How to Get Labels to Stick to Plastic? Ultimate Guide

To get labels to stick to plastic, clean the surface thoroughly and apply pressure for a secure bond. Having trouble getting labels to adhere to plastic surfaces?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re labeling containers, packaging, or plastic items, it’s crucial to ensure that the labels stick securely. When labels don’t stick properly, it can cause frustration and diminish the effectiveness of your labeling efforts.

However, with a few simple techniques and a little bit of patience, you can achieve long-lasting adherence.

We will provide you with tips on how to get labels to stick to plastic surfaces, helping you optimize your labeling process and maintain clear and legible information. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to successful label adhesion on plastic.

Types Of Plastic Surfaces

Labels can adhere to plastic surfaces with ease when the right type of plastic is used. Some plastics are more conducive to label adhesion, such as polyethylene and polypropylene. These surfaces can be treated with special primers or adhesives to ensure labels stick securely.

Smooth Plastic Surfaces

Smooth plastic surfaces provide an ideal canvas for labels to adhere to. The lack of texture allows the adhesive to bond easily, ensuring a strong attachment.

When applying labels to smooth plastic surfaces, follow these simple steps for optimal results:

  • Clean the plastic surface thoroughly with a mild detergent and water solution.
  • Dry the surface completely using a soft, lint-free cloth to remove any moisture or residue.
  • Peel the label from its backing, taking care not to touch the adhesive side with your fingers.
  • Position the label onto the smooth plastic surface, ensuring it is straight and aligned with the desired placement.
  • Apply pressure evenly across the entire label, using a soft cloth or a plastic squeegee. This helps to ensure proper adhesion.

Textured Plastic Surfaces

Textured plastic surfaces present a unique challenge when it comes to label adhesion. The uneven surface can make it difficult for labels to stick securely. However, with the right approach, you can successfully apply labels to textured plastic surfaces.

Follow these steps for effective adhesion:

  • Clean the textured plastic surface using a mild detergent and water solution, ensuring that any dirt or debris is removed.
  • Dry the surface thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Choose a label with a strong adhesive specifically designed for textured surfaces.
  • Apply the label to a flat area of the textured plastic surface, avoiding any raised or recessed areas.
  • Press the label firmly onto the surface, focusing on the edges and corners to ensure a secure bond.

Preparation And Cleaning

To ensure labels stick to plastic, preparation and cleaning are key. Start by wiping the surface with a clean cloth and alcohol to remove any dirt or residue. Then, ensure the plastic is dry before applying the label to ensure it adheres properly.

Surface Cleaning

Clean the plastic surface thoroughly using a gentle soap and water solution. Ensure there is no dirt or debris that could prevent the label from sticking.

Removing Residue

If there is any sticky residue left on the plastic from previous labels, use rubbing alcohol or adhesive remover to clean it off.

See also  How to Turn off a Sprinkler System? The Essential Guide

Drying The Surface

Allow the surface to completely dry before applying the new label to ensure maximum adhesion.

Choosing The Right Label Material

Choosing the right label material is crucial to ensuring that labels stick effectively to plastic surfaces. Different types of adhesive and label materials are available, and considering the specific needs of your project is essential to making the right choice.

Adhesive Types

When selecting a label material for plastic surfaces, it’s important to consider the type of adhesive being used. There are several adhesive options available, each tailored to different requirements.

The most common adhesive types for plastic labels include:

  • Permanent adhesive: Bonds strongly to the plastic surface, ensuring long-term adhesion.
  • Removable adhesive: Offers a less aggressive bond and can be peeled off without leaving residue.
  • High-tack adhesive: Ideal for rough or textured plastic surfaces, providing strong initial adhesion.
  • Low-tack adhesive: Suitable for temporary applications, allowing easy removal without damaging the plastic.

Waterproof And Weatherproof Labels

For labels that need to withstand exposure to moisture, humidity, or outdoor elements, it’s crucial to opt for waterproof and weatherproof materials.

These labels are designed to resist water, fading, and damage from harsh environmental conditions, making them ideal for outdoor and industrial use.

Whether the plastic items will be stored in a wet environment or face extreme temperatures, choosing waterproof and weatherproof labels is essential to ensure long-lasting adhesion.

