How To Choose Between Permanent And Removable Adhesive For Your Labels

Sometimes our buyers will ask us what the difference is between removable and permanent labels, or which is the best option for a particular application. When determining which type of label to use, it’s essential to know the uses and benefits of each.

Both permanent and removable labels can be produced using direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser and inkjet printers, with clear, sharp images. They are available in semi-gloss, high-gloss, and matte finishes. The main difference between removable labels and permanent labels is in the permanence and strength of material’s adhesive.

The strength and success of the adhesive bond is determined by a combination of the length of time the label is stuck onto an item, the temperature during application, the surface onto which the label is applied, and the strength of the adhesive used.

Permanent Labels

Designed for a one-time applications, permanent labels have a strong bond that will last well throughout the transportation and storage of the product. Most stock labels used a permanent adhesive.

Some customers are concerned about whether our permanent labels will be permanent enough. No labels is completely permanent, and time will diminish the effectiveness of the adhesive, as will moisture.

Permanent labels will stick to your container and hang on for dear life, but that means you must be meticulous about the way in which you apply them. The reason being that once they’re attached to the container, it cannot be easily removed.

If permanent labels are removed, they will leave an adhesive residue on the surface, may pill or tear the surface during removal, and the label itself may tear, leaving pieces of the label on the surface.

Certain products require the use of permanent labels to ensure stay for the long haul. For example, products like industrial machinery require labels that can last the entire life of them. Manufactures apply labels to state the model number and the serial number for the machinery.

Such information is very important since customers need to refer to them. In this case, these labels need to last for years. If the key information is not available when needed, companies can lose business to their competitors in the same industry.

Before you choose permanent labels, there are still many factors to consider, including:

  1. Dose the label need to be applied to outdoors, such as on heavy machinery or outdoor signage?
  2. Will your label be removed often?
  3. Will it come into contact with cleaning products or other solvents?
  4. What is the lifespan of the product, and how long does the label need to last?
  5. What temperatures will the label be exposed to, both during application and in use? For example, will the label be applied to a beverage container that might be immersed in ice, or will the label spend most of its life in standard room temperature conditions?

Removable Labels

Removable labels are designed for temporary use. They allow for greater flexibility. Removable labels use specialized adhesives that provide a secure bond to the surface material yet allow the label to be removed without leaving adhesive residue or causing damage.

And the label stock can come off in one piece. With removable adhesives you are free to remove and reapply the label if it’s accidentally applied askew.

It turns out that there are a great number of environments where removable labels can be extremely useful. Removable labels are a great way to create brand awareness since they can be used as decals. They are applied for promoting sale items quickly, and remove notices easily when the sale is over. A few common scenarios that warrant removable labels include:

  • Seasonal decor or sales info
  • Parking passes
  • Name tags
  • Calendar stickers
  • Bumper stickers
  • Electronic stickers
  • Home organization
  • Food packaging
  • Wine and beer bottles

However, removable labels are not used very often for several reasons. First of all, they are generally more expensive than permanent options. They are also more likely to come off during the transportation and storage of a product, making them less desirable in most production scenarios.

One of the few reasons to use removable labels is in the case of reusable containers or crates that are returned. Also, if the label only needs to stay on the product until it is purchased and then consumers will want to take it off prior to using the product, removable self-adhesive labels may be preferable.

Over the years, we have accumulated many valuable insights from our loyal customers. We continue to rely on your feedback and comments, so let us know how our expanded line of removable labels are making a difference in your projects! If you’d like to inquire further, consider reaching out to customer service at