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Why Don’t My Labels Stick to My Product?

When you’re looking for labels for your products, there are plenty of factors to take into consideration during the process. A major piece is knowing that you’re choosing the proper size and material that is suitable for your application, including the adhesive. In some instances, you may find yourself having a more difficult time applying your labels to your products than expected. One of the most frustrating events that can occur with labels is that they may not stick to your product. They may only hold temporarily, lift off the surface partially, or not stick at all (okay, maybe not that last part, but you get the idea). In this article, we’re going to look at 5 different reasons why your labels may not be sticking to your product and what you can do to fix it.

Reason #1: Surface Contamination

One of the leading causes as to why your labels may not be sticking to your product is because the product surface is dirty. Perhaps it is contaminated with dirt or other obstructing particles that would influence the adhesive strength of your labels. Before you apply your label, it is strongly recommended that you clean the surface of your product in a proper fashion to ensure your labels stick without issue. Depending on the products’ surface material, you may be required to use a more formal cleaning solution rather than a quick rinse and dry with water. It’s always good to double check with the product manufacturer for any specific cleaning instructions your product surface may require prior to labeling.

Reason #2: The Surface Application is Not Flat

Another common reason why your label may not be sticking to your product is because the surface of the product is not flat. Attempting to apply a label to a textured surface can be a challenge. Smooth, flat surfaces are optimal characteristics for label applications. What if the surface is smooth, but rounded? Well, this could also be challenging as rounded surfaces make it harder for the label to stick as the adhesive can become strained, causing the label to detach or wrinkle. Opting for a larger size label that allows you to wrap the entire label around the surface and adhere to itself is a common workaround for this issue. However, size may not strictly be the culprit in this case which brings us to our next suspect: materials.

Reason #3: Inadequate Label Material

As stated earlier, there are a lot of factors to consider when buying labels. Perhaps you’re relatively new to the industry and are not full informed on the various types of materials and adhesives offered, all of which have their respected pros and cons depending on the surface in which you intend to apply them to (PSA: a paper label shouldn’t be used for your shampoo bottle). It’s crucial you understand the capabilities of different materials to make an informed decision on what is compatible with your product. Additionally, noting what your label will be exposed to specifically will help significantly in limiting the number of adequate materials.

Reason #4: The Adhesive is Stressed

No one likes being stressed, not even adhesives. Depending on how the label was applied could heavily influence how well it will stick to its designated surface. The optimal approach to applying a label by hand is to start from the middle and carefully extend it to the outward. Keep in mind, you should confirm the placement is accurate prior to adhering the label to the surface. If you are working with a material with a permanent adhesive, it will be extremely difficult to remove the label once adhered. It may also leave behind a sticky residue in addition to losing its overall adhesive strength.

Other secondary factors that can influence adhesive strength include prolonged exposure to extreme environmental conditions (improper storage) and aging. Just like many other things in life, labels have a limited shelf life before they start to break down. Although this will vary based on the material and adhesive, most labels are designed to last 2-3 years, though their service life can be much longer, likely 10 years or more! In order to get the most out of your labels, it is important that they are stored correctly. If you do not plan to use your labels immediately, be sure to store them in a cool, dry place (room temperature) and secure them in their packaging until ready for use.

Reason #5: Manufacturer Defects

At the end of the day, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and the world of label manufacturing is no different. If none of the other reasons are applicable, there is always a possibility that your labels are defective. Perhaps the coating of the adhesive is uneven or weak. In some cases, labels may have manufacturing defects leading to such adhesion problems.

Addressing these potential reasons and ensuring proper adhesive selection, label material, application technique, and storage conditions are essential to maintain label adhesion and product presentation. Manufacturers should always conduct thorough testing and quality control measures to prevent label detachment issues. So, if you find yourself having issues with your labels sticking to your products, make note of these reasons as to why, and be sure to take any necessary precautions to avoid frustrating adhesive issues in the future.

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Our expert customer service team is ready to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Real time help is available Monday through Friday 9AM - 6PM EST
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