Label Application Techniques

Applying labels to plastic surfaces can sometimes be a tricky task, but with the right techniques, you can ensure that your labels adhere securely and look professional.

There are several label application methods that you can use, each with its own advantages depending on the specific requirements of your project.

Peel And Stick Method

This method is the most common and straightforward way to apply labels to plastic. Simply peel off the backing of the label and stick it directly onto the clean and dry plastic surface. Ensure to firmly press down on the label after application to promote adhesion.

Wet Application Method

The wet application method involves applying a thin layer of adhesive onto the plastic surface before attaching the label.

This technique allows for repositioning of the label before the adhesive sets, ensuring a perfect placement. It is particularly useful for larger labels or when precise alignment is crucial.

Heat Transfer Method

The heat transfer method involves using heat to activate the adhesive on the label, promoting strong adhesion to the plastic surface.

This method is ideal for labels that need to withstand extreme conditions like moisture or high temperatures. A heat source such as a heat gun or a heat press is used to activate the adhesive and bond the label to the plastic surface.

Enhancing Label Adhesion

Properly adhering labels to plastic surfaces can be a challenge, but with the right techniques, you can ensure they stay in place. Here are some effective methods to enhance label adhesion:

Using Primer Or Adhesive Promoter

Using a primer or adhesive promoter can significantly improve the bond between the label and the plastic surface. Apply a thin layer before affixing the label to ensure a strong and long-lasting adhesion.

Applying Heat Or Pressure

Applying heat or pressure to the label after sticking it onto the plastic can help activate the adhesive and create a more secure bond. Use a heat gun or a press machine to ensure the label adheres firmly.

Applying Adhesive Spray

Applying adhesive spray on the surface before attaching the label can provide an extra layer of stickiness, enhancing adhesion. Be sure to follow the instructions on the adhesive spray for optimal results.

How to Get Labels to Stick to Plastic: Ultimate Guide



Having trouble getting labels to stick on plastic? Start by cleaning the surface with rubbing alcohol. Use a heat gun to warm the plastic, then firmly press the labels on for better adhesion.

See also  Can a Water Meter Freeze? Prevention Tactics & Solutions

Label Peeling Off

One common issue when it comes to labels sticking to plastic is the problem of labels peeling off. This can be frustrating, especially if you have spent time and effort carefully applying the labels.

Thankfully, there are a few troubleshooting tips that can help you solve this problem.

  • Choose the right adhesive: The type of adhesive used on the label is crucial to its sticking power. Ensure that you are using an adhesive that is specifically designed for plastic surfaces. These adhesives are formulated to adhere well to plastic, resulting in labels that stay in place.
  • Clean the surface: Before applying the label, make sure the plastic surface is clean and free from any dirt, oil, or residue. Use a mild detergent or rubbing alcohol to clean the surface and remove any contaminants that may prevent the label from sticking properly. Allow the surface to dry completely before applying the label.
  • Apply pressure: Once you have applied the label to the surface, give it a firm press. Using your fingers or a smooth, flat object like a credit card, firmly press the label onto the plastic surface. Applying pressure helps the adhesive bond to the plastic, increasing the chances of the label staying in place.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Exposing labels to extreme temperatures can cause the adhesive to weaken or melt, leading to labels that peel off easily. Avoid placing labeled plastic items in extremely hot or cold environments to ensure the labels remain intact.

Wrinkles Or Bubbles

Another common issue with labels on plastic surfaces is the formation of wrinkles or bubbles. These can not only make the labels look unsightly but also affect their adhesion. Below are a few tips to troubleshoot and prevent this problem:

  • Apply the label slowly: When applying the label, take your time and ensure it is being applied smoothly. Avoid rushing the process, as this can lead to wrinkles or bubbles. Smooth out the label as you go along to eliminate any air pockets that may cause bubbles.
  • Use a label applicator: If you consistently face issues with wrinkles or bubbles, consider using a label applicator specifically designed for plastic surfaces. These applicators help ensure a smooth and even application, minimizing the chances of wrinkles or bubbles forming.
  • Store labels properly: Improper storage of labels can lead to wrinkling or bubbling. Make sure to store labels in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. This will keep the labels in good condition and prevent any warping or curling that may contribute to wrinkles or bubbles during application.

