How to Stop Label Adhesive From Peeling

What You Can Do To Fix The Dreaded Peeling Label Problem

The Dreaded Label Lift: How to Stop Label Adhesive Failure

It seems like a simple enough request, right? When you apply label adhesive to your labels, you want it to keep your label snuggly fit on your product packaging. But when label lift occurs, all bets are off and your brand could be sending the wrong signal to your consumers.

Label lift isn’t a trendy taxi company. It’s also not the next new beauty procedure. It’s the dreaded incident where your label actually lifts off the packaging, making your buyers think your brand is low quality.

Label Lift Doesn’t Happen Because of “Bad” Adhesive

We hear this alot. Many of our clients think that when a label doesn’t stick, it’s the label adhesive that’s out of specification.  But, believe it or not, in our experience, the majority of the time, this is not the case.

There are only a handful of material manufacturers out there and each one of them must meet strict standards of quality. Without a quality product, they would not be allowed to stay in business because the measurement and controls would knock them out of the market.

Do low-quality adhesives sneak in? Yes, but it’s rare. So what do we mean by “bad” label adhesives? Pull up a chair because it’s not as simple as it might seem. Here are three reasons your label adhesive is failing your brand.

1. You Have a Coat Weight Issue

Sometimes, the adhesive you’re using is the wrong adhesive. Plain and simple. To know if this is the case with your label, you should put your labels through a test.

First, start with a logic test. You could have a coat weight issue if you can’t answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Have you used this adhesive on multiple orders in the past without them failing?
  • Has the shape of your bottle, material type, or manufacturing style remained unchanged?
  • Have your environmental conditions remained the same (such as temperature or moisture levels)?
  • Have your application settings remained the same?

If you answered yes to each of these and are experiencing label adhesive failure, then you might want to undergo coat weight testing.

Coat weight testing looks like this. You’ll submit to your supplier three to six feet of unconverted retain stock (your label printer should have this on hand for each lot they print), as well as about three feet of converted labels. The results will take one to two weeks to get back. In the meantime, you might want to weed out other potential culprits, so let’s move on with other common reasons for label adhesive failure.

2. You’re Using Old Adhesive

This might come as a surprise but adhesives have a shelf life. Some less reputable printers may use older materials or buy odd lot stocks that are outdated.

The shelf life for adhesive is approximately one year. Manufacturers are easily able to tell if an adhesive has expired because the date is printed on the roll tag as part of the warranty.

If you suspect your label manufacturer used old adhesive, you can request a Certificate of Compliance which specifies the material construction and the manufacture date on your future orders. This certificate is only valid for the material on that specific order so it should be requested each and every time. If your current roll tags from your label supplier are older than one year, you know that timing is the probable culprit – not bad adhesive.

3. You’re Using the Wrong Adhesive for the Application

When it comes to labels, every size, shape, and application is different. I’m often asked, which adhesive will work for an application. It’s impossible to know without knowing the other variables.

Yes, there are general guidelines, but these are just starting points. They’re not always right in the end, so it’s important to work with someone knowledgeable in adhesion of labels.

Our approach: Test, test, test!

I almost always recommend materials and sometimes two to three options for label adhesives. You should always get a sample label stock and test under actual application conditions. The lack of testing is the number one reason that label applications fail!  Don’t allow short deadlines to stop you from testing.  Without going through the proper procedure to find the right label adhesive, you’ll end up costing yourself more time in the long run.

Question: Have you experienced label lift? What was the cause?

It’s hard to know what’s causing your labels to lift without going through the motions to determine the root problem. That’s where working with an expert can save you time and money on finding the right adhesive for your product. We can help!

This is just the beginning. Next week, we’ll cover more reasons for label lift. Sign up to receive emails from The Label Link direct to your inbox and we’ll let you know when it’s posted.

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