Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Labels

Waterproof labels vs. Water-resistant labels

What is the right material for your products?

If you sell health and beauty products, outdoor items, food, beverages, or other items that might come into contact with moisture or water, you need labels that will remain legible and stay adhered to your products. In this article, we will discuss waterproof labels vs. water-resistant labels, the testing they go through, and what are the best labels for your products.

At Avery, we offer three ways for you to buy waterproof and water-resistant labels. You can order custom printed labels online from our professional printing service, Avery WePrint. You can purchase blank printable labels by the sheet online with no minimums, or use our packaged retail labels that you can buy in-store or online.

Avery waterproof label testing

All Avery labels go through rigorous testing before they go to market. Our research and development team is constantly testing adhesives, materials, and printing so that we can provide our customers with the best possible label performance.

More than 100 individual tests are performed on all of our label materials to make sure they meet our customers’ needs. From water, oil, and fade resistance to tearing and abrasions, all of our products are tested to the highest industry standards.

Surface materials

Our waterproof labels and water-resistant labels are tested on both High Surface Energy (HSE) items and Low Surface Energy (LSE) items. Surface energy, in simple terms, is how much the adhesive and the surface repel or attract each other.

The lower the surface energy, the harder it is for label adhesives to adhere. Examples of LSE items would be polypropylene, polyethylene, PVC, acrylic, and PTFE fluoropolymer.

For HSE items, the opposite is true and the labels will stick easier. Examples of HSE items are stainless steel, copper, tin, aluminum, glass, and PET. Avery labels are tested on stainless steel (HSE) and HDPE plastic (LSE) to assure they will stick and stay during water testing.

Water-resistant labels

Water-resistant labels from Avery are tested with sprays of water for smearing and ink bleed
Water-resistant labels are great for products that might get sprayed with water but won’t be submerged.

Avery water-resistant labels must pass testing based on the Electronics IP44 IEC testing. The testing rates a product’s ability to protect against the infiltration of water, dust, or other foreign objects.

For example, we test print labels on both HSE and LSE products. The printed label samples are sprayed with water and vigorously rubbed more than 10 times with a cotton swab. If there is no ink bleed or smearing, the labels are deemed water-resistant. Because of this, our water-resistant labels are also safe for use in standard refrigerators and freezers.

The best use for water-resistant labels is to use them on products that may get splashed, rinsed, or wiped off but that won’t be submerged in water. Examples of this would be things like health and beauty products, or food items that won’t be iced down are great uses for our water-resistant labels.

Waterproof labels

Waterproof labels from Avery are tested for more than 7 days submerged in water
Waterproof labels are ideal for items that you might submerge in water.

We test Avery waterproof labels following the standards of ISO 6425. This standards was created in 1996 for underwater diving watches.

For example, we fully submerge a product with a printed label in water for at least seven days. After that, we remove the product and label from the water, and rub the label vigorously more than 10 times with a cotton swab to check for ink smears and bleeding. 

We test our label adhesives at the same time on both HSE and LSE containers. Because of this, all of our waterproof materials are also safe for use in standard refrigerators and freezers.

Use waterproof labels on products that you might submerge in ice or water, or expose to extreme temperatures or outdoor environments. They’re great for bath and body products, beverages, outdoor plants, accessories, or any item that you want your label to stay legible and adhered to.

Waterproof & water-resistant Avery labels

Custom Waterproof Labels

Custom Roll Labels

White Film
Clear Film
Chrome Film
Crystal Holographic Film
Rainbow Holographic Film
Glossy Vinyl Removable Labels
Film Removable Labels
White Squeezable Film
Clear Squeezable Film

Custom Sheet Labels

White Film
Clear Film
Silver Metallic Film
Glossy Removable Vinyl Film

Blank Labels

Blank Roll Labels

Ultraduty White Film Labels

Blank Sheet Labels

Matte Clear Film for Laser Printers
Weatherproof White Film Silver Metallic Film UltraDuty White Film for Laser Printers
UltraDuty White Film for Inkjet Printers
Surface Safe White Film
(Waterproof with laser or pigment-based inkjet printers only)
White Film

Label Packs

Waterproof with laser printers only
1500ct- 1″ x 2-5/8″ Film Rectangles
700ct- 1-1/3″ x 4″ Film Rectangles
500ct- 2″ x 4″ Film Rectangles
300ct- 3-1/3″ x 4″ Film Rectangles
100ct- 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Film Rectangles
100ct- 2″ x 4″ Film Rectangles
20ct- 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Film Rectangles
15000ct- 1″ x 2-5/8″ Film Rectangles
7000ct- 1-1/3″ x 4″ Film Rectangles
5000ct- 2″ x 4″ Film Rectangles
1000ct- 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ Film Rectangles
Waterproof with laser or pigment-based inkjet printers only
160ct- 1″ x 2-5/8″ Film Rectangles
120ct- 2″ Film Circles
120ct- 2″ x 2″ Film Squares
80ct- 2″ x 3-3/4″ Film Rectangles
40ct- 4″ x 3-1/3″ Rectangles
10ct- 8-1/2″ x 11″ Full Sheet

Custom Water-Resistant Labels

Custom Roll Labels

Matte White Paper
Glossy White Paper
Removable White Paper
Estate Paper #9
Silver Metallic Paper

Custom Sheet Labels

Glossy White Paper

If you have any questions or need any help on the difference between waterproof vs. water-resistant labels, reach out to our helpful Customer Care team at (800) 942-8379.

Author: Melanie Neff

Melanie has an extensive writing background built on an impressive journalism foundation. As a reporter for USA Today and The Los Angeles Times for almost 20 years, she covered everything from the Los Angeles riots, fires, and floods to LA Lakers, Raiders and Clippers games and movie premieres. She followed her newspaper career with a long tenure covering commercial real estate financing and development. Melanie has been writing about small business marketing and labeling needs for the last 12 years. She thrives on reading, researching and expanding her knowledge of everything going on in today's business world and looks to provide the most valuable information she can to her readers.

2 thoughts on “Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant Labels”

  1. Which labels should be used for adhering to plastic plant tags? These labels should resist water and UV light.

    1. Hi Duke,
      Any of our Avery waterproof labels will work great for this. All of our film labels are waterproof and UV and fade resistant. They also resist scuffing and tearing. For extra-durable labels that also stand up to chemicals, try our UltraDuty labels. All of these waterproof labels are available in printable or custom printed formats. You can buy blank labels by the sheet that you can personalize online and print from your desktop computer. Or try our professionally printed labels from Avery WePrint that are printed on digital printers. All Avery products are 100% guaranteed for your satisfaction with fast turnaround and free shipping over $50. Hope this helps. Thank you for reading!

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