properly to some surfaces. Most companies will not pursue stickers with removable adhesives out of fear that some labels will not adhere strongly enough. And for outdoor gardening products, labels should be water resistant.

Non-Removable Vinyl Labels (razor blade not included)

But whoa! In this case I’d have to fight my way through destructible tamper evident vinyl labels. This type of label is typically used for warranty labels, and to help prevent labels from being removed and swapped. In this case, the $9.99 ceramic pot would need to have the price labels carefully removed with a razor blade, without damaging the surface. Soap, water, and scrubbing were not options for removal. The only way to remove the label was to slowly slip in a razor blade and slowly work it away. Then once the label was removed, the adhesive residue needed to be cleaned off with WD40. Goo Be Gone also works great and rubbing alcohol works ok.

Polypro Labels

If tamper evidence is not required for these consumer labels, which really should be more easily removable, then a more suitable label material would be a polypro film. Polypro labels are water resistant, conformable to surfaces, sticky, inexpensive, and can be peeled off in a single piece—unlike labels that leave behind a mess, require razor blades, and time and effort to remove them.

Water Soluble Labels

If this was an indoor application, most people are not aware of special permanent labels that are easily washed or dissolved away with water. These are used in commercial kitchens, and contain safety and lot # information. For price labels that will see water, not such a good fit. Look for more info on dissolvable labels in an upcoming blog here at The Inside Track.

For more information or to ensure the proper label materials are used for your application contact RighterTrack today. 215-493-7191 or e-mail.