What Kind of Glue is Right for You?

Get to know some adhesive options to choose the best one for your application

window decal adhesive

Static cling

This is not technically an adhesive since there is no actual glue, rather it forms a bond with a smooth surface through a static charge that is typically only used for indoor window decals. (An indoor window decal would have the copy printed on the front or “face” side of the decal so it can be read from outside the window). Depending on the size of the window decal, it may be advisable to use a removable adhesive versus a static cling because the weight of the substrate can be greater than the strength of the charge, which means the decals will slip or curl off the surface they are applied to.

Removable

This type of adhesive comes in both paper or synthetic substrates, therefore can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications. However, we wouldn’t recommend a removable adhesive for long-term outdoor use as it would eventually succumb to weather and moisture. If you want to be able to easily remove your sticker after a short time without leaving residue, then this adhesive might be the one for you. You may be able to re-use the sticker once or twice if it’s printed on a poly or vinyl, but a removable paper will probably only stick once. Also, when applying a removable adhesive to a paper surface, it will eventually cure to a standard permanent if it’s stuck there longer than about two weeks.

Freezer

It’s evident what you would want to use this type of glue for! A label that is going to spend a lot of time in a freezer or extremely cold environment would be an ideal candidate for a freezer adhesive. Freezer adhesive is available on both paper and poly stocks, so if there is going to be fluctuating temperatures, such as going in and out of the freezer multiple times that could lead to moisture and condensation or if you need the label to be durable and stick around awhile, you probably want a synthetic substrate. However, if the label is really only going to be used once, say on frozen pizza packaging, a paper product should work just fine.

Block Out

Need to cover something up? Print errors can happen and sometimes the best solution is printing a sticker to cover up the blunder, or perhaps you’re applying a pastel label to dark background and you want it to look pink, not brownish-pink. Block out adhesive is a dark glue that enhances the opacity of white paper or vinyl, so when you apply it to the intended surface, you can’t see what lies beneath.

Standard

This is the industry standard and works for most label applications. Some materials, such as embossing foils are only available with a standard adhesive, but it’s important to note that the term “standard” is relative to the intended application, which in the case of embossed foil seals is to be applied to paper. Standard permanent is going to create a long-lasting bond with the surface it’s applied to and therefore a paper will tear if you try to remove it and a poly or vinyl will likely leave behind some goo, if you can peel the decal off at all.

Extra Permanent

As you can imagine, this is the most aggressive option available in the realm of pressure-sensitive adhesives. Sometimes referred to it as “elephant snot”, hi tack, high bond or tire adhesive (for paper), if you want something to stick as steadfast as possible due to extreme environmental conditions or you’re applying a label to a problematic surface, like certain plastics or powder-coated metals then you probably want the high tack. However, it is certainly in your best interest to request samples of the material if you have a tricky application to ensure that the adhesive will work for your project.

Determining the preferred adhesive for your application is entirely up to you, but there can be limitations when combined with the other specifications for a project, therefore we encourage anyone with questions about which glue to use to call us TOLL-FREE and any one of our label experts would be happy to discuss your sticker requirements. It’s always a good idea to request substrate samples so you can test the application prior to placing an order, because who wants to be stuck with 5000 stickers that don’t stick??

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