Labels Not Sticking

If your labels are simply not sticking to plastic surfaces, it can be quite frustrating. However, there are troubleshooting steps you can take to improve adhesion:

  • Check the label material: Ensure that the label material is appropriate for plastic surfaces. Some materials may not adhere well to plastic, causing them to come off easily. Look for labels specifically designed for plastic or choose a stronger adhesive.
  • Prepare the surface: Thoroughly clean the plastic surface to remove any dirt, oils, or residue that may inhibit adhesion. Use a mild detergent or rubbing alcohol to clean the surface and allow it to dry completely before applying the label.
  • Consider surface texture: Some plastic surfaces may have a texture that can make adhesion more challenging. If possible, choose labels with a stronger adhesive or try applying the label to a smoother area of the plastic surface.
  • Warm up the adhesive: When encountering difficulty with labels not sticking, gently warm up the label and adhesive with a hairdryer on low heat. The heat will help soften the adhesive, making it more tacky and improving its ability to stick to the plastic surface.
See also  How to Wire 110 off of 220? Powering Up Your Electrical System

Additional Tips And Recommendations

When it comes to getting labels to stick to plastic, there are a few additional tips and recommendations that can help ensure a secure and long-lasting adhesion.

These tips include allowing sufficient time for adhesion, avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals, and proper storage of label rolls.

Allowing Sufficient Time For Adhesion

Allowing sufficient time for adhesion is crucial to ensure that labels stick firmly to plastic surfaces. After applying the label, it is recommended to avoid touching or moving the labeled item for at least 24 hours. This allows the adhesive to fully bond with the plastic and provides optimal sticking power.

Avoiding Exposure To Harsh Chemicals

Exposure to harsh chemicals can compromise the adhesion of labels on plastic. It is important to avoid cleaning the labeled item with strong solvents or abrasive cleaning agents.

Instead, choose mild and gentle cleaning solutions that are specifically formulated for use on plastic surfaces. This helps to preserve the adhesive qualities of the label and prevent it from being damaged or peeled off.

Proper Storage Of Label Rolls

Proper storage of label rolls is essential to maintain the adhesive effectiveness. Label rolls should be stored in a cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Excessive heat or humidity can cause the adhesive to deteriorate, resulting in labels that may not stick properly.

Additionally, label rolls should be stored upright in a vertical position to prevent any unnecessary pressure or bending that could affect the adhesive quality.

In conclusion, by following these additional tips and recommendations, you can enhance the adhesion of labels on plastic surfaces.

Allowing sufficient time for adhesion, avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals, and properly storing label rolls are crucial steps in ensuring that labels stick securely and remain intact for a longer period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Get Labels To Stick To Plastic

How Do You Get Stickers To Stick To Plastic?

To get stickers to stick to plastic, ensure the plastic surface is clean and dry. Apply pressure and smooth out any air bubbles.

Consider using adhesive spray or a clear sealant for extra grip. Experiment with different sticker materials for best results.

How Do You Glue Labels To Plastic?

To glue labels to plastic, follow these steps:

1. Clean the plastic surface thoroughly.

2. Choose a strong adhesive suitable for plastic.

3. Apply the adhesive to the label and press it firmly onto the plastic.

4. Hold the label in place for a few seconds to ensure it sticks.

5. Let the adhesive dry completely before handling.

How Do You Keep Stickers From Peeling Off Plastic?

To prevent stickers from peeling off plastic, ensure surface is clean, smooth and dry. Apply the sticker slowly, smoothing out any bubbles. Seal the edges with clear nail polish.

How Do You Make Labels Stick Better?

To make labels stick better, clean the surface thoroughly, apply pressure while sticking the label, use adhesion promoters or primer, choose durable and high-quality labels, and store them at room temperature.


Getting labels to stick to plastic requires the right adhesive, proper surface preparation, and application techniques.

By understanding the type of plastic and the environment the labels will be exposed to, you can ensure a successful adhesion. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create durable and long-lasting labels on your plastic products.

Leave a Comment