Whether for personal or business, there are a number of reasons why you might need waterproof labels. Waterproof labels are used for items stored outdoors, indoors for moist environments and other purposes. However, while printing your own waterproof labels is quite easy, there are a few things that should never be overlooked.
Is Everything Waterproof?
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, forgetting to ensure that everything is waterproof is something forgotten by many who print waterproof labels.
All elements of the label being created must be waterproof. This includes whatever material your labels are made of, as well as the label’s adhesive and the ink printed onto the label itself.
Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant
A word about waterproofing: if printing labels using an inkjet printer, it’s important to mention that your labels will be more water-resistant than they are waterproof. This is because the ink used in inkjet printers is not waterproof. However, if the intent is to print water-resistant labels with an inkjet printer, then using vinyl labels will definitely increase the ink’s resistance to water. How? Vinyl label sheets are coated with an ‘ink locking’ substance.
When using vinyl labels with an inkjet printer, it’s important to ensure that the balance between amount of water-proofing topcoat and amount of ink used is as even as possible. Using too much ink with not enough top coat will result in bleeding when the label comes in contact with moisture. However, there are ways to ensure that vinyl labels printed with an ink jet printer are genuinely waterproof.
Solutions for Waterproofing Inkjet Labels
One of the easiest ways to ensure your inkjet labels are waterproof is to consult the settings for your printer. Looking in the advanced settings, you will notice that the media types being printed on can be adjusted. You can adjust them by going to the settings, or by navigating to them once you’ve hit “Print”. Premium or high-quality paper should be chosen.
Turning down the rate at which ink is applied to a label media can also make for a better waterproof label. This setting can also be changed by navigating to the advanced features in your printer settings, or when you hit the “Print” button.
Cold Water Rinse
Labels with a lot of ink-intensive graphics may require rinsing. After printing as usual, simply allow the sheet to sit for several minutes, and then rinse it under cold water. This will ensure that any ink not locked into the label material is washed away; leaving you with a bleed-free sheet whose ink has been locked into the vinyl.
Seal It Yourself
Your waterproof label sheet will have its own top coat of seal. However, you can also add your own coat for extra waterproofing. This comes in handy if your label will be used outdoors, such as for a bumper sticker, or in moist conditions. There are sprays available at craft stores, and all that’s required is a quick spray to cover the entire surface.
Check Adhesives Too
Although waterproof labels include adhesive that is also waterproof, it is best to confirm this before purchasing to avoid having to return to buy labels with the proper adhesive.
Usually, using a laser printer to print labels won’t present any issues. Laser printers burn ink into the media being used for printing. As well, the ink used in laser printers is not water-based. When printing labels on a laser printer, choosing polyester labels is best.
Taking the time to ensure that all elements of your labels are waterproof before you make your purchase cans result in a stress-free label printing experience.